Temple of the Four Winds’
Statement of Beliefs
TEMPLE OF THE FOUR WINDS INTENDS to provide for the transformation and evolution of human beings seeking enlightenment in communion with the Divine Creator through the ceremonial and sacred use of natural entheogens.
OUR PURPOSE is to promote the transformation and evolution of beings who seek enlightenment by communing with the Divine Creator. In order to effectuate our purpose, we shall organize retreats and sacred ceremonies related to the expansion of consciousness through the sacramental consumption of natural entheogens, in addition to other guided relaxation and expansion practices of ancestral consciousness.
WE BELIEVE that natural entheogens were manifested through the Divine Creator in order for all humans, regardless of religion, race, sex, or gender, to facilitate communion with the Divine Creator.
WE BELIEVE through the ceremonial and sacred use of natural entheogens and ancestral practices, our members are able to access their divinity from within.
WE BELIEVE that many of our experiences have shown us that the sacramental use of natural entheogens within an appropriate spiritual context, far from being a dissociative experience for the mind and detrimental to the health of the individual or of society, is, on the contrary, an activity beneficial for the expansion of consciousness, and in turn, positive for the purposes of our individual spiritual quests.
WE BELIEVE our love and connection to all things is enhanced and better understood through the sacramental consumption of natural entheogens. More specifically, sacramental consumption of natural entheogens often evokes mystical experiences, which takes us to higher spiritual realms/dimensions where we interact with the Divine Creator and other spiritual entities. This higher spiritual realm can become more accessible for humans through the sacramental use of natural entheogens.
WE BELIEVE that through mystical experiences, we seek and receive answers and guidance to specific and ultimate life questions. Additionally, we believe that sacred experiences, induced by the sacramental consumption of natural entheogens, unite us through love, understanding, and greater connectivity to other beings in the universe.
WE BELIEVE the overarching message we receive from the Divine Creator, through the sacramental consumption of natural entheogens, is that unconditional love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe and is the nature and essence of the Divine Creator.
WE BELIEVE that the sacramental use of natural entheogens teaches us and empowers us to become more in tune and/or more related to mother nature. More specifically, we believe that the sacramental use of natural entheogens restores us to a more symbiotic relationship with nature. As such, we believe that, to the best of our ability and as practicable, we are to conduct
ourselves in such a way as to respect and preserve mother nature and encourage others to do the same when feasible.
WE BELIEVE and we are aware that the sacramental use of natural entheogens is a very ancient practice, perhaps dating back more than 100,000 years. In regards to Ayahuasca and San Pedro, ancient practices and ceremonies date back to over 2,000 years. To the best of our ability, we adopt and implement these ancient and sacred practices and ceremonies to be consistent and honor our ancestral roots and ancestors.
WE BELIEVE that at death, our spirits return to the same realm accessed through the sacramental use of natural entheogens.
WE BELIEVE that by engaging in the sacramental use of natural entheogens and entering higher levels of consciousness and higher spiritual realms, we become comfortable in the spiritual realm, thereby allowing us to overcome our fear of death. By overcoming layers of fear and/or anxiety relating to death, we are better able to focus our efforts on loving other beings and making the universe a better place for all living beings.
WE BELIEVE that, at all times, our members have a moral and ethical obligation to approach every life situation from a place of peace, love, and understanding and in a manner consistent with the general and individual messages innately present within the Divine Creation and the spiritual realm.
WE BELIEVE that other religious texts and teachings, insofar as they are consistent with the Divine Creator and the spiritual realm, provide guidance for how we should live our lives and in how we should love and be tolerant of other beings.
NATURAL ENTHEOGENIC SACRAMENTS
Ayahuasca is a mixture of Amazonian herbs, capable of inducing altered states of consciousness, usually for 3 to 8 hours after ingestion. The experience can range from a mild stimulus to extreme visions. Ayahuasca is used primarily as a medicine and as a way of shamanic communication, usually at a ceremony under the supervision of an experienced guide or teacher.
The main ingredient of this jungle tea is a climbing vine , the cipó mariri
(Banisteriopsis caapi). The tea itself is also called ayahuasca (meaning “soul climber” or “climber with soul”). The secondary ingredients are chacruna (Psychotria viridis), or chagropanga (Diplopterys cabrerana) – plants with a relatively high content of the psychedelic substance (Di Methyl Tryptamine).
No one knows for sure when humanity first started drinking this plant medicine. The first known contact with the West occurred in 1851, through Richard Spruce, the famous English ethnobotanist. When we consider the comparative archaeological evidence of the native use of
the plant, it seems that the consumption of this plant medicine dates back at least two millennia ago.
Quite unique in relation to ayahuasca is that its effects depend on a specific mixture of two plants: cipó mariri (Banisteriopsis caapi) and chacruna (or chagropanga, depending on the region). It is unknown how and when the mixture of these two plants was discovered by Native Americans, although many tribes and shamans have their own mythical stories explaining the origins of the medicine ceremonies.
