WE OFFER SPECIAL PRICING FOR MILITARY, VETS, AND FIRST RESPONDERS
WE OFFER SPECIAL PRICING FOR MILITARY, VETS, AND FIRST RESPONDERS
The most remarkable experience of my life happened at Eden.
To the founders of Eden, thank you for everything!
The most remarkable experience of my life happened at Eden. I arrived in a state of pure agony and despair. I was suffering and without a single ounce of self-love when I walked through your doors. I had no idea how to begin to heal and I certainly didn’t know that what was about to happen would heal so much more.
What I felt can had hardly be put into words. The relationships that I am sure will last a lifetime are priceless. The self-love that now lights up my life is the center of who I am and I now know how bright I shine.
I felt so safe and loved by everyone at Eden. I hope we all stay in contact and some day all see each other again. My new forever family will never be far from my thoughts and will always be in my heart.
To the medicine man..... oh what a beautiful gentle soul. The gardener that so carefully and with so much love readied the plants for us all. Just being in your presence brought a calm and warmth to all around you. Your kind and thoughtful words brought so much peace and hope that, one day, I too will feel a love like you two have. The love that flows from you both towards each other is magical.
And to Dr. S (the psychologist who founded Eden)... You beautiful, strong and remarkable woman. You have created a sanctuary full of so much love and healing. What you are able to provide to all those that walk through your doors is a blessing beyond measure. So much work we all do from within is made possible because you openly share your gifts. You are a healer in the deepest sense and even more important is the entire package you are able provide. The environment, love, and your healing so perfectly combined. Changing humanity and the individual lives of each that make the journey is exactly what the world needs. I have so much love for you all but more importantly, I now have love for myself. ❤️
Forever changed and grateful,
An incredible journey of self-discovery. DO the group experience. STAY an extra night before traveling home!
My experience with Eden was an incredible journey. I had to work on my set (intentions) and Dr. S was very helpful to guide me through this. The setting is amazing. A beautiful "house" surrounded by beautiful nature year-round. The winter with snow-covered trees and mountains were just perfect. The preparation before the ceremony is mostly self-driven, but the facilitators are helpful when needed. The post-ceremony integration is definitely eye-opening and a wondrous journey.
I originally intended for a private retreat, but was open to a group retreat. After the group experience, I realize the group is a much more powerful experience. This is not only because of the feedback from others, but also learning from other people's integrations.
For those curious about the 2nd night ceremony, it is truly a gift. I am looking forward to integrating the wonderful insight I have gathered from Eden (with the continued help of the Eden team) into my daily life. May the real work begin... (A.E., Austin)
Possibly the best thing I have ever done for myself.
Taking this journey was well outside of my comfort zone but as soon as I arrived at Eden, I was immediately put at ease. The Eden Team was so warm and accommodating and the house was gorgeous and very comfortable. Meals were simple, delicious and cooked to order for anyone who had special dietary requirements. The retreat ceremonies and associated activities gave my quest for spiritual growth a turbo boost! I came home with a fresh perspective and in the month and a half since I left Eden, my spiritual growth has continued and the stars just seem to keep aligning. I believe this is because of the post ceremony integration where the Team very effectively helped each and every one of us to understand how to incorporate our experience into our daily lives. I was fortunate to truly bond with every single one of the other retreat attendees and we continue to support each other post-retreat. What an amazing experience and I will definitely be returning to Eden for a deeper dive. (Leslie, Florida)
An experience of a lifetime!
My experience at Eden was truly transforming. It was a journey of self-discovery and also of sharing life experiences with others on their own journey. The Eden team always made each of us feel safe, loved, seen and heard. This was an experience of a lifetime and I am truly grateful. (Sue, Colorado)
OMG, The stars have aligned!!!!
After almost 3 decades of dealing with past trauma that had scarred me from childhood through to my adult life. My personal story might sound like a tragedy of a dramatic movie to a regular person if I had to explain it all. But from my very 1st interaction with the team at Eden, I felt I was at the right place, with the right people, at the right time after more than 12hrs of research! They encompass the true authentic gift to meet people where they are, no matter who you are or where you come from. Making it easy to let your guard down and get to the healing that you came for.
The one-on-one individualized attention and hospitality I received was better than any 5-star hotel could ever imagine to offer (in their wildest dreams). Just after one ceremony with Eden, like the old song says, "I can see clearly now." I could see things clearly, things that traditional western medicine couldn't fix with pills, answers to problems that years of talk therapy with therapists didn't heal, AND pain that a lifetime of religion couldn't take away.
I will be forever grateful for the transformation into the light that they guided me through. This team kept me safe, comfortable, and at peace in their special magical place. Thank you for being keepers of the light..... Now I know how to let my light shine!! Not only do I now know my purpose, but also the reason for my existence in this life and what it had been about ALL this time! Thanks for being GREAT teachers for me and ALL to come after me......this is the Bravest thing I've ever done to LOVE me!!! (Stephanie B- Star 🌟 Child, South Carolina)
Star rating - 5/5 (unless I can do 6!)
On the feedback form there was a question asking to rate, from 1 to 10, the level of commitment on the part of the team at Eden Experiences. I couldn’t conceive of a rating below 10. While at Eden, I experienced the absolute warmth of sincere care and genuine positive regard. The team at Eden has created a beautiful, soul enriching environment where I truly felt the safety and acceptance necessary for me to talk about my inner struggles and challenges, and to make way for positive and transformative growth.
In the ceremony sessions themselves, they were without question the most spiritually profound experiences of my life. I was challenged by a lack of direction and certainty following the first night of ceremony. However as part of integration, the Eden team carefully listened to the details of my experience, and guided me with thoughtful and deeply analytical questions about what I felt. This allowed me to discover the meaning of the experience on my own, concretizing a deep sense of clarity and purpose.
I found the lead psychologist's gentle, careful guidance during our integrations to be the hallmark of a clinician of the highest caliber. In writing this a few weeks after the retreat, there is no question that the experience has left a lasting and positive impact on me. It’s given me an overwhelming appreciation for the beauty of life, an unshakable gratitude for the gift of human connection, and an energizing, immutable desire to improve the lives of myself and others.
In no uncertain terms, I’ve been allowed to discover Love - for humanity, life, and all the beauty - to be the fundamental driving force for all of my actions. It will take some time for me to cement this guiding instinct into a direction for positive action, but thanks to my lessons from Eden, I am optimistic, energized, and prepared for a beautiful, rewarding, and positively impactful life ahead.
To the team at Eden, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me take these significant and life-altering steps towards spiritual growth. With lots of love, (Henry, San Francisco)
The Perfect Guides
I just spent a beautiful, connecting and nourishing weekend with the Eden team and my co-explorers. The facilitators hold a safe container for deep work, and deep joy, to take place. They are the perfect guides, balancing providing space for the experience to unfold with nurturing support. I am grateful for the time to connect deeply with myself and look forward to returning. (MM, Santa Fe, New Mexico)
A Safe Place to Experience, Learn & Grow
This is truly a journey. Not always pleasant and at times downright painful. But I have arrived at the other side of the bridge with a greater sense of self-acceptance and was able to see myself form other's eyes.
The group was so supportive and vulnerable. So glad to have shared this path with my fellow journeyers. The Eden Team was amazing. They create a safe place to experience, learn, and grow. (C.C., Denver)
This experience literally changed my life!
WOW!!! I’m not even sure where to begin. This experience literally has changed my life. Massive transformations were made with me and everyone in the group. Hands down the most magical and transformative experience of my life. If the world had more places like this it would be a much happier and peaceful planet. The Eden Team are Saints! The thought put in to EVERY aspect of this retreat was mind blowing. They’ve thought of every possible way to make you feel comfortable, safe and at peace during the whole experience/transformation.
