Sentient Experientials presents...

Sentient Experientials

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A Birds Eye View
   of Guaria de Osa

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   with Plant Masters

Ecuadorian Amazonian

Rainforest Medicine Book

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Guayusa Tea House

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Guaria de Osa

Welcome to Guaria
Original Architecture

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Ethnobotanical Gardens
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Getting to Guaria
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Hold Harmless

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Fundación Osa

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Costa Rica
Respecting Nature



A Bird's-Eye View
   of Guaria de Osa

The Setting

Investment Includes
Investment Does Not Include
How to Pay Extra Fees

Who to Contact?
How to Pay?

Int'l Flight Reservations
Yellow Fever Vaccinations
Getting to Guaria Effortlessly

What to Pack
2 weeks before council begins
Ceremony Bundle

Safety Guidelines
Cancellation Policy

Suggested Reading List
Fotos of Past Gatherings

Rainforest Medicine
Recommended Reading

Pre- and Post-Envision Festival

Rainforest Medicine Gatherings

February 14 - 21, 2017
March 1 - 6, 2017

with ethnobotanist Jonathon Sparrow &
7Song director of Northeast School of Botanical Medicine

Program Details: please ask

~ Since 2006, in synergy with mindful fellow travelers from our global community, who (both returnees and newcomers) come with a beginner's mind like a child with wonder in his/her eyes, to embrace the unexpected, for an uplifting experience, an unforgettable joyous, life-impact adventure and celebration in the best interest of wellness and renewal and self-discovery with traditional plant medicine from the Amazon Rainforest ~

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Jonathon S. Miller Weisberger, ethnobotanical ambassador, is an enthusiastic storyteller whose extensive and knowledgeable understanding of rainforest medicinal flora and indigenous life and worldview is unique.


A rainforest conservation advocate, he has collaborated ethnobotanical studies with 5 distinct indigenous communities and tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes from 1990 - 2000. Since 2000, Jonathon lives 9 months a year in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula at Guaria de Osa EcoLodge. He is author of Rainforest Medicine: Preserving Indigenous Science & Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon, director of Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity (CCBD), and steward of Guaria de Osa (Orchid de Osa) Ecolodge. He is an intrepid and knowledgeable rainforest guide with more than 15 years of ground-level experience. A hike with Jonathon must not be missed as he guides you to explore the primary, spectacular rainforest highlights surrounding Guaria de Osa.

Rainforest Medicine Book

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Guaria de Osa Wilderness Eco-Retreat Centre & Ethnobotanical Gardens is located in the remote "people friendly wilderness" rainforest at San Josecito Beach just south of Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula's westernmost cove.

Just a 20 in. boat ride away, is Guaria's neighbor, Corcovado National Park, endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on Earth, is Guaria's neighbor just a 20 min. boat ride away.

Caño Island Oceanic Reserve, also known as "Floating Butterfly" or "Island of the Navigation Spheres of Giants" facing Guaria's beach, as if suspended from the pristine blue green waters, is just a 30 min. boat ride away.

Rio Claro, a casual 45-minute walk on the beach and thru the forest, has a challenging surf break, waterfalls, rainforest, secret beaches and forest paths to discover and enjoy.

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  • To be surrounded by tropical biodiversity in a remote rainforest wilderness and beach setting where birds, plants & wildlife abound.
  • To receive an opportunity to strengthen body, mind and heart.
  • To welcome endless possibilities changing the outer world from within.
  • To facilitate right livelihood by creating work opportunities for people in remote ecologically sensitive regions.
  • To raise funds for rainforest conservation and cultural heritage projects in the Ecuadorian Andes & Amazon and to protect Sea Turtles that come to nest on Guaria's beach.
  • To meet mindful fellow travelers from our global community.
  • To give one-self an auspicious gift, a quantum leap towards pro-active changes within oneself, community and planetary renewal.
  • To take an intrepid inward journey with magic and mystery.
  • To shift fear to curiosity.
  • To practice, with a beginner's mind, like a child with wonder in your eyes.
  • To cease all expectations and you will have everything.
  • To expand one's guts, grace and mindfulness.
  • To become a better friend to oneself.

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~ Why Ethnobotany Matters ~

~ With Ancient Amazonian Rainforest Medicine ~

~ To welcome endless possibilities while changing the outer world from within ~

~ For personal vigor, global village harmony and planetary wellness ~

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  • Because space is limited, register soon to guarantee a spot for this epic, stellar experience!
  • Investment is to be paid in full in order to hold your reservation.
  • Begin the Gathering on Day 1 and end on Day 8
  • Extra Nights: If you wish to arrive before the gathering begins and/or depart after the gathering ends, please ask for availability. For extra nights read: Investment Does Not Include.

A fundraiser to preserve rainforest
projects spearheaded by the
Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity

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Note: all activities are optional since we understand that sometimes to do less is to do more.

2 Sunrise Renewals beginning 3:00 in the morning on Day 2 & 3
The wellness & vitality enhancing effects of sunrise renewals balance the body's pH and are crucial to any healing or detoxification program & for preventing disease. In today's modern society, most people are acidic as a result of diet, sedentary (or overactive) lifestyles, stress, pollution, and the accumulation of chemical and heavy metal toxins.

2 traditional Shamanic Healing Meditations on Night 4 & 6
For personal and planetary re-birth, this time-tested millenary tradition from the Siekopai People of the Amazon, uses well-prepared, highly refined plant medicine to promote spiritual & physical renewal, allowing one to move closer to spiritual understanding, personal growth, vitality, wellness and renewal … in quantum leaps to strengthen the root of life. Jonathon Miller Weisberger writes more in his book: Rainforest Medicine: Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon.

