We create a temporary weekend temple and community–founded on love, care, honesty, respect, and growth–with learning and transformations that can last a lifetime. Our team shares intentional and thoughtful programming involving the God Molecule, 5-MeO-DMT, an earth medicine sacrament that has helped us connect to ourselves, humanity, and nature.

The Medicines

5-MeO-DMT brings us powerfully into contact with our core self, allowing us to be with ourselves, our emotions, and our spirit in a way that feels courageous yet familiar and deeply held. In traveling to this innermost, intimate core of our being, we have the opportunity to release what no longer serves us and transmute our pain into our power.

We share 5-MeO-DMT two ways: smoked and snuffed through snuffers handcrafted from arbutus, a tree that bends for the sun in striking beauty. The smoked form of the medicine is fast and deep, bringing us from baseline consciousness into the core of ourselves in just 10 seconds, and back again soon after. The snuffed form is a slower, gentler, and longer experience, inviting us to take more agency in being with and exploring ourselves. Used together, these two ways of taking the medicine give us complementary lenses into ourselves.

We choose to share the vegan form of 5-MeO-DMT for conservation and safety reasons. Milking the Incilius (formerly Bufo) alverius toad, whose venom contains 5-MeO-DMT, leaves them defenseless to predators. The human ingenuity to synthesize 5-MeO-DMT inspired by the toad allows us to avoid the toxicity of the venom and save the toad.

We share cacao–a raw, less processed hot cocoa as a warming and heart-opening drink–in our intention sharing circle. Cacao includes the active ingredient theobromine, a stimulant gentler than caffeine that doesn’t give us nerves or jitters. We source our organic, vegan cacao from Ruk’u’x’Ulew [Roo-Koosh-Ouh-Leh-Ou], a Mayan-owned collective of indigenous women who prepare cacao for their families and communities and work with these beans with their own hands.

From a past Self Contact Retreat participant:

It too was my first experience with the medicine and it was so profoundly transformative that language does fail to describe this life altering experience. What is so extraordinary about Sagan & Helena is that they create a space that feels like you are in the arms of the divine. Safe, Trusting, Supportive & Caring. It allowed me to fall deeply & divinely into a place in my heart that fully awakened an unconditional love I had not experienced before. I am truly grateful for their guidance, patience, understanding & knowledge of the human heart. The Universe guided me to this exceptional couple. I feel so blessed to have found them. I highly recommend them heart & soul.

The Team

We, Sagan and Helena, enjoy building deep, intimate relationships with individual participants and weaving together the group with care, tact, and inspiration. We curate a highly competent and skilled team of assistant facilitators, chef, musician, and massage therapist to support you in your process: preparation, transformation, and integration.

Sagan and Helena

Sagan Bolliger and Helena Zhu

Sagan and Helena are passionate about creating loving, safe, and effective containers for fellow human beings to take their journeys back to their hearts. We believe creating such a container is the best foundation for the natural unfolding of our inner healing intelligence.

We facilitate transformative 5-MeO-DMT individual, couple, and weekend group retreat experiences, a work we approach from a place of presence, compassion, acceptance, and love. We also host integration circles, facilitator circles, and community sound baths, and are developing a vision for a village that is global in scope and indigenous to our land, heart, being, and shared humanity.

We received training from Toad School for 5-MeO-DMT facilitation, Phoenix Academy Psychedelic Therapy training, and Vancouver Crisis Centre for crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Sagan is a Community Leader within The Flying Sage psychedelic community.

Helena graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Relations and her Master of Arts in Economics. She was nominated as a UBC President’s Student Leader and recognized by Order of Omega leadership honour society. She has worked in community building, journalism in New York City, policy with the Canadian federal government, and international development with North Korea.

Since Sagan’s early teens, he has been drawn to existential questions of life and death and to the path of introspection. Sagan completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Philosophy with high distinction and Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Toronto. After studying the mind objectively for a number of years, he felt called to return his focus to the inner realm of being wherein rests the soul.

We are partners in life and have created a life full of love, freedom, family, community, adventures, and meaning and purpose through our work, both inner and outer.

Andrew Illmann

We feel blessed to have Andrew (@heras.feast), a foodie turned personal chef, nourish us at our retreat. Raised in a multicultural home by loving parents of Chinese and German ancestry, he grew up eating a medley of Asian and European home cooking, and from an early age, developed an insatiable curiosity for food. Andrew’s food is inspired by the art and culture surrounding his home in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown, home to several Michelin Guide restaurants. His culinary creations aim to excite the senses while comforting the soul.