I was sooooo nervous about how the new Covid protocols would effect the overall experience. It was never ideal to be wearing a mask but our current reality with Covid is not ideal. The overall experience was not effected at all by the new protocols. I felt it was every bit as transformative and impactful. In fact at times it made me feel safer because I knew that the Eden Team did not waiver when it came to our safety. Our safety was a top priority, which for me, in a vulnerable state, was a huge comfort!
I am 32 years old and have struggled with severe depression for over 20 years. I had been on and off antidepressants for several years and I was tired of just masking my depression. I was ready for peace from the turmoil of a depressed mind. I was ready to do the work to heal, I was ready for a solution. By the time I left Eden, I had unburied myself from the turmoil of a depressed mind and joy, happiness and peace was available to me for the first time in a VERY long time. I knew what steps I needed to continue to take to take to find peace and purpose. The work done at Eden was not easy, but so worth it! It takes diving in, being vulnerable, and surrendering to growth and healing and that is tough, brave work!
I can not say enough good things about the lead psychologist and the entire Eden Team. If you’re ready to heal, you’ve found the right place! I have now been off antidepressants for 3 weeks and I can’t remember ever feeling better, even on bad days I feel better than I did on my good days pre- Eden. Such a magical and beautiful experience. I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience Eden and could not recommend it more highly to anyone searching for healing from a wounded heart, mind or soul... or even just growth.
I highly recommend the 3rd night! The inner healing work was very impactful and was a great way close the journey at Eden!
Thank you Eden for truly changing my view of the world around me.
I have so much gratitude for this journey and opportunity to spend 3 nights and 4 days at Eden with all of your amazing souls!
True leaders and true guides...
The Eden Team allowed us to learn from each other, they teach us with a light-handed guidance.
Letting us find our own truths, our own path. See our own light.
Allowing us to help each other- letting our own spirits and lights blend together for the benefit of all.
Standing beside us on our journey, walking along side of us..... Not leading the way, or following from behind.
But watching, observing, and then guiding and helping only when needed.
Doing so without arrogance, without Ego. But with an eagerness to share the truth, and allowing us to share our light with others.
I felt your love, your open hearts and minds. Your respect and dignity.
Only with that sense, can the awakening begin.
The intent of the guides is definitive, it is deliberate, and it is thoughtful, but this is not sensed at the time.
But that is the secret of the connection, to the awakening, to the light.
This is the beauty of your leadership and your guidance. To do so with a light hand- to allow the collective to shine through, and for that collective community to help each other. To open themselves to the possibilities and opportunity. To let the healing light shine through to all.
So thank you for your support, your guidance and for the feeling of safety for all. Thank your for your guidance that allowed us to be open, to make our connections, and to help each other and spread the kindness to all. (Brian, Colorado)
Magical and Life-Changing Experience!
This is my second retreat with The Sacred House of Eden. What's cool is that I had a much different experience than the first visit, yet no less intense in so many ways. The Eden Team provides a safe, loving, supportive environment that helps each individual dive deep and grow from the experience. Set, setting, and integration are all carefully orchestrated to make the total experience magical and life-changing. Thank you Eden Team! (S.C., from Colorado)
Nothing short of incredible!
Going the plant medicine route with the help of Eden finally helped me break through the oppressive depression I'd been living with for so long and unable to break out of with the help of traditional depression medications and therapies. I can't say enough about how unwaveringly supportive the Eden staff was throughout the entire experience. A lot of attention was given to helping the participants understand their individual experiences and how they related to their original intentions going in. Also, time was spent making sure each participant had a number of tools to take home post-experience to help keep the positive changes unfolding in daily life. The plant medicine ceremony was the most therapeutic thing I've ever done for my mental health. It wasn't easy, but for me the results have been nothing short of incredible. (JB, Dallas)
I'll Be Back!
The Eden Team is AMAZING!! Very comfortable environment. I truly felt they cared for people and the work they do. A good healing experience that I needed. I'll be back! (Kristina D., Brainerd, MN)
A new appreciation for life.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and was easily the most profound experience of my life. The healing that is done here is off the charts and to the team at Eden, you are all truly a gift to the world. From the authentic love and compassion to the whole experience being planned out perfectly. I am so appreciative for the amazing work you do and helping us along all of our journeys. I am more myself than I have ever been, thanks to you. This is the greatest investment in yourself you can possibly make. I thank you with all my heart.
Before arriving at Eden, I felt like my life was becoming a blur. I was feeling increasingly numb and uninterested. I was losing appreciation and passion for the things in life that, at the time, I believed made me who I was. Approaching 27 years old, I realized that this was an unacceptable state to be in. I found out about Eden from a family member and it sounded quite promising after doing my own research. I made a special effort not to enter with too many expectations, but I couldn’t help but dream up a few hopeful outcomes. What happened to me there was not what I was anticipating, but much more.
I had gravely underestimated the power of having this experience in a group setting. The Eden Team is incredibly compassionate and knowledgable, but I felt like I got just as much benefit from the words and visible transformations of my coparticipants. I must confess that some of the work involved was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but it was absolutely necessary. I learned how to surrender and to be at ease with myself, others, and not knowing. I used to avoid any challenging situation before my experience at Eden. Now, I welcome these challenges.
I realize that my work is not done, but I finally saw with this ineffable clarity what I’ve had inside of me all along to become the person I truly am meant to be. I can’t possibly thank the team at Eden enough for providing such a welcoming and safe space to transform. It is positively magical. (Reese C. from Memphis)
The Sacred House of Eden offers an incredible opportunity to journey within and transform ourselves from the inside out. The team works diligently to ensure that each individual has a safe and healing experience. They are meticulous in their attention to detail from dietary restrictions, meal prep, soundtrack, and most importantly the ability to truly see each individual. The retreat I recently completed there has been a critical part of my personal journey/process. (I. Bittu, Ohio)
You guys have changed my life!
I’m not sure I can even post a review that gives Eden justice! This place is like no other. The way the founding partners care for each and every client is above and beyond. They have a unique ability to help you find your answers with a soft guidance so you really know that you came up with it and no one else lead that for you. They take this very seriously and you feel so safe in their hands. You’ve changed my life guys! Thank you! (Louise, Chicago)
A completely heart opening and mind blowing experience!
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone that is needing some self love, self discovery, reconnection to themselves, their environment, their community, their loved ones, life, and the universe in general. Not to mention the added bonus of the love you will feel from your retreat mates and the Eden team. The Eden team has created an experience that is unsurpassed by any other and the safest of places, both physically and emotionally, to do this kind of work. I am excited to be attending my second retreat at this amazing place with these amazing people soon. Just do this for yourself and I know you will be so glad you did. (Amanda, Loveland, CO)
One of the most consequential and positively impactful experiences of my life.
Ok, here is the straight scoop from one person’s experience with a recent Eden retreat. I had contacted Eden out of burgeoning interest in this type of experience as it relates to my long-held interest in spiritual development/inquiry. I had no prior experience with anything of this nature.
From the outset, Eden staff was courteous and inquisitive about my interests and goals with an obvious motivation to ensure this was an appropriate experience for me. On retreat, the Eden retreat staff was exquisitely sensitive and responsive to participant’s needs prior to, during, and after the ceremonies. I personally felt care and compassion from Eden staff that made for the best possible experience. I want to give a shout-out to those who so ably, compassionately and patiently worked with me during some interesting times - you know who you are!
While preparation is critical, integration is just as important, if not more so, than the ceremonial experience. The Eden staff is very helpful in guiding one through the post-ceremony integration, which allows for a more natural process of assessment, interpretation and assimilation of the experience, which will almost certainly extend beyond the retreat itself.