The main ingredient of chacruna or chagropanga is also a neurotransmitter found in all humans, and plays a key role in all cases of unusual states of perception. This neurotransmitter is called dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, is found in the brain, blood, lungs, and other parts of the human body. There is strong evidence pointing to the pineal gland (“the third eye” in esoteric traditions), located in the center of the brain, as being the main source of naturally present inhuman DMT. In addition to being found in humans, DMT can also be found in all mammals and in a variety of plants.
The use for religious / spiritual purposes of the psychoactive ayahuasca that unites two native plants of the Amazon, has its origin in the ancestral traditions of the native people of South America. It has been used in religious ceremonies, shamanic healings and therapeutic practices for thousands of years. In many ancient cultures the religious use of entheogens has been standard practice since the earliest days of mankind.
Some of these traditions have preserved and renewed such practices. Among them are all the Western initiators who contacted these indigenous cultures through the humble activity of rubber tappers who, in the early twentieth century, in contact with Indians and shamans, in the heart of the Amazon forest, received knowledge about their achievements. This knowledge has been revealed in the present forms of rituals, songs and dances through which the divine beings, the sun, the moon, the stars and the forces of Nature are praised as an act of spiritual elevation.
The ritual of consecration, where the use of the sacramental drink takes place, carries within itself a universal message of peace, fraternity and love, valid for all the peoples of the earth. If the Eucharistic sacrament of our religious / spiritual rituals is
presumably a psychoactive drink, without prejudice, and in the light of the equity that the Law of religious practice consecrates and by a jurisprudential approach.
Our experience tells us that the use of sacramental drink within an appropriate spiritual context, far from being a dissociative experience for the mind and detrimental to the health of the individual or of society, is, on the contrary, an activity beneficial for healing, evolution and the expansion of consciousness, and in turn, positive for the purposes of spiritual quest that we aim for.
- SAN PEDRO (THE CACTUS OF THE GODS)
The indigenous people call San Pedro, wachuma, huachuma or grandfather, which means “to be without a head, to cut one’s head, to cut rational thought, to cut the ego”. This sacred cactus offers you the possibility of living a unique and fulfilled life experience, can cleanse your body of toxins it accumulates which proved relief after going through this cleaning process. San Pedro has long been considered by many indigenous tribes in the Americas a powerful agent for healing and change, making it a central component of the shamanic ceremonies.
Huachuma is one of the 5 sacred plants that the gods offer us to be able to connect with the other plane or world through masculine energies, that which is beyond what we can commonly perceive with our senses. San Pedro (Echinopsis pachanoi), basioniem: Trichocereus pachanoi, is the best known from the Trichocereus family. According to researchers like Backeberg, there are 47 species, all of which originate in South America. However, the quantity depends on the species and the age of the cactus.
San Pedro is a plant medicine for personal growth both enlightenment of mind, and strength of the heart and sexual organs. Through spiritual growth this medicine has the ability to open the subconscious which facilitates the feeling of your power through an open heart. A San Pedro ceremony is an inward journey that elicits deep insights into the self expansion of perception in yourself and the universe helping you to heal, to grow, to learn and awaken. This in turn assists us in reaching higher states of consciousness, enhances creativity and tends to dissolve preconceptions and elicit fresh perspectives on reality. Mescaline, the main ingredient in San Pedro is known to foster compassion and gratitude, while alleviating psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and addiction.
About 1-2 hours after consuming San Pedro, the active substance mescaline will become palpable and will reveal itself to the user. The effects can then last for 8-15 hours. These effects include extreme visual, sensing and light sensitivity; you will be able to see and feel every ray of light and even ‘see’ people and things.
Lost memories can return and you can hear sounds and see things that come from afar. San Pedro can strengthen and patch up interpersonal bonds by gaining a
newfound emotional fluency and ability to express own emotions. This sacred cactus can also help one to identify the struggles of others, increase a personal sense of universal understanding, a connection to yourself and with others to work out suppressed and learned patterns, triggers and limited beliefs.
Psilocybin mushrooms are perhaps the most ancient and sacred sacrament on planet earth. It is our belief that psilocybin mushrooms have been consumed by man for tens of thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. We believe that psilocybin mushrooms allowed early man to commune with the spiritual realm, whereby early man received information
downloads that allowed him to better survive on planet earth by building communities. There is evidence of ancient use of psilocybin mushrooms spanning the entire globe. Psilocybin mushrooms are found on almost every continent and its ancient use transcends time, geographic location, and culture.
Mushrooms are known as the internet of nature. Social beings, capable of awareness and consciousness. Similar to our brain they build a neurological network with information sharing membranes. Those membranes are able to react to change and collectively have the long-term health of their environment in mind. Of the thousands of mushrooms existing all around the globe our ancestors and modern scientists have identified several dozen that have unique combinations of healing talents, which improve our health. Some of the main benefits are treating depression like PTSD, helping manage smoking, alcohol, cocaine addictions, obsessive-compulsive disorder, cluster headaches, and cancer-related or other end-of-life psychological distress.
