Retreat InfoAbout the Retreat:
Psychedelic facilitators Sagan Bolliger and Helena Zhu offer both small group retreats and individual or couple sessions with 5-MeO-DMT in Vancouver and on an adjacent island in the Pacific Northwest in Canada, where 5-MeO-DMT is legal. 5-MeO-DMT, fondly known as the God molecule, is a powerful psychedelic medicine that brings us into contact with our core essential self.
Our three-day, two-night Self Contact Retreat brings together fellow journeyers and seekers on the path to themselves. In a cedar house nestled between the ocean and the forest, we will host three small-group earth medicine ceremonies: a sharing of heartwarming cacao, a light smoked 5-MeO-DMT experience, and an insufflated (intranasal) and deep smoked 5-MeO-DMT experience. You will be supported by us, our helpers, our cook, who will prepare healthy and nourishing homemade meals, and our Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) for add-on integration massage. We will share circles for preparation and integration and rejuvenate our bodies and spirit through our cedar barrel sauna and hot tub under the cedar trees and cold plunges in the ocean.Description of Services:
We believe creating a safe and loving container is the best foundation for the natural unfolding of our inner healing intelligence. We and our helpers create a loving, non-judgmental, and supportive container for whatever needs to arise and be processed in your journey. The smoked form of the medicine gives a short but deep dive, bringing you deep and back within half an hour, whereas the insufflated form is a slower, longer form of the medicine that gives us more time for the inner work. Within the two 5-MeO-DMT medicine circles, we offer therapeutic and supportive physical touch, physical care, live and curated sound, scents, and verbal guidance as needed to help you deepen your experience.
We provide comfortable private or semi-private sleeping arrangements to give you personal space and make wood fire in our indoor fireplaces to create a place for reflection and gathering. In preparation for the medicine, we will gather in circle to share intentions and drop into guided meditation and movement. After each medicine circle, we carve out time for silent reflection and personal integration and hold a group integration circle to give space for processing with others.
In this journey to ourselves, we are invited to be with all the parts of ourselves that we have exiled, feeling the emotions that we have not given ourselves permission to feel. Joy, fear, ecstasy, heartache, anger–all emotions are welcome, often passing as quickly as they arise as the medicine moves through us. We encounter ourselves in a space beyond our stories and identities and tap into the deep well of who we already are. In doing so we answer the question, who am I? Not as a concept, but as a deep knowing. We come back as a more integrated person with the courage to be ourselves with an open heart.
Here are some testimonials some of our former clients have graciously allowed us to share with other considering embarking on this journey with us:
“The most profound experience of my life. It has released a deeply rooted inner conflict that I have struggled with since my childhood and has begun to relieve me from a deep 5 year depression and has completely resolved my lifelong struggle with severe anxiety. I could not have asked for a more caring and supportive couple who looked after me so carefully which allowed me to fully relax and dive into my experience. My journey has changed me so profoundly and I am so eternally grateful I found Sagan and Helena. I would highly recommend … absolutely profound.”
- Tom, Ontario, 49
“Journeying with Sagan and Helena was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It was profoundly life-changing to a degree that language fails to describe. I feel alive. My soul has bloomed inside my body. This awakened me to level of existence I previously thought impossible, and I felt welcomed into that life by these two loving humans. I would happily place my heart in their hands again when the journey calls me back.”
- Josh Magro, Psychotherapist
“Working with Sagan and Helena helped me to let go of some deeply unhealthy narratives and self-limiting beliefs. The medicine surfaced profound insights that have given me a different way to see my relationships, career and outlook. Each day, new positive behaviors emerge and I attribute them to my journey and integration work. An unexpected, and welcomed benefit of the medicine was that it opened up my body to release a lot of deeply stored pain. I feel wonderful. Thank you both for facilitating this transformation.”
- NF, California
Read more testimonials from our former clients here.Practitioners:
Since his youth, Sagan has been drawn to existential questions of life and death and to the path of introspection. He pursued a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Philosophy and a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Toronto. After studying the mind objectively for a number of years, he felt called to return his focus to the inner realm of being wherein rests the soul. Helena comes from an academic background in social sciences with Bachelor and Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia and work experiences in journalism, policy, and international development, all of which helps her understand humans in their contexts across time and space.
We are passionate about being in service in helping fellow human beings as they take the journey back to their hearts. We have facilitated transformative 5-MeO-DMT private and group experiences full-time since 2021, a work we approach from a place of presence, compassion, acceptance, and love. We appreciate our earth medicine for its ability to dive straight to the heart and into the body and honour the vulnerability and the power of working with this medicine in a community context.
We received training from Toad School for 5-MeO-DMT facilitation, Phoenix Academy Psychedelic Therapy training, and Vancouver Crisis Centre for crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Sagan is also a Community Leader within The Flying Sage psychedelic community and Helena co-hosts Vancouver Women in Psychedelics Meetups.Team/Medical Staff:
In addition to the on-site support mentioned above, Helena and Sagan work closely with a pharmacist to evaluate potential interactions between prescription medication and 5-MeO-DMT to ensure that your experience on the medicine is safe and effective. We also provide referrals to complementary practitioners and services on a need basis.
DetailsFounder(s) / CEO: Sagan Bolliger, Helena ZhuGroup Size: 4-6 participantsPrice Range: $2000
Our ProcessOverview of Experience:
During the lead-up to the retreat, we give our journeyers a series of journal prompts to reflect on different aspects of their human experience and how they will thrive in a community context. Sagan and Helena then both meet with each journeyer privately in-person or over Zoom to touch base on their journal reflections and clarify an intention. All participants and helpers then gather for a short pre-trip logistics meeting over Zoom, ask any questions, and coordinate any late-minute details.
The retreat runs Friday midday to Sunday late afternoon. Participants are welcome to arrive early on Friday to settle in and request private meetings with the facilitators. After dinner, we come together for an opening circle for introductions and intention setting with cacao. Saturday is devoted to deep medicine work with 5-MeO-DMT, where participants are guided through a series of progressively deeper journeys with the medicine, with time for reflection and sharing in between. Sunday is devoted to integration, and after a closing circle, participants are invited to stay on property for a flexible afternoon to receive massage (available as an add on), sauna, hot tub, dip in the ocean, walk, rest, or to engage in other forms of integration.
Following the retreat, we will touch base with each participant in an integration meeting over Zoom or in-person if they are in Vancouver.Intake Process:
We welcome you to review our retreat offering and website to learn more about us, our work, and our approach. We ask all those interested in our Self Contact Retreat or private or couple sessions to email us at [email protected] to book a free one-hour consultation on Zoom or in-person if local to Vancouver. We can discuss where you are at and what you are looking for out of the experience and whether our medicine and approach are a right fit for you.
Prior to coming in for the consultation, we ask you to fill out a short questionnaire that includes information on contraindications, safety checks, and medication evaluation.Supplemental Modalities: In addition to the modalities mentioned above, we draw from Internal Family Systems (IFS), Somatic Therapy, and Person-Centered therapy perspectives, honouring your choices and viewing all human experiences with humility.Psychedelic Substances Offered: 5-MeO-DMTHow does this Center source medicine?:
We source our medicine from a company that specializes in providing safe and high-quality medicines for psychedelic practitioners. They have strict manufacturing requirements and test all batches for purity. In addition to their process, we send all medicine that we receive from them for third-party testing and take our own medicine prior to serving it to others.Practice reciprocity with local communities?: Yes