Many studies done by renowned institutions find people who undergo an experience, such as the ones provided by the Eden, rate it as one of the most consequential and positively impactful experiences of their life. I can attest to that finding for myself. I feel blessed for the experience and friends I encountered through my time at Eden and I will return for further work. (Matthew, Ohio)
Beyond my imagination! I learnt to LOVE MYSELF TRULY!I attended a weekend retreat at The Sacred House of Eden, it was caring, loving and fulfilling beyond my imagination. The Eden Team are the most beautiful souls, and I am fortunate to come across them in my life. In their safe and caring abode, I was able to go back to being a child again, and in return I received unconditional love and support from them. I saw a profound change not just in myself, but also in everyone else who attended with me. We all built a much deeper bond and connection with each other, we were surprisingly sharing more than we ever shared with anyone else. The one thing that I learnt and took away from this experience was to LOVE MYSELF TRULY!! When I can love myself truly, then I can share the same love with others. Thank you Eden for doing what you do, there are so many lost children who need to be saved and your mission is far from complete!! (V.K., Ohio)
The most valuable experience of my life!
I do not know how to capture all that happened for me during my retreat at Eden. The psychologist who runs Eden is brilliant and one of the most talented people I have ever encountered. She cares deeply about each person she works with and somehow makes each person feel like the only person in the room. In 3 days at Eden, I was able to heal wounds and traumas from childhood that I had been working on with a therapist for years. I am still processing all that happened, but I know this was the most impactful and valuable experience of my life. The medicine man is knowledgable, trustworthy, and wise beyond his years. I felt safe in his care. This team of healers have created a safe and magical place for me and so many others to heal and transform. The angels were loving, kind, and genuine. I wish the whole world could experience Eden. Thank you for everything! (Connie, Florida)
Just say YES!
This retreat was exactly what I was looking for and more. I highly recommend anyone looking for a plant medicine retreat consider the Sacred House of Eden. I looked at this more as an experience before I went. Yet I I left having a deep wound for 40+ years evaporate during the trip. You ever see Labyrinth? "You have no power over me!" - it was that level. And I'm deeply skeptical, with an advanced degree. This goes on my top 5 list of most moving experiences. All individuals helping mind and guide the experiences were amazing. Just go. (Sarah, Arizona)
Mind-Blowing & Life-Changing
I had some ideas of what to expect based on the Eden website and my intake call with the psychologist. But what actually took place was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Set, setting, integrations, safety, and the level of skill was extraordinary. My retreat is the best experience of my life. I learned so much and am finally understanding what love means and how to love myself. I also saw my fellow journeyers transform before my eyes too. There aren't words to capture just how much intention, care, and prowess the Eden Team has. I will be back! I will also be sharing this with family and a few close friends. Thank you, Eden!! (R.H., Arizona)
More than you can expect
If you made it to the testimonials, so did everyone who has went. We all had the butterflied curiosity. Trust your gut and do it, it is more than you can expect, and not how you would expect that comment to be meant. The gift can't be described till you feel it. (Philip, NYC)
Too important NOT to do!
I spent a lot of time reading reviews from others before deciding that this was the right retreat for me (and, believe me, I spent a TON of time on many retreat websites, as well as places like RetreatGuru. Like many, I’m sure, I had a lot of trepidation around placing myself in such a vulnerable position with strangers. First, let me put that concern to rest. There was not a single moment I didn’t feel completely safe, secure, and cared for. There can be challenging moments, but I was never alone and there was always someone there to help me process it.
Regarding the experience with the sacraments themselves, well, this middle-aged lady had never worked with any plant medicines before, so to say I was a little nervous about it, is an understatement. But it felt too important NOT to do it, so I did. I drank the medicine. For virgins like me, I’d love to give a detailed account of what it’s like, but I’m still processing the experience. Parts of it were scary and lonely, parts of it were hilarious, parts of it were extremely entertaining. All of it was illuminating and I plan to do it again. For example, I got to apologize to myself for being such a grade A asshole to myself. I was able to sit with the fear and loneliness I carry around like an anchor I can’t figure out how to let go of and I came out on the other side ok. At one point I found myself in a seated position feeling strong and stable and realized I could access this experience in the future during meditation.
I started the book “The Untethered Soul” and found the passages had much more meaning, more resonance, after working with the sacraments than before. So that describes a small portion of what I experienced with the sacraments, but integration is where I had help figuring out what to do with what I experienced. This part is critical and this where Dr. S shines. She listens truly and fully; she didn’t lead me or try to impose a narrative that wasn’t mine. My journey was my own and she was there to help me make sense of it and figure out how to continue to learn from it going forward. I’m still integrating, and I know I still have work to do and much to learn. I also have a feeling that the sacraments, along with Dr. S and her crew, will very likely play a part in that. (Stephenie, Texas)
Top 5 Life-Changing Experience!
My experience at the Sacred House of Eden was a top 5 life changing experience. I went into it already feeling very happy with my life and so had no real expectations about what might come out of the experience. But what I personally found through the experience was just how much more fulfilling my life could be if I allowed myself to truly feel my emotions and use them, rather than always trying to shut them down to "protect" myself. The group of guests were amazing and I learned something from each one of them. The leaders and facilitators of the program are all phenomenal people and they are completely sincere and powerful in how they help you feel comfortable surrendering to the experience and then integrating everything you learn so you can understand and retain it. I have already recommended the program to several close friends and family members and I truly think that everyone, regardless of whether they're flying high or completely depressed, would seriously benefit from this work. Highly highly recommend! (Paul from Georgia)
Life Changing!!! You want to change your life, take this trip!!!
Greetings - I'm not sure where to begin. I was having 9 months of soul-searching before I found this place. I was praying, crying, and wanting more from life. My kids are grown and having their own lives, I am single, COVID hit, and I had a lot of free time on my hands. All the plans came together quickly and next thing I know, I'm at the retreat with 5 complete strangers. Sweet Sara was the first to greet us and I remember her saying, "You are at the right place," and all my fears disappeared.
The location is breathtaking. The views are gorgeous, the rooms are spotless and nothing is left out, making you feel at home and like you are on a luxury retreat. There are notes on your bed at night, and notes placed quietly out for you to find when you wake up. The schedule is light and you will have plenty of time to read a book, take a walk, make new friends, nap, write a letter or draw a picture.
The Eden Team will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. Your bed will be made when you are not around, fans and humidifiers will be running for your comfort, and home cooked meals for any type of taste buds. They even put mint in the water!!! If you are up when no one else is, you can nibble on the snacks. They also have a collection of OTC's in case you need an Advil or something for a tummy ache.
My heart was heavy when I arrived but not when I left. There wasn't any voodoo worshipping here and I didn't go to fry my brain. There was a lot of tears shed over past traumas and I left feeling love again for myself, something I don't recall feeling for over 40 years. The founders of Eden are genuine to the bone. They truly care about every guest they have and you can feel it. They share their own pain and struggles too, so you understand where they have come from in this journey we call life.
I used to have an office job, writing programs but I was miserable. I didn't feel any sense of fulfillment doing that. I now know I can't go back to that life either. I ignored my spirit and my life showed that. I was on antidepressants for 30 years and I've been off them since the trip, 4 months now. My spirit is happy and I know that I have a higher calling to help others in this life which doesn't involve sitting behind a desk. I've just completed a Reiki class and signed up to study to be a modern Shaman. I also have studied how to be a sitter during the ceremonies so hopefully I can do that for others someday!! Is life perfect? Of course not. But I healed some wounds during my time at Eden and I'm working on healing the rest. I left with peace, joy and love that passes all understanding. I sense a higher calling and after ignoring that for 30 years. I'm done with that chapter of my life. And those 5 total strangers? We talk several times a month and will be my friends forever. We are making plans to take a trip back when all our schedules will work out and I look forward to that reunion with them and all the staff.
Take the trip!! Worth every penny and so, so, so much more......blessings to you reading this. xoxo (Sheila from Ohio)
Once in a lifetime opportunity
If you are reading this testimonial then you are likely already searching for a life transforming experience that will enable you to grow to your fullest potential as an individual. When I began attending shamanic retreats, I was searching for the same thing. After having visited retreat centers in Europe, I can say unequivocally that my experience at Eden Experiences eclipsed all of my expectations. The hosts are extraordinarily kind and gracious, and they facilitate your growth process as you work with and through the sacraments. Regardless of what personal issues you are grappling with, you will be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to manifest lasting change in your life through both the ceremonies and subsequent world-class integration process.