The compounds psilocybin and psilocin have mind altering effects similar in some aspects to mescaline and DMT. The chemicals have a structure very similar to the structure of serotonin, a chemical messenger with important roles in our brains and digestive systems. Because of this similarity, psilocin can bind to receptors in the brain that are meant for serotonin. Even though still classified as a hallucinogenic drug, the therapeutic and healing long term effects of these miniature pharmaceutical factories are no longer deniable. Moreover, it is our belief that the chemical structure of psilocybin was designed by source in order to allow man to commune directly with it via the serotonin receptors.
The term “mystical experience” has been coined by modern researchers to describe the high dose psilocybin experience. To date, researchers have been unable to pinpoint exactly what causes and/or what exactly is the “mystical experience.” We believe the “mystical experience” is where the person consuming the psilocybin mushrooms communes directly with the spiritual realm, thereby escaping a logical or scientific explanation for the experience.
The factors that help determine whether a ceremonial journey is rewarding or “nightmarish” is the concept of ‘set’ and ‘setting’. A person’s ‘set’ (or mind-set) includes their mood, disposition, thoughts and expectations. A person’s ‘setting’ is the specific place and social situation in which they take this plant medicine. Psilocybin should be taken in a ceremonial setting in a calm and familiar place or being in nature. Our psilocybin ceremonies will comport with other ceremonial traditions surrounding the ingestion of natural entheogens, and will be structured in such a way as to allow the participant with the optimal opportunity for interaction with the spiritual realm. As with all other natural entheogen ceremonies, this ceremony will begin with a prayer and a blessing of the sacraments.
OTHER SACRED SACRAMENTS
Rapé (pronounced rah-PAY) is a sacred shamanic tool for clearing intentions and paving the way for detoxifying the body. Rapé stimulates the nervous system, enabling the body to become more receptive to all levels of communication. Rapé has been used by healers of the Amazon for thousands of years. It is a complex blend of plants, which is crushed into very fine powder and administered through the nostrils with a special blowpipe. Once ingested, the powder causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate. This leads to increased blood circulation, and consequently, to increased focus and intuition.
Rapé brings immediate focus and opens the entire freed mind space for your intentions. It helps release emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses and eases negativity and confusion, enabling a thorough grounding of the mind. Just as Shamans have done for ages, you can use Rapé to re-align with your energy channels and with your higher self. This ancient medicine intensifies your connection with the world and the universe.
What are the benefits of Rapé?
- Helps focus and sharpen the mind
- Releases emotional, physical and spiritual illnesses
- Clears a person or space of distracting, unbalanced energies
- Detoxes both body and mind and clears your energetic field. Because of this, Rapé is often used in conjunction with Ayahuasca ceremonies.
- Provides a calming, grounding effect on the emotions that lasts much longer than the initial sensation
- Can be used in conjunction with other healing modalities such as breath work.
How do we use Rapé?
This warrior medicine from the Amazon is blown into your nostrils with a pipe called Kuripe. Sitting down in a meditation, the participant will state a personal intention and speak a sacred prayer inviting the medicine into this ritual. The herbal powder often mixed with sacred tobacco is first blown into the left nostril representing death, then into the right nostril representing rebirth or life. During this experience, which lasts for approximately 20 minutes, focusing on the intention is key and practicing letting go of everything else. A meditative state of mind and body takes you out of your mind away from negative, worrying thoughts into your positive emotions of bliss, grounding and relaxation.
What is Sacred Cacao?
Cacao is a plant native to Central and South America that has been used historically by the Aztecs and Mayans for medicinal and ritualistic purposes. Its scientific name Theobroma Cacao actually means “food for the Gods” and it was believed to have been sent from the heavens as a gift to mankind.
Most cacao that you come by today has been processed and roasted in such a way that it loses most of its health and spiritual benefits. Ceremonial cacao however is cultivated and prepared in the traditional way so that it retains the spirit of cacao as well as its remedying properties so that it can be used in ceremony.
Why does Temple of the Four Winds use Sacred Cacao?
Cacao can open the heart and allow you to connect with yourself and others in a deeper, more loving way. Very gently the plant enables you to connect with your inner spirit and wisdom, allowing for more profound meditation and to focus more on the present moment: Its remedying properties work on your mind and soul.
You will become aware of things that have been keeping you from living the life you love and receive strength in letting them go. This plant will help help you find mental clarity and balance.
Founder, Prophet, or Teacher:
Temple of the Four Winds was founded by Ik, who also serves as the Lead Minister. While there are no specific teachers or prophets, Temple of the Four Winds believes that natural entheogens can facilitate and serve as both teacher and prophet to those who engage in their sacramental/ceremonial use.
At all times, as approved by the Board of Directors, Temple of the Four Winds will retain at least one retreat center where all sacred ceremonies will be held, activities of the organization will be conducted, and sacraments will be securely maintained. However, Temple of the Four Winds will be conducting ceremonies and retreats at various other properties throughout the United States as approved by the Head Minister. In the event the membership and participation in Temple of the Four Winds continues to grow, the organization may acquire additional retreat centers, as approved by the Board of Directors, so as to provide maximum healing, spiritual development, and safety to its members and participants.
