What is a dieta?
The Shipibo practice of the samá or “dieta” is the spiritual or therapeutic practice of isolation and abstaining from ingesting certain foods and interacting with certain energies. It is a body of traditional practices that allows individuals to heal and to learn from plant spirits.
The time-honored Shipibo tradition of dieting and/or fasting is a communion with medicinal and teacher plants. This practice can lead to genuine healing through naturally balancing the body, mind and spirit. While the medicinal properties of plants can help us address physical components of an illness, the meditative and spiritual practice of the samá promotes true healing by helping one to recognize and resolve the root causes.
Lessons are taught spontaneously throughout the course of the samá through meditation, dreams, and ceremony, even after the dieta period has ended. To facilitate learning and true healing one must have discipline and follow certain requirements, which focus on isolation and abstaining from certain foods and activities. Neglecting these requirements can void the period of dieta, and even be detrimental to ones health and well-being.