Ayahuasca: A Triptych
Directed by Marc Silver (work in progress)
Saturday, April 22, 2017 • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM • California Room
After the sneak preview of the still-in-development documentary by Marc Silver, Ayahuasca: A Triptych, this discussion will be an opportunity to engage in conversation on a variety of closely-related topics centered around the expansion of the use of ayahuasca. The work of the Temple of the Way of Light will be used as a platform to think about some of the challenges associated with this expansion. The Temple is plant medicine shamanic healing center located near Iquitos, Peru, that offers ayahuasca retreats with female and male Shipibo healers. It is probably one of the largest centers of this nature in the world. In the forum, the centers’ staff, a team of multinational, multi-disciplined and highly experienced practitioners, will share firsthand their experiences working with thousands of guests over the past ten years. The Center has established a number of best practices, including screening and facilitation, as well as integration and follow-up care, which should be useful to anyone interested in promoting ceremonies. According to their experience, and the preliminary results of research in-progress with ICEERS, ayahuasca in a proper ceremonial setting has shown potential as a treatment for various mental health conditions. In 2013, the Temple also established the Chaikuni Institute, a non-profit organization focused on indigenous rights, permaculture, regenerative development, and intercultural education. Their newest project, Ayni Ayahuasca, aims to encourage sustainable ayahuasca production in Amazonian communities. These initiatives call the attention of the global ayahuasca community to the importance of reciprocity and of taking into account local and indigenous peoples’ perspectives. The forum will conclude with an interactive panel discussion where audience will be able to ask questions of the Temple’s staff. .
Film Discussion: Ayahuasca Best Practices, Sustainability and Reciprocity
After the sneak preview of the in-development documentary by Marc Silver, Ayahuasca, a triptych, this discussion will be an opportunity to engage in a conversation on a variety of closely-related topics centered around the expansion of the use of ayahuasca. The work of the Temple of the Way of Light will be used as a platform to think some of the challenges associated to this expansion. The Temple is plant-medicine shamanic healing center located near Iquitos, Peru, that offers ayahuasca retreats with female and male Shipibo healers. It is probably one of the largest centers of this nature in the world. In the forum, the centers’ staff, a team of multi national, multi disciplined and highly experience practitioners, will share first hand their experiences working with thousands of guests over the past ten years. The Center has established a number of best practices including screening, facilitation, and integration and follow-up care which should be useful to anyone interested in promoting ceremonies. According to their experience and the preliminary results of research in progress with ICEERS, ayahuasca in a proper ceremonial setting has shown potential as a treatment for various mental health conditions. In 2013, the Temple has also established the Chaikuni Institute, a non-profit focused on indigenous rights, permaculture & regenerative development, and intercultural education. Their newest project, Ayni Ayahuasca, aims to promote sustainable ayahuasca production in Amazonian communities. These initiatives aim to call the attention of the global ayahuasca community to the importance of reciprocity and of taking into account local and indigenous peoples perspectives. The forum will conclude with a interactive panel discussion where audience will be able to ask questions to the Temple’s staff.
Marc Silver works worldwide as a filmmaker and director of photography. His first feature length film ‘Who is Dayani Cristal?’ premiered at the Sundance Festival 2013 where it won Cinematography Award: World Cinema Documentary and the Amnesty International BestDocumentary award 2014. His second film ‘3½ Minutes, 10 Bullets’ about the murder of Jordan Davis premiered at the Sundance Festival2015 winning U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact. It was broadcast on HBO, shortlisted for an Oscar and nominated for an Emmy. In 2017 Marc's third feature length film 'To End A War' about the peace process in Colombia will be released, followed by a film about ayahuasca in 2018. He is Creative Director of The Filmmaker Fund.
Matthew Watherston is the founder of the Temple of the Way of Light, and of the nonprofit organizations Chaikuni Institute and Alianza Arkana. He is particularly interested in demonstrating the efficacy of plant-spirit medicines; in legitimizing traditional healing practices within academic, scientific and medical communities; in building relationships with pioneering medical professionals and research scientists; and in exploring ways of interfacing traditional medicine with clinical therapy, including the integration of ayahuasca treatment, both during and after retreats. He is also currently establishing Ayni Ayahuasca, a new joint initiative between the Temple and the Chaikuni Institute that aims to promote sustainable ayahuasca practices, highlight the importance of respecting indigenous healing traditions, and create opportunities for the global ayahuasca community to reciprocate to the Amazon and its people, fostering intercultural exchange in a way that benefits all people.
Debbie Rivett is the general manager and a workshop facilitator at the Temple of the Way of Light. After completing an donors degree with a double major in Psychology and Drama, Debbie worked in a number of fields, including education in HIV/AIDs and life-skills, investigative broadcast journalism, management of fundraising teams for international development organizations, international tour production for indigenous musical groups, and documentary-making. Her wide-ranging skill set serves her well in her work at the Temple, where she manages local, indigenous, and western staff; oversees scheduling, facilitator training, and staff relations; and is generally the glue that holds the Temple together. Passionate about healing and learning, Debbie has immersed herself in a journey with medicinal plants over the last 8 years, apprenticing through dietas in both the Shipibo tradition and a mestizo tabaquero tradition in the Amazon, and has also been initiated in the Bwiti tradition of Gabon working with iboga.
Deanna Rogers has been working with the Temple of the Way of Light since 2014. She facilitates the Temple’s Deep Immersion Retreats as well as 12-day retreats, and is the manager of the Deep Immersion program. Deanna has over 7 years’ experience leading and running different forms of group processes. She has various facilitation trainings including recently studying at the Process Work Institute in Portland, and with Dr. Gabor Maté. She brings a wealth of knowledge from the world of the Amazonian medicinal plants and has carried out many plant dietas in both the Shipibo tradition with healers from the Temple. She has also trained extensively within a tobacco tradition working with a mestizo healer from Iquitos.
Adam Andros (Aronovich) is the research and communications coordinator for the Temple of the Way of Light and the Chaikuni Institute. A psychologist, cognitive scientist and medical anthropologist, he has studied traditional systems of medicine in Mexico, India and Peru, adopting a dialectical approach that integrates scientific epistemology and traditional worldviews. He has worked extensively in western psychiatric institutions and has spent time learning from a variety of indigenous and traditional healers around the world. Balancing research and practice, he is an active member of the “Medical Anthropology Research Center” (MARC), and the “Asociación de Estudios de Medicina Psicodelica (AEDMP) group, both in Catalunya, and has shared his work in a variety of psychedelic support and harm-reduction projects around the world, including Kosmicare Project in Portugal and the Zendo Project in the United States.
Tanya Maté, N.D., is the Integration Director at the Temple of the Way of Light, and is in an ongoing apprenticeship with her father-in-law, Dr. Gabor Maté, in his unique style of compassionate inquiry and ayahuasca processing. Tanya is based in Vancouver, Canada, and facilitates both individual and group integration sessions online, in addition to offering psychological screening calls for potential guests. She also facilitates workshops at the Temple, drawing on her clinical and experiential training, as well as her personal work with the plants, to help people interpret their ceremony experiences and set the stage for powerful integration in their day-to-day life. She is deeply committed to bridging shamanic and western worldviews in an accessible way that respects tradition. She works from a trauma-sensitive, biopsychosocial-spiritual understanding of health. Tanya was originally trained as a geneticist, and worked for years in research before pursuing a career in the healing professions.