Keepers of Knowledge:
Insofar as they are knowledgeable on certain matters, the ministerial leadership team will impute knowledge regarding ceremonies, safety, and spiritual development to the members and participants at Temple of the Four Winds. However, due to their extensive knowledge regarding indigenous beliefs and practices and general knowledge regarding the spiritual elements of natural entheogens, the primary keepers of knowledge will be the medicine men/women conducting sacred ceremonies at Temple of the Four Winds.
Ceremonies and Rituals:
The sacred ceremonies conducted by Temple of the Four Winds shall be conducted in accordance with the dictates of the specific medicine man/woman conducting the specific ceremony. Moreover, all ceremonies shall be conducted in a sacred place. However, the basic structure of sacred ceremonies at Temple of the Four Winds should be as follows:
- Opening Prayer- Should include gratitude to the land and Divine Spirit, a prayer to the directions and a prayer of protection;
- Serving of the Sacrament- Should include an offering of the sacrament, receipt of the sacrament, and consumption of the sacrament;
- Prayer- Should include prayers and chants in accordance with the dictates of the specific medicine man/woman conducting the ceremony.
- Closing Prayer- Should include gratitude to the Divine Spirit, the four elements,
and each spirit present before closing the portal.
In conjunction with the ceremonies and rituals, Temple of the Four Winds will also hold monthly integration meetings (online whenever possible), the purpose of which is to assist members and participants in integrating the spiritual insights gained during ceremony into everyday life. This practice assists members and participants in effectuating positive changes in their lives and consequently raise the vibrational frequency of the world at large.
Preparing for Ceremony:
Before entering a ceremony wherein a natural entheogen will be the sacrament, it is important to prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually with the intention of love, protection, high vibration, positive energy and intimate prayers for healing and transformation. These following guidelines and questions support our members and ceremonial participants in this phase before the actual ceremony. The questions listed here help members and ceremonial participants reconnect more to themselves and assist in identifying an intention more clearly.
- Setting your intention
Coming into any ceremony involving the consumption of natural entheogens as a sacred sacrament, it is essential to bring something with you. YOUR intention plays a crucial role in the entire process. Remembering what brought you to explore and heal in the first place can re-center you.
What are the intentions exactly?
They are nothing more than a response to the question you have had coming up within yourself. These intentions are very important for the actual ceremony and in the days, weeks, months and years following to adopt new lifestyle habits that enable you to continue to grow, heal, and thrive.
When our intentions are clear, when we are sure about what we want, we give the universe full permission to deliver it to us. When we focus on what we don’t want, the universe is likely to deliver us more of the same drudgery that led us to want to transform our day-to-day reality. Clarity of your objective, of your purpose and intention, will enable you to experience profound healing beyond your wildest expectations.
When setting an intention for this work, you may like to contemplate the following questions:
- What is it I want to realize for myself? What would be my ideal outcome? How would I like to feel?
- What is my main aim or objective? Think about this in terms of what you want (not what you don’t want).
- What is my purpose for wanting to do this work? Be sure that it is an authentic purpose, not simply wanting to check an experience off your bucket list.
- How does this purpose look and feel to me? Try to imagine it in your mind, write it down or draw it out.
Setting your intention includes the mindset! Your intention of the journey’s mindset is defined as the emotional and psychological state of your approach and experience. An intention is like a prayer; it is a statement of one’s motivation or direction. Your intention directs your journey and communicates to our Higher Self what it is that we are seeking.
You can support the process of setting an intention by journaling, making art, playing music, singing, or writing as a way of expressing what is coming through. Try to write every day upon rising. Read through old journeys (if you have journeyed before) and reflect on how far you have come. Explore wounds, painful memories, and issues, and open up emotionally. If you are not a meditator, begin a simple daily practice of mindfulness. You can take 10 minutes and focus your attention on your breath and journal. Record your dreams. Uncover your subconscious.
- What does a Sacred Ceremony look like?
The way we use any plant sacrament at Temple of the Four Winds is always in a sacred ceremonial setting. We respect the plant as a living being, as medicine, as a teacher, and believe in its sacred properties. Therefore, we create sacred space before we initiate ceremonies. The number of participants are limited to a maximum of 33.
The sacred ceremony room is decorated with candles, an open fire, and an altar typically placed in the middle of the circle with sacred symbols and elements. Spiritual music is played during ceremony with instruments such as drums, flutes, guitars or singing bowls. The participants each have an individual place in the circle which allows the feeling of safety during the entire ceremony. One minister and his/her facilitators keep the space safe by holding space and being available for each participant as necessary.
We believe that setting an intention is very essential for manifesting healing. Setting an intention before any meditation, plant journey, or even your day, can be a powerful practice because it’s the first step to embody that which you create. When focusing the mind on a specific intention, bringing it to awareness, thoughts, and heart … and in turn helping to bring it into reality. The ceremony is being conducted in silence so that the mind is clear from any conversations and outside stories which are not
Before the sacred ceremony each participant is prepared by a silent meditation, followed by the introduction of rapé. This preparation enables the participants to move from the thinking mind into the feeling body, calming the thoughts and bringing clarity on their intentions. Each participant is personally smudged with sage to clear the aura.