Andrew is able to accomodate a wide range of dietary restrictions and preferences and will be creating meals that are both delicious and healthy, adapted to your body's unique needs.

Andrew is a pianist and percussionist who incorporates his classical and jazz training to create mesmerizing soundscapes and improvisations. He has a collection of drums and hand percussion instruments that he incorporates into ceremony.

Beata Konieczka

Beata Konieczka

We are grateful to have Beata Konieczka (Registered Massage Therapist, Therapeutic Counsellor, 500-hour certified breathwork teacher, certified yoga teacher) join us on the Sunday afternoon to offer on-site integration bodywork. Beata (@mysticshhhh) has been practicing these modalities for 15 years and is fascinated with human resilience and our healing abilities. Her favourite massage to practice is Hawaiian Lomi Lomi temple bodywork, which helps the body let go of old patterns and behaviours that can get stuck in the tissues. She also weaves in some reflexology, craniosacral, breathwork, Swedish, and deep tissue into her massages.

With 5-MeO-DMT being a medicine that works through the body, we and our journeyers have found benefit in receiving integration bodywork. We have personally experienced Beata’s bodywork and have much appreciation for her presence, care, and professionalism.

Kai playing didjeridoo

Kai

Kai has 15 years of facilitation experience through multiple modalities, with emphasis on intuitive guidance and long lasting integration planning. He uses instruments for vibrational shift and cleansing and chakra energetic awareness and shift. Kai brings awareness to neural pathway patterning and provides guidance on shifting set behaviours, thoughts, and programs.

"Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness."

Set and Setting

We chose the name Earthlings in our resonance with all beings on Earth. We have so much love for all earthlings and Earth, our mother. The Pacific Northwest has a special place in our hearts: We drive along Howe Sound before dawn to float on fresh powder in majestic bowls on the snow mountains. We jam our bodies in cracks on the granite cliff of Stawamus Chief–a mountain of spiritual significance to the Squamish people–to experience our fears, resilience, and courage. We paddleboard on the waters hugging the island of Nex̱wlélex̱wm [Nuh-Hoo-LUH-Le-Hwum] to survey the islands and spot the seals.

We host our retreat in a cedar house between the ocean and the forest on an island close to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We steam our body in our cedar barrel sauna, challenge our mind in our cold dip in the ocean, and nourish our spirit in our hot tub in the presence of cedar trees. We create space for you to arrive in the early afternoon on Friday to settle into the land with options to walk, sauna, or hot tub. We leave our space open on Sunday afternoon with the same options plus massage add-on.

Our chef Andrew takes care of us and shares his love through his culinary creations. Working with the specific dietary restrictions and preferences of each cohort, Andrew creates a unique menu that delights our senses and nourishes our soul in shared dining experiences. We will share two dinners, one brunch, and a light meal on Saturday morning before the medicine. We have coffee, tea, and sparkling water on site.

Within our medicine ceremonies, we share ourselves with you–our presence, energy, love and care, and physical support and touch based on consent. We share curated and thoughtfully ordered recorded music and live sounds that our team of five create together from our personal instruments, many of which carry stories of our own journeys and relations: handpan, crystal harp, didgeridoo, a bear drum that we made under the guidance of Cowichan elder Hwiemtun, two elk drums made and painted by Haida artist Josh Davidson, a Tibetan singing bowl our friend gifted us when we started Earthlings, heart chakra quartz singing bowl, rainstick, thunder tube, wind chimes, a wooden toad, and percussion. We share natural scents that can be evocative or soothing: rose water, white sage, sweetgrass, cedar leaves, palo santo, mugwort, and aromatic resins from the copal tree.

From a past Self Contact Retreat participant:

When I was at a major crossroad in life, I researched healing retreats like it was for a PhD thesis and struck gold when I found Earthlings Self Contact. I can't imagine I will ever forget Sagan and Helena for their professionalism, care, wisdom and preparation for this life-changing event. It's been almost 2 weeks and I've finally been able to commit to making the changes I needed to live Life 2.0 as I've been calling it. I truly love you guys- I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you so much!

Schedule

Friday

  • 1-4 p.m. Arrival (options to walk, sauna, and hot tub)
  • 5-6 p.m. Welcome and introductions
  • 6-7:15 p.m. Dinner
  • 7:30-7:50 p.m. Group agreements
  • 7:50-8:30 p.m. About the medicine
  • 8:45-9:45 p.m. Intention sharing with cacao
  • 9:45-10 p.m. Logistics and Q&A

Saturday

  • 7:30-9:45 a.m. Coffee, tea, and fruits
  • 8-9 a.m. Sauna and ocean dips
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. First medicine circle
  • 2-6:30* p.m. Second medicine circle
  • 7:30* p.m. Celebratory dinner
* Subject to adjustment based on needs that arise in the medicine experience.

