The Living Centre - Eco-Spiritual Education Sanctuary

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Living the Experience 7-Day Intensive

The Flow
Date & Registration

Living the Experience

Herbalism, Wild Nutrition & Forest Gardening
7-Day Intensive

August 24 -31, 2018

“Something new is happening, a new vision,
a new energy, a new sacred story is coming into being in the transition from one era to another.” ~
Thomas Berry 

This 7-Day experiential intensive informs and engages you in the energetic and nutritional elements of herbalism, wild nutrition and forest gardening, to help you to expand your awareness of the plant world through ecologically sustainable practices.

Cultivating human relationship with the plant kingdom and their cycles from garden to plate is ancient and essential if we are to fully understand how to participate in regenerative food systems that support both our personal health and the health of the Earth. 

This weeklong intensive invites you to deepen into a truly human intimacy with the natural world. Discover the diverse relationships you have with plants through plant medicine, wild nutrition, forest gardening, earth stewardship, edible plant foraging, herbal skills, eco-spiritual connection and nature immersion. 

The goal of this program is to cultivate an authentic, dedicated, growing herbal community of passionate leaders who hold a vision of a future that is ecologically resilient, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling for all beings.

  • Meet the plants where they live and discover their deeper stories and gifts
  • Learn about Plant Communities and Native Carolinian Canada Bioregion Ecology
  • Experience meditative and energetic processes to deepen awareness and connection
  • Develop the ability to perceive medicinal and energetic information directly from local and wild plants

Theoretical education supports the integration of the experiential practices.  Once you have the harvest, what do you do with it? That's the next step of training and discovery as you learn the art of wild cuisine. 

We invite you to join us in this hands-on experience and awaken your innate connection with the living world of plants, our relationship with them and their many gifts. 

Topics May Include:

  • Plant ID and Botany
  • Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
  • Wild Plant Foraging
  • Proper Harvesting for Plant Preservation
  • Herbal Formulation
  • Mushroom Inoculation
  • Medicine-Making
  • Permaculture Forest Gardening Practices
  • Wild Foraging Techniques
  • Living Wild Cuisine
  • A Case Study

Over the course of the week participants will immerse themselves into the natural world, meet a tribe of herbal allies, more fully clarify their purpose and articulate their visions. Focusing on authentic personal development, participants will learn frameworks, techniques and strategies to move forward in their life with an awakened sense of purpose.

The Flow  

in the forest

The Living Centre offers a safe and sacred environment for the shifts in consciousness needed to fully connect with self and nature.  

We will be outdoors in the beauty and abundance of this natural landscape as much as possible,

“I connected with community, with all of nature, with spirit and the self more than I ever thought was possible.  The Immersion was a means of splitting open...right down to my root, setting my true wild nature free...and on the loose.”  ~ Rita

The Flow

Friday: Begins with dinner at 5:30pm

Saturday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday: 9:00am - 9:00pm
relaxing in the forest

Monday: 9:30am - 5:30pm

Tuesday: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Wednesday: 9:00am - 9:00pm

Thursday: 9:00am - 5:30

Friday: 9:30 - finishes with lunch at 12:00



Shantree Kacera, D.N., Ph.D. is a Permaculture Educator, Ayurvedic Live-Food Nutritionist, Therapeutic & Shamanic Herbalist, Constitutional Ecological Consultant & Forest Garden Practitioner with 40 years experience in the Organic Natural Healing Arts.

Shantree received his doctorate in Nutritional Medicine and Herbalism in the 70's. Since then he has been exploring the effects of local foods and herbs on one's physical, mental and emotional health. 

He offers guidance and tools for connecting with the energetic and spirit realm of the plant kingdom. He will bring his years of experience in the ancient art of Ayurveda to help you understand how the elements shape body, mind and emotions, and how to rebalance these powerful life-energies when they go out of balance. 

Shantree's deep spiritual connection to the Earth has drawn him into the teachings of shamanic and earth wisdom practices as well as Carolinian Canada native plant preservation and studies. Learn more> 


Lorenna Bousquet-Kacera, founder of Shamanu: Earth Wisdom Teachings, (est. 1989), a grandmother and daughter of the Earth. Lorenna has followed her own wild heart to grow Earth centered training pathways. Weaving enchanted stories and wise council, Lorenna support us at this time of global crisis/opportunity, to return, emboldened to Earth and to our own human wildness.  

For over 45 years Lorenna has mentored ‘change makers’ from all walks of life. Her teachings help us reclaim our birthright as ecological beings, and with it an Earth-honouring vision that is centered in a practical spirituality. 

Lorenna is the co-director with her husband Shantree of The Living Centre (est.1983). She is a Permaculture Educator, Ayurvedic Living Nutrition Educator and Sevenfold Path of Peace coach with a specialty in evolutionary regeneration at the personal, ecological and spiritual levels. Learn more> 


Guest Presenters (To Be Confirmed)

Christine Dennis RH, MNIMH, MSc. has a Master of Science degree from the University of Wales (MSc.) in the UK. This is the highest herbal medicine qualifications available in the world.

Christine is the past president and current Professional Member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (RH) as well as a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (MNIMH) in England and is a graduate of the Dominion Herbal Colllege Clinical Program.

