We have taken the difficult and painful decision to cancel our upcoming European events: the SAND Italy gathering and the Returning to Ourselves retreat with Gabor Mate and Betsy Polatin, which were to be held in July at the Castle of Titignano, Italy. The complexities of event planning and organization and considerations of well-being for registrants, speakers, and volunteers have all contributed to this decision, which was not taken lightly.
If you have already registered, you will receive an email with the details of the refund.
We have been hard at work to ensure continuity in our mission and provide stability and inspiration for our community. We are committed to moving forward, despite these challenging circumstances.
We have started an online, donation-based, weekly series of SAND Community Gatherings where we can connect, reflect, meditate, nourish one another with our presence and create a field of resilience and mutual support. Each week features SAND guest speakers sharing their perspective and wisdom live with the group. These meetings have been precious, and we invite you to join if you have not done so already.
The Returning to Ourselves event with Gabor Maté and Betsy Polatin will transition to a 4-day live online event to be held July 16-19. This will include 3+ hours a day of Gabor and Betsy addressing the Wisdom of Trauma—a topic that has only become more relevant and pressing given the recent crisis. As the event will be live, you will be able to ask questions, engage in compassionate inquiry with Dr. Gabor Maté and integrate. This is a unique opportunity to study with Dr. Maté and it is the only event of this type he is offering at this point.
We are also excited to announce the launch, in mid-May, of our first online summit, (tentatively called) Wisdom in Times of Crisis, with the intent to create a space to explore the contributions of leading experts in spiritual traditions, physical science, social science, ecology, sacred activism, social justice, love and relationships, psychedelics and the arts regarding this crisis, its challenges and opportunities, notably as a catalyst for awakening.
Once again, we are extremely sorry we will not see your beautiful smiles in person this July. We look forward to meeting you again in the new and improved world we will create together after this crisis, when the current lesson has been fully digested!
Holding you all in our hearts.
The SAND Team
Shakti Caterina Maggi
Gabor Maté, M.D. is a physician and best-selling author whose books have been published in twenty languages. His interests include child development, the mind-body unity in health and illness, and the treatment of addictions. Gabor has worked in palliative care and as a family physician, and for fourteen years practiced addiction medicine in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. As a speaker he regularly addresses professional and lay audiences throughout North America. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including a Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumnus Award and an honorary degree from the University of Northern British Columbia. His most recent book, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, won the Hubert Evans Prize for literary nonfiction. He is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.
Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D. (East-West Psychology), scientist/artist, founded the dream studies program at JFKU where she taught for twenty-five years. She was part of the lucid dream research team at Stanford University Sleep Laboratory, exploring the science of lucid dreaming in the 1980s. She co-founded the Lucid Art Foundation (1998), and co-authored Extraordinary Dreams (2002) and Integral Dreaming (2012), both published by SUNY Press. She is the author of several chapters in anthologies on dreams, among them: “Lucid Dreaming: History and Practice” in Perchance to Dream: The Frontiers of Dream Psychology (2009); “Contemplating Lucid Dreaming: East-West View” in On Dream and Dreaming (2011); “Hyperspace Lucidity and Creative Consciousness” in Lucid Dreaming: New Perspectives on Consciousness in Sleep, vol. II (2014); and “Hyperspace Lucidity” in Dreams: Understanding Biology, Psychology, and Culture (2019). She is a multi-media artist and has exhibited, performed and published her work for decades. Her major art retrospective, Lucidity, was held at Meridian Gallery, San Francisco (2013). Her integral approach to dreams and life is informed by her in-depth training and practice of East-West and Somatic Psychology, Art and Shamanic Practices, and Tai Chi Chuan.
Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been calling people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality lineage for over 50 years. His 37 books, lectures, retreats, and innovative education models have ignited an international movement to awaken people to be mystics and prophets, contemplative activists, who honor and defend the earth and work for justice. Seeking to establish a new pedagogy for learning spirituality that was grounded in an effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical traditions in such figures as Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and the mysticism of Thomas Aquinas, as well as interacting with contemporary scientists who are also mystics, Fox founded the University of Creation Spirituality. His recent projects include Order of the Sacred Earth, Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox, and a Certificate Program in Leadership and the Creation Spirituality Tradition. His most recent book is The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times.