As a combat veteran, this was truly invaluable to me. I cannot thank Eden enough for what they are doing! (S.F.)
A way to nourish your soul.
I can only say wonderful things about the retreat and the connections I made. I think people are constantly living with their eyes closed in life and are just drifting about. This retreat allowed us to heal, connect, and open our hearts. I met the most incredible people on this retreat! If you need your soul healed, meld in a safe space, and meet spiritual guides, then humble yourself and come to Eden. (David, North Carolina)
Months of therapy in a weekend!
This was an incredibly beautiful place with serene vistas and rolling hills. The lead psychologist provided us a positive space to delve deeply into our psyche and provide us with a warm and nurturing environment. They provided activities to help us understand our place in the world and allowed us to integrate with our past trauma and issues. Some of the people I have met here will be my life-long friends, as I look forward to my next visit! Thank you Eden! (David, San Francisco)
What an amazing experience from the drive up to this stunning location to the deep introspection on my flight home. The Vision Quest and sound healing were incredible for me. I had no idea I could "travel" like that in my mind. The facilitators have built a safe and nurturing sanctuary for people to come and heal. From the moment I arrived, I knew I was in good hands. This was an extraordinary experience and I am forever grateful. I was able to let go of some past pain that I had been unnecessarily holding onto. I cried for the first time in years. When I left, I felt lighter and able to see positive things to come. I will absolutely be back and know that more time spent here will just continue to help me live my best life possible. (Risa, Portland)
Deeply grateful for this experience.
I had no idea what to expect from the weekend group retreat at Eden. All I know is that for me, who has been on the struggle bus of life for years (low self-esteem, depression, addiction), this was the perfect setting to look at my inner being and begin to deeply heal. Anyone feeling curious, interested, or wanting to take a peak into their soul's journey, Eden is the place. The staff is extremely educated and willing to guide each individual and the group to new insights resulting in coming away with a fresh outlook on life, how to treat yourself, and how to engage with others. The setting is very relaxing and welcoming. We all were treated with kindness and respect. There was no room for any judgment. I am deeply grateful for this experience and hope to return soon. (S.T., North Carolina)
Hole. Lee. Shit!
"Y’all!!!! Hole. Lee. Shit! I am so excited about the transformation that I have experienced! I have had multiple people, my closest friends and some not so close, tell me that I seem like a completely different person after returning back from Denver. They have NO FUCKING clue!
I FEEL like a completely different person! I’m feeling so much peace and love in my body, mind, and spirit! I’m taking my walks with my head up, admiring the beauty around me, taking in the amazing smells, and looking at everyone with love and smiles! I don’t know the last time I’ve felt like this! Accepting that everything is as it should be and actually FEELING that way is something I can’t really wrap my head around. It’s almost like a little minion went into my head with a mission to remove the obstacles that have prevented me from crossing the divide that brings me closer to my desired existence! It all happened in our Circle together. I was so ready for it, but I didn’t really believe it could happen until I experienced it! I am so grateful! Tears flowing right now y’all! I love y’all so much. Thank you. (Brian, Denver)
The experience with Eden was a spiritual awakening that has brought me to a place of self-awareness and authenticity. It is a place of healing and balance. The best way to describe it is taking a black and white photograph that you have seen your entire life and seeing it in color for the first time. (George, Texas)
I cannot imagine doing this anywhere else. Perfect guidance!
I had no idea why I was coming to Eden. I just felt compelled to say yes to the unknown. There has been a strong pull to something and the signs and triggers were becoming overwhelming. I felt myself closing off, but being pushed at the same time. Living a life where I felt like I needed ALL the answers right now, left me always feeling empty. After this retreat, I have found an entirely new way to live!
I experienced many intense emotions and powerful stories during my ceremonies, which at times, I fought hard to say no to seeing them. As I let myself let go, I could feel all the answers were not important and I began to connect my dots and accept my powers and gifts given to me.
Through the Eden team's guidance, I allowed myself to open up and speak my truth. The lead psychologist always seemed to know exactly what meditation or sound therapy I needed at that moment. That connection alone, gave me peace to go further.
So many thanks to the Eden team for your open hearts and sharing your stories to guide me to find mine. Thank you for your honest, real, and non-judgmental guidance. And for sitting with me at times in silence and other times in laughter. You seemed to know exactly what I needed at all times! (K.Y., Canada)
Worth every penny!
After struggling with eating disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for most of my life, I have finally found some peace. I had tried weekly therapy, anti-depressants, and nothing seemed to work. After my 3-day retreat with Eden, my desire to binge and purge is completely gone! My overall anxiety has decreased significantly and I feel much more ease and joy in my daily life. These experiences are like doing months of therapy in a weekend! (Jordan, Los Angeles)
A Truly Unique Experience
I really enjoyed my time at Eden. I'm not someone that would typically do a retreat but my husband really wanted to go. That being said, I have to say that I am excited to go back and will be looking to do another retreat next year. The doctor and her team are very warm, wonderful people and they really make you feel well taken care of. It was fun and meaningful to get to know all the people that were at the retreat as well. I highly recommend Eden Experiences because I believe it is truly a unique experience. (Lisa, Colorado)
The team at Eden have truly found what they are meant to be doing. So much genuine love and openness to connect with each attendee and offer guidance. I would love to return for another group and suggest that anyone who feels called, should attend a retreat at Eden. (ETM, Colorado)
Much more than I expected!
The experience was so much more than I expected. I have a much clearer sense of myself and what I need to do to reach my goals. The Eden team was entirely focused on my needs and feelings - I felt safe to let go and freely explore my inner world and self. I can't recommend them highly enough and will definitely be back. (Leslie, Pennsylvania)
This team feels like loving friends.
The Eden Team will make a positive difference in your life. They immediately feel like loving friends who want to help you. You will want it to be a lifetime relationship. I can't wait to get back to Eden! (S.F., Texas)
Incredibly Thankful for this Helpful and Healing Retreat
I had a great retreat with Eden. One of the aspects of the retreat that I had not expected to be so profound was the group integration before and after the actual plant medicine ceremonies. I’m very science minded and didn’t anticipate that the integration would be such a healing part of the entire experience. The founders of Eden really know their stuff. Would gladly return for more profound work. (Jeff R. Upland CA)
I’ve healed many emotional and physical issues at Eden. The facilitators are wonderful, accepting and absolutely professional. I can’t imagine life without these experiences. It’s just wonderful in every way. (Steve P., Texas)
I can't think of anyone who shouldn't do this. DO IT!
Oh my Gosh, where do I even start? From the moment I arrived, I felt I was in the right place. I have never traveled totally solo before, so admittedly, I was a bit anxious about being by myself with unknown people, experiences, and places. The Eden Team made me feel completely at home. From the very beginning, they made it so easy to just ask for anything we needed or wanted and our entire group became instant friends.
The Eden Team is so knowledgeable in study and also experience, so the connections they make are completely genuine and make people feel perfectly understood. I was amazed by how immediately group members felt safe to be so vulnerable with one another and how positive the energy shared was right away.
The Eden Team prepped us perfectly, giving us just enough instruction that we knew exactly what to do if anything challenging came up, but enough flexibility to access our own true individual consciousness without bias. There is a huge emphasis on listening to your own body and intuition. So if you need to rest, you're encouraged to rest; if you need to eat, you are fed. The entire Eden Team is so intuitive and evaluate and recommend exactly what you need.
I can't think of anyone, barring a medical contraindication, who shouldn't do this - it's an amazing look at reality our conscious mind won't let us see. DO IT! (Mel, Washington)
The Eden Team creates an experience that is second to none. Their consideration and care for every participant is evident, and their guidance throughout the experience is extraordinary. So very grateful for my profound Eden Experience! (Sue, Ft. Collins, CO)
Life-Changing in Many Important Ways!