Once participants have shared intentions with the group, we open sacred space by praying to the Divine Source, calling in our guides, spirit animals, our ancestors and the spirit of the
sacrament. After this sacred space is opened the Sacred Sacrament is then ingested. Usually one cup of the sacred brew is served. The participants lay in meditation while waiting for the Sacred Spirit to present herself. A second cup is offered to anyone who is called to consume it. A possible third cup is offered two hours before the ceremony is closed.
The facilitators make sure the ceremony space is kept clean by bringing offering bowls, or providing a designated space to purge and regularly smudging the area where and when necessary. Each participant is being personally assisted when going to the bathroom.
Once the group has finished their work, the ceremony is closed by speaking a prayer thanking every guide, spirit animal, ancestor and spirit of the sacrament. To conclude the ceremony fresh fruits and other plant-based foods will be served to the participants to celebrate each individual’s journey, and to ground them back into their bodies.
Later that evening, or following morning after participants have rested, we come back together for an integration circle to share experiences.
- Physical Preparation – The DIETA
“The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor.”
The practices and dietary protocols leading up to a ceremony are known as a Dieta — and though the word most obviously refers to food intake, the preparatory practices extend to behavioral abstinence and spiritual practices, as well.
The way we physically prepare our body for an expanded state of consciousness is of utmost importance ~ to diet, to cleanse and purify for the specific purpose of enhancing the healing potential of a journey.
Simply stated, it is best to simplify your diet as much as possible in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Eliminate processed foods, colorings, and preservatives; avoid salty, sugary, and spicy foods; cut out animal products, particularly meat; and eliminate all sexual activity, addictive substances like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and recreational drugs. Avoid cannabis and other psychoactive substances for a minimum of one week before the journey.
Try sticking to wholesome organic meals. Drink plenty of water and light herbal teas. Avoid coffee or strong black tea.
In appropriate circumstances we will work with members and ceremonial participants in determining if and in what time frame they can eliminate their reliance on prescription drugs where possible, particularly if they are on MAOI or SSRI drugs. These medications will interfere directly with the effects of many natural entheogens, and, in some cases, the interaction can have serious health repercussions. DO NOT attempt to participate in a ceremony involving the consumption of natural entheogens while taking these medications and always consult with us first!! IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL MEMBERS AND CEREMONIAL PARTICIPANTS BE 100% TRUTHFUL AND ACCURATE WHEN DIVULGING THEIR CURRENT MEDICATIONS AND PRIOR MEDICAL HISTORY!!!!!!!!!
The most potential change in behavior suggested before meeting the plant spirits is abstinence from sexual activity, both with others and on your own.
Sexual activity with yourself is said to deplete the individual of spiritual energy that would otherwise be used in the healing process during the sacred ceremony, limiting your ability to dive deep and preventing the medicine from communicating with you clearly.
Sleep at least 7 to 8 hours for three days before and after the journey and take naps if you feel tired from your activities. Take care to cleanse and purify your physical body so that you feel ready for that experience, using sage, incense, and salt baths. Go into nature to stay grounded. Move stagnant energy out of the body, and on the other hand, you want to quiet the physical
system. You want to go into a journey with a sense of vitality, yet rested enough for the experience. It can be helpful to get a massage or go to a sauna to begin the process of relaxation. It is a matter of discernment and balance.
Foods to avoid
o Dairy products (highly mucus forming)
o Red meat (pork, beef, goat, tuna, eel, etc.)
o Processed, canned, sulfured food and chemical preservatives
o Fermented and aged foods such as soy sauce, fermented dairy
o products, soybean paste, tofu, bean curd, miso soup, teriyaki sauce, shrimp paste and pickled foods
o Sourdough bread
o Processed sweets, chocolate, and anything with refined sugar and products containing sugar (e.g., bread, sauces) unless homemade!
