Personal Transformation: Real Stories from Psilocybin Retreat Participants

January 3, 2024
January 3, 2024 Sacred Pillars Church

Personal Transformation: Real Stories from Psilocybin Retreat Participants

Womans arms spreading wide feeling free in sunshine at forest

Are you interested in attending a psilocybin retreat or wondering what they’re all about? If so, who better to learn from than people who’ve decided to attend a retreat themselves?

This post explains the retreats, in general, then provides real stories from psilocybin retreat participants about their experiences with Sacred Pillars. Read on to learn more about these life-altering practices.

What is a Psilocybin Retreat?

A psilocybin retreat creates a safe, monitored space to experience the benefits of psilocybin, a natural psychedelic fungi. The retreats are typically led by trained facilitators or spiritual leaders who are not medical professionals. They are limited to a certain number of participants. 

Psilocybin retreats may include mindfulness and meditation activities, immersion in nature, experience sharing, and psilocybin sacrament.

When you ingest psilocybin, it mirrors serotonin, which is known as the “feel good” brain chemical. This mood change isn’t fleeting.  It can last long after the retreat ends. 

People attend psilocybin retreats because of the positive benefits they receive. These benefits may include:

  • A deeper understanding of spirituality or connection with a higher power
  • Healing from emotional issues
  • Increased insight
  • A greater sense of community and shared experience
  • Clarity regarding your life’s purpose
  • The ability to release limiting beliefs

Research studies also have found psilocybin  can be effective in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Who Attends These Retreats and Why?

There’s no standard type of person who attends a psilocybin retreat. The retreats attract a diverse group of people who each have something they hope to get from the experience.

Common reasons for attending psilocybin retreats include:

  • The desire to address an emotional issue
  • Interest in personal growth
  • Wanting to have a spiritual experience
  • Seeking creative inspiration
  • Connecting with others in a specific community

While anyone can attend a retreat, they aren’t suitable for some people. A psilocybin retreat may not be for you if you:

  • Have a personal or family history of psychotic, bipolar, or borderline personality disorders
  • Take lithium, tricyclic antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Have a heart or cardiovascular condition
  • Are not in good physical condition
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Participants Share their Psilocybin Retreat Experiences

Sacred Pillars offers a 10-week retreat process. A Sacred Pillars retreat happens in three phases: preparation, the retreat experience, and integration. Throughout the process, experienced facilitators guide you through preparation, the sacred sacrament of psilocybin, and integrating the changes you experience into your daily life. Here are stories from past participants about their psilocybin retreat experience.

Mark’s Experience

Mark attended a Sacred Pillars Retreat in October 2023. He decided to attend after researching psychedelics and believing psilocybin would help him break free of his nicotine addiction. He chose Sacred Pillars for his retreat because of the full process. 

Mark said he was especially impressed with the 10-week scope and the preparation and integration parts of the process.

During the five-week preparation phase, participants work virtually with coaches to prepare for their plant medicine journey by beginning to understand their goals and any obstacles to achieving them. 

They also learn about what to expect from the three-day retreat and how to handle potentially uncomfortable experiences.

The integration phase also is five weeks. During this phase, participants work to integrate what they’ve learned into their daily life. It includes four virtual group sessions and a private one-on-one session.

Mark said he needed the integration phase because, while transformational, the retreat experience wasn’t what he expected. 

“My initial reaction to what happened in the actual ceremony was most definitely negative, but the patience and loving kindness of the facilitators and other participants enabled me to eventually turn that around,” he said. “The extended integration period was vital in helping me take a seemingly negative experience and get great value out of it.”

In the end, Mark said he got more than he wanted or expected from the program, including tools to help him continue work that better serves him.

“It provided me with a framework with which to examine all aspects of my life. It’s as if I came into the program wearing an old, ill-fitting garment that, by the end of the program, I simply stepped out of, as it no longer served a purpose.”

Kat’s Experience

Kat felt strongly called to attend a psilocybin retreat in May 2022, and she took that attitude into the experience, saying, “I knew it would be amazing.”

“It was wonderful to be held in the container of the retreat, doing deep work with like-minded people. The ceremonies were beautiful and challenging in a good way. It was safe for me to be very open and vulnerable. It was deeply soul-satisfying to let myself be seen that deeply.”

Kat describes having a spiritual experience during her psilocybin retreat that helped her connect with the universe and nature more deeply. 

“It allowed me to lift out of this time and space and travel the universe,” she said. “It allowed me to understand the nature of life more deeply. It gave me a sense of connection to my sisters that was very comforting. It helped me realize that I am immortal and eternal.”

LL’s Experience

LL was also looking for a spiritual experience from the retreat they attended in October 2023. They said they wanted to connect to their higher, spiritual selves and find freedom from their mind and ego while in a safe space.

“My intention going into the retreat (after five weeks of preparation) was a ‘spiritual explosion.’ The experiences during the retreat supported this intention. It has opened me up to new insights, acceptance of difficult days in a healthy way, and to love myself.”

LL said they don’t totally understand everything they experienced at the retreat and have accepted that as part of the process. They also value the friendships they made and cemented during the retreat.

Sarah’s Experience

Sarah’s Sacred Pillars retreat in March 2023 wasn’t her first sacrament experience. However, she was looking for a deeper, more meaningful process, which she found with Sacred Pillars.

“The retreat program was powerful and transformative. The preparation exercises and meetings helped me feel secure and ready to experience the medicine. I felt completely safe to explore and open to the healing I received. All parts of the retreat (sweat, ceremonies, sharing, food, beautiful setting, etc.) came together to support amazing growth and transformation. The atmosphere was one of absolute love. The integration meetings and exercises after the retreat really helped me take what I learned and experienced and use it to change my daily life. After  the retreat, I was able to identify and start to shift some deeply rooted habits of mine that were not helping me.”

Sarah got even more than she expected with Sacred Pillars. She said she realized how self-critical she was and, as a result of the process, she was able to learn to love herself.

DJ’s Experience

DJ also had experienced psilocybin before and felt like she wanted more from the experience. A friend told her about Sacred Pillars, and she decided it seemed like the support and guidance she wanted. She attended a retreat in October 2023.

“I gained so much positive in my life from participating in the retreat program. Our guides created a very safe, energetic space and protective container for me to experience my unique healing journey. I felt very prepared going into the retreat weekend with the five weeks of preparation. And I really appreciated the follow-up sessions after the retreat weekend as well. The integration portion was so vital to me getting the most from the experience.”

The process helped DJ recognize that she needed more space and pauses in her life. 

“The retreat allowed me to stop and take the time I needed to ask myself the really deep, important questions about my life and work through those answers. I am now able to slow down and see some of the patterns in my life that have been causing me unhappiness and dysfunction.”

Plan Your Psilocybin Retreat with Sacred Pillars

Learning about the experiences of people who’ve participated in psilocybin retreats is helpful if you’re considering signing up for one. Sacred Pillars creates a safe space to accomplish your individual goals and get the benefits you desire from a retreat. Learn more and register for the next Sacred Pillars retreat and hopefully you can share your psilocybin retreat experience with us next!