I completely loved my time with the entire Eden Team and the other 8 participants in that magical weekend. It was life-changing in many important ways and continues to be as I read more, meditate more, learn more. I loved my Eden experience and want more. I love you all who shared that weekend together. (Anne, VA)
Eden has become a part of me.
I went by myself, nervous about meeting strangers and opening up to a group of “others." I left connected to myself on a deeper level and connected to the reality that there are no “others." There is only the ego's story that creates separation from ourselves and the people we meet along our path. I laughed, I cried, and Eden has become a part of me. I am sowing the seeds of LOVE. (Alden, Texas)
One of the most profound experiences of my life!
My experience at Eden was one of the most profound of my life. The pain and challenges that I have been dealing with now have a set of keys to a visible solution. I am so grateful and thankful to the Founders of Eden for this experience and all that they helped me to understand and how to use it going forward. I will return. (Aaron, Virginia)
Profoundly Moving and Wonderful.
After decades on this planet, I was struggling with where the path of life was leading me. With years of uncertainty and not feeling right, I was seeking realignment and a renewed sense of direction for the future ahead. On the referral of a close friend, I embraced the opportunity to attend Eden to rediscover my joy and zest for life again.
Upon arriving at Eden, I was warmly welcomed with kindness and sincerity. Team Eden was jovial, humorous and fun loving. They embraced a very diverse group of retreat attendees with open arms. Our group was a wide variety of young, mature, friends, strangers, active and retired professionals. It seemed we all were seeking an experience that offered us a greater sense of self. And it also seemed that all of us where there for enlightenment. That is exactly what we found with Eden.
What happened from that point on was nothing short of a divine intervention for this 50-something year old man. Set and setting was key for me to be comfortable and Eden hit the mark perfectly. The clarity and transparency around intentions and ceremony shared by Team Eden was critically important for me to transcend beyond the limitations I knew for myself. I was “all in” and committed to rediscovering the power of me and how much better I could be when I faced my fears and challenged my weaknesses.
Throughout the weekend, I kept whispering to myself, “Where has this been?” The experience was a journey full of curiosity and exploration and I LOVED IT!!! At the completion of each ceremony and integration, I strengthened my sense of self and enhanced my vision of the road ahead. I discovered what I already knew about myself……..that I am more and have more to give to my loved ones and the community I live.
From the group’s first meet and greet to the last goodbye and every ceremony, integration and interaction in between, Eden delivered a powerful result. A result that I intend to practice and engage in the months and years ahead.
Not only do I highly recommend this experience to anyone seeking a higher truth for themselves, but I will encourage all of those who I dearly love and respect to experience this journey in their own special way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this unbelievable experience.
(Stephen G - Colorado)
5 Years of Therapy in ONE Night!
My experience was possibly one of the most beneficial and significant events of my life thus far. It was a challenging process, but came out the other side with some powerful insights that were simple to implement into daily life in a profound way. I had done a lot of preparation in the nine months prior to the experience, so it's possible that my quick integration was due to the prep work, but the experience and the guidance in the process was what made it all come together. The staff was professional and considerate - I felt safe the entire time and knew I was in good hands. Thank you! (Dan, Wisconsin)
Time and money very well spent.
The founders of Eden open their hearts and souls to everyone in such a sincere and generous way. I feel that I now have a fresh slate to fill with what is meaningful and beneficial to me. My work will be ongoing and I am excited about it! (Carroll, Memphis, TN)
A heart-opening and life-transforming journey.
The founders of Eden are amazing people with great big hearts. If you are looking for a safe and supportive place to take a deep journey inside, these are the folks to facilitate it for you. I arrived not really knowing what I was getting myself into, and within minutes I knew that I was in safe, loving and professional hands. Everyone’s experience at the Sacred House of Eden is very different, but one thing I can guarantee is that you will have a heart-opening and life-transforming journey which will forever change your life. Don’t wait, life is too short! (John M., Oregon)
Perfect Set & Setting
The Eden Team are a great team full of love and respect. Opening this space for sessions, retreats that are warm and inviting, supportive, accurate, and safe, Non-judgmental, spiritual, but not religion-specific.
I had never experienced flesh of the gods before and this was the perfect set and setting for me. I was still anxious and unable to fully surrender the first evening, but it was still amazing. I got what I needed.
By the end of the weekend, I was really glad I came. It was really worth the time and money. They are changing lives! Push through the excuses and resistance and experience it. You will not regret it. (J. Brighton, Colorado)
Yes, this is the REAL DEAL
Eden is healing and will transform you the way you need it. I came in a bit untrusting, but left feeling totally loved and welcomed. This really works!(Stephen R., California)
Finding my powerIt was a transformational experience to be at the retreat. In this beautiful space, I was able to do the inner work that my soul was craving. It has helped me begin a journey which I have to keep working on and going forth. I feel truly fortunate to have experienced this and will never be able to express enough gratitude to the guides who hold the space. (M.S., San Francisco)
Eden changed my life...I can't wait to go back!My experience at Eden changed my life. Not only did it change mine, I got to witness it change everyone’s life in my group. We all came with some form of hopelessness in our eyes and before we all left that look turned into hope, forgiveness and excitement. The lead psychologist and her team made the whole experience feel so warm, inviting, and safe. The founder of Eden also know what they’re doing when they pick the people who hold space with you. We were blessed with Sara and Kayla. Sara guides amazing pool meditations and teaches breathing techniques that really help you relax and escape. Kayla is so knowledgeable and has amazing spiritual insight. I can’t wait to go back! (Ash from Frisco, TX)
Five Stars! A Journey of Smiles! Curious, intrigued, interested, ready to explore, but stressed with how, when, where and confronted with an apprehension of can this be real... until I talked with the Eden Team... then there wasn't a doubt in my mind of what I had hoped for. Consumed with energy and excitement, I couldn't wait. They were very kind, warm, intelligent, knowledgeable, and credible (which was incredibly reassuring, insightful and invaluable to the experience).
Let the journey begin! I approached this from an adventure all in, I don't know what I don't know perspective. The lead psychologist helped me identify and articulate intentions - words reflective of feelings of what I hoped to uncover. The setting/ space was tranquil, calming, so perfectly comfortable. The Eden Team provided a perfect environment and their support and presence allowed for a worry-free (and quite tasty) experience.
The facilitators were very nurturing to take care of every need and to create comfort as I went on a wild adventure through what seemed like caricature of a parallel dimension. I had a surreal experience with a famous rock star in an animated world of make believe, uncovering true lessons and a new perspective of many of the things that flexed control in my life. I experienced tremendous joy as I gave into laughing at the ridiculousness I couldn't even begin to explain. Uncertainty surrounds us and having the ability to embrace with a smile is what my experience at Eden delivered. Grateful for the opportunity, the introduction, and hopefully a chance to spend time with them again. I am still smiling! (Joe S., Colorado)
I highly recommend Eden!
I have been on two retreats at Eden over the past year. I cannot thank the amazing Eden Team enough! I have struggled with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues most of my life. I have tried almost everything to help it. Eden has been the only true thing that has helped me. I feel more true peace and lightness in my heart with far less anxiety than before. I am so grateful to the whole Eden Team. They're all such truly caring special people. You can tell they care very deeply about the work they do. I highly recommend Eden! It's been a life saver for me. (Kristina D., MN)
Until we meet again
My words do not come easy and never really matches what I am feeling or thinking inside my head. I am not sure exactly what happened over the weekend. I am so ok with that. I feel like a new person in my own body. I am thinking new thoughts and they seem so clear, I am looking through new eyes as everything around me now has color. I actually stopped just to listen to the noises around me.
I have mended a very broken heart in such a short amount of time. I am now rethinking my views of god or a higher power. I have never been much of a believer in such things. I know now after spending time with 15 amazing people that we all were meant to be in this one home, during this exact time.
The Eden Team along with everyone else that joined in my journey...I will never forget you.