o Artificial sweeteners
o Spicy and excessively salty foods
o Products high in gluten such as cakes, cookies, and white bread o Coffee
o Black, green, kava, matcha tea
o Alcohol of any type, including wine and beer, even minimal amounts in cough syrups o All street and recreational drugs, including Marijuana
o Violent films and video games
o Other intense psycho-mental or spiritual stimulation
o Specific medicinal herbs such as: St. Johns Wort, Kava, Ephedra, Ginseng, Yohimbe, Sinicuichi, Kratom
o Any form of sexual contact, including masturbation
- Fresh, locally grown, organic foods
- Organic fruits
- Organic vegetables
- Oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, rice
- Homemade bread, gluten-free
- Raw cashews or almonds, unsalted
- Little salt
- Coconut or olive oil, sparingly
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Herbal teas
To prepare carefully, read over, and follow the guidelines:
Specific restrictions with potentially LETHAL interactions:
- Antidepressants: SSRI’s, MAOI’s, Serotonin enhancing medicines like Seroquel Antihistamines, medication for colds, sinus problems, hay fever or allergies sleep aids Medicine for asthma, bronchitis or other breathing problems • Antipsychotics
- Appetite suppressants (diet pills)
- Central nervous system depressants
- Opiates or synthetic opioids, Morphine, Vicodin …and the like
- Amphetamines Ritalin, Adderall Dexedrine, Benzedrine and the like • Do not take anything other than an aspirin/ibuprofen within 10 days without consulting us first • Prescription drugs against high blood pressure, please notify us what kind you are taking • Anyone taking antidepressant medications must have a one on one meeting with us prior to registering
- Antidepressants must be stopped at least 2-4 weeks before the ceremony! Please contact your doctor and inform us
- Dental: Please, do not schedule any dental work or surgery one week prior to and following a ceremony!!
Clearing out your digestive system from fatty and heavy foods, your circulation from intoxicants, and your mind from impure thoughts, certainly has its benefits. But they don’t always come easily.
Many of us indulge, and sometimes over-indulge, in less-than-healthy food; thus removing all those tasty dishes can be irritating. Do your best to be mindful, and not see the dieta as an inconvenience, but a step of the intention and surrender necessary for making the most of the experience. Plus, the Dieta will make you feel healthier and perhaps better prepared for any challenges to come with a clearer mind to focus on your intention. It also brings an energetic balance to your system, allowing the sacrament to do its work more effectively. Some of the items on the list are included for the purpose of bringing you to an optimal physiological and spiritual state to receive the sacrament, while others are there for factual health reasons.
At least 6 weeks before:
Any medication that has an effect on the serotonin system, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and MAOI drugs, should be cleared from your body through a slow weaning process with advice from your or our doctor, so you are off your medication until at least 2 weeks before the actual ceremony.
At least 4 weeks before:
Eliminate pharmaceutical drugs (prescription & over the counter). This includes allergy pills, hormonal supplements, NSAIDs, and more. Again, always consult with a medical professional and us first.
At least 9 days before:
Start the DIETA that we have provided in the attachment
Questions to be mindful of and journal about:
Do you breathe easily, and rhythmically/deeply?
When you exercise, do you feel your lungs expanding?
Do you know what it feels like to be out of breath?
Have you explored breathing practices, such as Transformational Breath® work or others?
Do you take the time to prepare food for yourself?
Is feeding yourself an enjoyable activity?
Do you eat junk food or sweets?
Do you sometimes forget to eat ?
In what ways is your relationship with food a healthy one?
In what ways is it problematic?
Exercise and movement
What do you do for exercise and movement?
Do you exercise too little or too much?
What physical practices do you want to explore?
Do you integrate mindful breathing into movement?
How do you prepare for sleep?
Do you go to sleep early or stay up late?
How many hours do you sleep per night?
Is your sleeping environment nourishing to you?
Do you wake up feeling rested?
What do you dream about?
Do you dress for comfort or conformity?
Is it important how people see you?
What are your favorite things to wear?
What do you do to maintain your sense of health and balance, chemically or hormonally? How do you choose to take care of yourself when you don’t feel well? Are you able to ask for and receive support when you are sick?
Where and how do you hold fear, stress, or tension in your body? How do you deal with stressful situations?
Do you experience waves of depressive or anxious energy?
If so, how do you experience them in your body?
Do you tend to your physical body and appearance; your hair, your skin, your nails, and your teeth?
- Mental and Emotional Preparation
In expanded states of consciousness, we are granted access to the domain beyond our normal ego structures. The veil that lies between our conscious mind and the vast ocean-like realm of our unconscious becomes more permeable. Because expanded consciousness gives us access to these normally elusive layers of our minds, a journey should be thoroughly prepared before entering the space. We can do this by becoming familiar with the ways the mind functions.
As human beings, we develop defenses and strategies as well as ways to cope with the painful experience of not getting our needs met or having been violated in any way. These defenses and strategies take shape as coping behaviors, thinking patterns, habits and fears. On a basic level, the function is to create safety and avoid emotional pain associated with challenging psychological material
It is a basic animal instinct to not want to feel pain and to do whatever is possible to avoid it. Expanded states of consciousness have the effect of relaxing your psychological strategies and defenses and bringing a face-to-face with the content our ego structure normally keeps hidden. We also want to become familiar with the content and flavor of the emotions that arise in our body and awareness. The more in touch we are with the way the states arise within us, the more profoundly we can engage our core material and expanded states of consciousness.
The best way to engage in the preparation process on the level of the mind and emotions, is to begin by bringing mindfulness to our immediate experience. In this way, we begin to prepare a conscious mind through the simple act of becoming aware of our actual states, whatever it is. For most people, the thought of going inward to explore unknown territories of the mind will trigger apprehensions. Facing the unknown with some apprehension is a normal response.
