Awakening Retreat in Xcalak

You have been invited.

So, do not share this page.
It is a secret, invitation only event.

“Enlightenment is the unprogrammed state.”
― Jed McKenna

“I don’t have something you don’t; you believe something I don’t.”
― Jed McKenna

“All fear is ultimately fear of no-self. “And what is enlightenment,” I ask, “but a swan dive into the abyss of no-self?”
― Jed McKenna

Let’s begin by asking the question…

When is the best time to wake up?

How about, right now!

That is… if you want to wake up. Most people would rather stay asleep. Nothing wrong with that. The dream is a beautiful captivating thing. But there are those of us who can no longer stand the dream. It grates on us like nails down the blackboard. It’s like a splinter in the mind, and we know something is up, but we haven’t been easily able to find for ourselves that elusive little “red pill”.

That is, until today. Reading this page and coming along to this retreat is the access to that elusive “red pill”. This is a unique opportunity to perform an experiment on your mind that will almost certainly be unlike anything you, or perhaps anyone, has had the opportunity to do before.

This is a program designed from the ground up to assist you in snapping you out of the lie and into the awakened truth.

That’s what this unique retreat is all about. Waking up. Waking the fuck up. No bullshit. No pretty detours or fancy language or homage to ancient belief systems. Let’s take a good hard look at what is real, and what isn’t. You don’t need to reference any guru or text, you simply only need look within.

Let’s use a unique combination of the following:

  • A silent 7 day meditation retreat
  • Vipassana Thai style meditation
  • Morning yoga to ground the body
  • Direct pointing enquiry to see if there really is a “you”
  • Smoking Sapo buffo 5meo dmt medicine
    What is that? Read my article
    We won’t have Octavio with us, so it won’t be quite the same as explained in the article.
    But we will have other experienced shamans present. Full care will be taken on this retreat.

We will fuse meditation with psychotropics, DMT from a Mexican toad to be precise.

So what happens when you merge an ancient Thai Theravada Buddhist practise, with ancient Mayan Mexican Shamanic medicine fused with modern Western analytical questioning?

We’re going to find out! I’ve done it to myself, and the results were remarkable.


Waking Up

On this retreat, you will be asked to look deeply within and meditate on whether there is any “you” there at all…

Because, do you really need a “self” to live?

Discover what is the source of your true suffering.
And open yourself to the enquiry that will unravel the very sticky nature of the “self”.
Each of the tools we will give you on this retreat will provide a radically different method to literally reduce the tight grip the “self” has on the “reality” it has constructed.

But don’t take my word for it. Don’t believe that at all.

Come find out for yourself.

“Looking is simple: hold a clear intention to finally see the truth, no matter what, watch out for distractions that the mind creates, and keep digging further. It’s not scary. It is not magic. Just start looking for yourself and answer some precise questions with honesty. Be honest like you’ve never been before. Then you’ll see how obvious and simple the truth is.
Some call it Liberation, others crossing the Gate, Stream Entry, Self Realisation, Awakening, Enlightenment, Anatta. Whatever name you give it, this is most important realisation in your life. It marks the end of believing and the beginning of seeing things as they are.
Once something is seen, it cannot be unseen, so life gets a very different flavour. That flavour is the sweet taste of freedom.
It is not the end of suffering; it’s seeing that there is no sufferer. And it leads to freedom to experience without the frustrating need to change anything. With frustration and neediness absent, changing what does need to change becomes much more straightforward.”
Gateless Gatecrashes, by Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky

This retreat is not for the faint of heart.

It is for those with a sincere intent to realise the truth.

“Liberation has been oversold. It does not guarantee immediate and passive release from suffering, or freedom from thoughts, or love and peace forever. That’s a caricature. The reality is different—but it is genuine. Finding that reality for yourself brings clarity—and opens a new path to developing a way of life that is smooth, kind, humble, and overflowing with joy. The truth is simple. There is no self. There never was.”
Gateless Gatecrashes, by Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky


All aspects of ones belief systems will be up for review, and most likely totally dismantled at this event. There will be no room for clinging onto any belief structures.

If this is a problem – then this event is truly not the right event you.

The entire goal of the event is deconstruct the very notions of ones separate self identity, and every belief that that entails. The goal will be to have a personal, direct experience of the truth.

You won’t need to take our word for it. You will be looking yourself.

But it will require a completely open mind, willing to let go of all previous conditioning.

This is a pilot program, never been done before. It will be a group effort, where will we all hunker down together, work together, even in silence, to create an incredible group experience, unlike anything any of us have ever experienced before.

What if you are already awake?

