You might have considered it several times in the past. The prospect of going on a 5-MeO-DMT retreat is rather attractive. However, there might be something holding you back. The prospect of traveling across the world to work with psychedelic medicine is intimidating for most. There have been many retreat goers before you that found themselves in the same quandary.
At Tandava Retreats, our practitioners have decades of combined experience working with 5-MeO-DMT. We’ve seen all the different scenarios that can arise and our professional training has enabled us to work with 5-MeO in a more sophisticated manner than most. We wrote this article to educate you on 5-MeO-DMT and how a retreat involving the medicine works. After reading, we hope you feel comfortable making an informed decision about your participation in a retreat.
What Is 5-MeO-DMT?
5-MeO-DMT is a type of psychedelic that participants take to experience non-duality. Many intend to work with 5-MeO so that they may experience a feeling of oneness with God and the entire universe. As a chemical, 5-MeO-DMT is found in numerous plants as well as toads native to North and South America.
Aside from non-duality, there are several other descriptors that people who have worked with 5-MeO like to use. Some describe the entire experience as an “ego death” due to the separation one feels from one’s self and merging with the infinite. At the end of the day, it’s really up to the individual to decide how they would like to interpret their 5-MeO experience.
Far from being a recent phenomenon, indigenous practitioners have experimented with 5-MeO-DMT for over 3,000 years. Initially, individuals consumed the medicine in the form of crushed seeds. The medicine was often integrated into spiritual ceremonies too.
The use of 5-MeO-DMT didn’t reach widespread notoriety until the 1950s. This was prompted by the 1936 discovery and synthesis of the 5-MeO-DMT compound in a lab by two Japanese scientists. As a result, synthetic 5-MeO became far more reproducible and thus, numerous psychonauts commenced experimentation.
Many associate 5-MeO-DMT with toad medicine. More specifically, they are referring to venom which is extracted from the Sonoran desert toad. However, this discovery in toads is relatively recent compared to its usage synthetically or via plants. Unfortunately, the popularity of 5-MeO-DMT has led to a depletion of this toad’s population. We encourage retreat centers to avoid using toad venom for their 5-MeO-DMT and instead switch to synthetic or plant varieties in the interest of sustainability.
As with any psychedelic medicine, 5-MeO-DMT has come under fire from all angles ranging from open-minded but skeptical psychonauts to powerful governmental regulatory bodies. It’s hard for anyone to come up with an airtight scientific case for or against 5-MeO; the substance is banned in most western countries. That said, the limited amount of scientific studies conducted on this matter have indicated that the substance is rather beneficial to the individuals that take it.
“5-MeO Makes You Go Crazy”
In the vast majority of instances, 5-MeO-DMT is harmless. In our years of work with 5-MeO, we have never observed anyone who “went crazy” after taking the medicine. Perhaps this is because we employ a rigorous pre-screening process to filter out individuals we deem unsuitable for 5-MeO-DMT. During our initial calls, we search for any psychiatric conditions that might prevent you from being a suitable candidate for 5-MeO-DMT. We also have candidates submit a saliva swab test to test for a propensity toward serotonin syndrome or any other conditions that make taking 5-MeO-DMT risky. If we find you to be in any way an unsuitable candidate, we refund your deposit in full.
We’ve turned very few people away over the years. In reality, 5-MeO is only dangerous to its users if they embark upon the journey alone. Therefore, you will increase your chances of having a good trip by having a well-trained and experienced facilitator assist you throughout. They can help set the stage for the 5-MeO-DMT experience and aid you in cases where you might need it, such as during energy blockages.
“5-MeO Is Addictive”
Like the magic mushroom and other psychedelic medicines, 5-MeO-DMT is not actually addictive. In fact, some individuals use 5-MeO-DMT to reduce addictive tendencies and other mental health disorders. This is because 5-MeO is a transformational experience. The objective is to transform your mental patterning, and retreat practitioners are the ones who help you achieve this no matter what your objective.
“I need MORE EXPERIENCE WITH PSYCHEDELICS”
Many people erroneously believe that you shouldn’t take 5-MeO-DMT unless you’ve had experience with psychedelic medicine in the past. There is no reason why this should be true. No psychedelic can somehow prepare you for 5-MeO-DMT. Many of our past retreat-goers report that 5-MeO was the first psychedelic that they ever took.
“5-MeO-DMT IS Nn-DMT”
Because both compounds have “DMT” in their name, they often get confused with one another. While their chemical structure is similar, your experience with the two drugs will be quite different. People who talk about DMT in casual conversation are almost always referring to Nn-DMT whereas 5-MeO-DMT goes by the name “5-MeO” or “the toad”.
If you’ve taken DMT you’ll understand that the drug produces a vibrant visual experience. This is a stark contrast to 5-MeO which we would say goes beyond the 5 senses and produces a feeling of non-duality. Moreover, 5-MeO is usually far more elating than DMT.
