In the traditional Bwiti way, we gather around the sacred fire in the evenings to study truth as a community. Every person’s voice and presence is equally valuable. We each share what we know, and also what we don’t know—that which we are still searching for. All emotions and experiences are welcome in this dedicated safe space. Authenticity welcomes growth.
On the evening of arrival, we first gather for introductions, sharing with fellow travelers what has brought us each to the medicine.
On the day of the first ceremony, we meet to impart important guidance for navigating the medicine and ceremony space.
On the 2nd day after each ceremony, we gather for integration circles to share our experiences: sacred reflections, insights, gems, and highlights as well as challenges, questions, thoughts, and emotions. This way, guests are fully held and witnessed by their fellow retreat participants and facilitators.
In true Bwiti spirit, Iboga is held in the community. Ceremony loves relationships.
It can feel vulnerable to speak up, to be fully seen, and to see others so fully. And yet, this group process is integral to the authentic Bwiti way of healing, whether participants are new to each other or old friends, for we are connected. We are all healing a different piece to the collective puzzle of wellness, and we as humans do not heal in isolation.
The traditional community healing process invites us to practice humility, willingness, and courage. We are all learning together. And the only “wrong answer” is an untruthful one.
To be deeply seen by others, we are better able to deeply see ourselves.
To be honest with each other, we can be truly honest with ourselves.
As Nganga Gnyangou says: The more you reveal, the more you heal.
We are grateful to share the way of this sacred circle that we have learned from our Bwiti teachers, who are maestros of happiness and mental health. The evidence of their indigenous research is in their beaming authentic smiles, radical gratitude, passionate love of life, ability to face challenges, and deep presence that we consistently experience in Gabon.