She considers herself to be an eclectic herbalist having had a balance of bio-medical, traditional and energetic herbal medicine training as well as a great deal of hands on experience in the field.

Living on an organic farm allows Christine the perfect opportunity for her home based office, and giving herbal walks and talks as well as at other locations around southern Ontario. 

Jayme Cannon didn’t fully understand what she was getting herself into when she signed up for the Traditional Herbalist program at The Living Earth School of Herbalism in the year 2000… little did she know that her decision would forever change the way she saw and experienced her world.

Jayme’s herbal training began with a strong focus on local, sustainably wildcrafted medicine. Much of her dispensary has been harvested from forests, so when she discovered Permaculture and Food Forests, she knew she had found a path that would further deepen her connection with the plant world. She took her Permaculture Design Certificate at The Living Centre in 2011, and has studied with Lorenna and Shantree for the last 10 years. Recently, she has taken on a 3-acre Pear Orchard Rehabilitation project at The Living Centre with her husband Daniel. 

Rob Read spends his time outside his day-job as Administrative Assistant in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University between permaculture, writing, and his family. Rob's passion for forest gardening and permaculture began when he came across Robert Hart's book about his forest garden at a used book fair. This dovetailed nicely with his concern over our current food production system, and made perfect sense based on his many years as a naturalist and amateur ecologist. Since 2008 he has been enriching his experience of permaculture through extensive research and trainings, including workshops with leaders in forest gardening, holistic management, and rocket mass-heaters. He is co-founder of Artemisia's Forest Garden Nursery, a nursery that specializes in plants suited for forest gardens. He is also a co-founder of the Carolinian Canada Forest Garden Guild, and has been a planner for the annual Forest Garden Convergence since it's inception in 2013. After several years of practical focus on forest gardening, Rob is actively expanding his knowledge and experience in natural building.

Ben Porchuk has over two decades of experience in wildlife biology and ecology, non-profit management, environmental consulting, and sustainable living. Working with rural threatened ecosystems in southern Ontario and in densely population urban centres, He has become both a highly experienced practitioner on ecological systems recovery and an strong agent for restoring urban ecology to greater resiliency. Now living in a densely populated area of a London, Ontario, his property consists of over 150 species of native plants, including a wetland, all visited by many species of wildlife, seldom observed in the downtown of a city.

His experience studying wildlife and ecosystems lead to projects sponsored by World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy Canada, Ontario Land Trust Alliance, and Royal Botanical Gardens to create conservation plans for several threatened ecosystems across southern Ontario. These experiences working with large landscapes and individual species at risk imparted much insight and practical experience leading to designing and constructing effective micro-habitat features (hibernation, basking, nesting, etc.) for snakes, turtles, lizards and other species. 

Before the recent era of rapid renewable energy expansion, he gained expertise on living off grid. He has lived remotely off the grid for over a decade with solar panels, a wind turbine, composting toilets and a rainwater collection system. 

He has also been contracted to work with First Nations communities, completing wildlife and plant inventories and reviewing impacts of proposed renewable energy developments on Traditional territorial lands. This included completing an extensive Traditional Medicinal Native Plant Inventory and Procurement Program. Working with botanists, Native Elders and other community members, he selected several species of native plants for the basis of 'healing from nature' program. Western medical models were to be supplemented by modest harvests of traditional medicinal native plants growing in the community. 

In the past several years, he has completed courses and trainings in various spiritual modalities including Reiki, Access Consciousness and several others. 

Over the past two years, Ben become the first certified Forest Therapy (a.k.a. Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing) guides, and then trainers in Canada. Moving this practice to expand in Canada, in 2015 Ben was named the Head of the Canadian Chapter of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. 

Ben's popular blog ( features posts on spiritually reconnecting with nature, plants and animals in efforts to get more people outside to experience nature first hand. Ben's company, Restorative Nature Experiences ( an alchemy of his ecological, environmental and spiritual journeys, offering guided walks, workshops, training courses and one-on-one guidance.

herb garden

Date & Time: 

August 24 -31, 2018
Begins Friday 24 at 4pm August 24th with registration and dinner to Friday 31 August 31, 1pm with lunch 


Regular Price $1675 ($1200 for Intensive, $325 for meals and #125 for tenting accommodations. (Cabins are available at an extra cost.)


Early-Bird: $1450 by June 23rd 

Includes: All 7-Day Intensive sessions, educational material, 3 organic vegan meals daily, snacks and herbal teas. 
Does not include taxes, transportation and accommodations (BYO).   


To receive the full experience we highly recommend that you stay on the property during the 7-Days. Tenting (BYO) or Cabins are available. 

Private Cabin: $155 - beddings provided - quaint and cozy - no electricity or water

Other accommodation options:

We feel that the importance of this work is such that we will do our best to make sure that anyone who wishes to attend can do so. See below for options and if none of these work for you please contact us at 519-652-0230

Work Trade Opportunities: Partial work-trade of up to $200 is available.
Please inquire at 519-652-0230

Limited Scholarships available

Payment can be made through 'PayPal' below, e-transfer, or by certified check or Visa. Please make check payable to The Living Centre and send to: 5871 Bells Rd., London, ON., Canada, N6P 1P3


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Where can I stay? 

Read our commitment and cancellation policy here

Click here to request more information

For information about the Herbal Mentorship click here> 

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