Why Do People Take 5-MeO-DMT?
You’ve already heard some of the common reasons that motivate people to work with 5-MeO-DMT. Let’s give you a clearer picture of this medicine’s benefits.
A Life-changing Experience
Above all, 5-MeO-DMT has the power to change your perspective. The paradigm shift that people experience while taking this medicine is indescribable. Some claim that 5-MeO fuelled insights that they would have been unable to obtain on their own. The lessons they learned are still with them to this day.
While we don’t usually use the term ego death to describe the 5-MeO-DMT experience, there are many that do. And we can’t talk about death without rebirth. Past attendees at our retreat report a sort of psychedelic renaissance. In this case, they feel as though they had given birth to themselves. Others compare the psychedelic experience to the birth of their first child. That’s the type of paradigm shift that individuals undergo with this substance.
At a Tandava Retreat, we offer our participants the occasion to embark on their own unique path. We often find that the medicine meets its users wherever they are. So whatever issues you are grappling with internally, 5-MeO will offer clarity. We are versatile enough to help you ease your mental health issues or facilitate your spiritual growth. We take all your feedback and mold it into something called a “container” which serves as the filter for the rest of your journey.
Observed Effects of 5-MeO-DMT
We’ve discussed some of the intangible effects of 5-MeO-DMT. Let’s move on to discuss some of the concrete effects that researchers have observed in their limited scientific study.
Enhanced Life Satisfaction
Based on the findings of a 2019 study, those who took 5-MeO-DMT are likely to report a high life satisfaction following their consumption of the drug. These feelings last for months and years afterward. The most likely explanation for this phenomenon is that 5-MeO-DMT is observed to increase neuroplasticity.
A separate study, conducted in 2018, noted that 5-MeO increases cell proliferation in the brain. As a result, users of the substance see elevated neuroplasticity. This is caused by the numerous new pathways that your body forms in your brain. The consequence is that you can form mental connections more quickly and adopt new perspectives.
Reduction In Adverse Mental Health Symptoms
Of course, there is also some strong, albeit limited, evidence that 5-MeO-DMT has the power to improve your mental health.
POST-TRAUMATIC Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is often the result of an involuntary formation of negative mental patterns. This makes 5-MeO-DMT the perfect medicine to combat PTSD symptoms. In a 2020 study, candidates who took between 3 and 5 doses of 5-MeO-DMT over a 3-day span experienced a diminishment in PTSD symptoms over the long term. Moreover, these participants also saw a decrease in suicidal ideation and cognitive impairment. While these results were limited to a small sample size, they are certainly encouraging. We welcome further study of this topic.
Depression & anxiety
In 2019, researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted an anecdotal study of the effects of 5-MeO-DMT on symptoms of anxiety and depression. After interviewing 362 participants, the researchers found that around 80% of them felt their ability to deal with these symptoms improved. Some reported that they had seen an improvement in anxiety only 2 hours after taking 5-MeO.
Considering that several past retreat goers report that 5-MeO-DMT has the power to “slay their demons”, it’s no wonder why they see a reduction in symptoms of depression. Once again, we stress that scientists must study this matter in more depth so we can learn more about this medicine’s power.
How To Evaluate Retreat Centers
Now that you’ve got an idea of what 5-MeO-DMT entails, you should shift your attention to finding a retreat center. 5-MeO is not a drug you should take alone. Moreover, you should be careful that you select the right facilitators. There are a fair few retreat centers that do the bare minimum just to get you in and out the door.
Start With Safety
When working with a sensitive substance like 5-MeO, it’s essential to consider safety above all else. You should review the website of a prospective retreat center to get a sense of each facilitator’s training and experience level with 5-MeO-DMT. The staff at the center should be first-aid trained, and in the worst-case scenarios, there should be a doctor on call.
Your first contact with the retreat center will be pre-screening. During this time, the retreat center should evaluate you to determine whether you’re a fit for 5-MeO. This could also give you some insight into how much care they put into their retreats, so you can evaluate them on that too.
Aside from detecting any potential risks to you taking 5-MeO, the pre-screening should also help you build a filter for the 5-MeO experience. After all, you can’t go into the session blindly. The facilitators should be able to explain to you how they will help you interpret the 5-MeO experience.
Do They Offer Aftercare?
Of course, no 5-MeO-DMT retreat is complete without a proper integration process. The retreat center should offer multiple integration calls after the retreat to ensure that you can re-enter daily life smoothly. You should gain an understanding of how to apply the lessons you learned from 5-MeO to the daily challenges you face. Moreover, they should address any of your lingering concerns.
A Liveable Retreat Center
Aside from the psychedelic experience, you should also emphasize finding a retreat center that puts people first. Choose a center that focuses on comfort. It’s also best to find a center where past retreat goers have reported making lifelong connections. That will give you a sense of the type of community that the center fosters.