Shakti Caterina Maggi has been sharing a message of awakening to our true nature as One Consciousness since 2003, with workshops and meetings held in Italy, Europe, and around the world. “The opportunity to meet what we are, and to embody it in everyday life, is the very meaning of life itself – not as human beings who seek God, but as the Divine itself experiencing itself through the human experience.” Shakti shares a very contemporary approach to self-realization and reveals the real possibility of seeing what we are and embodying it in our everyday life with clarity, wisdom, and humor.
Shakti points directly to the essence of what we are and invites you to rediscover the divine Self in the core of one's own humanity. Overcoming fear and illusion is to wake up to extraordinary beauty of the moment and be the true embodiment of Consciousness itself in human form. She has been sharing a message of awakening to Life since 2003 with seminars and retreats hold mainly in Italy and Europe. www.shakticaterinamaggi.com
Keith interweaves original imagery, prose, poetry, sound, and song to explore the intimate relationship between the Natural World and our own True Nature. His work represents a constellation of the training, experience, insights, and revelations of his diverse career as a professor of Animal Genetics, sheep farmer, and a teacher of body-based psycho-spirituality—together with his lifelong exploration of Nature through photography, poetry, song, and nature sound recording. He has offered workshops, concerts, and presentations based upon his explorations at gatherings throughout the Canada and the US—including the 2018 International Association for the Study of Dreams Annual Conference. www.truenature.earth
Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP, an internationally recognized breathing/movement specialist and best- selling author, has been teaching for 45 years. Her unique and intuitive perspectives are greatly influenced by the study of movement, breath, and trauma, as well as the teachings of spiritual and meditation masters. She speaks at conferences around the world.
As a well-known educator, she’s had numerous articles published in the Huffington Post, and is the author of The Actor’s Secret and Humanual.
Rekha is a performer/choreographer, teacher and researcher in classical Indian odissi dance. She received traditional training within the guru-shishya parampara for seventeen years and presented odissi extensively around the world. In 1997, she stepped away to do a PHD in Dance Studies at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, where she deepened her dance journey by exploring odissi’s roots in yoga and tantric ritual. Dance Routes, her repertory company, was co-founded with her partner Michael Weston. It was initially based in Odisha, Eastern India, and worked extensively with traditional performers from villages around the pilgrim town of Puri.
Since 2013, Dance Routes has established a permanent centre at Skandavan beside the international township of Auroville, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is a place for learning and sharing a dance practice that integrates traditional teachings and philosophy, with a return to holistic living. Rekha has authored two books “Odissi – A Dance of Sculpture” and “Dance as Yoga-The Spirit and Technique of Odissi”.
Lorraine Taylor is contributing some short gentle yoga asana and pranayama sequences to activate the vagus nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system.
From a very young age, Lorraine was fascinated by the beauty of movement and music. Her childhood was spent exploring the body through gymnastics, ice skating and different styles of dance. In her early twenties, a strong calling to the path of Yoga became the catalyst for many deeper realisations in her life and she left everything behind to follow this call. She has now been a dedicated Yogini and lover of Truth for almost thirty years. She specialises in offering an insightful feminine way of practising Yoga, bringing forth her love of Tantra and Kashmir Shaivism. She has also dedicated many years to the study of Jnana (Non Duality), Bhakti (Devotion) as well as Traditional Hatha Yoga which has led her to discover the depths of the Yogic practice, understanding the beauty of the fluid form while investigating the more subtle layers that exist within us. Ultimately pointing to what lies beyond which is the true meaning of Yoga. Oneness. She is currently very inspired by somatic based practices and trauma informed Yoga, recognising how important this work is right now in our current world. Her classes are a journey of who we are on every level from the physical to the beyond all shared with a healthy dose of humour and an open heart.