Until we meet again,
Warren from Wyoming
A Temple of Divine Vibration
When I arrived at Eden I wasn’t sure what I would need to receive. I had just lost a child to a severe mental illness and had been so emotionally shut off for years. At my intro, I told the group I had not cried in 3 years. Luckily I knew this was not normal given my circumstances and wanted to take the journey to self discovery.
Since Eden I am happier, more grounded, less chatter, and understand the voice in my head was never actually me. I released my self from the guilt I carried over my children, and realized completely that I had tried everything, truly. I fell in love with my heart, and was given a mirror to see my true self, a divine loving creature with supreme ability to love people for exactly who they are. What a gift to want to befriend yourself.
What I witnessed on my journey not only in myself, but in my group of travelers, was unreal. Being a trauma specialist with a Bachelor's in psychology, I had to see it to believe it. The Eden staff is top notch, not for one second did I feel unsafe. My friend also felt safe - which given her own history - was nothing short of a miracle. Eden is in fact a temple of divine vibration, healing modalities, and supreme human beings.
If you want change, this is it. If you want a safe, loving environment this is it. If you are still scared, this is it. Nothing this transformative comes without a bit of fear. Dive in, you just might learn to love yourself. (MW, Sedona)
I am forever changed!
My Eden experience just ended on June 14, 2021! I had a major breakthrough in forgiving myself for something I have been carrying for 27 years! I did not know that this event was the cause of my suffering all of this time. The plant showed me what I needed to address (I had come with other ideas) over the retreat. Through the course of the retreat, I came to forgive myself. Honestly, I did not think it would happen for me, how could it? How could this work? I was skeptical, but wanted to believe it so badly. I was so grateful I was able to let go and be.
In this short amount of time, I learned to stop punishing myself with unhealthy food, alcohol and lack of exercise. I learned to have more compassion for others, to love them, to be open and forgiving. We are all doing our best, we all hurt and we all want to be our best selves, sometimes we just don't know how. Going forward, I will get out of my bed and take care of my body. I will spend more time outside. I will be present with the people in my life and enjoy the moment instead of looking at what is next all of the time. I will stop hating myself, judging myself and comparing myself. I am enough.
Thank you Eden, Dr. S, Doug, and all of the Angels. I am forever changed. I look forward to coming back to continue to work on myself as I know now that there is more peace and higher vibrations to be gained. (S.H, a Teacher from Cincinnati)
Most influential experience of my life.
I don't know that there are words to fully describe the gratitude I feel for the experience I had at this beautiful retreat. My experience was humbling, clarifying, transformative, nourishing, and life-changing. The retreat has been perfectly cultivated by the facilitators and they have established space for pure, unconditional love, freedom and space to be embraced and accepted for who I was, and within that, I was able to evaluate some of the life-questions I had been considering for months. There was complete acceptance, compassion, guidance, and patience provided which allowed me to love myself fully.
I walked away from this experience transformed; embracing new relationships with people who see me as I am, with universal love based outside of Ego, and with a restored desire to transform the life of others. I will be forever grateful that this retreat became a part of my life; you opened your venue to me as though I were family and I was able to be seen in love and light. I can't wait to come back. (Cassie, Seattle)
Life changing transformations happen here. My time spent with Eden Experiences has been one of the most profound and enlightening opportunities that I have had the honor to partake in. Not only have I had several huge breakthroughs while attending, I have also witnessed the same from others in our group (I’ve attended both semi private and group retreats, several to date). The team at Eden has curated the ideal set and setting for this type of work. From the time you enter the retreat until the time you depart, there is an overwhelming sense of peace and love that really lends itself to a healing environment. Attention to detail was impeccable. The team places such a huge emphasis on the power of intention and integration. I’ve actually seen fellow attendees heal from trauma caused in part by other retreats. This is the real deal people. I can’t wait to attend my next retreat. (Aeron, New Orleans)
I am so grateful I found Eden
I had booked a retreat in Peru and found out there were going to be over 80 people in the ceremony with me. This was terrifying to me. Just the thought of that made my anxiety go through the roof. I cancelled my Peru retreat and came to Eden instead. Thank God I did. This team is devoted to world-class work. They took excellent care of us, kept our group small (only 8 of us for the weekend), and did deep and thorough work with each of us. We each also had our own bedroom with 5-star gorgeous amenities. MUCH better than sleeping on the floor of a small room over-crowded with so many other people. I plan to come back to Eden in a couple months. I cannot say enough great things about this place and these guides. My time here was transformative and insightful. I discovered my next step on my path and am excited about my life again! (Carolyn, Maine)
My mind is blown and my heart is full.
This experience is thoughtfully crafted and beautifully executed. Dr. S is exceptionally gifted and her team of Angels are beautiful, loving beings. They’re incredibly intuitive, kind, and genuine. I couldn’t have asked for a safer place to embark on this journey. Lots of tears, laughs, and immeasurable growth. This is a place to find yourself, love yourself, love everyone else, and let go of the things that no longer serve you. So much love and gratitude. I can’t wait to return. (Kayla K., Minnesota)
We Highly Recommend Eden!
My boyfriend and I attended a retreat and have nothing but love and kudos for the Team at Eden! From the moment we arrived, there is nothing but love and a space held for you in this beautiful location in the mountains! No detail is left untouched and I highly recommend working with them. I had major breakthroughs and our relationship has grown closer and deeper. We learned valuable and practical tools to use on our own too. (S&J, Denver, CO)
This experience was an amazing one for me. It let me see the opportunity to work on myself and change my own perspective of my feelings and outlook on life. I had gone into this experience thinking that something would change me, but it instead helped me realize that I can work on myself in a way that nothing and no one else can. I got some excellent and loving guidance, and it brought me to a path that I am happy to keep making for myself. (Sophia, NY)
I came to Eden hoping to have a spiritual experience and I will say that I did! I look forward to integrating what I learned into my life in the coming days and weeks. I am impressed with the lead psychologist's abilities in taking my experience and making it more accessible to me; helping me understand and interpret it. Super valuable!! The Eden team creates a beautiful, comfortable, safe space. And cooks some serious home fries! This is good and high level work being done here. I'm so happy I found them. With Love, (Stacy, New York)
Possibly the most profound experience of my life!
The ceremony revealed a mystical experience for me. This is possibly the most profound experience of my life. I had identified as a hopeful agnostic. I am now comforted by a strong belief in a spiritual existence. The team at Eden were critical in providing the ideal physical and social setting for the ceremony. And the importance of having a talented, professional clinician for the proper mindset leading into the ceremony and integrating after, is absolute. The team of professionals were also some of the warmest, most sincere beings that have come into our lives. Each exudes a benevolent presence the moment you first meet them. It is clear their commitment to the work is altruistic. Thank you for being a part of such an important moment in my life. (W.M., Colorado)
Eden is a beautiful space for transformation!
The Eden team created a caring, loving, and open space for transformative experiences and transformational inner work to happen. As facilitative guides, they let us direct the personal details of the work we did and environment surrounding our growth. When beneficial, they offered insight and suggestions for our edification. They are generous in spirit, opening their hearts and home to us and showing up fully committed to supporting our work in an incredibly loving way.
Nestled in the picturesque mountains of Colorado, Eden is an exceptionally beautiful place to engage in this work. Inside, it feels like a beautiful sanctuary. With windows all around, looking outside is breathtaking and connects one with the majesty of nature.
The lead psychologist and her team are beautiful, loving, wise souls who have committed to work on themselves and are committed to helping others on their inner journeys. (G.G, Atlanta)
Magical and Life-Changing!