Why You Should Choose Tandava Retreats
Tandava Retreats are unique in that they take a comprehensive, cross-cultural approach to 5-MeO-DMT. We take both scientific and spiritual insights into account. When we build the filter or “container” for your 5-MeO-DMT experience, we will work together to determine the right approach for you.
We employ a diverse group of practitioners and advisors. They each offer their own perspective on 5-MeO-DMT. Some have a background in psychology, and therefore, they will take a more scientific approach to help you rectify negative mental patterning.
You might also want your experience to borrow from social psychology. We specialize in the “hero’s journey” framework that assimilates myths across several cultures. Developed by Joseph Campbell, the hero’s journey starts with the protagonist answering a call to adventure as they depart from home. Following this, the hero overcomes a severe challenge and returns home with a new perspective. This narrative might sound obvious, but that’s because it’s so prevalent across films, novels, and stories throughout time. It reaches into the greatest depths of human consciousness. Furthermore, it’s analogous to the experience one undergoes when taking 5-MeO.
Finally, we also work with facilitators that have shamanic experience. They can help build a retreat container that draws from traditional practices. When they work with you, they will be implementing years of first-hand experience with shamanic practices.
Inside A Tandava Retreat
Our retreat center is located in Tepoztlan, Mexico. Nestled deep in a lush, mountainous area, the center balances luxury with sustainability. We offer several different types of retreats, some of which depend on the season and the availability of our facilitators. You can choose to participate in an individual retreat or a group retreat. Let’s go over what you can expect from a retreat in general.
Before You Get There
Like any responsible retreat center, we spend time to get to know you before your arrival. During our pre-screening calls, we will build an appropriate container for your 5-MeO-DMT experience. This will draw from the psychological and spiritual aspects that we mentioned earlier. Of course, we will also vet you for any conditions that might prevent you from attending the retreat.
We will mold your container to ensure that it matches your values and your position in your evolutionary journey. Your 5-MeO session should make sense to you above all. Many face difficulty trying to understand the visions and feelings they have during their 5-MeO session. That’s why it’s so important to construct the right container during pre-screening.
Our retreat center is located about 90 minutes from Mexico City. We offer rides to and from the airport if you so desire. On your first day, the focus is to get you to settle in. We won’t begin any intensive work until after you’ve acclimatized.
The 5-MeO-DMT Experience
On the morning of your second day, we will begin the 5-MeO-DMT experience. During which, we will lie you flat on a soft pad with two of our experienced and well-trained facilitators accompanying you. The facilitators are there to intervene only in the case of a serious issue. They mustn’t interrupt you.
Aside from this, the facilitators will help make the experience and the surrounding environment as comfortable as possible for you so that you surrender to the medicine completely.
All in all, the experience lasts between 10-45 minutes. Although, it certainly feels longer. Once you’re done, our facilitators will help you re-integrate and recover.
A variety of other activities
During your time at our retreat center, you will engage in activities that go far beyond the scope of 5-MeO-DMT. Some of them will help you prepare for or accommodate the effects of the medicine. However, others are entirely unrelated and are purely for your leisure.
- Meditation, Breathwork, & Yoga
We find that each of these three activities helps prepare you for any day, but especially a day at a Tandava retreat. Yoga helps relax both your mind and your body while warming you up for the 5-MeO session. Meanwhile, meditation and breathwork focus on elevating your consciousness throughout the day so that you can make the most of it.
From time to time, we also offer meditation retreats for experienced meditators.
- Neurofeedback Sessions
At our retreat center, we own a few neurofeedback devices that you will use periodically. These will help you understand how your brain is responding to the effects of 5-MeO-DMT. We mentioned previously that 5-MeO helps increase neuroplasticity, so you will get to see the effects in action.
In preparation for your 5-MeO-DMT session, we will give you Kambo to help cleanse your energy. Kambo is the name of both the medicine and the Amazonian frog that it comes from.
- A Town Market Trip & Hikes
The excursions we do around the area are among the highlights of our retreats. Tepoztlan is a charming town and every week they host an artisanal craft market in the center. Most of our retreats involve a trip to the craft market. Furthermore, our retreat center is surrounded by natural beauty, so you can take advantage of our guided hikes.
Eating At The Center
Before arriving at our center, we will ask you about your nutrition during pre-screening. We will help you select the appropriate diet to prepare you for the 5-MeO experience.
While you’re at the retreat, we employ an on-site chef who cooks 3 delicious vegetarian meals every day. We can also prepare meat or fish at your request.
After the retreat, we give each participant 4 integration calls. This is the perfect time for you to reflect on your retreat experience. We need this time to talk with each other so that you can properly integrate the experience with your daily life.
Reach Out To Us
If you have any further questions about our retreats, we would be happy to go over them with you. Education is an important first step toward trust, so we welcome questions about 5-MeO too. And once you’re ready to take the plunge, you can pick from a selection of upcoming retreats.