Nadeshwari Joythimayananda embodies the embrace between East and West, desired by the sages of the last century: she was born in Sri Lanka, has Indian origins and grew up in Italy were She acquired the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga as a family tradition in her family Ashram. In India she explores the teachings of Mata Amritanandamayi and Ramana Maharshi and She approaches Tantra Yoga meeting Guru-ji Baswar Rajkumar and his sadhanas through mantras. In Asia, as a child, she learned Bharatanatyam, the indian classical temple dance which she deepened as an adult and became a teacher in Mystical Dance. In 2011 She meets the Mayan shamanism of Vera Cruz and began to perceive the multidimensionality of reality. Since 2013 She is dedicated to the project Danzando La Dea – Female Awareness Meeting. Since 2015 she is the co-creator and author of Matrika - Consciousness Development. She collaborates with the project La Grande Via founded by the oncologis Dr. Franco Berrino. She currently expands the Vedic knowledge concerning the manifestation of human life on Earth with the method of Prenatal and Birth Therapy of Dominique Degranges.
Jerry Diamanti, is a biologist and a mindbody therapist that embodies an unusual and effective combination of Presence and Heart. He has His formation covers various interwoven focus areas that weave together into a unified somatic approach to touch, awareness and relationship. Specialized in Ortho-Bionomy and Ethnic Osteopath, soothing and effective body treatments that stimulate the organism’s natural self-correction capabilities.He is also a Somatic Experiencing practitioner that has more then 10 years of clinical expertise, including in his sessions stress recovery, self-regulation skills and resilience. www.equilibrinaturali.net
Godfrey’s workshops will put the intelligence of your mind directly in touch with the intelligence of Consciousness by way of the intelligence of your body. Movement will initiate experiential and perceptual pathways that access the Love you most deeply are. This will be followed by guided stillness that allows the Love you most deeply are to flow back through those pathways into your immediate experience of the world.
Godfrey has been pioneering Somatic Awareness Methodologies for over forty years. This has allowed him to not only clearly understand the non-duality of body and mind, matter and spirit, but also to facilitate the direct experience of it. His teaching is as simple and direct as it is lucid and accessible. His guidance will allow you to access the non-duality of your Bio-Spiritual nature in a simple and fully conscious way.
Sea Stars is the musical collaboration of Kurt Baumann and Katie Gray.
Through the power of intention and a heartfelt tapestry of vibrancy and sound, the music offers deep entry into the subtle and sacred chambers of emotion, feeling and intimacy.
By building and nurturing their connection over the past decade, the two artists co-create a light-filled pathway of sonic resonance that welcomes the listener into spaciousness and self reflection.
Collectively, their music and voices have been featured on 8 major television shows, Jimmy Kimmel, Sirius XM and most recently, a live performance on the NBC Today show.
Sea Stars are honored and humbled to be welcomed into the SAND community and look forward to learning, growing and expanding with all of you!
Anna Bacchia - Researcher Teacher Writer Innovator
● For her research in human sciences and intercultural EDU Projects involving 65 Countries, Anna Bacchia is among the laureates of the ‘Luxembourg World Peace Prize’ 2017, and member of the World Peace Forum.
● Founder of the ‘Consciousness Institute’ - LIFE Leaders .international® in Lugano Switzerland, in 40 years of teaching she has trained thousands of persons in Europe, China, United States, South America.
● As a ‘globally thinking leader in the cause of Peace and Human Enhancement’, Anna Bacchia has been nominated by the Goi Peace Foundation, Tokyo, Japan, as a Honorary Signatory of the worldwide declaration for Peace ‘The Fuji Declaration’.
● Anna Bacchia is member of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration IIAV, Auburn - Alabama, USA. She is Creative Member of the Club of Budapest, one of the most prestigious international organizations for culture science and art. And Research Fellow of the Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research, Italy.
Ellen’s deepest intuition was confirmed when she met her teacher, Francis Lucille. In his presence, she recognized the eternal, limitless and universal nature of our shared reality. Over many years, her understanding deepened to touch all levels of experience. The process of aligning and stabilizing all aspects of her life to this understanding has continued to unfold since then.
As a child Ellen loved to move and dance. She knew without words the joy and limitless transparency that the body dissolved into when it was free and alive.
As an adolescent and young adult, she acutely felt and enacted suffering through her body.
Thus, the experience that we call the body has always been central to all of Ellen’s experiences, both in the ignoring and in the recognition of our true nature.
Today, Ellen offers meetings and retreats in The Awakening Body, sharing a direct exploration of reality sourced in the tradition of Kashmiri Shaivism and self-inquiry.
