Even with cause for concern, retreats in countries like Costa Rica and Jamaica, as well as in the United States, have been popping up for more than a decade.

Credit…John Hersey

By Debra Kamin

Nov. 25, 2021

One night in 2019, while strangers vomited around her, Lynn Cohen had a vision.

After being tipped off by a friend, Ms. Cohen, 62, traveled from her home in Milwaukee to Chicago to drink ayahuasca — a sludgy, psychoactive brew from the Amazon that ignites hallucinations while also inducing nausea. She arrived, carrying her own pillow and blanket, at a private house, where she was greeted by a shaman. In the living room, she curled up on a sleeping mat, and over the course of that one very intense night, went on a journey that mostly involved lying still.

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