SILO Wellness is celebrating the success of its first 'Jamaica Haven Psilocybin-Facilitated Retreat' held at the Coral Cove (Wellness resort) in Westmorland, recently.
The six-day, transformative experience provided the perfect set and setting for the occasion in the intimate and serene environment overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
The retreat was led by the director of the Rastafari Indigenous Village, Edward “Firstman'' Wray, with assistance from naturopathic physician Dr Matthew Hicks, and psychotherapist Tal Sharabi. The retreat's participants included reggae artiste Maxi Priest.
It kicked off with an introductory seaside session, led by Firstman. Participants were led by torch lights to their seat in the circle, symbolic of the sharing that was to take place between them and that they were all on equal footing.
The session was designed to acclimate participants with psilocybin mushrooms, what to expect throughout the week, and teaching about the importance of interconnectedness with the earth and each other.
Participants began each day with meditation atop coral stone-carved platforms overlooking the sea followed by private, one-on-one consultations and group integration sessions from the professional team, and vinyasa and yin yoga in preparation for the main event — a series of three evening communal psilocybin ceremonies led by Firstman.
The ceremonies took place under the stars and surrounded the participants with the energy of all four elements, from the heat of the ceremonial fire to the pulsing sounds of the waves meeting the cliffs, and the wind whispering through the trees which formed a womb-like covering above the group.
Firstman's team started each ceremony with smudging, which is an act of blessing each participant with the smoke of herbs tied into bundles called a smudge stick. Throughout the experience, there was consistent meditative chanting and the occasional knocking of drums to keep the participants grounded as they went through their experience.
The intense experience of the retreat was interspersed with fun excursions to popular attractions including Blue Hole, the Negril Craft Market, and Rick's Cafe and a local cannabis farm.
Participants also experienced a tour of Zimbali, a holistic retreat that allows visitors to journey back in time and experience the real “Livity” of the Rastafarian culture first hand, by connecting with the sights and tastes of nature.
The Jamaica Giants Sculpture Park and Art gallery in Negril was another special stop on the immersive excursion. Participants were able to enjoy the beauty of life-sized stone sculptures and more than 120 paintings housed at the gallery while enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding landscape and sea from 279 feet above sea level.
“Participants from all walks of life, different cultural backgrounds and varying life stages were attracted to our Jamaican Haven Retreat because we offered an oasis of respite, where mindfulness, balance and well-being could be discovered,” said Douglas K Gordon, chief executive officer of Silo Wellness.
“The week was a perfect balance of being interconnected with nature, the small community of participants as well as with the beautiful natural surroundings. We were honoured to have Firstman facilitate the week-long experience and share with us a more mystical and spiritual side to experiencing psychedelic mushrooms in a controlled, facilitated manner that all enjoyed. We look forward to hosting more wellness retreats in Jamaica in the very near future,” added Gordon.