In addition, she has a private practice as a Psychotherapist, and facilitator of Authentic Movement. Her background of Dance-Movement Therapy and Transpersonal Psychology is shaped by the non-dual understanding.
Ellen lives in Oxford with her husband Rupert Spira, also a teacher in the tradition of non-duality.
Chris Fields wants to understand how systems exchange information, and how information exchange creates the boundaries that separate and distinguish systems from each other. He uses tools from quantum information theory, evolutionary and developmental biology, and cognitive neuroscience. Chris has become convinced that all information exchange, at all scales, can be described with a single set of simple principles. The trick is to figure out which ones. Biographical details and recent publications are available from http://chrisfieldsresearch.com.
The founder of Transformative Medicine, Ruediger Dahlke is a physician, seminar leader and author of 70 books in his native German—including Illness As a Language of the Soul, Disease as a Symbol, The Shadow Principle, and The Healing Power of Illness: Understanding What Your Symptoms Are Telling You. Dahlke has trained thousands of doctors, nurses, psychologists, coaches and laypeople in the philosophy in Europe and led Transformative Medicine workshops at the Esalen Institute and the Omega Institute. He is one of the world’s leading proponents of the idea that disease is an opportunity to become more conscious.
Learn more about Dr. Ruediger at www.anewmainstream.com
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer. He received a Ph.D. in Tropical Ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. His book, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures was published in May by Random House (US) and The Bodley Head (UK). He is a musician and keen fermenter. Find out more at merlinsheldrake.com.
Mauro Bergonzi taught Religion and Philosophy of India at the Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” for thirty years. He is a member of I.A.A.P. (International Association for Analytical Psychology) and of C.I.P.A. (Centro Italiano di Psicologia Analitica). He is author of academic essays and articles on Oriental Philosophies, Comparative Religion, Psychology of Mysticism and Transpersonal Psychology. He is author of academic essays and articles on Oriental Philosophies, Comparative Religion, Psychology of Mysticism and Transpersonal Psychology. Since 1970, he has practiced meditation (mainly within Buddhist, Taoist and Vedānta traditions), always preserving a non-confessional and non-dogmatic approach. After a natural and spontaneous fading out of both seeking and the seeker, only a radical non dualism prevailed in him. In this respect, his long-standing familiarity with the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Tony Parsons was crucial. In the last ten years, he has been invited to give regular sat-sang in Italy. A survey of the nondual communication occurring in these meetings has been published in the book Il sorriso segreto dell’essere (Mondadori).
Nayano has practiced as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst since the 80’s. She discovered The Work of Byron Katie in 1999, long after learning that you cannot trust your thinking. In fact, you shouldn't trust anything coming from the mind!
Witnessing someone do The Work on their thinking and seeing the changes, that came about, was a huge wakeup-call. She went to see Katie almost immediately and has been with this form of INQUIRY, ever since. With The Work she found a way to move from the mind into a direct experience of reality—being with “what is".
She became amongst the first to be certified by Byron Katie and has given lectures, workshops and individual sessions with The Work ever since.
Emahó is an American Indian who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He lives with his family in New Mexico and gives seminars in Europe and the USA. He has helped many people bring more respect and kindness into their lives – more love, care and understanding into everything they do.
He teaches the common sense of living with honesty, compassion and a sense of responsibility. This challenges our assumptions, dreams and expectations – the stuff of our conditioning. It takes courage and compassion to cut through the complacency of our everyday lives – but it is worth it.
Most of us operate from hurt and disappointment, though we might not know it. To reach the ability to see through ‘Life’s Eyes’ Emahó suggests you seek simply because you have realised the goodness of life, not because you are desperate, lonely or hungry, the point at which most of us start searching.
Rather than being 'spiritual' it is to be a spirited human being in nature – to begin to wake up in your life and fight to be more alive in it.
