Eugene Cooke has been growing food and developing creative, community partnerships for over a decade. He believes that artistic expression and sustainable living are the keys to vibrant social systems. Eugene engages both youth and adults through hands-on learning experiences and lectures to help cultivate the nurturing sensibility that is crucial to our human evolution.
Working as an employee with national non-profits and schools inspired Eugene to create gebsite.com. Gebsite is helping people grow their own food at homes, schools, churches, community centers and parks. Gebsite allows Eugene to continue to partner with companies and organizations worldwide to awaken creativity through art and channel this creativity into practices for living abundant, holistic lives.
Eugene has assisted in developing gardens and mini-farms in California, Georgia, Washington D.C., Oregon, Florida, and Kenya. He has been teaching visual art, environmental and agricultural science to children and adults for over 10 years. His artwork has been collected by the California State University at Fullerton, University of Colorado and many private collectors. At this time, Eugene is planting, painting, and partnering with some of the most amazing people to encourage the next wave of our collective rise.
Miranda Rondeau is an Internationally recognized singer, musician, Remo frame drum artist, and teacher. She sings to remember and to connect the soul, chanting in a devotional language of her own. She has been making music offerings since 1994 and is a core member of LuvAmp Project. (http://luvamp.org/) She has opened for Dead Can Dance, Marianne Williamson, Starhawk, Grandmother Agnes Baker, and Aamo Bambo of the 13 International Grandmothers. She has performed for North American Frame Drum Festival, Tamburin Mundi Frame Drum Festival, World Sacred Music Festival, as well as many conscious raising events and rites of passage. She is eternally grateful to Layne Redmond, her frame drum teacher. Miranda began teaching 14 years ago and has taught frame drum workshops at the World Sacred Music Festival, Gaia Festival, REMO Music Center, Bang a Drum, Project Butterfly, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Goddess Studio, Mental Health Centers, and Before and Aftercare Programs. Miranda teaches and facilitates Frame Drum Workshops, Vocal Exploration Playshops, and Rhythmic Sound Healing Journeys.
Marysia Miernowska is an Herbalist, biodynamic gardener and Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner trained in the Wise Woman Tradition of healing. She teaches workshops in plant shamanism, holds ceremonies, and is the director of the California branch of the Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education.
A multilingual and multicultural devotee of Pachamama, Marysia has traveled extensively studying earth wisdom and ancient healing practices from different cultures around the world. Marysia designs medicinal gardens, formulates herbal medicine, creates sacred plant elixirs as well as herbal body and cleaning products. She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her daughter, grows biodynamic herbs in Malibu, and teaches in the greater LA area.
She shares her passion for wellness of the earth and her people with her clients, in workshops, in the gardens she tends, and as the Wellness Expert on the TV show At Home with Didiayer.
For more information on the Fall 2014 apprenticeship in herbal healing and plant magic, please visit www.thegreenwoman.com.
Laura Amazzone is an author, teacher, intuitive, jewelry artist and Yoginī/Priestess. She completed her Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Religion, with anemphasis in Women’s Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2001. Her book, Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power, explores the millennia-old rituals and manifestations of the Goddess in South Asia and honors female creative and sexual power as a divine force. Laura teaches classes on Goddess, classical Tantra and the Shakta and Kaula traditions, and is adjunct faculty in the Yoga and Philosophy program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and at Sophia Institute in Palo Alto. She has published numerous articles discussing myth, ritual, adornment, and the significance of South Asian Goddesses as divine models of female empowerment. She has a blog in the Religion section of the Huffington Post and a column called “Path of the Yogini” at OurInnerLives.com, a special project of Feminist.com. She lives in Venice, California.
Angela J. Brown is the Founder of DoulaLove’sCreation in Orange County. She is a licensed Registered Nurse, Certified Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, Pregnancy Life Coach, Certified Massage Therapist (Prenatal Massage), Kundalini Yoga Instructor and Speaker. She has been a Birth Doula since 2003 and has been a holistic practitioner for over 20 years. In 1992, she graduated as a Spiritual Practitioner from the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, CA. (Spiritual Practitioners are the “healing arm” of the church, as they stand in leadership roles, teaching classes, or director of ministries.) Angela became certified as a Kundalini Yoga Instructor in 2001 with Krishna Kaur Khalsa and a certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor “The Khalsa Way” in 2003 with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa at Golden Bridge in Los Angeles. Angela loves being a Doula, a teacher and student of birth and living.
