Beckley Retreats is hosting a psychedelic wellness camp at the New Eden ‘centre for personal transformation’ outside of Amsterdam. Jenny Southan reports
Leading holistic wellbeing company Beckley Retreats has announced its first psychedelic retreat in Europe, which will take place outside of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, on August 24-28.
Beckley Retreats already runs psychedelic retreats in Jamaica. Hosted in a safe and legal setting, its programmes provide participants with the “guided consumption of hallucinogenic fungi for therapeutic purposes”.
Based on “decades of insights” from the renowned Beckley Foundation, and under the leadership of its founder Amanda Feilding, the Netherlands retreat will combine “world-class contemplative practices with the science-backed benefits of psilocybin to offer a comprehensive approach for people looking to make meaningful change in their lives”.
The experience will be part of an 11-week course that includes pre- and post-retreat preparation and support, as well as a five-day immersion in Amsterdam, where using psilocybin truffles (rather than magic mushrooms) is legal.
The new psychedelic retreat will take place at residential centre New Eden, 90 minutes from Amsterdam. Set in 50 acres of forest, the venue offers a “healing environment perfectly suited for deeply immersive experiences”.Ahead of the retreat, participants join a four-week virtual preparation programme that enables them to learn the basics through group workshops, one-to-one facilitator calls, journaling and exercises, plus an introduction to key wellbeing practices.
During the retreat, participants “immerse themselves in nature and enjoy a digital detox”. Apparently, there will be a mix of psilocybin truffle ceremonies, meditation, mindful movement, therapeutic group integration and breathwork.
Back home, acolytes are supported in turning what they’ve learnt into daily wellbeing practices through weekly group calls, meditation and breathwork sessions.
Neil Markey, CEO of Beckley Retreats, says the philosophy of Beckley Retreats reflects Feilding’s vision “to bring the proven benefits of psychedelic therapy to a wider, mainstream audience in safe and legal settings”.
Markey discovered the therapeutic potential of psychedelics after suffering from severe depression and PTSD following his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan as a captain in the US Army Rangers. He says he recognises that accessibility is a major issue given the luxury price point, which is necessary to maintain high levels of care and experience.Markey says: “Our goal as a mission-oriented, conscious business is to improve accessibility to psilocybin. We keep our prices as competitive as possible and offer an innovative model which has longer-term benefits to healers and the community. We’re also part of an ecosystem of world class psychedelic research, drug development, training and thought leadership.”
As a consequence, the Beckley Retreats business model is one that’s built around “distributed equity”, which supports Feilding’s wider vision of “egalitarianism and equal access”.
This takes the form of a scholarship programme with two free places on each retreat, available to make the programme more accessible. They also donate to improve veterans’ access to psychedelic experiences, support community projects in Jamaica and train local practitioners in the skills needed to guide.
The new four-night retreat in the Netherlands costs from €3,600 (shared room), or €4,000 (single), with a maximum of 20 participants. The price includes vegetarian meals.