Rainforest Walks
Dao In Yoga, Chi Gong and Guided Meditation
Swimming in clear river and hike to Río Claro
Arts & Crafts (crown making, face-painting, etc.)
Guayusa Tea

~ Enjoy, sprinkled throughout the week the following themes,
while hiking, cooling off on the beach, hanging out in a hammock, under a tree, in the dining room,
relaxing in the Lapa Lapa Lodge -

Experience the prehistoric origins of Plant Medicine Traditions from the Ecuadorian Amazon as taught and lived by the Siekopai elders for centuries.

Welcome the past, present and future importance of Indigenous Plant Medicines and its healers and gardeners.

Appreciate the connection and relationship of plant medicines with the ancient traditions of Tao.

Connect the magnitude of these two Indigenous Spiritual Sciences and aspects that nourish renewal and wellness in our personal life, our community life, and the life of our environment, locally and globally.

Enjoy arts and crafts sessions and Siekopai-style face painting with homemade aromatic face paints.

Listen to Indigenous worldview through Origin mythologies and storytelling; listen to rare recordings of master healing chants.

Discover tropical nature and rainforest ecology on observation walks and or treks into the nearby rainforest, where plants, birds and animals abound!

Meet and learn about prominent plant allies on guided in-depth ethnobotanical plant walks.

Connect the magnitude of ancient Spiritual Sciences and the aspects that nourish renewal and wellness in our personal life, our community life, and the life of our environment, locally and globally, through evening talks and group dialogues.

Circle together to hear each other's journeys from the night before.

Learn basic aspects of ancient world traditions from east and west and discover their similarities as well as practicality to assist people in improving the quality of their lives in these modern times.

Swim, snorkel, surf a sparkling Pacific Ocean, just a 3 min. stroll through Guaria's ethnobotanical gardens; enjoy a hammock siesta in front of the beach; or a Whale and Dolphin tour, scuba or snorkeling at Caño Island Oceanic reserve; bathe in nearby waterfalls.

In Addition

  • 7 nights / 8 days lodging
  • On non-fasting days, three wholesome daily meals with vegetarian options. Guayusa tea, herbal teas from the garden, homegrown cacao and organic coffee and real butter
  • Clean bed linens and towels for showering
    Note: please bring your own beach towel or sarong
  • Group Marine round-trip Osa Peninsula transfer on Feb. 14 & 21 / March 1 & 6
  • Costa Rica 13% Tourism Tax

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(Extra fees)

  • Domestic air flight or Land Transfer to and from the Osa Peninsula
  • Adventure Inn: Our recommendation for your stay in San José who, generously, gives Guaria's guests 10% discount including International Interbus transfers from airport to Adventure Inn to domestic flights. Click here
  • Gratuity: We gratefully accept the customary tip/gratuity of $10/guest/day for our service rendered with quality awareness. Please give your appreciation for our attentive assistance to the administrator who, in turn, will distribute to Guaria's staff. In other words, please leave your tip at Guaria rather than mailing it to California address upon your return. We thank you in advance.
  • Extra nights before and/or after the gathering cost $100/day/person plus $50 one-way ($100 round trip) for a non-group marine transfer. To be paid at the time the reservation is made in order to hold the reservation.
  • dn Pablo Amaringo Prints

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  • We can only accept Costa Rican Colones and/or US Dollars.
  • Important: We cannot accept personal checks nor American Express Travelers Checks nor money orders because the banks in Costa Rica take more than 6 months to cash.
  • What We Offer is listed at these links:

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Dahlia Miller at:
Ladna Miller at:

Thank you for networking this 'off the charts' profound and joyous experiential.

Dahlia and Ladna Miller (mother & daughter) are the ones who will get you to Guaria de Osa effortlessly by arranging all your Costa Rican logistical reservations and transfers.

It's a family operation (Ladna, Dahlia, and Jonathon) and what a family! I have worked with all three and they do a wonderful job. The retreat participants just need to get a flight to San Jose and the rest is taken care of. They will arrange for the hotel in San Jose, the transfer from the hotel to the domestic airport, the flight to the Osa Peninsula, and the boat to Guaria. It's a real adventure and everything goes like clockwork. Once at Guaria, all meals are provided and the yoga/meditation space is wonderful. The participants can spend their free time on the beach or in the jungle, or Jonathon provides some really interesting trips for the more energetic and adventurous. In addition, our investment supports rainforest conservation. David M., geological eco-engineer

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To Reserve Your Space

  • Write your check payable to: SENTIENT EXPERIENTIALS
  • In the memo of your check please write which council date you are paying for.
  • Mail your investment to:
    Sentient Experientials @ Guaria de Osa EcoLodge
    c/o Dahlia Miller
    PO Box 1004
    El Cerrito, CA 94530
  • To mail within the USA with a personal check, money order, or cashiers check, please go to the post office and purchase a pink & white Signature Confirmation Receipt (cost about US$2) and mail your payment Priority Mail or Express Mail. Thank you.
  • International payments via bank wires: please ask Dahlia at

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International Arrival Date
into Santa Maria International, San José, capital city of Costa Rica
February 13 / February 28 or earlier

International Departure Date
February 21 / March 6 (after 2 pm) or later


  • Please check your passport to make sure it is valid for at least 3 months after you leave Costa Rica.
  • Costa Rica requires everyone to purchase a round trip ticket.
  • Before you purchase your international flight ticket, please e-mail us the itinerary to review. Thank you.
  • For anyone who needs to leave Costa Rica on the last day of the Council Gathering keep in mind your morning transfer from the Osa Peninsula arrives into San Jose at 11 am. Therefore, it is very important to book your departure international flight back to your home country anytime after 2 pm. or spend the night in San Jose

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  • Are you coming to Costa Rica from a country with risk of yellow fever virus?