Sunday

  • 7:30 a.m. - Coffee and tea
  • 9-10:15 a.m. Brunch
  • 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Integration and closing circle
  • 12:45 - 6:00 p.m. Optional massage add-on; options to walk, sauna, and hot tub
  • By 6:30 p.m. Departure

Dates & Financial Exchange

Two-Person Rooms

We welcome those who are already connected in life to come together. We have rooms with one king-size bed to share or rooms with two separate beds.

You can also join the retreat as an individual and we will arrange a shared room for you in consultation with you.

Prices are per person.

Individual Rooms

You are in your own space in your own room. You can retreat to your private, individual room whenever you would like that solitude. We also have many spots around our land where you can find your own space in and with nature.

  • June 21st to 23rd, 2024 (Friday to Sunday)
    3 spaces left
     
    Two-Person Rooms
    Individual Rooms

We ask for a non-refundable deposit of CAD $500 per person to hold your spot(s).

Considering Participating?

We appreciate meeting you in a one-hour free consultation in-person in our Vancouver space or over Zoom to learn from you where you are at and what you are looking for and for us to share with you what we do and what we offer. We welcome you to ask any questions and address any concerns. We can also share with you our thoughts on whether Self Contact Retreat might be a good fit for you and if appropriate, make recommendations for other offerings, ours or otherwise.

Email us at [email protected] to arrange a consultation.

"We have to learn how to handle our suffering, just as the organic gardener handles the compost."

Testimonials

“Journeying with Sagan and Helena was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It was profoundly life-changing to a degree that language fails to describe. I feel alive. My soul has bloomed inside my body. This awakened me to level of existence I previously thought impossible, and I felt welcomed into that life by these two loving humans. I would happily place my heart in their hands again when the journey calls me back.”

“The most profound experience of my life. It has released a deeply rooted inner conflict that I have struggled with since my childhood and has begun to relieve me from a deep 5 year depression and has completely resolved my lifelong struggle with severe anxiety. I could not have asked for a more caring and supportive couple who looked after me so carefully which allowed me to fully relax and dive into my experience. My journey has changed me so profoundly and I am so eternally grateful I found Sagan and Helena. I would highly recommend … absolutely profound.”

“It was my first time doing any medecine and I am glad I did it with Helena and Sagan. They are caring, knowledgeable, patiente, and available. Their support before, during, and after the journey was priceless. Their space in Gastown is lovely. The ceremony room was perfect, it felt like a safe healing cocoon. I came with a specific goal and I ended up transforming more than I ever expected. I will be forever grateful for that amazing, deep and transformative experience. ”

“I found it a genuinely enlightening experience. It was eye-opening. It was one of the best journeys of self-discovery that I have ever had, capping off more than two decades of meditation and conversation. Helena & Sagan were incredibly helpful, kind, supportive and knowledgeable and the whole process was so much better as a result. I cannot wait for my next retreat with them. :)”

“When I was at a major crossroad in life, I researched healing retreats like it was for a PhD thesis and struck gold when I found Earthlings Self Contact. I can't imagine I will ever forget Sagan and Helena for their professionalism, care, wisdom and preparation for this life-changing event. It's been almost 2 weeks and I've finally been able to commit to making the changes I needed to live Life 2.0 as I've been calling it. I truly love you guys- I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you so much!”

“Helena and Sagan are wonderful guides. They were accepting, supportive, curious and reflective before, during and after my experience. I very much appreciate their focus and time on explorations prior to the experience since it helped me expand my understanding of my goals. I highly recommend their services! The experience was a very powerful deep dive into my consciousness and understanding of who I truly am. It was one of the most memorable experiences in my life. ”

“Life changing, re-birth, everything applies here. The facilitators Helena, Sagan, and may I add Kafka (The cat), were incredibly compassionate, understanding and open. From the beginning, the knowing was there. The body / mind was exactly where it was suppose to be, and that was in their presence. From the beginning to the end, it was super comforting, safe, and one of the most life changing things ever experienced. If you are being called to this then congratulations. You will have two incredible beings, plus Kafka helping you out.”

