Opening Session (1/4)

Ben de Loenen. Founder and Director ICEERS
Bia Labate. Dr. in Anthropology, Brazil
Richard Wolfe: Heffter Board of Director

Uses of Ayahuasca: Indigenous (in spanish)

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda (Colombia); Sia Kaxinawa (Brazil); Kajuyali (Colombia).
Moderation: Glenn H. Shepard Jr. Traduction: Bia Labate. Also: Leopardo Sales (Yawbane)

Opening Session (2/4)

Leon de Souza, Leon Garcia is a Brazilian psychiatrist and PhD in Public Health. He presently holds the position of director of drug policy coordination at the National Secretariat on Drug Policy (SENAD) from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.

Opening Session (3/4)

Amanda Feilding is the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, UK.

Opening Session (4/4)

Dr. Claudio Naranjo (Valparaiso, Chile, 1932) has spent forty years developing the wisdom of the Enneagram and created the Psychology of Enneatypes. As a protege and successor of Fritz Perls, he has become a world leader in Gestalt therapy. Professor at Berkeley, he is considered a pioneer of transpersonal psychology and an integrator of the fields of psychotherapy and spirituality.

Uses of Ayahuasca: Personal Development

Claudio Naranjo (Chile), Danae Saenz (Chile), Josep Mª Fericgla (Catalunya), Manuel Villaescusa (Madrid), Luis Eduardo Luna (Colombia). Moderator: Maria Carvalho (Portugal)

Ayahuasca is not only used as a medicine or sacrament, more and more people are seeking ayahuasca to facilitate their personal development through the introspective nature of the expe- rience. Many groups and centers around the world offer ayahuas- ca for this purpose, in ritualistic contexts of different kinds.
The participants in this session will share their experiences and observations in working with ayahuasca in these settings.

Gabor Maté. Uses of Ayahuasca: Clinical

Gabor Maté M.D. is a physician and best-selling author whose books have been published in twenty languages internationally. 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.

Ayahuasca has gained popularity as a tool in the treatment of addiction, depression, PTSD. Even though there is very limited scientific evidence, there is a growing body of anecdotal reports about the clinical potential of ayahuasca. In these sessions different professionals who work with ayahuasca in clinical practice will share their insights and experience, discuss cases, the difficulties and limitations they have observed and how they envision the future of ayahuasca in this type of practice.

Ayahuasca and the Drug Policy Reform Movement

Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director Drug Policy Alliance

Most of the work that I and my colleagues at the Drug Policy Alliance do focuses in three areas: ending marijuana prohibition, treating drug use and addiction as health issues, and generally reducing the overall role of criminalization and the criminal justice system in drug control while protecting public safety and health. So why did I choose to come to an ayahuasca conference? Come find out!

Scheduling in the International Drug Control System

Pien Metaal, Project Coordinator Transnational Institute (TNI)

This session Pien Metaal will present a recent discussion paper on substance scheduling publised by TNI, called “Scheduling in the international drug control system” ( The paper argues that while often viewed as an obscure technical issue, the problem of scheduling lies at the core of the functioning of the international drug control system. Scheduling – the classification of a substance within a graded system of controls and restrictions, or 'schedules' – must take place in order for a substance to be included in the international control framework, and determines the type and intensity of controls to be applied.

Ayahuasca & Brain Change: From Pharmacology to Psychology

Sam Gandy, PhD Candidate, University of Aberdeen

A look at how ayahuasca affects the brain in terms of pharmacological activity, on different receptor sites, differing brain regions, how it affects brain waves, and importantly how it may influence neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and the implications this could have for depression and addiction. While looking at this zoomed in perspective, the zoomed out perspective looking at human personality change will be linked to this and also be examined…what implications does ayahuasca use have for people and society at large, via an examination of all levels it imparts effects, to the very micro to the very macro in scale.