    If in doubt, please consult this information.

    Note: Yellow Fever vaccinations must be valid for at least 10 days and the certificate must be shown at the airport before boarding your flight.
  • Costa Rican authorities require a yellow-fever vaccine certification from travelers of the following countries:

    Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Guyana, even if your were only transiting through any one of these countries.

    Please contact the Costa Rican consulate in your country to ask how many days prior to arriving into Costa Rica do they require that you have the yellow fever vaccination.

    If so, you must travel with your yellow fever vaccination card to show the Costa Rican officials at Santa Maria International.

    For additional information on other related Costa Rican details, refer to: Costa Rica Tourism FAQ page.

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    Our Preferred Scenic Routes

    Scenic Entry Route on Day 1

    Entry via Palmar Sur to Sierpe

    • Guaria's safari-jeep contact will meet you at Palmar Sur airport to drive you to the river town of Sierpe (about 45 minutes). Wait for our boat captain at Oleaje Sereno Coffeeshop, located by the Sierpe docks.
    • Beautiful floating water hyacinth plants are seen on Río Sierpe during this impressive water journey. Río Sierpe (meaning 'serpent') curves by a panoramic vista of 54,000 acres of Sierpe-Terraba Mangrove Reserve - home of the largest most intact mangrove reserve in tropical America!
    • Departing the mangroves, the boat (known as 'panga') goes thru the mouth of the majestic Pacific Ocean - another dramatic moment! Most times you can see whales, dolphins, a variety of birds, all enveloped in an unforgettable tropical ocean breeze.
    • This water journey takes about 1 hour (4 miles) on the Sierpe River and about 45 min. (21 miles) on the Pacific Ocean to the beach landing at Playa San Josecito.

    Scenic Departure Route on Last Day

    Departure via Drake Bay

    • Our boat captain waits for you at Playa San Josecito and our staff will help you with your luggage.
    • From Playa San Josecito, there is a 20 min. boat ride along the Pacific Ocean to Drake Bay Beach. A safari-style jeep will transfer you to Drake Bay Airstrip - about a 15 min. land trip through the jungle until you board your domestic flight back to San José. This journey, as is the entry, is what movies are made from.
    • From Drake Bay Airstrip to San Jose, you'll witness a spectacular vista of the Rainforest Canopy of the Osa Peninsula.

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    If you have shopping to do via Amazon, please be so kind to consider this:

    • Amazon has a program called Amazon Smile, through which Amazon donates one half of 1% of all your purchases to our non-profit rainforest conservation & marine turtle rescue projects.
    • To enable this donation, begin your shopping through the URL (instead of the usual and choose Living Bridges Inc from Aptos, CA as your nonprofit. That's it!
    • Living Bridges will now receive 0.5% of all your Amazon purchases as a donation from Amazon Smile.

    We thank you so very much if you would consider, when purchasing throughout the year(s) all your shopping via Amazon, to be earmarked by way of Amazon Smile / Living Bridges Inc.

    Important Notes

    • Although this list is extensive we trust each one knows what to pack for a beach / rainforest environment. Please use this inventory as a friendly reminder and a suggested checklist.
    • Although porter service is gratis "on the house" - please pack what you can carry. The walk from the beach landing at Playa San Josecito to Guaria de Osa is about 20 min. south along a beach and forest trail with the Pacific Ocean to your right and the Rainforest to your left.
    • Lightweight fabrics, mixture of rayon and cotton (not 100% cotton) dry easier in the tropics. Include something to keep you warm in the cool jungle evening.
    • Since there is neither a local store nor drugstore down the beach and/or around the corner, bring your personal items. If you have a high metabolism, bring your own snacks. Women who may get their moon during their visit please bring your own pads. Read Ceremony Protocol
    • At Guaria there are several hammocks. However, if you would like to bring your own hammock also bring webbing or chord (about 20 feet).
    • Please bring ALL your plastic wraps (including diapers) and dead batteries back to your home country for recycling. Please leave NO trace behind you.
    • Amazon Smile: In case you have to do some shopping and are thinking of using Amazon for your supplies, please be so kind to consider the following request: Amazon has a program called Amazon Smile, through which Amazon donates one half of 1% of all purchases to your choice of any nonprofit charity registered with Amazon Smile. To enable this donation, begin your shopping through the URL (instead of the usual and choose Living Bridges Inc from Aptos, CA as your nonprofit. That's it! Living Bridges, which sponsors Guaria de Osa's Marine Turtle Conservation Project, will now receive 0.5% of all your Amazon purchases as a donation from Amazon Smile.