This is my second retreat at The Sacred House of Eden. What's cool is that I had a much different experience than the first visit, yet no less intense in so many ways. The Eden Team provides a safe, loving, supportive environment that helps each individual dive deep and grow from the experience. Set, setting, and integration are all carefully orchestrated to make the total experience magical and life-changing. Thank you Eden Team! (S.C. from Colorado)
Eden is the Michelin-Star restaurant and other retreats are Denny's
My Eden experience was everything I could've hoped for and more. If you're serious about finding clarity in your life, working through a hardship or hoping to overcome previous trauma, The Sacred House of Eden is well worth looking into. If this type of therapy is right for you, then this is the retreat you need to attend. The Eden Team are the kindest, most nurturing and professional people who genuinely want to help people heal. This was something I'd come to fully know after my ceremonial experience, but it was also something I could sense from the first time I navigated their website, to talking to the doctor on the phone during my initial intake call.
I had interest in attending another plant medicine retreat, but I immediately changed my mind when I came across the Sacred House of Eden online and had my intake call with the doctor. Here's an appropriate analogy: if The Sacred House of Eden is a Michelin-Star restaurant, then all of the other retreats seem like Denny's in comparison.
The experience broadened my sense of spirituality in that I felt so connected to the earth, to everyone around me and whoever I come into contact with. The only thing that matters in this life is love. We are all spiritual beings having an earthly experience and that’s all this life is. We are so interconnected on the other side, and it's beyond spectacular. Nothing in this life really matters except the relationships we have with other people and the love we share with them. Love is the answer to every question in life. I came into this journey at a crossroads looking for clarity about my marriage and whether I should stay in it. This limbo plagued me for over a year, but my weekend at Eden showed me that it's not time to leave my marriage yet, that I have a lot more effort to give and that I won't have peace about separating unless I try harder. So that's what I'm doing and I have peace and contentment about that, something I otherwise wouldn't have without attending this profound, life-changing retreat. (Kellie, California)
A Profound & Life-Changing Journey
I'm so happy that I found the Sacred House of Eden and only wish I had found them decades ago! I started researching the benefits of plant medicine and the set and setting always came up as being one of the most important aspects. The knowledge, expertise and kindness that my wife and I received was beyond our expectations.
We arrived on a Friday for a two day ceremony feeling a little anxious on what was to come. From the moment we arrived, we could feel the passion they have and we knew we were in good hands. The home was beautiful, so inviting and we settled in with four other guests.
Over the weekend we had two sacred plant ceremonies with a perfectly curated plan that accomplished more than one could with a year of counseling. We all came to Eden with different reasons and needs and I could see the amazing changes in all of us. The experience was so uplifting like a huge weight lifted off of me. My wife left the retreat much lighter as well. I look forward to the new me and its going to be difficult holding back the desire to tell everyone you really need to experience Eden! (Sharon & Kevin, MA)
I am forever, profoundly changed.
Since The Retreat…
I am changed. Fundamentally, profoundly changed, and because only 10 days have elapsed since The Retreat, Jennifer and I are eager to see what more time brings to our awareness. I have not had any bad self-talk, any desire to bad-talk myself, or even needing to consciously check my self-talk as I had been trying. In fact, I almost do not recognize who I have become because so many things that would have caused me to curse myself, or become incredibly frustrated at my failure, no longer do. Now if I goof up it is almost like I just laugh, or just think how goofy. That is funny! I just repeated ‘goofy’ when normally I would have said ‘fucked up’. How strange is that?!
Before The Retreat, my favorite quasi-motto, learned as a Marine, was “One ‘Oh shit’ will wipe out a hundred ‘atta-boys’.” It was and is a funny, albeit grim view of life, but not the best. Thinking about it, I do not think I’ve ever gone through a day of my adult life without at least once experiencing at least one of the following: a sense of failure, guilt, anger, rage, or even self-loathing, so much so I simply could not even think “I love you Tony'', or even “I like you Tony.” And it’s not like I felt sorry of myself, because feeling sorry for oneself is lame. It is just that this was the world as I knew it. How much of what I have done or accomplished in fitness, education, service, and otherwise was to simply to fight these feelings and prove my worth to myself and others, I don’t know exactly. What I do know is that as far as the old me was concerned, the outcome of my achievements didn’t help so much, turning out instead to be as superficial, vulnerable, incomplete, and as sturdy as a house of cards.
Psychologically speaking, none of my previous attempts to talk myself up ever worked. Instead, such self-talk seemed ridiculous, even fraudulent because I could not believe most any meaningfully positive aspect about myself. Why? I’ve always prided myself on being honest, so how could I lie to myself? Doing so would amount to willful self-deception, something I despise. Doing so would simply give me another reason to dislike myself. This massive blind spot in my being had existed so long that when, during The Retreat, the only world I have ever known changed, and it was only then I realized there was another way to live, think, and feel about myself.
Since The Retreat…
I’ve learned to both openly share my unpleasant feelings and needs and, just as importantly, accept compliments. A few nights ago, Jen and I had a simple misunderstanding which, by its nature, caused me a lot of stress and even anger. Jen knew nothing of what I was feeling because she had gone to sleep earlier. When I finally did go to bed, my sleep was terrible. The details are not important, but like so many other “issues”, it came down to unmet expectations and a simple misunderstanding. The next morning, I had to get up early for work. I was tired, still upset, and planned to leave for work without telling her anything. Childish, I know. Then the strangest thing happened. Jen got up to join me in the kitchen, which was very unusual as it was a Saturday morning when she didn’t have to go to work. Still feeling distant and cold inside, I was not very communicative, and I was running late for work. Somewhat coldly, I asked her why she was up. She said, “I couldn't stand the thought of something happening to you without having told you I love you.” Normally this would have caused my anger to instantly dissipate, and out of shame, immediately turn it inward against me, except now it would grow even stronger as it reinforced itself with a stiff dose of guilt and guilt. Together, this unholy trio would torment me for hours. Worse, Jen would have picked up on this and felt hurt because of me. This time, however, I too did something very unusual: Swallowing my embarrassment, I admitted to her what I had been feeling and why. Unlike during the previous 24 years of knowing each other, Jen just listened to me openly and without any reaction until I finished. Then, without drama but with sincerity and feeling, she told me how bad she felt for how I was feeling and apologized for misunderstanding and we hugged. Somewhat relieved, I was now running later than ever and had to get enroute, but at least we hugged again and kissed each other goodbye. A few minutes into my drive to work, I called Jen, and it was then she told me how her night had also been awful, her sleep ruined by continual bad dreams and deeply unsettled feelings. In her dreams, I was angry at her though she didn’t know why, and in that dreamworld way, she was on trial as a result. We were both so surprised at this coincidence, but before I began to feel bad for ruining her night by whatever vibes I must have been putting off, she told me how proud she was of me for having opened to her instead of swallowing it all. Old me would have automatically deflected her compliment and blamed myself for having caused the ruckus in the first place.
Why? Before The Retreat, receiving any gift, including the gift of a compliment had always been hard for me. If given a gift, I've felt compelled to give a better, more expensive gift in return. If given a compliment, I never felt able to fully accept it because doing so would be rudely proud, or the compliment was not deserved because whatever I had done was either too easy, could have been done better, or whatever. My default response to a compliment would be embarrassment, and I would automatically downplay and re-direct it, say it wasn’t important, or be self-deprecation. Making a joke at my expense is my favorite way because if I did it right, my rejection was hidden and ameliorated by my pleasure at getting people to laugh. This was my MO. It was a reflex action and not from false modesty, and until the afternoon of 15 March 2021, the final day of The Retreat, I was not able to accept the gift of a compliment. Oh wow! Writing this I am recognizing another connection I had never been able to understand until just now, and what an irony! Before The Retreat, I had a continuous and deep seated need to be recognized and appreciated. I’d often ask “What do you think of how I did? Was [insert anything you can think of] okay? Done right?” Even old me recognized this was excessive, but I didn’t know why I needed such feedback and would cringe inside for even asking. But guess what? If I did receive positive feedback, internally I discounted it. If I got negative feedback, it was like a kick in the stomach…no, it was a kick in the balls. The ache would last a long time. Oh man, what was I doing to me??? Ugh; Until now, I have been in a civil war with myself for most of my life!
