The San Pedro Long Dance Medicine Ceremony Invitation

Dear friends!
Michael Costuros (AKA River) here. I’m excited to invite you to join a select group of change-makers for a profound transformational experience. Minutes from now, you will know if this is the mind, heart, body, and spirit upgrade you have been looking for.

Here’s the TLDR.



  • Why: The goal of this experience is to strengthen our community while providing each of us with profound psycho-emotional healings, intellectual insights, and spiritual awakenings that impact every area of our lives. Actually, that’s not the goal; that’s an emergent benefit that comes from focusing on the true goal, which I’ll tell you about a little later. 🙂
  • What: The Hachuma/San Pedro Long Dance is an all-night medicine ceremony that weaves together many elements to create a profoundly transformative experience. At the heart of the ceremony is a potent tea made from the mescaline-containing cactus San Pedro, also known as Huachuma. The structure is simple. We start at sundown by lighting a bonfire and drinking the medicine. Then the 30 participants start walking (not necessarily dancing) in circles around the fire. We are supported by music, shared purpose, and rhythmic drumming, hour after hour until sunrise. You are free to rest, snack, and drink water throughout the night. The primary rules of conduct are no talking, no eye contact, and no touching between participants. Following these guidelines enables us to be together as friends and still have a deeply personal experience. This is a bare-bones description; many bonus experiences are planned throughout the night.
View of the ceremony site at Dharma San Juan in Nosara.
    • When & Where: The event will be hosted by the community of Dharma San Juan on a beautiful ridge top overlooking the mountains and sea of Nosara, Costa Rica. This is an overnight event. Arrive on site Wednesday, March 20th, at 2 pm, and you can plan to leave at noon on Thursday, March 21st.
    • Who: The ceremony will be facilitated by Sean West, who has been participating in the Long Dance for more than 20 years and leading them for 14+ years. Sean’s primary assistants will be myself and Dustin Kyle Brooks, a seasoned ceremonial leader in Costa Rica. We will cap the ceremony at 30 participants, a blend of internationals who will fly in and friends living in Costa Rica.
    • Qualifications: Even if you have no experience with Huachuma/San Pedro or ritual ceremonies like this, you’re welcome to join! We will provide you with extra support. A ceremonial dose of Huachuma/San Pedro can be quite strong, and some people may get nauseous or have intense mental/emotional processes. We will have a support team on-site, ready to assist you through any challenges. This is a challenging physical experience, but you will not push yourself beyond healthy limits. For this reason, adults of all ages and physical conditions are encouraged to join. Being “in shape” is not a requirement to join. That said, please share your unique concerns with us on the registration form so we can discuss them in advance.
    • Cost: This is a not-for-profit community healing ceremony; our goal is to break even. The sliding scale is from $300 to $800, which covers the ceremony and breakfast. That said, nobody will be turned away for lack of funds; all are welcome. NOTE: You handle all accommodations and transportation. 
      You can pay with cash the day of. 

Okay, time for a breath and gut check.
What parts of you are feeling drawn to this experience and why?

If you are intrigued, I invite you to continue by read on about the details of the event.

Long Dance Site in Peru’s Sacred Valley.

The Long Dance backstory


You are considering joining a very powerful and very rare sacred medicine ceremony. It’s important to us that you understand the deeper significance of this opportunity before you decide to join. 

The ceremony is called The San Pedro Long Dance, even though it isn’t a dance in the way you might think. It’s more about the spirit of dance. We bring the spirit of dance energy to our movement, not necessarily the physical expression.

The long dances this one is related to were done with peyote by the North American indigenous peoples. It was brought to Bolivia by a North American indigenous ceremonial chief in the 1980s. The ceremony continued on in Bolivia for more than a decade using San Pedro/Huachuma in place of peyote. Sean learned how to lead the dance during his years in Bolivia and has been leading them in Peru since 2009. This will be the 15th dance he leads. Witnessing Sean leading the dance last fall I was blown away by his mastery! This is what inspired me to ask Sean if he was willing to lead a dance for my Costa Rica community.

I’ve been a student of traditional healing & awakening ceremonies my whole adult life, and I know something special when I experience it! I’d been hearing great things about the Long Dance for years and finally flew to Peru specifically to experience it last September. Though my words will fail to describe the spiritual, and psycho-emotional impact I experienced, I will attempt to give you a glimpse into the transformational qualities this ceremony has to offer.

My Long Dance Testimonial

I have participated in countless San Pedro/Huachauma ceremonies and facilitated a few dozen myself. I know this medicine very well. In fact, I dearly love the spirit of this plant and consider it my greatest teacher. I only share this very personal information so that you understand how meaningful it is when I say that I have never experienced Huachuma in the way it expresses itself in this ceremony. Total next level!
Much of that has to do with the way the container is designed; the fire, the critical mass of participants, and especially the physical challenge of staying in movement for the better part of 12 hours… all these aspects and so many more come together to animate the spirit of Huachuma in ways not possible in other contexts. 

Remember in the TLDR above I told you that personal gain was not the real focus of the ceremony, but an emergent property? Now is the time to tell you about the real purpose of this ceremony, and why this is critical to the benefits it generates.
The purpose of this ceremony is simply to bless the land it takes place on. Focusing your attention on the land rather than on what you want is the key to getting what you want and then some! The quality of consciousness one generates when focusing on the Earth while on Huachuma in this ceremony is extraordinary. Profound gratitude for the earth and your life is what emerges. Your gratitude is magnified and sustained throughout the ceremony by the Huachuma spirit. Being immersed in gratitude in this way unlocks countless benefits. To give you an example I will share some of my personal experiences during the ceremony in September. 

Relaxing inside the ceremony circle an hour before the start.