    Rainforest/Beach Clothes

    • Bathing suit: to respect cultural customs and sensitivity, please refrain from skinny-dipping
    • Beach towel or a sarong for lying on the beach
    • Shirts: 1 - 2 light weight long sleeves
    • Footwear: In general: fast-drying sandals (non-leather); flip-flops; a pair of lightweight hiking boots or sneakers. Flip-flops are great for walking the Guaria campus and beach walking (especially when the sand is very hot). Flip-flops are not the proper footwear to wear when you are in the boat, as the waves will scoop them off your toes when you transfer from the boat to the shore. For this occasion, a non-leather sandal that stays tightly on your feet is best.
    • Shorts: (at least) 2 or 3 pairs
    • Pants: at least 2 pairs - loose, lightweight rayon/cotton
    • Rain Poncho: lightweight - needed during wet season May to November
    • Sarong or beach towel: Help us increase the life span of our resources by not using cabin towels on the beach
    • Sleepwear: Lightweight cotton during dry season; sweats, thermal, flannel during wet season
    • Socks: 3 pairs at least
    • Sun hat: lightweight, foldable; baseball cap, visor, or straw hat with a wide-brim
    • Sweatshirt for cool jungle evenings; and cool San Jose nights
    • T-Shirts and/or tank tops: 3 to 5
    • Windbreaker jacket for protection on boat rides; light weight


    • Biodegradable toiletries
    • Binoculars
    • Bug Repellent:
      • Calamine anti-itch lotion
      • Natural citronella-based products (soaps & candles) and pure citronella oil works great to dab on wrists and ankles
      • Lemon Eucalpytus Oil is approved by CDC (Center for Disease Control) as an alternative for DEET
      • All mosquito repellents applied to skin and clothing are also effective at repelling chiggers.
    • Camera
      Note: no photographs or filming or audio, or techy gadgets during ceremonies
    • Camera batteries: re-chargeable batteries can be charged with our solar electricity
    • Day Pack for day hikes
    • Dictionary/phrase book: if applicable - bring a bilingual (Spanish/your language) book
    • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries; because solar lights go out at 10 pm, your flashlight will come in handy for nighttime reading and walking on Guaria's campus. Note: please don't step on the watch frogs that come out at night!
    • Flippers, snorkel and mask for snorkeling the warm waters
    • Garbage plastic bags: to keep your belongings dry especially for the boat rides
    • Glasses: if you wear glasses and/or contacts, bring an extra pair
    • Hammock: will come in handy during evening ceremonies (unless you want to purchase a Siekopai Hammock for about US$500). In order to hang your hammock, bring a pair of caribiners (2) you can purchase in any hardware store; and 20 feet of strap also called webbing; ask salesperson what kind of webbing is recommended to hang a hammock.
    • Journal & writing tool
    • Life Jackets for children: especially for ocean swimming and boat rides
    • Money belt: for your general travel
    • Sunglasses: polarized are best for cutting ocean glare
    • Scuba Divers: Certification Card; DAN Insurance Card or Member
    • Snorkel: flippers, mask, and goggles
    • Sunscreen
    • Toiletries: toothbrush, comb, and hairbrush
    • Water bottle
    • Yoga Gear
    • Guaria de Osa currently has between 25 yoga mats, 4 belts, and 10 blocks for your practice. In the tropics yoga mats have a shorter life span. We are also in constant challenge with a wax bee endemic to the area so some of the mats may have wax on them. Although we have lightweight blankets to sit on, yoga mats also can be rolled up for sitting. We recommend you bring your own if you want a newer yoga mat (without wax from the wax bee) and/or if you just prefer to use your personal mat for practice. In addition, consider bringing your own block, yoga blanket and strap

    Optional Articles

    • Art supplies: a pad of paper for tempera paints' sketchpad; at least 3 paintbrushes of different thickness; a set of tempera paints. Watercolor or gouache (depending on your preference); colored pencils, charcoal pencil; eraser
    • Bandannas
    • Beading: Please bring glass beads (small and medium size beads) and small seed beads; needles and nylon.
    • Beads: for beading and jewelry making; particularly small, glass beads; preferably primary colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, and white; also good are shells, abalone, spongulas (ocean shells), rocks, minerals, and gems; beading needles, thread and wax
    • Beach chair (light, portable); camp chair or a 'Therma Rest attachment to a sleeping pad
    • Boogie-board; surfboard
    • Fans: foldable hand fans
    • Games/Sports: kites, Frisbees, dominoes, chess, checkers, cards; soccer, volley, basketball, etc.
    • Musical instruments: portable and small
    • Thermos: if you want to pack hot tea/coffee on hikes
    • Umbrella: good for sunshade or raindrops

    Health Aid Suggestions

    • Aconite: a homeopathic remedy good for onset of any physical upset; internal tablets
    • Aloe Vera Gel: for sensitive skin; good to rub on after a sunny day; Bioland makes a great Aloe Vera gel, 100% organic and can be purchased in any macrobiotic or most pharmacies in Costa Rica.
    • Arnica ointment: A homeopathic remedy for bruises, sprains, reduces swelling; internal tablets and/or external ointment
    • Calendula: a homeopathic remedy; ointment for minor wounds and mosquito bites
    • Rescue Remedy: a Bach Flower remedy for trauma and shock; eases transitions; internal
    • Sea sickness remedy
    • Tea Tree Oil: a natural topical antiseptic
    • Vitamin E: for internal or external use for your skin

    Take Daily - at least 2 weeks before departure

    For your benefit, no matter how "seasoned" a traveler you are, we recommend that you prepare for this journey. Past participants report the following have been very beneficial to take:

    • Nutri-biotic Grape Fruit Seed Capsules (not the tablets nor the liquid form) is designed to enhance your immune system; it contains Artemisia, an anti-malarial ingredient; available at most health food stores; please read instructions. Or, to order, contact Nutribiotic Company (707) 263-0411 to find out what location close to your home you can purchase. The Canadian broker is EcoTrend Products, Tel. (604) 876-0466.
    • Vitamin B1 - For people who attract insects take Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - 100mg plus B Complex - 100mg
    • Acidophilus capsules - helps to digest new foods
    • Vitamin C - about 1,000 - 2,000 mg. Daily
    • Goldenseal - a bitter herb that protects the body in new environments