So, back to Jennifer’s compliment-gift and the incredible change in me. No sooner had I heard the compliment, my mind flashed back to that Monday when it was Dr. S in front of us as it was her turn for feedback from all of us. I vividly remembered her acceptance of each compliment because it was so unabashedly deep and sincere, something old me could never have even imagined doing. She looked directly into the eyes of the person giving her the gift, and then received it by closing her eyes and taking a breath in as she paused to register, feel, appreciate, and accept it. Smiling, she then opened her eyes, hands to her heart as if she had received a hug, and again, while looking directly at the person, said “Thank you.”
I cannot describe the emotive impact this had on me, but it was such that even writing the preceding paragraph, I could not help but smile all throughout, becoming happily teary-eyed at the memory, whereas had I watched something like this before The Retreat, it would have struck me as a sort of grandstanding. Instead, Dr. S gave me a powerful vision and gift, again showing me there was a better way. Damn it, my eyes are really tearing up now, so this very moment Dr. S, I’m looking into your eyes, taking a breath in as I close mine, and opening them again as I type these words…..Thank you. And wouldn’t you know it?!?!? I just realized the song In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel had been playing as I wrote these last sentences, and literally just finished! All these coincidences are tripping me out! Wow, oh wow! Now I’m practically crying through my smile.
Since The Retreat…
Jen and I have played “Dyad” a couple of times just playing around, but even then, it’s been powerful. However, just tonight, it was late as I began telling Jen about a particularly difficult ordeal at work from a couple of years ago. She knew the story well as we had both suffered, her suffering being vicarious. Trying to protect me from going down and revisiting that dark time as I had done before, she immediately tried to redirect me, afraid my recollection would cause me to slip backward and lose the inner peace attained during The Retreat. But this time I wasn’t doing a pointless rehash. Instead, this was to be a catharsis to put those days behind me for good. Not knowing this, Jen began to insist I stop. I reached out to her, taking her hands in mine and, looking in her eyes, I said: I need ... She didn’t register or hear me, so I said again “I need…..” She immediately understood, looked back at me in the eyes and said “Tell me.” “I just need you to hear me, to know…” It was amazing, and later Jen said “It was like a switch when I realized what you were doing. I immediately stopped projecting or worrying and was able to open up and give you a place, a space to go.” Honestly, Dr. S, the Dyad is the most powerful way to truly and deeply communicate I have ever seen. Through the Dyad exercise, not only did we all get to see a side of Jen I’ve never seen, but you have also given us an ineffably beautiful way to communicate we will use the rest of our lives.
Since The Retreat…
Every day since returning, Jen and I have been noticing and sharing the things we're noticing about ourselves and each other. It seems obvious that so far, the most obvious changes have been in me. Perhaps that is because I was the one who needed the most help, or perhaps simply the one whose fixing was of things that are most obviously noticeable? We have both felt a new lightness of spirit, and increased empathy for each other. Almost all of my previous humor, sometimes sharp, and too often demeaning, has disappeared, and our relationship, often complimented and admired by others, has become closer, more peaceful, and impossible as it might have seemed to me before, our love is even stronger, broader, and deeper. The changes have affected us both as individuals and has made our relationship even better. Kissing Jen goodnight, we remarked on this, and she told me how much closer she felt to me since the retreat, and how I had been noticeably more calm, supportive, and patient, something vitally important to her especially now given that in her new position, which she assumed the week we returned from the retreat, was so stressful as to be almost overwhelming. Both of us have been able to relax and de-stress much more quickly as needed by thinking and saying something a fellow journeyer at our Retreat so perfectly realized, “It just doesn’t matter.:
Since The Retreat…
Working on the ambulance the past week, though the underlying tension caused by the uncertainty and anticipation of unexpectedly difficult calls is still there, the fear of personal failure is so much less. Even better, that fear of failure seems no longer attached as a metric of my self-worth. Why? I am FINALLY able to acknowledge my continual efforts to achieve perfection, knowing that while perfection is impossible, aiming for it can only lead to greater competence. Finally, able to acknowledge the good in me, I've become more open, with greater empathy and appreciation of others. Needless sarcasm and the need to assert myself one way or another have both decreased greatly.
Since The Retreat…
For much of my life, I’ve worked out hard, trained in one sport or another, especially martial arts, and taking pride in the fitness and strength all this hard work gave me. Yet, during the last few years, I’d dealt with disabling spine problems, stresses of work and school, etc., and my diet was crappier and crappier. Unhealthful foods became a form of guilty pleasure (especially Milk Duds and Oreos) and a diversion, leading to a cycle of guilt periods where I’d give up and just stuff myself as if there’d never be any more food. It’s funny how mentally making certain foods inaccessible, either physically or mentally, is like a form of reverse psychology: The more you cannot/should not have it, the more you want it.
Since The Retreat, however, I haven’t worried about what or when I eat anymore. I just have what I feel like having and with the crazy result that, with my guilt being gone, haven’t had those familiar periodic cravings or desire to grab that box of Milk Duds. In fact, except for writing “Milk Duds” and “Oreos”, I just haven’t been thinking of them anymore or even tempted and have since lost 5-6 pounds without trying. This wonderful new “me” has been totally unexpected because none of my expectations or hopes I had for this retreat had included anything about diet, cravings, or exercise! I realize my former life of eating had been partly predicated on guilt, with self-denial as another form of penance. I do believe that without realizing it, my past relationship with food has been changed for a better, relaxed, and healthier one. Let’s see how this goes.
How long will all this last? I don’t know. However, having “seen the light”, it is difficult for me to envision going back to that old me. Why? I love being my own friend! I love seeing myself or hearing myself and not feeling embarrassed or ashamed, otherwise, there is no way I could have written this letter, much less shared it. Instead, I want to smile at me, my closest new friend. How can anyone ever give that up?
In closing, I want to thank the founders of Eden for all the incredibly hard work you have done to create the Eden Retreat along with the amazing and selflessness of all the Angels who help make it all possible.
Sincerely and Forever Grateful,
You've come to the right place.
If you've come here to change your life, you've come to the right place. (Andrew, Colorado Springs)
I could not have been in better hands.
Eden is the place you go when you want to feel 100% safe and want to make powerful changes in your life. I feel like I learned (on the deepest level) how to love, live, and be free! The facilitators are unbelievably skilled, professional, and warm. I could not have been in better hands. I know that I am forever changed. I wish I had found Eden years ago. Thank you to the founders of The Sacred House of Eden and your team of angels. I cannot say enough good things about you all. You are making a profound difference in the world. (M.J., Atlanta, GA)
How does one write a user review on a miracle?
My experience at the Sacred House of Eden was a miracle as far as I can tell. After years of struggling with treatment-resistant depression, I departed the Eden group experience with a completely different energy, outlook, belief system, identity, and way of relating to others. I went from being an introvert to an extravert, from an intellectual to someone much more in tune with his body, from someone estranged from his own feelings to someone who genuinely enjoys connecting deeply with others. The journey was the most transformative mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual event of my life so far. I have never felt more alive… or more myself. I am a true believer in the sacred plants.
This path may not be for everyone, but it was f***ing miracle to me. (Benjamin, Utah)
For 42 years, I’ve wandered the earth looking for a feeling a love. Someone or something to help guide me out of the dark. I taught myself to be comfortable in the dark, always retreating to being alone when approached by moments of discomfort. I convinced myself to rely on myself alone, distancing myself from the feelings of disappointment that would undeniably sweep in after the love ran out of my relationships. Eden helped me see through the dark and beyond. I found a tribe. I found belonging. I found wellness and peace within. Not a victim any longer, but a pillar of strength that has the power to heal. I saw the beauty in myself.
Thank you team for the unconditional love that you showed. It was so powerful to feel. Your modeling of that behavior showed me how simple it was to turn love inward. Thank you for manning the traffic lights along this journey. You’ve given me the green light to make the best choices for me. I feel joy to be alive today. I will be back to continue this work. I’m finally committed to myself. Love to all my angels! (Carrie, Seattle)