Legal Status of Religious use Ayahuasca

Roy S. Haber, J.D., Roy S. Haber PC Attorney at Law

In 2008, a federal district court in the United States issued the first and only permanent injunction ever in the United States ordering the Attorney General of the United States to cease ”prohibiting the Santo Daime from importation, storage, distribution and use of the Daime Tea for religious ceremonies.” Roy Haber will discuss his representing the Santo Daime for 15 years and how he navigated this case to victory. He is currently representing several of the more prominent Peruvian Shamans and American maestros in an attempt to protect their ”churches” from government intrusion. Dennis Mckenna, Luis Eduard Luna and others who are present here are part of the team that defeated the United States despite its vast resources.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Ayahuasca in the Treatment of Addictions

Brian Rush (Presenter),Scientist Emeritus/Professor Centre for Addiction and Mental Health/University of Toronto, Canada.

Ayahuasca has been identified as having therapeutic potential for the treatment of addiction and other mental health challenges such as depression and trauma-related disorders. While long-standing indigenous knowledge, anecdotal evidence and several preliminary observational studies consistently point in this direction more research is needed with more rigourous methods and diverse therapeutic settings and cultural contexts. This presentation will outline the rationale for and design of a multi-country, multi-site program of research known as the Ayahuasca Treatment Outcome Project (ATOP).

Social Representations about Yage in a Group of Young people from Cali, Colombia

Neil White, BA Social Sciences, University of Leeds, England, Semillas Cofan, Barcelona

Introduction: This study is, in part, a response to the return to a holistic vision of the human being with many modern therapeutic practices taking direct inspiration from ancient techniques employed by traditional communities for the purposes of individual and collective health as opposed to the fragmented and often unilateral vision of modern medicine.

Good mother nature: Ayahuasca neoshamanism as cultural critique

Alex K. Gearin Brisbane, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Embodying types of metropolitan and industrialised consciousness, ayahuasca drinkers in Australia approach their practice as a means of gaining ʻnatural intelligenceʼ and organic wellbeing on the level of spirituality. These notions of intelligence and wellbeing permeate narrative accounts of ayahuasca visions and are associated to diverse types of individual healing and cultural critique. Based on recent ethnographic fieldwork in Australian ayahuasca circles, this paper explores ways in which ayahuasca visions couple with discourse on anthropogenic ecological crisis and natural alienation to mediate personalised understandings of sickness, emotional and social instability, and diverse moral vicissitudes.

Vines and Minds: Phytochemical Analysis from the DMT-Nexus

Raph Borges M.A., The DMT-Nexus & David Nickles B.A, The DMT-Nexus

Despite numerous published scientific papers and anecdotal reports indicating the presence of DMT in a wide variety of plants, there is much ambiguity, contradiction, and speculation regarding the actual chemical composition of many of these plants. Discussions of indigenous preparations, which include DMT-containing plants, often treat the phytochemistry of the β-carboline-containing plants as fairly uniform. However, new examinations of these plants, utilizing modern analytical techniques, have shown them to contain a variety of compounds in differing ratios.

Ayahuasca, Self-consciousness and Psychological Well-Being: an Study about Religious (In)Congruence

Antonio Roazzi (Presenter), Ph.D. on Developmental Psychology, Graduate Program on Cognitive Psychology, Federal University of Pernambuco

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive tea used in ritual and religious contexts. Studies suggest its possible use for therapeutic purposes, as in the treatment of depression and drug abuse, etc. This is ex-post-facto study which investigated the use of psychoactive ayahuasca in religious context has an effect on the mind, in order to provide higher levels of selfreflective self-consciousness, and psychological and spiritual well-being. Thus, we mapped the relationships between the processes related to the self as self-consciousness and the psychological and spiritual well-being in the dependence of religious congruence of the distinct groups (ayahuasca drinkers, traditional evangelical Baptists and non-religious people non-users of ayahuasca).

The View of Life Influences of Ayahuasca Experiences

Jaakko Lavonius, Master in Humanities, Helsinki University

The approach of the study is principally phenomenological, aiming to find out 1) What kinds of motives the informants have to participate in the ayahuasca ceremonies? 2) How they feel they have benefitted from participating the ceremonies? 3) How the experiences have influenced their spirituality? 4) What kinds of influences on the informantsʼ world-views have the experiences created? 5) What common similarities can be found between different peopleʼs ayahuasca experiences? 6) How the ayahuasca experiences can be compared to Abraham Maslowʼs theoretical models of peak experience and self-actualization?