Ben Bushill is a mystic, poet and circle leader devoted to the remembrance of the simple miracle of existence. His poetry is a call to see and feel what we are being given in every unfolding moment. To realise our perfection through the honouring of our flawed humanity and the deep honesty of the earth. The seed of life is within us all, our dance here is mundane, strange and wonderful. Ben doesn’t bring answers but instead asks us to push our hearts and our lives up against the place where our finite hearts meet the great wave of life that is within and which contains us. At that merciful and merciless meeting point we catch a glimpse of the love that we are. Circles to draw close to each other and the mystery we carry. Poetry and spoken word to carry the vibration of wonder and remembrance of our own miraculous hearts.
Within a field of unconditionally loving presence, Ajaya facilitates a unique discovery process called, Core Embodiment ®. An integrated system of embodiment practices, principles and perceptual orientations to awaken and align with the power of your human potential. She is a Biodynamic Craniosacral Integration Teacher, Authorized Continuum Teacher, gifted healer, writer and creative catalyst in the field of embodied awakening and trauma resolution for the last 26 years. All of her programs are grounded in science, expanded through devotional practice and made real through direct experience.
ACC professional coach certified by ICF (International Coach Federation). For me coaching is bringing awareness to action.
Founder and director of Espace & Solutions (http://www.espace-et-solutions.com/). Since January 2010, he accompanied the officers, employees and teams in companies, associations and the public sector to achieve their goals. Whether skills to strengthen performance to meet or give meaning to, its interventions to adapt to customer needs: Coaching, training, consulting.
He completed his university studies (Master in Economics and Local Development) by professional training in individual and team coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming (Master), Neuro-Semantics, Systemic, Non Violent Communication, coaching and in Collective Intelligence. He is curious, enthusiastic and passionate about human relationships and group dynamics. What inspires him, is with the teams, groups and organizations to build the world they want to belong to!
Maya Luna is a poet and teacher of Feminine Gnosis. She belongs to a lineage of untamed feral women who transmit the primordial core of the Tantric wisdom streams.
Her work is focused on the lost Feminine ways of knowing. Her spoken word poetry album Holy Darkness: a Tantric Opus is available at mayaluna.bandcamp.com
Omega: Feral Secrets of the Deep Feminine is her first book of poetry. She is the creator of the Deep Feminine Mystery School.
Paul Howard is a producer, director, and executive Producer of International repute with an enviable track record in documentary, television series and more recently in feature film production.
In 2016 Paul finished the production on a Feature Film titled “Twice upon a Time in Dublin”, a romantic comedy. He was the director and producer of “Infinite Potential—The Life and Ideas of David Bohm," his most current work.
Paul has worked across most disciplines in the film/television industry over the past 30 years in Ireland and overseas, variously performing the role of director, producer, series producer, writer and covering genres such as biography, natural history, wildlife and current affairs. He has directed and edited many critically acclaimed tv programmes and documentaries. Worked for RTE (Irelands Public Service Broadcaster), Imagine Limited (Independent Film & TV Company), Nine Network (Sydney, Australia), Nomad Films International (Melbourne, Australia) and Sky Visuals (Sydney, Australia). He also performed the role of joint managing director in a number of Independent Television companies.
Dr. Rama Mani is a peacebuilder and performance artist passionate about human and global transformation. Through her tailor-made transcultural performances, keynotes and courses based on real-life testimonies of people she collaborates with in crisis zones worldwide, Rama ignites participants to envision and enact transformation in their own lives and societies. Her interactive programs aim to create circles of solidarity across borders, and champion grassroots organizations in warzones.
With Professor Jean Houston and Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Rama co-founded ‘Rising Women Rising World’. With her husband, Professor Alexander Schieffer, Rama co-hosts Home for Humanity. Together with a global alliance of partners, they aspire to embody the unity embedded in our humanity, and actualize a civilization of inclusion.
Rama received the 2018 Excellence in Leadership Award of the Global Thinkers Forum in the UK, and the 2013 Peter Becker Peace Prize in Germany.
Alexander Schieffer pursues an integral path to life in service of the holistic development of humanity. He is, simultaneously, a transformative educator, engaged activist, passionate community builder, integral philosopher, and spiritual poet. He lives in the French countryside near Geneva with his wife, poet-performer-activist Rama Mani, where they co-host “Home for Humanity”, which aspires to be an integral sanctuary and global alliance in service of the essential unity of all life. This place is also the home campus of Trans4m Center for Integral Development co-founded by Alexander.
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