Just like in everyday life, expectations are the root cause of disappointment. Although we live calculated, scheduled, and, for the most part, predictable lives, we are usually under the illusion that we are in control of many things. At any given moment, disruption to our routine can incur massive frustration and loss of control just because it’s unexpected. On the other hand, experiences we look forward to and build up in our minds often disappoint us because they are different from the image we constructed beforehand. An effective way to have a constructive journey? Have an intention, but no expectations. Let go and surrender.
Mind & Emotional Inventory
Questions to ask yourself and journal about:
Can you describe your intellectual strength?
What kinds of books or podcasts stimulate your intellect?
Do you find yourself obsessing about the past or worrying about the future? Is there a person or memory you are constantly thinking about or a recurring situation that you are trying to figure out?
What practices do you have to calm your mind and manage your stress?
What are your emotional strengths?
In what ways do you consider yourself emotionally wounded?
What emotions do you have a hard time feeling?
How do you express emotions?
In what ways do you repress anger, grief, or joy?
Do your fears affect how you interact with the world?
When do you feel joy or well-being?
Could you be more honest with yourself?
Do you have a supportive environment for your emotional process such as a therapist, body workout, or a 12 step group?
Do you feel love?
Where in your body do you feel it?
Do you love yourself?
How do you express love towards yourself?
When have you felt the most loved?
What does it mean to you to love someone or something?
What and whom do you love the most?
Are you comfortable expressing love?
How do you nurture what you love?
How could you express your love more?
What are you here to learn about love in this life?
Accessing the Subconscious
How do you relate to your subconscious?
Do you record your dreams when you wake up and work with them? Are there maps that help you reflect on your life? E.g., astrology, numerology, or Gene Keys Do you go to workshops/seminars to explore healing and therapeutic modalities?
- Spiritual Preparation
“The spiritual path is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path, most people just don’t know it.”
Step back and take a look at your current lifestyle. Where are there pockets of negative energy that you can reduce or eliminate in preparation for your journey? The spiritual preparation for a healing experience involves clearing your mind and your energetic space. Take a break from your television and Netflix subscription, cut down your internet time, and spend more time in quiet solitude. Get out into nature as much as you can to breathe and connect with Earth.
You can create an altar in your home to support your spiritual connection. An altar is a shrine, table, cabinets, shelf, or platform on which spiritual or religious objects and images are placed together in a way that invokes a sense of the sacred. When all the objects are brought together in a particular arrangement they create a unique field of energy that represents and reflects those who participate in its making.
Preparing for a ceremony can be through observing a period of silence. Just listening to the inner self requires quieting the mind to practices such as meditating, watching the breath, meditating with a candle, or focusing the sensors on one object. A quiet mind can also be obtained through reciting prayers, mantras, or sutras.
Before entering a journey space, we can reach out to people who possess a certain level of sensitivity and compassion. We recognize the preciousness of certain relationships and the richness that they can offer to our process, especially if they are friends or family who have gone through a similar experience.
“Wealth is determined not by how many things you have, but by how many people you have around you.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé
Questions to ask yourself and journal about:
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?
Did you have a religious upbringing?
If so, did it impact your life negatively or positively?
If not, what has shaped your relationship with spirituality?
Do you believe in a God, many Gods, or no God at all?
Do you believe that life is sacred?
What is your relationship with the elements, or the local rivers and mountains? Do you consider yourself to have faith?
How do you express your gratitude?
What do you value most in your life?
How do you connect with your core essence?
Who are you when you are not doing anything?
Are you comfortable simply being with yourself?
Are you comfortable simply being with someone else?
What do you think happens when your body dies?
Do you relate with the terms pure being, God, source, awareness, emptiness, open presence, transcendence, great mystery, or the divine?
Do you make space for the power of pure being to be felt?
How does this presence inform your life?
Do you have a spiritual teacher?
Do you belong to a spiritual community?
What role do you believe spirituality plays in humanity?
Do you gather together to meditate, pray, sing, or do acts of service? What rituals or spiritual practices do you perform?
How do you celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or significant deaths? Which spiritual or inspirational books do you love?
Where do you put images of spiritual teachers, meaningful objects, or special photos? Do you meditate, pray, or spend time in nature?
Do you include times of silence and quiet when you are by yourself? Do you take time for spiritual or personal retreats?
Questions to ask yourself and journal about:
How is your relationship with your family of origin?
If you need a friend, who do you call?
Are you able to cultivate lasting friendships?
Do you have a friend or friends you can trust and depend on?
How do you share your vulnerability with people in your life?
How do you feel when other people express vulnerability?
Do you tend to over-focus on others in a relationship, listening, and supporting? Do you tend to over-focus on yourself, asking for help, and seeking attention?
What does it mean to you to belong to a community?
Which work, sports, spiritual, or artistic communities do you belong to? If you go to a workshop or a ceremony or travel with a group, how easy is it for you to relate with all of this?
What qualities or actions do you contribute to your communities?
What are your ways of connecting with new people?
How do you maintain a connection with the people in your life?
Do you have unfinished business with any of your friends, family, or other people in your community?
Do you take an interest in global events?