Hoasca Ethnomedicine: Traditional Use of “Nove Vegetais” by the União do Vegetal

Sérgio Brissac, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales - Institut Interdisciplinaire d'Anthropologie du Contemporain - Post-Doctoral Researcher

This presentation concerns a practice of the Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal or UDV, which in the past employed the infusion “Nove Vegetais” (“Nine Herbs”), that is, ayahuasca with nine species of plants added for curative purposes. The use of these herbs distinguishes the UDV from other Brazilian ayahuasca-churches and is similar to traditional practices of Amazonian healers. It will be exposed data on the properties of these nine species, together with a tenth at times also added, “João Brandinho.”

Linguistic Markers of the Level of Integration of Ayahuasca Experiences

Petra Bokor, MSc Transpersonal Psychology, PhD Candidate, University of Pécs

The presentation summarizes the linguistic markers that indicate the level of integration of ayahuasca experiences. Eleven European participants were followed for the period of 1 year, during which they participated in 3-5 ayahuasca rituals and a follow up period of 6 months. The overall aim of the analysis is to discover psychological factors that support the integration of ayahuasca experiences allowing therapists to better understand the process of integration and develop tools for its facilitation.

Supporting the Multiple Sclerosis Healing Journey with Transpersonal Therapy

Lucille Villaseñor-Caron, Lucille Villaseñor-Caron, Happiness & Wellness Professional, Therapist and Facilitator (M.S.W., R.S.W. Psychotherapist, R.Y.T.)

This thesis is an autoethnography that provides a thick description, analysis and reflection of my personal Multiple Sclerosis healing journey, supported by a transpersonal modality based on an ancient shamanic wisdom of the Amazon.

Taboo: From the Jungle to the Clinic

Danny Nemu, M.Sc Life Sciences with History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Santo Daime UK, Interfaith Alliance UK

Introduction: Fertile areas for the scientific study of ayahuasca have opened up recently due to advances in neuroimaging, psychological models and methodologies, and new perspectives from the growing field of mindfulness studies.

The Possible Role of the Endohallucinogen Dimethyltryptamine in Tissue Regeneration

The Possible Role of the Endohallucinogen Dimethyltryptamine in Tissue Regeneration N,N-dimethyltryptamine, Immunoregulation, Indolethylamine-N-Methyltransferase

Ede Frecska (Presenter), M.D., Ph.D, University of Debrecen; Attila Szabo, Ph.D., Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen & Petra Bokor, MSc Transpersonal Psychology, PhD Candidate, University of Pécs
N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is classified as a naturally occurring serotonergic hallucinogen of plant origin. It has also been found in animal tissues and regarded as an endogenous trace amine transmitter.

The New Frontier of Ayahuasca Healing Centers

Celina M. De Leon, BA in Human Biology Stanford University, Posada Natura Retreat Center, Costa Rica

The therapeutic benefits of ayahuasca have gained significant attention over the past decade. This has resulted in the development of centers dedicated to ayahuasca-assisted therapies and the emergent international expansion of ayahuasca at large.

Religión de los Sentimientos: Contextualización y Reflexión sobre el Desempeño de la Escucha

Patrícia Paula Lima, Candidata a Doctorado en Etnomusicología, Universidad de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal. Traducción: Cristina Patriota

Esta presentación tiene como objetivo reflexionar sobre algunos aspectos relacionados con la forma en que los miembros del grupo conocido como “União do Vegetal” (UDV), han aprovechado el conocimiento doctrinal común a esa vertiente religiosa ayahuasca.

The Entropic Brain

Robin Carhart-Harris (Presenter), PostDoc, Imperial College London & Amanda Feilding, Beckley Foundation

Entropy is a dimensionless quantity that is used for measuring uncertainty about the state of a system but it can also imply physical qualities, where high entropy is synonymous with high disorder.