Then come on an exploration of the limitless, and put your mind to the test. Experience the boundryless infinite and viscerally let go of any remaining concepts of “you”.

This is your opportunity to die before you die. Because this provides a direct experience of the reality of no “you”. Which then enables further deep questioning to unravel the knots of the mind.

Experience an upgrade that cannot be put into words.

Come and hold space for other people brave and sincere enough to swim out into the deep waters of this enquiry, and help shine a light in the darkness of ignorance.

Waking Up


Do you dream of the freedom of waking up?

Because if you do you, this is the program.

The non-existent separate “self” will get nuked through this event.
And something entirely new will be reborn, an awakened being.

But before you come all the way down to Mexico (which is where this will be held) be sure to join the online forum called Liberation Unleashed and MOST DEFINITELY read the work of Jed McKenna. That will really make a difference.

(Here is an online copy of Jed’s first book – Spiritual Enlightenment The Damnedest Thing)

You may also want to prepare by attending a 10 day Vipassana course. They are free, and they are run in nearly all countries, near most major cities, and while often booked out, are on every 2 weeks.
This is not required. You don’t even have to have attended a meditation retreat.
But this is being mentioned, because it would enhance your experience on this retreat.

Everything to prepare for this event is free.

Why start to look at all of this?

Because it is from the combination of this all work that I had my biggest breakthrough. It came after 23 years of daily Vipassana meditation practise, where I was not able to get any form of breakthrough. I was still caught in the web of believing I was real and in control.

Only by letting go completely of the direction and method, and fully surrendering to what life was opening up, I was able to distinguish the lie of the separate self.

Most of our thoughts each day arise from 3 lies:

  1. I’m in control – a lie, because everything is constantly changing, it’s out of control
  2. I own xyz (even your body)  – a lie, because it is all unsatisfcatory and falling away
  3. I’m separate – a lie, because there is no separate “you”

These 3 lies can be perceived and seen through using an intense series of questions called Direct Pointing, where we ask such things as “do you need a self to live?” and “what needs to be protected?” and “now look at the real possibility that there is no ‘you’ in real life. What do you see?”

The mind doesn’t want to look at this.

It wants to maintain the delusions that lead people to suffer daily because they feel they must constantly work to protect what they have already achieved.

The mind wants you to believe that there is some essense in there, and will do all it can to create destractations. The amazing power of the Sapo medicine has the abilty to crack open the mind, lift it to the next level, and provide you with the potential to be truly open to looking at the truth. It breaks down the rigidity of hardened belief systems.

The plan in this retreat is to have a small group of brave individuals willing to go on this type of journey, to look deeply without holding back, to see what is really there. It will be a journey to strip things right back, to keep peeling back ALL the layers until one confronts the ultimate truth and sees through all the lies.

“What separates you, what isolates you, is your thought – it creates the frontiers, it creates the boundaries. And once the boundaries are not there, it is boundless, limitless”
-Jed McKenna. “Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment ET2.”

What will you come away with?

Most likely…

  • Less than you came with
  • The shattering of the illusion that you are in control
  • A visceral experience of the infinite
  • A rewiring of your brains synapses
  • A clearing out of your pineal gland, and everything that that makes available
  • An experience of death

Quite possibly the following…

  • The dissolution of your belief systems
  • Less fear, or no fear, the disappearance of anxiety
  • The ability to live in the listening and let go
  • An absence of the concern of what others think
  • Living in the paradox, and being ok that nothing has to make sense
  • A direct visceral seeing of “no I AM”… and that is the shock
  • Experiencing that all is one and nothing all at the same time
  • A truly humbling experience… to say the least


“THE FIRST STEP, however one comes to it, marks the end of one thing and the start of another. Until the First Step is taken, awakening from the dreamstate isn’t possible. After the First Step is taken, staying in the dreamstate isn’t possible.”
– Jed McKenna. “Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment ET2.”


“You are looking for some improvements in your life. Guess what? There was never a “you”. Always just Life living. You saw—yep, no me, just a label. What’s there? Life. Just living. There’s no you living it. And it’s not about agreeing with that, or living in isolation because you believe this makes everything a lie. Everything isn’t a lie. Life is real. It’s just not owned.”
– by Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky. “Gateless Gatecrashers.”