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    Your Jungle Bedroom During Ceremonies

    ~ up on the hill, overlooking the ocean, surrounded by big trees,
    flora and fauna, away from the campus
    with the sky and stars the roof and the brown earth for the ground ~~

    Because Guaria does not have extras, important to bring everything in this list (unless indicated as optional)

    • Sleeping pad and/or yoga mat - this will be your mattress
    • OR a Therma-Rest Pad. What is a therma-rest you may be asking yourself? Therm-a-Rest air mattresses have been around for over three decades. These pads are one of the main standards of comfort while trekking where you will need a bed to rest upon - which you will find very handy during the all-night medicine meditation journey. Therma-Rest can be purchased in most wilderness shops (like REI) or on line. For example, take a look at these two sites:
    • A light, portable, foldable beach or camp chair, you can use to alternate between lying down and sitting up (Also will come in handy to take out to the beach) - optional
    • 1 or 2 sheets and 1 or 2 pillow cases for your bedding (sleeping pad or yoga mat and pillow.) Why? Because there will be face painting with natural dyes using Siekopai designs and although the coloration from the dye washes off easily, your sheet and pillow case will protect your 'ceremonial mattress.'
    • A light-weight blanket. Why? Because, even though you are in the tropics, your body will get cool / cold under the influence of the medicine
    • Journal & writing utensil
    • Small pillow
    • Small towel
    • Head-lamp or flashlight - bring back up batteries - rechargeable is the best.
      Note: if your flashlight has a red light this would be the best one to bring. If not, when you turn on your flashlight during the ceremony cover the bright light with your shirt (or something) so as not to disturb the others journeying with the bright light of your flashlight.
    • Layers of clothes to wrap around yourself when your body gets chilly. For example: socks, light weight wind-breaker jacket (also useful for all boat rides); a shawl; long sleeved shirt / blouse; or your light-weight blanket
    • For women and men: loose fitting clothes - especially around the waist.
    • For women: loose, flowing skirts are very appropriate to wear during ceremony.
    • A set of back-up clothes; especially pants (in case there is a bowel accident)
    • 'Diapers' - if you have a weak bladder and/or a weak kidney
    • A flower essence / natural perfume to sprinkle on your body; for example, basil, rosemary, myrrh or rosewater (optional)
    • Water bottle
    • Beads: for beading and jewelry-making after ceremony inspired by Siekopai designs in the company of the elders. Beading needes, threads, and was. Preferably small, glass beads; preferably primary colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, and white. Beading needles, thread and wax.
    • Hammock - If you have one to bring, please make sure it is not made of nylon. There will be Siekopai handmade fiber hammocks for sale and a few Guaria de Osa hammocks available.
    • To hang your hammock purchase at any hardware store: 2 simple caribiners and 20 feet of strap also called webbing; tell the store the webbing and the caribiners are to hang a hammock.

    Note: At - on the left hand margin, in the yellow-mustard-colored section, you will see two important links to read: Safety Guidelines and other ideas for What to Pack

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    Please read these two links regarding foods and drugs that must be avoided:

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    Please note: Guaria de Osa is not a resort, nor a spa, nor a hotel. Instead, Guaria de Osa is a roadless, wilderness discovery centre, powered by the sun, rooted in a rainforest beach / ocean environment on the Osa Peninsula, also known as 'the Little Amazon of Costa Rica" - endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on Earth!"

    Guests will undertake full responsibility for all that is experience because essentially your sojourn at Guaria deOsa, albeit an enriching adventure, is a personal experience.

    Guaria de Osa wishes to reserve the right to change the itinerary if by chance there may arise unforeseen circumstances, such as raw weather or sea conditions or other physical or material logistics that may surprisingly arise. This also includes last minute cancellations by guest teachers. Please trust that whatever changes are made, these will not affect the quality of the experience.

    Although we do our best to 'keep on schedule' we understand that there is more than one notion of 'time' that does not always coincide with the western notion of linear time. We like to call it "jungle/beach time." Therefore, we ask you to please be open and flexible to appreciate the multiple realities of what might be considered 'the norm.'

    Although there is a lot to do at Guaria de Osa and its beautiful surroundings, we understand that sometimes 'to do less is to do more.' We also value the benefits of 'embracing the unexpected' and 'releasing expectations.'

    For the 'seasoned traveler' – or otherwise – please come to Guaria de Osa with a 'beginners' mind.'

    All guests are financially accountable for breaking or loosing any Guaria de Osa items or belongings – including surfboards. If such an occasion should arise, we ask for reimbursement at the current cost in Costa Rica of the particular item that needs to be replaced.

    We ask that you sign in and sign out or inform Jonathon when you leave the campus. Please take your walks and swims with a buddy.

    Respecting cultural sensitivity, we ask that you keep your swimsuits on when swimming in the ocean and/or sunbathing on the beach.

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    Please note: Guaria de Osa is not a resort, nor a spa, nor a hotel.

    Instead, Guaria de Osa is a road-less, wilderness discovery centre, powered by the sun, rooted in a rainforest beach / ocean environment on the Osa Peninsula, also known as 'the Little Amazon of Costa Rica" - endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on Earth!"

    The Ocean

    When in the ocean, the safest way is always to swim, surf, or snorkel with a buddy and keep an eye on each other. Guaria's beachfront is safe for swimming most of the time, especially at low and mid-tides.