Gratitude was very easy to access from the start. Everything about what is happening is simply wonder-filled, all night, even at the most difficult moments. 

Like the many times my legs were so tired that I thought I couldn’t take another step and Huachuma taught me how to source physical energy in a new way. Wondrous!

There were times when my heart felt so heavy with unprocessed grief that I thought I would collapse. Huachuma showed me how to unburden my heart and metabolize the feelings I had long avoided. Wondrous!

There were times when I thought my heart would explode from the love and gratitude I was experiencing. I cried, looking into the beauty of the fire, the stars, the moon, and the surrounding natural landscape. Wondrous!

Many times I found myself spontaneously forgiving people I didn’t know I was holding grudges against, each time lightening my load and putting a spring in my step.
Throughout the night, I saw the outdated masks I constructed to feel safe, relevant, or whatever, and released them to be burned in the fire. Each time emerging from the process feeling more aligned and empowered to live my life. Wondrous!

As the sun rose, I was bathed in self-acceptance, self-love, and gratitude for everybody and everything. It was cathartic joy at its best.  The depth of gratitude I felt for every participant, especially the ones I judged as annoying, was profound. 

As I shared, I have experienced many types of ceremonies, and none have provided the same quality of insights and healing that this one did. Totally unique. 

The Long Dance in detail

  • We begin by opening the ceremony together by lighting the fire at sundown.
  • Then we drink the first cup of medicine and start walking around the fire. You can have as much medicine as you like until around 3 am.
  • For the first 5 hours, we move counterclockwise (inward)
  • Supported by the light and heat of the fire, we circle with our focus on generating gratitude for the very land we are standing on. We move with awareness, in noble silence, and without eye contact with fellow participants. We also don’t touch each other, including loved ones. 
  • There will be drumming and songs to uplift our spirits throughout the night.
  • Throughout the night we will keep moving, only stopping to rest when necessary. Water and tea will be available near the bathrooms. You are welcome to eat the snacks that you bring. 
  • Halfway through the night, we stop for a water blessing ceremony and to change directions.
  • After the water blessing we move clockwise (outward) for the rest of the night.
  • When the sun rises we finish with a closing ceremony, followed by 1 hour of free-form silent meditation.
  • Then we feast, share our stories, and receive advice from Sean about integration.
  • Finally, we all work together to clean up the site, leaving the newly blessed sacred land better than we found it.

There you have it! All these elements (and more) are woven together, contained by the sacred circle, sharpened to a point by the sacred fire, and animated into extraordinary healing energy by our collective consciousness merged with the spirit of Huachuma/San Pedro. Blamo! Magic!

Travel Dates

The community of Dharma San Juan will host the event on a beautiful ridge top overlooking the mountains and sea of Nosara, Costa Rica. This is an overnight event. Arrive on site Wednesday, March 20th, at 2 pm, and you can plan to leave at noon on Thursday, March 21st.

We recommend that, at minimum, you arrive in Nosara on the 19th and leave no earlier than the 22nd. Remember that you will not sleep a wink on the night of the 2oth, and will likely be beautifully elevated for days after, perfect for journaling and enjoying nature.

Before and after the ceremony

  • Join us for a free-form group dinner at (TBD restaurant) on the night before the ceremony. 
  • Join us for a free-form group dinner at (TBD restaurant) on Friday after the ceremony.

Optional prep and integration coaching

While not necessary, we recommend that you hire a prep and integration coach to get more out of your experience. We will provide the contact information for qualified coaches.

So, what does your heart tell you?


Next Step Actions:

      • Review the FAQs below
      • Fill out this registration form to secure your space. 
      • Register for our Zoom Long Dance Q&A meeting on Friday, Jan 19, 2024, at 12:00 PM Pacific Time by emailing River at If you register and miss it, you will be sent a link to the recording. 
      • Email River with any urgent questions not covered by the FAQs below.
      • Buy your travel tickets and secure accommodations in Nosara; it’s high season, so do this ASAP.  

Thank you for your precious attention,

-Your team
– Sean West: Lead Facilitator
– Dustin Kyle Brooks: First Assistant
– Jesse Fairbank: Land Steward & Coordinator
– David Langer: Sponsor & Land Steward
– Moni Gutierrez: Advisor & Logistics Coordinator
– Michael Costuros (AKA River): Event Producer and Ceremony Assistant

The FAQ section

Q: How do I secure my spot?
A: Each attendee must complete the registration form to secure one of the 30 spots available. 
Here is the link to the registration.

Q: Is there a place in Nosara that you recommend we stay?

Q: How do we get from Nosara to the ceremony site and back?
A: Taxi

Q: What is the dose of San Pedro like?
A: The brew is strong, so you don’t have to ingest a lot to get a dose. You can have as much medicine as you want until 3 am.

Q: San Pedro has made me nauseous in the past; will that happen again?
A: Maybe, but tea can be gentler, and we recommend that you eat an hour before so that your stomach is not empty. If nausea comes up, we consider that part of the medicine and will help you find the healing in the experience.

Q: What form of San Pedro are you offering?
A: A concentrated tea.

Q: Can I use other substances like cannabis and rape’ snuff?
A: We ask that you do not smoke cannabis, and if you use Rape’ snuff, leave the ceremony circle. 

Q: Do you have to stay in movement the whole time? 
A: No, you can rest when you need to or even not move if you cannot.

Q: Is there a specific diet I should follow before the Dance
A: Yes and no. Use this as a reason to clean up your diet and eat healthy the week leading up to it. Cut out alcohol if you can. 

Q: Including other psychoactive substances at the dance.
A: Absolutely no other psychoactive substances during the dance.

Q: Do I have to stop any meds I am on?
A: We can not provide medical advice. 

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