“I am passionate about pregnancy and childbirth and supporting mamas-and-papas-to-be through birthing process. I believe it is vital for each pregnant woman to build her consciousness so that she births in alignment with the Innate Intelligence that she is. To Birth in Alignment means that a woman trusts herself, her body, and the Intelligence that operates within her. She consciously chooses to use her nine plus months of pregnancy wisely. She is willing to delve deep within herself and to uncover what she may have forgotten… that primal part of herself that knows how to birth.”
Lemia is passionate about spreading the message of Love through Naam Yoga, Shakti Naam, Medicinal Essential Oils, Holistic Health, Live Music, and Kabbalistic Astrology. She is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Harmonyum Practitioner, Birth Doula, Singer and Percussionist in “The Conscious Groove”, and has a Master's Degree in Education. Lemia utilizes her diverse background to bring a universal approach to self-healing in all of her classes and workshops. Her deep connection to Mother Earth and love for music and sound therapy has been an inspiration for Naam Yoga & Shakti Naam set to live music with essential oils. In 2013, she co-created the “Love Takes Flight Festival” in Irvine, California. As a member of the Naam Yoga Teacher Training Team, Lemia is committed to sharing this transformational and heart-opening practice with all who come to learn.
Holistic Health Practitioner, Massage Therapy, Harmonyum Healing Practitioner
Joshua Bowser is a Holistic Health Practitioner, a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, and Naam Yoga 1, 2, & 3 Instructor, and a Harmonyum Healing Practitioner. Joshua graduated from Healing Hands School of Holistic Health in the spring of 2007, and has since been on the path of truth and healing through Naam Yoga, meditation, Harmonyum Healing, nutrition, plant medicine, massage therapy, and laughter. He is an enthusiastic teacher and is passionate about health, the environment, and the conscious evolution of all life, and he shares his passion for teaching as a member of the Naam Yoga Teacher Training Team. In 2013, he co-created the “Love Takes Flight Festival” in Orange County, California. Joshua is a rhythm guitarist, singer, and songwriter in the band, "The Conscious Groove", and believes that music is the greatest example of how to flow and find harmony and joy in life.
Sotantar Suraj offers workshops all over the world and has practiced and studied yoga, meditation and healing since his childhood in Spain. Sotantar is a widely recognized Gong Avatar Teacher, Kundalini Yoga Teacher & Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer in his home base of Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, as well as in Europe. He had the privilege of receiving teachings from the Master of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, world-renowned Gong Master Teacher Don Conreaux, and from Tantra Teacher Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita in the Osho tradition, from whom he received his name—Suraj — meaning Sun. He has recorded a series of CDs including the Planet Gongs and Tibetan Bowls for meditation, transformation and healing. Sotantar is dedicated to raising awareness and spreading love and joy to the universal community.
Judy is nationally and internationally known for her extraordinary talents, exceptional skill, and generous, joyful spirit as performer, educator, music therapist, and workshop presenter. After 35 years exploring music as an expressive art and therapeutic healing tool, she continues to study and be inspired by sound traditions from various world cultures. She has been featured at Drums of Illumination Frame Drum Festival, The Kennedy Center Arabesque Fest (with Elmaz Abinader), at the Bali Spirit Festival (with Tony Khalife) and Bali Tribal Music Tours Retreat, at Sacred Maya Journey to the Yucatan, at Studio Maui, The Om Ball and Chants 4Change as part of the 2009 Obama inauguration events (with Saul David Raye), at the National Women's Music Festival (WI), at The Women's World Drum & Percussion Happen'n (NY), in Japan Music Therapy circles and events, Bioneers Conferences, and Music Educator and Therapy Conferences. She has recently completed a multi-year intensive Yogic Mystery School with Russill Paul after 15 years of exploring mantra and sound from the Indian perspective. Judy has also visioned a new and unique instrument called the dulsitar (TM), designed especially for devotional music from the heart. Find out more at www.resonanceandrhythms.com
"Judy Piazza is the very embodiment of the concept of world music. Her artistry is rooted in the rhythms and melodies of peoples and cultures from around the world - from ethereal Native American chants and flute to the delicate gossamer strains of her dulcimer and guitar work to the haunting echoes of the aboriginal didgeridoo to the powerful beat of the many drums and percussion instruments of which she is master. Judy's vocals and stories weave these disparate musical elements into a seamless and unforgettable experience."