    Sometimes, at high tide, there can be a rip tide that can pull a swimmer out about 25 to 3 yards. If this happens, don't panic! What takes place is a current draining a channel on the edge of the ocean. The current extends no more than 35 yards, after which there are no strong currents or undertows to worry about. Just let the tide pull you out, then swim off to the side and swim back in to shore. About a 15 min. beach/forest walk north is Playa San Josecito, a paradisiacal and safe beach.

    The Forest

    When wandering about at night, it is best to use a flashlight because thee are snakes in the forest. Special care should always be taken when stepping over a log. It is best to step on the log then jump off the other side rather than stepping over the log … since there may be a poisonous snake under the log on its other side.

    Be careful when picking up anything off the forest floor or reaching your hands into the bushes. Snakes, for the most part, are passive. If you encounter one, please don't offend it or irritate it or scare it by neither calling it names nor yelling. Let your guide know if such a snake is in the immediate vicinity of Guaria de Osa's campus. What you can do is to greet the snake and move on if it is out in the forest far from the campus.

    Sleep well for no one has died in the area from snakebites and the nearby clinic is always loaded with anti-venom for the unfortunate accident. No one has gotten bit from a snake bite at Guaria, except one of our dogs … and we cured him with our effective vegetable snakebite medicine, a cultivar from Costa Rica and the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, now growing in our ethnobotanical garden.

    There are scorpions yet they are relatively harmless and their stings are like that of a wasp. If you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, please bring your necessary precautionary medications with you and carry them in your daypack at all times!

    Coconuts might be the biggest hazard. When napping or lounging under a coconut tree, be mindful because one might just fall on your head – although this rarely has happened to anyone at Guaria de Osa.

    Ana, Guaria's pet macaw

    Ana has an attitude! Typically, the nature of macaws is to be very territorial. She is loved, gorgeous, and grew up at Guaria. She might travel with you on the beach and watch over you from the trees … while Tin Tin, Guaria's pet dog might walk with you and watch your bags.

    About Ana ... she is usually friendly yet sometimes she's not. By the way… Ana is not a 'she' anymore. We got her feathers tested and found out Ana is a 'he.' However, its name has not adjusted to her gender.

    Burning Candles

    Since the structures of the lodges are all wood, never leave a burning candle unattended in order to prevent a fire.

    General Impression

    Many of these safety rules are not unique to a rainforest-jungle-ocean- beach environment. Still and all, in order to prevent injuries anywhere geographically, being present and exercising mindfulness is a good thing when having fun.

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    • Because funds are processed immediately for events, maintenance, and ground-level projects we have in the Amazon and Andes of Ecuador and on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, there are no refunds.
    • Although your investment is non-refundable, it is partially credited up to 3 years as of the date of cancellation.
    • Should a price increase occur within a 3 year time-frame, guest will pay the balance due in order to reserve a space.
    • Partial credit within 3 years for another Rainforest Medicine Council in Costa Rica is considered when there is availability.
    • You also have the option of selling your council date to another.
    • Guests will pay for the entire Council dates.
    • There is no refund nor credit when arriving late to a Council and/or departing early from a Council.
    • No refunds or credit is given when anyone is dissatisfied because a commitment to a Council is intended to be a personal experience.

    For All Guests

    No matter how seasoned a traveler you may be, we advise everyone to come with a 'Beginner's Mind.'

    Expect the Unexpected ... and you will have everything.

    We reserve the right to change the itinerary if by chance there may arise any unforeseen circumstances, such as raw weather or sea conditions or other physical or material logistics that may surprisingly arise. This also includes last minute cancellations by guest teachers. Please trust that whatever changes are made will not affect the quality of your experience.

    Hotel Reservations

    All guests are responsible for paying any un-met hotel reservations. If you did not cancel in due time, please be accountable by paying the hotel fees. (We can instruct you how to do pay.)

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    Golden Words from Past Participants (2009-2016)

    "The retreat at Guaria was both beautiful and lasting. Jonathon Miller Weisberger and his dear friends, the Siekopai Elders, were delightful, sincere, and joyful guides. The retreat center was a magical permaculture garden, perched on the edge of the pacific with a fantastic, quiet beach. The food was delicious, and the staff felt like family by the end of the retreat. The land sprouted every possible medicinal plant, carefully tended by Jonathon. I wandered the paths of a living health food paradise. Jonathon led me through the jungle, sometimes bushwhacking! I tasted new plants, and learned their properties, while Jonathon collected new specimens for the retreat center. I saw fantastic birds and began to see the life of the jungle through his eyes.

    The Ceremony was a profound experience. I found myself swinging in a hammock in the jungle, surrounded by night sounds and kindness, while a tiny elder sang in the patterns of the world and sky. I have never heard such beautiful song. It is sometimes difficult to see what keeps me from the beauty of existence. The ceremony was a safe environment for insight. The teachers were kind and encouraging. Each night, Jonathon and the Elders helped me to go deeper. My heart filled with understanding and joy. The Siekopai traditions invite us all to be true human beings. I now have a greater understanding of my life and teachers who now travel in my heart." --Elizabeth H., independent educator

    "This is my fifth time to travel to do ceremony with Jonathon Sparrow. The first time in 2000 to Ecuador and in recent years, I have been a regular Council participant." - Bob B.

    "With genuine love in my heart and gratitude for deep healing, I am so happy to be part of a growing service to the larger whole. I am in love with Guaria and all it stands for." - Deb B.