“As an experienced guide myself, my bar is high for facilitated experiences. Helena and Sagan surpassed my expectations, holding space in a smooth, loving, and knowledgeable way.”

“Working with Sagan and Helena helped me to let go of some deeply unhealthy narratives and self-limiting beliefs. The medicine surfaced profound insights that have given me a different way to see my relationships, career and outlook. Each day, new positive behaviors emerge and I attribute them to my journey and integration work. An unexpected, and welcomed benefit of the medicine was that it opened up my body to release a lot of deeply stored pain. I feel wonderful. Thank you both for facilitating this transformation.”

“Sagan and Helena are skilled therapists, even without the 5-MEO. They are always learning and improving their process. I was really happy how they helped me prepare for the session and guide me through it. Their gentle, supportive natures helped me relax, surrender and share my most personal feelings. There were some challenging parts of my experience and their support and experience helped get me through. I released some bad feelings that I didn't know I was holding inside and I had quite a positive change in my life. This experience changed how I view the world and life and is the most powerful therapy I know of. The experience was too big to fit in my human brain but bits and pieces of it stick with me. I will go to Helena and Sagan without hesitation when I'm ready for another guided journey.”

“Absolutely incredible, I could not have asked for a more supportive couple who held loving space and looked after me so attentively which allowed me to sink soul deep into the experience. The most profound experience of my life, it has changed me in ways I could never imagine and after a deep 20 year struggle with depression, anxiety and addiction I finally feel like I am a FREE man who is on his divine mission. I am so incredibly grateful I found Sagan and Helena. My highest recommendation.”

"Sagan & Helena are the most gentle human beings I have come across on my journey. The way they both hold space was so comforting, there was not a time that I felt judged, I always felt seen and heard, I felt free to be me. Everything that is done is done with such care and love. Helena & Sagan are both so welcoming, along with their cat. Their home is very comforting as well. The way they work with the medicine is really refreshing and beautiful, I would love to journey with both Helena & Sagan again. Their passion for this work shines through. I was able to work through a lot of what was holding me back in life, before ceremony, during ceremony and after. On first meeting Helena & Sagan is when I feel everything in my life began to shift. Thank you Helena & Sagan for the love, support and unforgetable healing.”

“Helena and Sagan are two beautiful souls, I'm so grateful to had the chance to meet them and have them facilitate my 5-MeO-DMT experience. They've been extremely knowledgeable, open and welcoming during all phases and the whole process felt so smooth and natural. I feel they greatly enhanced my journey and significantly helped with grounding and integration, forever thankful.”

“It too was my first experience with the medicine and it was so profoundly transformative that language does fail to describe this life altering experience. What is so extraordinary about Sagan & Helena is that they create a space that feels like you are in the arms of the divine. Safe, Trusting, Supportive & Caring. It allowed me to fall deeply & divinely into a place in my heart that fully awakened an unconditional love I had not experienced before. I am truly grateful for their guidance, patience, understanding & knowledge of the human heart. The Universe guided me to this exceptional couple. I feel so blessed to have found them. I highly recommend them heart & soul.”

“Helena and Sagan are empathetic, kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable. They are non-judgemental listeners, and held a free flowing space with peace and love. I was supported and safe during all aspects of the journey and would highly recommend a ceremony with them.”

“I had an amazing journey with Helena and Sagan. They made me feel absolutely comfortable during the session and prepared my mind for the breathtaking journey. The feedback and counselling they also provided were top-notch and greatly helped my integration.”

“I feel really honoured to have been able to journey with you both! You are both such lovely open people and that really helped make the experience just what I needed. I didn't feel rushed or anything which really helped give me space to process, the meal at the end was so nice and I felt that everything was really planned out in a thoughtful way. Also the option of 'going back' to one of the doses was helpful to know so the journey really felt complete.”

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Private Self Contact Retreat

We have found that for some folks, a private Self Contact Retreat experience with those whom you are already connected to and with in life is the most conducive, nurturing, and rewarding arrangement. We welcome you to email us at [email protected] to start that conversation.

We respect your privacy and hold the names or identifying information of our clients or potential clients as confidential information that we do not share with others without your explicit permission. If we choose to progress with the private Self Contact Retreat, we would share what is needed and helpful with our team and your fellow participants, unless we have additional agreements with you to not share certain information.

We recommend a group of four to six participants for the Self Contact Retreat experience. If you have other group sizes in mind, we can discuss if we can accommodate or if appropriate, make recommendations for other offerings, ours or otherwise.

  •  
    Four participants

    Prices are per person.

    Five or six participants