The dietas originated as a plant-based practice for developing attunement to the currents of spirit that underlie the material world. Traditionally, this has been applied to such skills as hunting, divination, ancestral consultations, healing, leadership, and so on. The dietas are part of broader systems of human-plant relationships (food taboos, garden magic, and so on) that characterize many of the indigenous people of Amazonia. As the Amazon basin is populated by a high concentration of plants whose chemical behaviors are complex and ‘active’ enough to be used medicinally, and humans have been interacting with them for 1000’s of years, the dieta tradition is well developed.


With all this said, it should be obvious that individual healing is ultimately inseparable from planetary healing. The plants teach awareness, and one is commonly faced with heightened realizations of the enormity of the planetary crisis, along with the obviousness and urgency of the solutions. These understandings demand action. Mucho trabajo! How one accommodates these revelations and integrates them into one’s life is never easy. However, it is integral to healing, to growth into a life of authenticity, of truthfulness.
2. They allow one to more easily deal with the strong emetic, cathartic, and visionary effects commonly associated with the plantas maestras. The resulting changes need to be carefully protected, as rearrangements in body biochemistries and identity patterns leave the patient or initiate for a time sensitive and vulnerable. In this way dietas can be typified as preparation and recovery technologies that attend this sort of phyto-spiritual “surgery”.
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An individual undergoing a dieta retreats into isolation for a period of time (from days to months or even years) during which s/he is fed a ritually prepared and symbolically significant diet of foods such as plantain, manioc (cassava), and certain fish and jungle animals. In modern times this list often includes rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and chicken. Sugar, salt, chilies, certain meats (especially pork), acidic fruits, fermented foods, alcohol, and stimulants are avoided, as well as excessive exposure to sun, rain, fire, and unpleasant smells. Social interactions that involve ill individuals, sexual activity, and speaking of outside concerns, are likewise eschewed. In this way the dietas loosen the hold of human cultural traits – the understanding being that by doing so humans are more open to guidance and power from the natural world. In addition, its ritualized structure values and inspires self-discipline. Such traits are shared with vision quests, and the dietas can be approached in this way.
This particular process of dieting comes from a long lineage of tobacco healing traditions throughout the Amazon that has spanned perhaps thousands of years. This way of dieting plants is a relatively short but powerful process, with each dieta lasting for only 10 days. Many of our western staff are actively engaged in carrying out a course of these dietas, and it is with great pleasure that we now are able to hold a space on our grounds and share these gifts with guests of the Temple. Dieteros (people on dieta) will receive all of the care, structure, support, and experience that the Temple has offered to guests for the last ten years.

Sin ninguna duda, una de las dietas más populares en todo el mundo. Un sistema basado en diferentes fases que lleva el usuario a través de una serie de reglas a seguir de las que no se puede desviar si lo que quiere es perder peso, adelgazar y tonificar su cuerpo. Todo ello, eso sí, al mismo tiempo que se realiza ejercicio y se ingieren alimentos ricos en fibra y proteínas.
One of the key terms of the dieta agreement is the length of the dieta, meaning for how long the dieta will be kept.  Sometimes this is as short as eight days, although more common would be months and even years.  The general agreement in a dieta is that the curandero or student will sacrifice the pleasures of physical stimulation by refraining from sex, alcohol, and sweet, spicy, salty, or rich foods.  In return for this sacrifice, the plant spirits agree to teach, guide, protect, strengthen, or endow special abilities to the person doing the dieta.  Usually, the dieta is done in near isolation in order to avoid any temptations that might come from interactions with people who are not doing or do not understand the dieta.  In some indigenous groups, like the Shipibo, people doing dietas have their faces, hands, and feet painted with a dye made from a fruit called huito so that anyone with whom they may come in contact knows to treat them appropriately, and to announce the dieta to the plant spirits.
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