    "I came here with expectations of mind altering visions and some enlightment. What I received was that and so much more. Not only was a major physical problem dramatically cured, my sense of peace has been profoundly enhanced. The love of everyone here is incredible and life changing. I am happy beyond words and it has been a long time since i've felt that way." - Anntoin C.

    "Wow & Yay!!" - Sheb

    "Dear sweet Guaria, Blessed is this important work we've all chosen to be present for. Honoring and deeply bowing to the timely and pivotal convergence of medicine, elders, and sacred space. Overwhelming joy and graitutude to each and every aspect that joins to forces to make these Plant Medicine Councils a reality. Dreams really do come true." - Emily C.

    "Sacred Love." - Sting, musician from England

    "For Jonathon! Thanks for your work in the world! With best wishes." - Jeremy Narby, author of The Cosmic Serpent, DNA, and The Origins of Knowledge

    "Jonathon! What good magic here at Guaria de Osa! Presided over by a most benevolent array of plant energies and animal intelligences, leafing and leaping spirits, laughing under a gazillion gleaming stars, accompanied by the steady drumbeat, like a dark heart of the wave on the sloping strand in wilderness and wonder." - David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World

    "My trip to Guaria de Osa was a psychospiritual journey that opened up possibilities in my personal and professional life that I had only dreamed of before. And it was exotically beautiful, rejuvenating and fun!" - Dr. Rachel Harris, psychologist

    "Love, Love, Potency. Fabulous eco journey in the jewel of Central America." - Ganga White, founder of White Lotus Foundation, Santa Barbara, California and author of Yoga Beyond Belief

    "With regards to our experience at Guaria, it was fantastic. The experience at the Council Gathering way exceeded our expectations and we could both say that this was one of the most important and meaningful 10 days of our lives. It was a life changing experience and I know that from now on life could never be the same for the better. The elders are overwhelming with their wisdom and humbleness. It is an honor for us to get to know them and drink the medicina with them. We really miss them and Jonathon. It was also a great pleasure for us to meet Jonathon. He definitely created a true paradise on earth. This planet just needs more people like him." - Silviya and Daniel Slavova, Bulgaria

    "Wonderful to visit paradise here! Much love." - Daniel Pinchbeck from New York, author of Breaking Open the Head (see Chapter 22 "My Shamanic Vacation")

    "I grew in so many magnificent ways at Guaria De Osa. I arrived expecting nothing, and I left with so many dreams and aspirations for which are still arising. There are no words (English, Spanish or beyond) that could possibly express my gratitude for all of the beautiful souls I met and all who made Guaria de Osa possible. I traveled physically, mentally and spiritually without fear... I received love and light and life beyond comprehension. I am so happy to have traveled on such an amazing journey with some brilliantly bright guides. THANK YOU to the power of 10! Thank you! Merci! Gracias!" - Kaeli, artist from Ontario, Canada

    "The Council Gathering was such a beautiful experience. I loved every minute of it. The group was really special. I can't wait to go back next year. I'm already inviting friends to come with me. Thanks so much for everything. You do such a fabulous job planning everything for the trip." - Karen P., yoga teacher from New York

    "I feel eternally honored for this superlative Costa Rican experience; it is exactly what I requested to present itself in the linear beginnings of this poignant 2012-year leading into the transition of the upcoming world era renewal." - Victoria from Australia

    "I feel renewed beyond words. Creative energy with good intention is abounding. We deeply admire each and everyone who we had the privilege to meet and travel with on this metaphysical journey. As we looked back at all the pictures and video, we realize how much of an impact this has been on our souls. WOW! I appreciate the world in a whole new light, thank you Jonathon!!! You will all be thought of often and we wish you all the very best, may are paths cross again!" - Heather from Montana

    "I came to Guaria and received many deep, life changing blessings. What better time then two days before I celebrate my 73 birthday. Guaria is Heaven 'near at hand' and satisfied my need for a raw rain forest visit. Magic! Mystical!" - Tyler from North Carolina

    "Thank you. It has been an honor to share this sacred space and learning with you. I have learned so much. Respect and peace to the collective consciousness. All for one and one for all. Namaste!" - Treasure from Australia

    "Ardent conductor
    Weaver of magic
    With vast experiential knowledge
    enchanting musical tales
    and gentle guidance...
    All with the playfulness of a Siekopai!
    Deep gratitude as infinite as the stars
    From the roots to the shoots to the flowers to the fruits
    Vines, feathers and flutes
    Upmost beautiful honor, thank you."

    - Amelia Mae (returnee)

    "Thank you for helping make possible a truly memorable and life-affirming experience. An email simply cannot express the impact that Guaria has had and will continue to have on me. Your work changes lives. I will leave it at that." - Buddy J.

    "Gracias por todo el apoyo. Todo me lo llevo a mi vida en mi corazon. Transferracion de mi vida y de mi manera de ver el mundo maravillosa en el que vivo. Descubrir mi grandeza y mi tesoro que llevo dentro... la mejor manera de commenzar mi 2013. Gracias mis mejores deseos y bendiciones para todos. Gracias de Osa, Los amo y la llevo en mi corazon por siempre." - Fernanda S. de Monterey, Mexico

    "The last 10 days have been the best time, here in nature at it's best. It is sooooooo amazingly beautiiful here in every way. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I will never forget and hope to see you another time in life, perhaps in Amsterdam." - Jet from The Netherlands

    "The experience has really been life-changing. Jase just visited his doctor today who was amazed at how much his body structure has changed from working with the medicine. He still has some pain but has not had to resort to taking ANY medication whatsoever!!! Only a year ago he was taking 20 pills a day! Thank you!!" - Lauri S.

