#10 - Benjamin De Loenen on Ancestral Wisdom, Ayahuasca, and Remembering Who We Are

How do we connect more deeply with ourselves, our community and the earth? In this episode I speak with Benjamin De Loenen, founder and executive director of The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service (ICEERS), an organization dedicated to making ayahuasca, iboga and other psychedelic plant practices valued and integrated parts of society. In our western culture I believe people have become disconnected from each other and nature, and as a result we've lost touch with our essence as natural beings. Mental and physical illnesses are on the rise and our medical system is at a loss for answers. So what do we do about it? For thousands of years indigenous peoples have used sacred plants within the context of community ceremonies to heal personal and collective dysfunctions. What can western medicine learn from these traditions? Ben believes the answer is "Everything". In this wide ranging and important conversation we discuss how community is an essential component of healing, the dangers and opportunities of the current globalization of ayahuasca and iboga, and lessons learned from organizing the World Ayahuasca Conference.We also discuss tips and best practices for anyone interested in experiencing these medicines within their cultural and ancestral wisdom contexts. IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:About ICEERS and their missionHow we can reconnect and remember ourselves in our disconnected Western cultureThe benefits of sacred plant medicineWhy a sense of community is essential to healing ourselves, our loved ones and the planetHow the globalization of ayahuasca is creating challenges in the Amazon and what to do about it. The future of sacred plants and how we can responsibly integrate them into our culture. Some tips when planning your first ayahuasca ceremonyBenefits of Ibogaine for treating addictionThe high level opportunity that plant medicines and ancestral wisdom present to remake our culture and the world. BEN's BIO:Benjamin De Loenen, is the founder of The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service (ICEERS), a charitable non-profit organization with United Nations consultative status, where he serves as Executive Director. Benjamin is the author of several publications and films, has presented at conferences around the world, and has participated in various leadership roles, including as a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance (2012 – 2014). Benjamin studied audiovisual media and communications in The Netherlands, where he graduated with honors from his Masters with his documentary “Ibogaine-Rite of Passage” (2004), a film that remains an important reference on this subject matter. Since this achievement, Benjamin has been dedicated to making ayahuasca, iboga and other psychedelic plant practices valued and integrated parts of society. EPISODE LINKS:ICEERS - https://www.iceers.org/Ayahuasca Defense Fund - https://www.iceers.org/adf/World Ayahuasca Conference - https://www.ayaconference.com/Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance - https://www.ibogainealliance.org/

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