Ayahuasca, Psychedelic Studies and Health Sciences

Ayahuasca, Psychedelic Studies and Health Sciences: The Politics of Knowledge and Inquiry into an Amazonian Plant Brew

Kenneth W. Tupper (Presenter), Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada & Beatriz C. Labate, Visiting Professor, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico

This presentation offers critical sociological and philosophical reflections on ayahuasca and other psychedelics as objects of scientific research in medicine and health.

A Philosophical Grounding for Ayahuasca as a Spiritual Technique

Pieter Stokkink, Master in Social Philosophy & Ethics University of Amsterdam, OPEN Foundation

Phenomenological research has concentrated on the way psychedelic experiences in general an ayahuasca experiences in particular were experienced by a subject. Researchers focused on the content of the experience and the thoughts, ideas and/or emotions that were revealed in it.

AYA2014 - Esther Martínez. Religion and Spirituality

Esther Martínez. Licenciada en Medicina y Cirugía.

Al conocer la ayahuasca a través del Santo Daime: 1ª Coordinadora ("Comandante") en Cataluña, durante 5 años. Perteneciente al directorio del la 1ª Asociacion de Daimistas en Cataluña. Organización del 1er Encuentro Europeo de Asociaciones Daimistas que tuvo lugar en Girona. Presidenta de la Asociacion Europea del Daime (CEFLURIS) durante dos años.

Vision Quest: community life in connection with Sacred Plants

Dario Giuffrida, Psychologist, Associacion Fuoco Sacro (Italy) - Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan

The Vision Quest (VQ) is an experience and a possibility of community life in connection with sacred plants. Our ancestors taught women and men who choose to walk carrying a sacred plant in their altar, to learn to fast, to abstain from eating and drinking and to be in silence, and thus find their own vision through direct observation and listening.

The Cosmic Serpent Meets the Rainbow Serpent

The Cosmic Serpent Meets the Rainbow Serpent: Explorations into Ayahuasca Use as a Catalyst to Enhanced Access to Transpersonal Domains and its Relation to Reawakening Knowledge of Native Science

Victoria Sinclair, Master, Personal Development Foundation and Middlesex University

Introduction: An overview of findings of research looking at correlaton between insights gained from ayahuasca use and concepts of consciousness, nature and spirituality found in Australian (ab)Original Native Science and IKS (Indigenous Knowledge Systems). B

The botanical identity of the soma/haoma plant

Matthew Clark, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, SOAS (affiliate)

In this paper I revisit the issue of the botanical identity of soma/haoma and suggest, alternatively, that soma may have not been a single plant, but a combination of plants producing a form of ayahuasca (or ’anahuasca’).

Ayahuasca, Yoga and Tantric Art: In the House of Sacred Sciences

Georgios Kargellis, Yoga and Tai Chi Teacher, Ayurvedic Consultant, Votanotherapist, Art Teacher, Yogardenia

The use of ayahuasca combined with practicing yoga and tantric art becomes a more profound method for healing and opening of the interior door.

Effects of the Psychoactive Sacramental Drink Ayahuasca in the Mental Health of Religious Members

José Arturo Costa Escobar (Presenter); Ph.D. on Cognitive Psychology, Grupo de Estudos sobre Álcool e outras Drogas, Federal University of Pernambuco

In conclusion, the results suggest that the ritual use of ayahuasca does not promote mental health problems, and self-rumination act as mediate factor of psychopathology. It was not possible demonstrate the positive effects observed derived from continuous use of ayahuasca.

Cognitive Freedom and Drug Policy Reform

Jonas Di Gregorio, degree in Philosophy University of Rome, co-founder of Libertà Cognitiva Association, Italy

This presentation aims at presenting: 1. what is cognitive freedom; 2. how cognitive freedom has been restricted in the past, for example with the Index Librorum, the list of forbidden books that was not allowed to read, print or possess, and how it is restricted today, with the list of scheduled substances; 3. why restrictions of cognitive freedom are so difficult to be recognized compared with other form of individual freedom; 4. what kind of argumentation can be raised in the public debate to spread awareness about the legal restriction to entheogenic exploration.