    "This place is literally paradise. Nothing better than staying next to the ocean and the rainforest... and just a hike away to a refreshing river and waterfalls. The food was delish and the service was awesome. There's so much more I could say yet I think you should discover it for yourself. I will definitely be back." - Po-Hong

    "Jona, you, the elders, staff and family are extraordinary in what you offer here in the service of humanity, and nature, not to mention the turtle program. I wish you all the best and much love!" - Luci S.

    "I returned to Guaria de Osa after five years and now wonder why it took me so long to find my way back. To see this former cow pasture turn into lush gardens gives hope for the future of the world. Good intuition and hard work combine here to rejuvenate our spirits in similar fine fashion. Thanks for the hospitality and sharing your energies and place here in paradise to make the world a healthier place. Pura Vida in spades!" - Bob B.

    "What an amazingly beautiful experience being here has been! I am so refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired. This is no goodbye, because I will definitely be coming back... see you soon!" - Kimzey G.

    "As always (four years in a row 2011-2014) game-and life-changer, Love!" Brandi and Ron(returnees) from our sister project Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch in Utah

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    Rainforest Medicine:
    Preserving Indigenous Science & Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon

    by Jonathon Sparrow Miller Weisberger, ethnobotanist, founder and steward of Guaria de Osa, director of Council for Cultural & Biological Diversity

    Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman
    by Pablo Amaringo and Eduardo Luna. To order: North Atlantic Books, Berkeley -

    Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon's Sacred Vine
    edited by Luis Eduardo Luna and Steven F. White; (read A Huaorani Myth of the First Miiyabu by Jonathon S. Miller Weisberger)

    Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth, attaining Unlimited Life
    by Hua-Ching Ni

    Breaking Open The Head
    by Daniel Pinchbeck (read Ch. 22 on Sentient Experientials in the Ecuadorian Amazon)

    Coming Back To Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World
    by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown; foreword by Matthew Fox

    El Bebedor de Yajé / The Yajé Drinker
    by Alfredo Payaguaje, Siekopai ethnobotanist, Ecuador Amazon
    The stories got translated into Spanish by Jesuit Priest and activist, Padre Cabodevilla and into English by our good friend Nathan Horowitz. The Yagé Drinker is the autobiography of Fernando Payaguaje, the last shaman-chief of the Siekopai tribe of the Ecuadorian Rain forest, as told to his grandsons. Originally published in Spanish as El Bebedor de Yajé. The book includes myths, legends, and personal histories, including a discussion of the changes that took place in the Siekopai's lives in the 20th century and Payaguaje's recollections of his apprenticeship and practice as a yajé uncucui, a drinker of ayahuasca, and intibaike, leader of his group. It was published in 2008; has 183 pages.

    HerbalGram: The Journal of the American Botanical Council

    If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth
    by Helen Caldicott, M.D.

    In the Rainforest: Report from a Strange, Beautiful, Imperiled World
    by Catherine Caulfield

    One River, Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest
    by Wade Davis

    Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
    by Eduardo Galeano

    Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual
    by Bill Mollison

    Reflections in the Mind's Eye
    by Nathan Horowitz (A chapter is based on recollections of two nights drinking with Jonathon at don Cesareo's in 1995.)

    Riding the Horse Backwards
    by Arnold and Amy Mindell

    Romancing the Beloved: A Sacred Sexual Adventure into Love; Her Story
    by Joan Heartfield - Chapter 2 Eco Emissaries

    Seven Life Lessons of Chaos: Timeless Wisdom from the Science of Change
    by John John and F. David Peat

    Shaman's Drum Journal, A Journal of Experiential Shamanism and Spiritual Healing

    Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing
    by Michael Taussig

    Taoist Inner View of the Universe and the Immortal Realms
    by Hua-Ching Ni

    The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
    by Jeremy Narby

    The Forest Within: The World-View of the Tukano Amazonian Indians
    by Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff

    The 100th Monkey: A story about social change
    By Ken Keyes Jr.

    The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth
    by Steven Harrod Buhner (Please read Ch. 11 Living Biognosis ≠ the work of Sparrow, pgs. 249 ≠ 268 and other writers.)

    The Nature of Shamanism: Substance and Function of a Religious Metaphor
    by Michael Ripinsky-Naxon

    The Reenchantment of Art
    by Suzi Gablik

    The Reenchantment of the World
    by Morris Berman

    The Shaman's Body
    by Arnold Mindell

    The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception & Language in a More-Than-Human World
    by David Abram

    The Tao of Physics
    by Fritjof Capra

    The Three Halves of Ino Moxo: Teachings of the Wizard of the Upper Amazon
    by Cesar Calvo and Kenneth Symington

    The Way of the Shaman
    by Michael Harner

    The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems
    by Fritjof Capra

    Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Council of All Beings
    by Joanna Macy, John Seed, Pat Fleming, Arne Naess

    Thought As A System
    by David Bohm

    Vine of the Soul, Where the Gods Reign
    by Richard Evans Schultes

    Workbook for Spiritual Development of All People
    by Hua-Ching Ni

    World as Lover, World as Self
    by Joanna Macy; foreword by Thich Nhat Hanh

    In the spirit of networking, we thank you for passing the news on to others about this significant life experience.

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    rainforest - paradise beaches - bird watching - scuba diving - surfing - ethno botanical gardens - yoga
    massage - trekking - chi gong - meditation - tai chi - rainforest projects - original architecture