Bud & Donna Ford, The Dulcimer Shop, Manitou Springs, CO
Earth Drumming, Community Psychologist
Alejandro is a professional percussionist and community psychologist. He brings infectious collaborative energy to the workshop that motivates students. He will teach students the importance of rhythm, spirit and musicality while making it fun and exciting. His passion for humanity and goodness is awesome! He has been a musician since his youth specializing in bringing live musical elegance to special events. He has performed as a musician for various venues playing percussion such as the congas, timbales, bongos, maracas, cow bells, clave, guiro and other African & Latin percussion instruments. In his performances he has musically played son, pop, salsa, Latin jazz, guajira, rumba, flamenco, rock-n-español, rock, reggae, calypso, soca, merengue, mariachi, oldies, and R&B. He has been a drumming instructor and led drum circles for Center for Living Peace, Don Miguel Ruiz and Insight Events USA, Hoag Hospital’s Community Medicine in Costa Mesa, Santa Ana Children’s Museum and various corporate clients.He also is a percussionist with “Hybrid Rumba” a world fusion band playing a mix of Latin, jazz, and flamenco. The band plays in restaurants, night clubs, company parties, holiday events, open houses, anniversaries, celebrations, meetings, conferences, weddings, dinners, and much more. Alejandro has a broad background of experience that spans a career in Psychology, Career Management, Mental and Public Health, Community Organization, Parent Development, Ceremonial and Conscious Drumming. He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Community Clinical Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. He enjoys international music and travel, loves dancing and playing percussion instruments.
Chris Morasky is a wildlife biologist with almost 30 years experience teaching Stone Age skills and nature connection and is considered one of the top Stone Age skills experts in North America. Chris has lived most of the past 20+ years in the wilderness and small communities of British Columbia, Idaho and Utah. He lived in a tipi for 6 years, homesteaded along the most remote mail route in the lower 48 states, lead totally Stone Age expeditions into the wilderness of Idaho and Oregon, worked in the most dangerous job in the world, was one of the largest python breeders in Canada, was a waiter at a 4 Star restaurant, managed over $15million worth of property in Park City, UT, and has had multiple near-death experiences. His teachers include Lakota, Shoshone, Arapaho, Crow, Blackfeet and Serri tribesmen, many wilderness skills experts and life itself. Chris workshops focus on awakening instincts, ancient skills and deep nature connection as doorways to understand more fully who we are and why we're here.
Sonja Marie has been conducting personal astrology readings since 1997. She intuitively interprets one's personality and life purporse with a nurturing, yet no-nonsense, New York approach. Sonja's readings are intimate & life changing. She intrinsically pierces the heart with sensitivity and respect. Never wavering from the truth, while carefully choosing words that appeal to her clients, and thus, knowing exactly what to say. She uses the configuration of one's natal chart -- a picture of the heavens based on time, date, & place of birth -- to assist in the breakdown of the negative & positive aspects of one's character. Sonja Marie is a true believer that the spiritual intention of self-evolution is to peel away false expectations by using the intuitive art of western astrology. As it reveals choices, strengths, and weaknesses on our path to self-love, we can honestly see our inner reflections and have the power to deeply LOVE the life we LIVE.
Through hundreds of individual readings and her teachings of WORDLIFE ASTROLOGY WORKSHOPS, she has realized a common thread: the power to grow is fostered through the universe's perception. We are ONE!
Vidya is a holistic wellness practitioner and lifestyle coach who uses techniques based in the ancient Indian healing system called Ayurveda, and its sister sciences, yoga and pranayama. She offers personalized daily routine and nutritional guidelines as well as herbal remedies to assist her clients in achieving and maintaining healthy, satisfying, balanced lives. Vidya has been running her Irvine-based private practice, Niroga Ayurveda, since she founded it in January 2009.
Vidya graduated from the California College of Ayurveda with a certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She received her training in Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation (Pancha Karma) in 2010 from the Ayur Vaidya Pharmacy in Coimbatore, India and the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Vidya has also studied yoga and pranayama at Patanjali Yoga Peet in Haridwar, India and has been a student of Advaita Vedanta (Indian philosophy describing the spiritual interpretations of the mind, body, and spirit) at the Chinmaya Mission of Los Angeles for over fifteen years. Additionally, she has been trained through the Bhakti Marga lineage in the practice of Atma Kriya, in which sound healing through the chant of AUM is a large part.
