Updated: Jun 24
Hola, I am Ocho. I invite you to immerse yourself in the personal journey of JT, a dear friend, whose strength and dedication to his healing experience is an inspirational story that provides a glimpse into my transformational experience. I am lucky to encounter many special people on their journey of self-discovery, and it is through the eyes of those who have felt my embrace that we truly witness the profound, lasting change is possible.
What were your reasons for seeking an experience at Ocho?
"Several elements combined to bring me to Ocho:
I was beginning a short-term disability associated with mental health issues (panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and PTSD).
I had a single psychedelic experience which had provided short-term support, but the integration had been poorly managed and I returned to work two days after the experience. This led me to understand the importance of an appropriate integration period following the work.
Timing was right, and the kismet of the discovery of Ocho was too strong to ignore, given that my wife and I knew someone that works with Ocho, and we got word of it two days into my disability period.”
What were some of the standout experiences you had during your stay?
“The guided meditations and breathwork, frankly, blew my mind. I had come in with the expectation that the medicine work would be the hardest thing that I would do, that the guided meditation and breathwork would be the simplest, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I saw things, unaided by direct medicine work, which gave me so much more insight into who I am, and the reasons behind my mental health issues.”
How did you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally during your time with Ocho?
“Relaxed and secure. The space is very clean, and feels healthy. Emotionally, well, ups and downs, but that’s what happens when intense meditations and ceremonies have you confronting things you hadn’t expected. Physically, I felt nourished, and had I been of a mind to do so, I could have gone to the gym to work out. “
Did you have any specific goals or intentions for yourself, and were those met?
“I was seeking answers and understanding on both a personal mental health front as well as additional understanding spiritually. I did get a lot of answers around the source of the PTSD symptoms I was experiencing, the reason they were so strong, and how it was influencing my anxiety. Spiritually, I opened new avenues of exploration which have kept me busy since returning.”
How did the Ocho team contribute to your overall experience?
“Every person involved was absolutely amazing. Allison put together an amazing program tailored to my needs, and the team she assembled to carry it out was completely engaged, and continue to be in the integration period.”
What was the most challenging part of your experience, and how did you overcome it?
“The meditation sessions after the first were quite challenging for me, once I knew just how hard they could be. Getting through that was largely associated with the manner that the guides handled themselves and managed my expectations and mood. It was less that I did anything more than trust them while they did the work of setting up an environment which gave me comfort and confidence before breaking down completely. Get used to crying in front of strangers.”
How has your stay at Ocho impacted your life since you left?
“I have added breathwork to my routine, and have changed the ways in which I meditate. I am still working through many of the core elements which brought me there in the first place, but that will come with time, and they were deeper seated than I understood when I came in. It is SO important to be able to listen to what your body and mind are trying to tell you, and to be able to ask the right questions. I still have a LOT of work to do, but the experience has set me up to be able to move forward.
Given what I learned, and what I’ve taken away, the plan is to return to do additional work on the next layer of the onion while being mindful that this is not something which should become a habit.”
Would you recommend this experience to others, and if so, why?
“IF their situation is appropriate, then absolutely. This is NOT a retreat, it is intense. For folks just looking to take a trip, there are cheaper and more pleasant ways to achieve that. This experience, in my opinion, is for folks willing to do the actual hard work of opening themselves up, picking up the microscope, and exploring who they truly are, including looking at the hardest parts deeply and directly.”