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Grupo Osanimi
Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity

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Respecting Nature



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Fotos of Past Gatherings

The Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity

with Sentient Experientials
presents our 6th year

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

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Two Council Gatherings

Council 1: JULY 1 - 11, 2011

with Secoya Plant Masters,
and Jonathon S. Miller Weisberger,
ethnobotanist founder and steward
of Guaria de Osa

Council 2: JULY 15 - JULY 25, 2011

with Secoya Plant Masters,
guest speaker Daniel Pinchbeck,
author and editorial director,
and Jonathon S. Miller Weisberger,
ethnobotanist founder and steward
of Guaria de Osa

A Rainforest Plant Medicine Council Gathering

"Nature as Teacher and Timeless Wisdom for Self, Community and Planetary Healing"

Rainforest Ocean Wilderness Discovery Centre and Ethnobotanical Gardens

Where the Rainforest kisses the Ocean

Join us on an unforgettable adventure of self-discovery, wellness and exploration of rainforest plant medicine traditions with time-honored maestros from the Ecuadorian Amazon, a brave and resilient ethnobotanist and rainforest conservationist, an ardent fire-keeper, alongside mindful participants — gathering in the heart of the Osa Peninsula also known as "The Little Amazon by the Ocean" endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on Earth!"

See Fotos of past Council Gatherings @ Guaria de Osa

Please register before June 1.
Space available: 24 participants.

Participants signing up after this date,
please add an additional $150.

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  • To experientially learn from ancient rainforest plant medicine traditions stemming from the time-tested, traditional healing and well-ness practices of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon.
  • To welcome an alchemic transformation, healing, and re-integration of body, mind, heart and spirit.
  • To receive insight and guidance from these ancient and profound worldviews and thus strengthen one's essence and improve one's health.
  • To enjoy and be nurtured by the pristine Pacific Ocean and mighty rainforest ecosystems on the Osa Peninsula and her natural wonders.
  • Expand one's guts and grace by having
    • "A Beginner's Mind" ready to learn as if this were your very first time!
    • Expect the Unexpected!
    • Embrace the Unexpected!
    • Trust in the Process!
  • A fund-raiser
    • To continue facilitating the transmission of the Secoya People's core knowledge of medicinal plants by providing protection and support to the community elders and their families as the Gardeners of the Rainforest.
    • To provide materials for fiber glass canoes for the Secoya school children who travel on the river from home to school. This project began two years ago .. with the intention of not cutting ancient trees for their canoes.
    • To reprint the first ethnobotanical bilingual education booklet on the use of their medicinal plants written by Jonathon S. Miller-Weisberger for the Secoya children.
    • To provide health and wellness among the community elders – for example dental and vision checkups and other necessities when they arise … choosing alternative medicine practices when applicable.
  • Ethnobotanist, Jonathon S. Miller-Weisberger, director of The Council for Cultural & Biological Diversity (aka Grupo Osanimi) has dedicated efforts since 1994 to cultural heritage rekindling processes that includes participatory ethnobotanical and ethnographical field documentation and publication of this material in bilingual education booklets for local schools. It has also included the preservation of medicinal plant knowledge via workshops and educational council gatherings as well as the protection of the plants themselves in ethnobotanical gardens, in situ.

    Our work has always been in collaboration and support of traditional healers and their healing methods. Among indigenous peoples communities our approach is holistic and direct in nature aimed at finding creative ways to bridging the gap among the generations in order to collaborate in the efforts of safeguarding the rainforest and the knowledge pertinent for continued sustainable living, healing and well being.

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Themes to Explore

  • Experience the prehistoric origins of Plant Medicine Traditions from the Ecuadorian Amazon as taught and lived by the Secoya 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.

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Ceremonial Masters and Teachers

Golden Lines

Legendary Secoya Plant Masters

The exploration of rainforest plant medicine traditions with time-honored maestros, are Secoyas - ceremonial masters from the Upper Napo Region of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, an ethnic minority, whose name, Secoya means "People from the Multi-Colored River."

The Secoya language is a Western Tucanoan language spoken by 297 Secoya People in Ecuador and 144 in Peru. Tucanoan, consisting of 15 languages, is a language family of Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.

The bad news: geopolitical borders, the encroachment and harassment of the petroleum companies, and the impact of colonization now imperil their culture and ancestral lands.

The good news: the few living Secoya traditional elders refer to their plant lore as an umbilical cord that connects them to their past.

Sentient Experientials will bring to Guaria de Osa during this Rainforest Plant Medicine Council Gathering "Nature as Teacher and Timeless Wisdom for Self, Community and Planetary Healing" a number of Secoya elders – over 70 years young - who will facilitate boundless healing transformation giving participants a first hand opportunity to meet deep-forest healers and cultural masters. Their songs, profoundly and uniquely cherished, will guide your journey's meditations.

Jonathon Miller-Weisberger (aka Sparrow), Ethnobotanist and student of Traditional Chinese and Indigenous Medicine, a Naturalist, and Rainforest guide, has more than 14 years of ground level experience in the Ecuadorian Amazon. His friendship and work relationship with the Secoyas date back to 1994.

Jonathon has the important task of holding the container at the Council Gatherings - as well as Sentient Experientials Journeys into the Ecuadorian Amazon and all events at Guaria de Osa on the Osa Peninsula.

He is the founder and steward of Guaria de Osa Rainforest Ocean Wilderness Discovery Centre and the director of the Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity. Click here for more information.

Born in Berkeley, California, he was raised in Ecuador with his sister Ladna, he has over 18 years of Rainforest Conservation advocacy beginning from his early years at Humboldt State University. Jonathon writes and submits articles in Spanish and English, keeps volumes of excellent journals, and now, 'sandwiched between' rainforest conservation projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes, marine rescue turtle project on the Osa Peninsula, and the creation of Guaria de Osa and its medicinal plant garden, his book is now in progress.

"Over the years, I have been working on what I call The New Ethnobotany, an emerging discipline that seeks to enact new methods of cultural transmission to revive, validate, and strengthen the vast plant lore among and within Indigenous and rural peoples' communities. I believe that the preservation and attentive transmission of Indigenous plant knowledge both among forest communities and the world at large are crucial links in ongoing forest protection. Ultimately millions of hectares of priceless tropical Rainforest lie in the hands of Indigenous peoples' communities undergoing rapid changes and cultural dissolution, and the fate of these forest lies directly in the ability of Indigenous People(s) to continue renewing their relationship and sustainable approach to living in the forest. Consequently much work is necessary among these communities to, at the very least, strengthen traditional plant knowledge. The problems of deforestation are tremendously complex, yet, that shouldn't stop people from finding practical solutions to this global concern. We are seeking to discover effective techniques and strategies towards these ends."
— Jonathon S. Miller-Weisberger, ethnobotanist

Daniel Pinchbeck, guest speaker, author, activist, and advocate of shamanism, living in New York's East Village, where he is Reality Sandwich's editorial director and plays an active role in Evolver, a social network for conscious collaboration. He is the author of Breaking Open the Head, where, in Chapter 22, "My Shamanic Vacation," Daniel writes about his experience Oct. 2000 with Sentient Experientials, guided by ethnobotanist Jonathon Miller-Weisberger, into the Ecuadorian Amazon. Daniel will attend the 2nd Council Gathering and this is his 3rd visit to Guaria de Osa.

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. Once you get off your international plane you will be 'escorted' all the way to Guaria de Osa on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

"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 t