Daily Program

A a typical day may look like this:

  • Wake up – 4.30am
  • Meditation – 5am
  • Yoga – 7am
  • Breakfast & break – 8.30am
  • Meditation – 10am
  • Lunch & break – 12pm noon
  • Direct Pointing Interviews – 1pm
  • Meditation – 2pm
  • Break – 4pm
  • Meditation – 6pm
  • Talk given plus Q&A – 30 mins – 9pm
  • Journaling – 30 mins – 9.30pm
  • Bed
Waking Up



  1. DAY 1: We start with a tiny dose of the sapo medicine, and then begin silence and  meditation.
  2. DAY 2: A day of silence and meditation, qi gong and yoga in the morning.
  3. DAY 3: Another small journey with the sapo medicine, further with the silence and meditation – these will have warmed you up, and will give you confidence and an appreciation for the experience. Yoga and qi gong in the morning.
  4. DAY 4: A day of silence and meditation, qi gong and yoga in the morning.
  5. DAY 5: Breakthrough event with the sapo medicine, meditation as you may desire, non-silence day
  6. DAY 6: Aya evening ceremony. Integration, relaxed silence
  7. DAY 7: Integration program, Janzu water therapy on our private beach, afternoon closing ceremony

If you don’t have experience with meditation, each day there will be full instructions, as required. Plus personal interviews. You will have your own personal program designed in conjunction with the retreat leaders.

While the days will be silent you can certainly ask questions. We will be here to offer you support and help guide you through this process. There will be even be specific points in the day where you will be asked “how you’re going”.

The closing day of the retreat is looking to include a healing integration session of janzu water therapy (example video) at our private beach. This healing of going back into the womb of the ocean waters makes for a remarkable integration to the whole experience.

There will be several sessions with the Sapo medicine, leading up to (and integrating from) one primary “breakthrough” session in the middle of the retreat. On this Sapo day,  mid way through, there will be a change in the program. That will become the focus for the whole day. And there will be some talking as needed on that day.

What are you likely to experience on the Sapo journey?
If you do not know, then you MUST read my article.


When will this be held?

This first is held from Monday October 5th to Sunday October 11th 2015.

You would arrive between 9am – 6pm the day before it starts.

October is known to be the wettest month here on coast of the Caribbean. So, be prepared for potentially a LOT of rain. Although, everyone local says the weather each year at this time is unpredictable. So that means it could rain each day, or might not.

We are 9km up the beach road from the tiny town of Xcalak. This is a very secluded location.

We have a 6 bedroom home, in 2 buildings.
4 bedrooms in the main building. 2 in the other building. There are 2 kitchens.
Each bedroom has one double bed = 6 double beds.
We also have 7 other mattresses.
That is 13 beds altogether.
There are 5 showers and toilets.
Private beach.
There is plenty of space for camping, even under cover.
So this can also be an option.

This will be very cosy!!
It is really only open to friends and friends of friends, and it’s why the costs are so low.
Because we are beta testing this style of event.

PayPal –
The costs will cover 7 days:

  • All accommodation
  • All food
  • All sapo and aya medicine – sapo has to be collected in the far north of Mexico, in the desert
  • All training



Where will this be held?

In the truly tiny remote seaside town of Xcalak, on the eastern coast of Mexico, on the Caribbean.
5 hours south of Cancun. 4 hours south of Tulum, down the peninsular. Close to the Belize border.

Here is the view from our property.

Waking Up


We have a large beautiful house, with a good number of bedrooms. We may look at putting 2 people per bedroom, sharing a double bed. However, due to the nature of the silent retreat, any close friends (or people of the opposite sex) won’t sleep together.

The goal is to be distraction free. So that also means, no opposite sex in the same bed.
Because that would typically be a distraction!

Also, no intoxicants. This is all about clarity. For example, no weed or alcohol.
Other than the Sapo! And as you’ll see, that’s not really an intoxicant.

Remember, it’s only one week.

You may find it even better to bring a tent. Living in seclusion, in silent enquiry is the aim.

We have our own private beach, no one comes here.

We will provide all the food for 2 basic meals a day.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Fruit for dinner

Why not many photos?
Because this place is SO beautiful, and we don’t want to distract you with the beautiful location. We don’t want people who want to come for a relaxing week of meditation and yoga by the sea, who just want to chill out at the Caribbean. That’s not what this is about. (Even though you will get all of that).


Who is putting this on?

An awesome team of experienced shamanic practitioners, yoga teachers and meditators.
The crew behind the awakening consciousness organisation Terra Incognito are behind this pilot project that will explore the frontiers of new ways to explore human consciousness.
With the success of this project, we open the doors to where humanity can go.


Who came up with this idea?

Barnaby. That’s me 😉

I’m a long time vipassana meditation pracitioner. I started with Goenka in Jan 1992 and spent the next 23 years doing around 40 of their retreats and 2 hours a day. I’d go on regular 30 or 45 day silent retreats in India, where you meditate about 14 hour days.

