Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Really Serious Spritual Retreats - Crying, Wine and Psychedelic Plants...



Dear Readers,


As promised, before we leave the topic of spiritual retreats, having done the most budget (yes, even free) and the most expensive (we came to the conclusion, not particularly authentic) before we leave this topic, we wanted to visit, just out of pure interest, the really, really serious retreats.  In researching this, we came back again and again to the budget ones.  Guess what, in our effort to find the cheapest retreats, we actually found the most serious ones to boot.  This fact alone, dear Readers, I think you’ll agree, says it all.  The earnest, honest retreats are the cheapest, and I refer us back to our first post on this, on what defines a retreat, and I think you’ll find, money and luxury are not at the top of the list.


So what do we do now?  I hear you cry!  Never fear, dear Readers, your Hapless Blogger is here!  During our research we unearthed some rather, erm, unusual retreats, and in the spirit of sharing this information (mainly because now I know it, I can’t un-know it if you know what I mean, so I think you should know it, too), we thought you might enjoy the World’s weirdest retreats…yup, get prepared to be properly weirded-out:

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We were going to start with the weirdest, but to be honest, they’re all weird so it doesn’t really matter.  So number one is Crying Therapy, Japan.  Yup, definitely weird:  ladies are paying for “handsome man” to make them cry.  Basically Japanese entrepreneur, Hiroki Terai, founded a group crying service where everyone cries and a “handsome weeping boy” comforts them…Crying is supposed to be a release, both healthy and cathartic and is said to relieve stress levels.  Originally designed to aid divorced women who have often, especially in the Japanese culture, divorced out of frustration as it’s common for the men to work 14 hour days with no or little free time, plus women themselves are indeed working these same hours, he found that this same idea benefitted others, too.  Why a “handsome man”?  Well apparently attraction heightens the emotions and helps with the elation felt after the crying period is over…interesting…weird, but interesting.

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Next we are going to Slovakia to have cryotherapy.  This time, nothing to do with crying, but with freezing.  This, dear Readers, involves staying up to 3 minutes in a chamber at -120 degrees MINUS 120 DEGREES ARE THEY KIDDING?!  Then you have to do a session of vigorous exercise for 20 mins afterwards AGAIN, ARE THEY KEIDDING?!  Why would we do this?  The effects of extreme cold apparently triggers a process which helps to regulate the nerve endings, stimulates the metabolism and increases the pain threshold hence has been used by athletes for years.  Thanks to the stimulation and production of endorphins, adrenalin and testosterone, those suffering from chronic pain can be helped…So you go there, you’re given what looks like gym shorts, hockey socks, a headband (terrible flash-backs to my school days, Readers) and some parts are left exposed (God only knows).  Then you go into a special “pre-chamber” of -60 for 30 secs and then to the bad boy for 3 minutes where you are allowed to move around…then you need to work out intensively for 20 mins to get the full effect…all for only 12 Euros!  Bargain!  Get yourselves down to www.aquacity.sk now!

Image result for wine therapy japan


Let’s get weirder, but so much happier:  how about a wine spa in, you guessed it, Japan.  Vinotherapy:  where you doggy paddle around in some red wine (probably best not to actually drink it).  It is said to be good for your skin and to slow the ageing process.  So get yourselves down to the Yunnessun Spa Resort in Hakone, Japan, where you can bathe in coffee, green tea, Sake, ramen or red wine… www.atlasobscura.com/places/yunessun-spa-resort

Image result for ayahuasca shaman retreat


Now, being serious for a minute here, dear Readers, in all our joking around, for our last “experience” we have actually stumbled upon the retreat we have spent the previous two Blog posts looking for.  Interestingly enough, it didn’t show up in any of our conventional searches but we have found it!  This is exactly what I (don’t know about you) had pictured when the words “spiritual” and “retreat” were put together.  We have found the holy grail of spiritual retreats, the big daddy:  Ayahuasca Shaman Retreat, Peru.  This is IT!  Basically the Amazonians have been doing this for years.  Participants experience visions and epiphanies.  How?  By taking copious amounts of psychedelic plants.  You need to go with Blue Morpho Tours www.bluemorphotours.com have a look at this website:  it’s really, really weird.  But do you know what?  It is the retreat we have been searching for:  private and personalised.  It will heal you, cure you and change your life.  You stay in a lodge compound near the Itaya River in the Peruvian Amazon in 180 acres of private reserve.  There’s a swimming pool, private lodge, guest bungalows, the works.  There’s a special chef catering for your Shamanic diet, a lovely lounge area and of course, the area where they prepare the “Ayahuasca”.  They offer various different retreats but all are super private and mainly cost £1900 for 7 nights 5 ceremony days all-inclusive so this is not what you would call expensive.

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Now, here come the interesting part.  The warnings.  I was so excited and this sounded so holy grailish, but these may have put me off slightly:  during the retreat you are not allowed to consume sugar or anything that tastes sweet (fair enough), alcohol or “street drugs” (whatever they are) nor for 7 days afterwards…ok…During, and for 30 days after the retreat you are not allowed to consume pork or pork products (weird) and no sex during or for 3 days after the retreat (well, most people with children know what that’s like anyway) but this is the worrying bit:  if you don’t stick to these rules, they actually warn you that you could have serious physical, emotional, mental and spiritual affliction!  Well, what do you think about that, Readers?  What ON EARTH are they giving you? 

Image result for ayahuasca shaman

So on that bombshell, with definitely the most serious, and inexpensive retreat we have arguably found what we were looking for…who’s coming with us?!


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