Do you empathize with others experiencing suffering or triumph?
How do you contribute to the evolution of human consciousness?
Giving and Receiving
Do you feel nourished or exhausted by your social commitments?
How well do you balance time with others with time for yourself?
Are you more withdrawn or introverted, or are you more outgoing and extroverted? How could you be more balanced in the ways that you relate with others? In what ways do you give back to your communities to service?
Questions to ask yourself and journal about:
In what ways do you consider yourself to be creative?
How are you creative in the way you dress, how you eat?
How are you dressed, how do you eat, or how do you express yourself through words and actions?
What are you curious about?
Do you practice and express art forms?
What beliefs do you have about your capacities to be creative?
Do you feel blocked in your creativity?
What blocks you?
How could you relate with someone you know more creatively?
What aspects of life would you like to bring innovations to?
What new things could you explore?
It has been said that a sacred ceremony can be equivalent to 10+ years of personal therapy. When the intention is pure, an experience like this inevitably changes
your perspective on life, self, identity, and purpose. However, this rapid and profound shedding can leave us sensitive, vulnerable, and can be a lot to process all at once. With guidance, these lessons can be applied to our daily lives in a powerful way.
Integration, in large part, is the process of absorbing and digesting this raw material; quite literally, and incorporating it into your deeper level of consciousness. This inevitably changes your perspective on life, self, identity, and purpose. We can grow into, and show up as our true, whole and soulful selves. We begin to cultivate a way of being that is in touch with what really matters.
Post journey integration is offered in our monthly integration circles.
These powerful circles enable you to
- share authentically your current state of being
- what you were able to integrate since the ceremony
- what you are still struggling with
- listen to fellow journeyers and their story and way of integration
- sharing insights with each other
- implementing lessons gained from the retreat and implementing them into everyday life • nurturing our connection to our soul and to the medicine • Staying connected to your truth, valuing your life
- being part of a like-minded and like-hearted caring community
Post integration sessions
We also offer group post integration sessions. For those who would like to reconnect and share their integration process, we invite you to join a session.
Structure of Organization:
Temple of the Four Winds has the following structure to its organization:
Head Minister/Medicine Man/Spiritual Leader: Responsible for general oversight of the organization as a whole, oversight of individual sanctuaries, and oversight of safety guidelines and standards;
Board Members/Council: The Council consists of the ministerial leadership team and is responsible for organizing and overseeing community outreach and fundraising for local and regional populations. They are also responsible for assisting and co-creating programs that are in line with the principles and vision of Temple of the Four Winds. Lastly, they are responsible for inspiring in others what it means to be a good neighbor and respectful resident of Mother Earth, as well as maintaining a loving soul towards the Great Spirit.
Due to their intimate knowledge of and experience with conducting ceremonies, Senior Facilitators are responsible for holding space during ceremony and providing assistance and/or guidance to members and participants.
Honorary Members: Honorary members are individuals that have been nominated by the ministerial leadership team and confirmed by a vote of the majority of the Board of Directors, as dictated by the by-laws. These members are responsible for assisting the ministerial leadership team as directed. These honorary members will also be expected to uphold the values of teachings of Temple of the Four Winds in all of their affairs, to the best of their ability. Honorary members are subject to removal at any time for failure to participate and/or failing to uphold the values and teachings of Temple of the Four Winds.
Temple of the Four Winds honors Mother Earth and acknowledges the quarterly solstice with reverence. As all holidays are times of celebration and promote unity within a community, members are encouraged to participate in all other holidays which their consciousness dictates they participate in.
Appearance and Clothing:
During ceremony, members/participants should utilize a special dress code reflecting unity and respecting the sanctity of the sacred ceremony.
Temple of the Four Winds engages in some online announcements and community outreach in an effort to make people aware of our retreats and our mission. To that end, TOTFW will maintain a website and social media pages. In no event should anyone affiliated with TOTFW make concerted efforts to convince others that our beliefs or way of living is superior to or better than anyone else’s. TOTFW prefers to acquire members and participants by attraction rather than promotion. To that end, we believe that the greatest attraction to TOTFW is the connection to the Divine Source, positive changes and sense of peace that occur within those who are members and participants in our sacred ceremonies.
Substance Handling and Records:
Temple of the Four Winds shall maintain very strict requirements as it relates to substance handling and record keeping. The requirements shall be promulgated with the goal of preventing controlled substances being diverted from religious to non-religious use. To this end, only the Head Minister and pre-designated honorary
members are to have authority to handle substances at any given time. Additionally, the Board of Directors will enact an appropriate record keeping system whereby all controlled substances are accounted for at all times.
Before registering for a Temple of the Four Winds Sacred Ceremony, a potential participant must register as a member, and a personal screening must be submitted to properly evaluate the needs of the individual inquiring. Participation is not determined based on this screening, but allows us to prepare any further accommodations necessary.
I have reviewed Temple of the Four Winds’ Statement of Beliefs and agree to respect uphold these beliefs for as long as I am a member of Temple of the Four Winds.
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