Then I quit the Goenka method about 2 years ago, after reading the books by Jed McKenna (the scariest books I had ever read).

I cut all my possessions down to 2 bags, left Australia for good, and went to live Asia, first Bali (where I was introduced Jed) and then on to Chiang Mia, Thailand. I lived there for 9 months, where I would go to Wat Rampoeng to learn a new version of vipassana, which led to me altering my technique. 

Since then I have traveled the world and let go of nearly everything.

This ultimately led me to Mexico, on a beautiful beach in Tulum (near to Xcalak) where I experienced Sapo in February of 2015 for the first time and everything changed. This enable my mind to be open for the first time to breaking through the illusion of the self using the Direct Pointing method with Ilona questioning me in March 2015.

Since then I’ve been thinking through a way to synthisize all these modalities, including the sapo and Direct Pointing questioning method from Liberation Unleashed, to bring about awakening in an indiviual. If someone followed what I did, would they get the same result?

Following conducting the above 24 year experiment on myself, I want to see how this could be replicated on others.

And that’s where you come in.

If you want to join the pilot program, this never been done before experiment, contact me about an application and interview.

There are only 5 of the 13 spots remaining.

“The price of truth is everything, but no one knows what everything means until they’re paying it.”
― Jed McKenna

If you are brave, very brave, and willing to pay the price – come join us.

Everyone will be screened and interviewed in the application process.

Watch this short video… though Sapo is even way more intense than this.
Keep in mind, that what we’re doing is not about pretty lights. Seeing the fantastical, while interesting is not an access to the truth. It may well be a distraction. That is why the mind needs to be very clear and focused.

As one awakened person once said, “Everything that appeared in my mind, I would simply say ‘So what’…”


References to explore:

  1. Barnaby’s Sapo DMT Journey – Melting Into the Sun – Article
  2. Liberation Unleashed – Online Forum
  3. Gateless Gatecrashes – 21 case studies of awakening with direct pointing – Book
  4. Jed McKenna
  5. Jed McKenna – Book 1 Spiritual Enlightenment The Damnedest Thing
  6. Jed McKenna – Book 2 Spiritual Incorrect Enlightenment
  7. Jed McKenna – Book 3 Spiritual Warfare
  8. 10 Day Vipassana – Retreat Course
  9. DMT: The Spirit Molecule – Book
  10. DMT: The Spirit Molecule – Movie
  11. DMT: You Cannot Imagine – Article
  12. Sapo: Octavio and the Toad – Short Film



Cancun is one of the worlds absolute top tourist destinations.
There are 2 methods.

1. Fly direct into Cancun.
Then you can catch a 30 min bus from the airport to Playa de Carmen.
From Playa de Carmen a 3 hour bus to Mahahual.
From Mahahual a 1 hour taxi to our home in Xcalak.
Not as hard as it sounds.

2. Fly direct to Mexico City.
Catch a 2 hour domestic flight to Chetumual, then a 3 hour bus to Xcalak.

These 3 travel sites all also have their own mobile apps.
You’ll be amazed at what prices you can get!

  1. Momondo – best prices
  2. CheapOair – amazing prices
  3. SkyScanner – great deals

Upon acceptance into the program, full details of address and all travel arrangements will be sent.


Sacred Dreams

I used to believe
(and “believe” is the operative word)
that I was enlightened
and that others weren’t.
How ironic.

I used to believe
that there was no such thing as enlightenment
and all spiritual teachings were dualistic and false.
“Nonduality” was the only true teaching.
How arrogant.

I used to believe
that there was “nobody here” who could ever awaken.
“Nothing to do and nowhere to go” was my new un-spiritual spiritual mantra.
How over-simplistic.

I used to believe
that there was no time and no space
and no possibility of any kind of change whatsoever.
How nihilistic.

I used to believe
that there was no “I” who could believe any of this
or not.
How funny!
(How innocent, too.)

Waking up does not mean settling on some rigid belief system
and constantly regurgitating it to anybody who will listen.

Waking up means clearly seeing beyond belief
It means fearlessly meeting life without protection
It means sinking into the deep acceptance inherent in the moment
It means letting go of all ideas of ourselves
Including the idea that we are ‘finished’ in some way.

We are never finished
and we are only ever Now.
This is the great knife edge of awakening.

It is easy to fall. I fell many times myself. I have seen many others fall. And I see them falling now.

There is great humility in realising
that we never knew a damn thing.

And that awakening was never about “me”.~



Contact Us

Send me an email and I look forward to getting back to you as fast as I can.