Vidya brings her extensive training and experience to her faculty positions at the California College of Ayurveda and the California College of Physical Arts (CalCopa) massage school. She also serves as the resident Ayurvedic practitioner at Seventh Chakra Yoga and is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.
Vidya is excited to bring her healing practices to her role at Mother Tree Sanctuary. She hopes to promote spiritual healing and inner peace by leading chanting circles. She will use sacred Sanskrit sounds, or mantras, as a modality to heal from within. In coupling these mantras with ancient breathing techniques known as pranayama, she can lead members of Mother Tree Sanctuary to live happier, healthier lives with less stress, anxiety and pain.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, OC Healing Psychotherapy
Elaine has perceived spirit and received messages since she was young. As an adult she continues to study metaphysics and develops her gifts so that she may assist others on their life's journey. Through her guides and Angels she is able to provide information, guidance and clear away blockages at the deepest root level that are impeding one from reaching their highest potential and happiness. Elaine’s Healings are especially effective because of her passion and specialized gifts in Past Life/Akashic Therapy. This is where clients experience multiply present day healings from possibly just one residual past life blockage being cleared.
Elaine has a MS Degree in Marriage, Family & Child Counselingfrom CSUDH and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, BA inPsychology with a concentration in Business Administration from USC. Elaine is a Certified Clairvoyant Medium and studied Vocal TranceChanneling under Multidimensional Healer; Lori Camacho of Sacred Connections; Shamanic Energy Medicine under Isabella Stoloff of Golden Condor Healing and is an Usui/Tibetan Reiki Master throughTony Guiffreda, of Total Life Care. Additionally, Elaine is a Masters Level Practitioner in Hypnosis, Past Life Regression, NLP and Timeline Therapy/MER.
Dana is guided by the intention to empower all beings to clear their obstacles; creating a path to manifest the life they desire. ♥
Elevating others by assisting in their journey of healing is Dana’s soul purpose. As an intuitive, empath, channel and healer she is guided by the intention and the desire to empower individuals to clear emotional layers and move forward to a healthier happier life. Utilizing a bachelors degree in Psychology and a masters degree in Education as well as over 15 years of experience through one on one and group integration within homes, business, schools and healing centers.
Dana's services include Soul Sessions (readings), Pranic Healing and Breathwork, Chiron Gong Sound Healing, Intuitive Parenting Workshops, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation classes and workshops. If you would like more information about Dana and her healing work please visit her website at www.spiritualhomework.com
Dana has been blessed to live this life with the spiritual name Nirmaljeet Kaur, the Lioness of God who is victorious over the negative and is an unpolluted, clean, clear, humble, pure, beautiful flow of harmony.
Holistic Health Counselor
Erika Elizondo is a mother, dancer, healer, artist, art educator, real food advocate, independent researcher and certified Holistic Health Counselor who has led hundreds of people through her annual “40 Day Healing Journey” focusing on cleansing the liver and revamping our approach to how we nourish ourselves. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and personal self-healing experience to help catapult each and every individual into the greatest sense of well-being and vibrant health possible. She advocates food sovereignty and natural living and teaches workshops designed to educate and empower consumers from all walks of life. She has worked with thousands of youth and has collaborated in designing and implementing educational outreach programs with many different organizations including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, LAUSD, Community Arts Resources and YWCA. When she is not busy trying to outsmart her preciously precocious two year old, she can be found dancing and playing with her band L’Esprit D’Afrique, chopping endless garlic in the kitchen, face painting and henna tattooing kids of all ages, and scolding people for eating Hot Cheetos and Diet Coke for breakfast. She is excited about her new relationship with MotherTree Sanctuary and hopes to help guide many lives in the most beautiful and transformational of ways.
Yolanda Black Fortin, PhD
IBCLC Lactation Consultant and Postpartum Doula
In her former life, Yolanda Fortin was a PhD psychologist/neuroscientist living in Boston, Massachusetts. Becoming a Mother changed her life journey completely. She was bitten by "the bug" a long time before pursuing her formal lactation education and doula training. It took her a while to recognize that nagging "bug" she was feeling was a passion for helping women blossom into becoming Mothers. It started as an excitement about breastfeeding, its health benefits, and the incredible bond it can foster between Mom and baby. She completed her lactation education and internship through the UCSD Lactation Consultant Program, and after almost two years of study and a year of hospital internship, she passed her board examinations to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Completing her training was an amazing, yet humbling and frustrating experience. She saw that though women are encouraged to embrace and celebrate pregnancy by becoming knowledgeable about their bodies and their baby’s development prenatally (usually through books and classes, not through medical professionals), few new Mothers felt fully supported in their emotional and physical journey with their new baby during the postpartum period. She noticed that, for many women, all the strength and empowerment that was gained during pregnancy was immediately lost during childbirth and postpartum. Since then, she fully engages and supports Mothers and their families during that crucial period of time postpartum. She provides loving breastfeeding education and support through her work as a lactation consultant in private practice. She teaches classes throughout OC and has consulted with breastfeeding families within Berlin Wellness Group OC, and at The Sanctuary in LA. She is also a postpartum doula, nurturing families by providing assurance, guidance and resources that align with their visions for life with a new baby.
Auntie Kekoa was first introduced to the craft of lei making in 1999. She believes that her introduction to a master lei maker from Honolulu was fated – the lei master lived only several houses away from her childhood home, a coincidence that could not have been random. Since then, Auntie Kekoa has been mentored by several master lei makers from Hawai’i, including Uncle Bill Char, Auntie Sandy Furoyama, Auntie Ann Kadowaki, and many others. She has taught at the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (Pasifika Living Arts Showcase 2013), The Los Angeles Mayor’s office/city at large, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Saint Margaret Mary Church Lu’au. Auntie Kekoa carries out workshops to perpetuate the fine art, but asks that students hold the Kuleana to protect the knowledge that is given to them.
In the times that Auntie Kekoa’s students have participated in the E Hula Mau lei contest, they have always won or placed in each category. Auntie Kekoa believes that no skill level is required to learn lei making; success is totally dependent on the amount of practice one puts into the craft.
Tatj's Cookies and Bohemian Trove, Wholistic Wellness Chef/Practitioner
Tatjana Verzella was born in Bonn, Germany, but grew up in Hermosa Beach, California. She decided to take her health and food choices into her own hands after being dissatisfied with a vegetarian diet. She is self-taught in the healing properties of herbs and is a strong supporter of natural birthing. While pregnant with her son, she realized how Western medicine diminishes the birthing process and makes it very impersonal for the mother; her own OB/GYN was more interested in taking blood samples than explaining what was actually happening to her body. As a result, Tatjana was drawn to the Bradley Method, which only inspired her to teach herself even more about wholistic living. Tatjana has been working at Mother’s Market for the last eight years, where she has continued to learn and teach others. She started her own company – Tatj’s Cookies – to provide healthful desserts such as maca cake and truffles to the community. Through Mother Tree, she hopes to teach others the benefits of clean living, both in one’s home and in one’s diet.
Giselle (Ragini) Abadie
Kundalini Yoga Instructor & Gongmaster
Ragini’s passion for Beauty, Balance and Harmony within all things brought her to become a Kundalini Yoga teacher (as taught by Yogi Bhajan); she loves to share these sacred teachings. She is a Gongmaster (as taught by Gongmaster Sotantar Suraj), working with the Planetary Gongs, Tibetan & Crystal Bowls, tuning forks, and other sound modalities has been her passion, and the greatest healing method she can share. She is currently studying the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda (to become a practitioner), working with the five elements, healing the body with healthy organic delicious food, herbs, and a balanced lifesyle. She weaves all of these divine teachings and shares them through her community, students, and friends. Ragini is dedicated to raising awareness, creating balance, inspiring passion and spreading love to all beings.
Certified Yoga Instructor, Children's Yoga & Healing Power Fusion
Maryanne has been an athlete her whole life. She has been a yoga practitioner in the Hatha Yoga Tradition since 1990, in the Bikram Yoga Series since 2007, and in the Vinyasa Power Yoga series most recently. She received her 300 hour Teacher Training Certificate from Core Power Yoga in Huntington Beach and received her certificate for Children's Yoga through Smiling Monkey Yoga at the Center for Living Peace.
Maryanne hopes to share all that Yoga has taught her with the community, and continues to be a humble student of the practice. Maryanne is also a Registered Dental Hygienist in Orange County and performed as a professional opera singer with the Los Angeles Opera Company for 13 years. She teaches piano, voice, and swimming. In her spare time, Maryanne has fun enjoying life with her 10 year old daughter.
"I am an instrument of healing Peace, Love, and Light. Humbly serving all to achieve oneness of mind, body, and spirit. When you are in that space and I am in that space, we are One."