The Shift Network Catalyst


2021 Catalyst, Issue 15 – The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

Shift Network Update

By David Crow, co-host of The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

It seems that with each passing year, botanical medicine becomes more well known, more widely used and appreciated, and more urgently needed.

Whether it’s for boosting our immunity, treating the chronic fatigue phase of COVID-19, reducing the epidemic of stress, or protecting the respiratory system from the fires of global warming, the medicinal powers of plants are rapidly gaining credibility and being utilized by more people than ever.

Where is all of this going? Is the exponential increase in consumption of herbal products sustainable at an agricultural level? Could the interest in natural healing modalities radically transform our appreciation of the healing powers of nature, or simply exploit already depleted resources?

We know that medicinal plants are highly effective for many modern illnesses and the anxiety and stress of the pandemic, but could medicinal plants offer ways to mitigate the underlying causes linked to ecological disorder as well?

I invite you to join me for The Future of Plant Medicine Summit, taking place September 27 through October 1, where we will be exploring the many ways that nature’s pharmacy can protect and restore our health and wellbeing, the rapid changes that are taking place in the field of botanical medicine, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

This year’s summit is different from previous years in some important ways. This year, I will be hosting the summit along with four co-hosts who represent the next generation of herbalists: Sajah Popham, Kelsey Barrett, Nicole Telkes, and Adriana Ayales. I am honored to share the stage with these highly accomplished practitioners and educators who will be the herbal elders of the future.

The five of us are pleased and honored to present a stellar lineup of some of the most renowned and respected educators, clinicians, and researchers, all of whom will be addressing a wide range of important health topics and discussing solutions to both old and new challenges.

As always, the speakers are leading experts in the field, presenting up-to-date research and developments as well as time-tested classical knowledge and wisdom.

Renowned herbal educator David Winston will tell us about effective protocols for pain relief... Adriana Ayales will share important herbs that enhance mental clarity and cognitive functions... Rosita Arvigo will teach about concepts of healing in the Mayan tradition...

Robbie Anderman will show us how to prepare important immune boosting preparations that can be made from common trees... K.P. Khalsa will present effective remedies for headaches and migraines... Sarita Shrestha will discuss the most important herbs for the different phases of a woman’s life... and Nashalla Nyinda will elucidate how we can use our own body awareness to formulate herbal blends for our unique constitution.

Altogether, there will be over 35 speakers offering not just important practical therapeutic applications that are directly beneficial for our health, but also sharing their unique perspectives and insights about what the future may hold for this crucially important and rapidly evolving field of medicine.

The 5-day summit begins on September 27, and like all the summits on The Shift Network, it is free of charge. Please join me for this historic gathering of healers at this crucial time.

Register here for The Future of Plant Medicine Summit.

The uplifting stories in this issue’s “The Nicest Thing” section come from summit co-hosts David Crow and Adriana Ayales, and from bestselling author and scientist Gregg Braden.

To catch up on all the Nicest Thing stories, click here.

A Personal Invitation to The Future of Plant Medicine Summit (September 27 – October 1 ) From Your Co-Hosts, David Crow and Adriana Ayales

I am David Crow... the host of The Future of Plant Medicine Summit. This is my co-host, Adriana Ayales. This summit is dedicated to the future of herbal medicine, and so we’re going to be looking not just at all of the medical and clinical kinds of topics that we look at every year where people can get practical information about using botanical medicine for their personal health concerns, but we’re also looking at what is going on in the world of botanical medicine because botanical medicine is linked to ecological health and to climate change and to social and medical conditions that affect everyone.

To watch this 3-minute video and read the rest of your invitation from co-hosts David Crow and Adriana Ayales, click here.

Would you like to join The Shift Network team?

We are seeking unique and talented individuals for important positions at The Shift Network. If you're inspired and passionate about joining our team, please click here for more information about these positions. The Shift Network is committed to creating a diverse environment and is an equal-opportunity employer.

The Nicest Thing

In this special video series, prominent authors, teachers, thought leaders, and others answer the question, “What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?”

Gregg Braden’s Story
Bestselling author, scientist, and international educator

EXCERPT: And we struggled for a long time. Money was always an issue. We lived in government-subsidized housing in Northern Missouri. I applied for a union job at a copper mill in Northern Missouri. Because we needed the money and that was a shift that would allow me to work after school. So school was out usually at three o’clock. And the shift, it was a 12-hour shift, it was 4:00pm to 4:00am. And I lied about my age by only a year and they declined. They didn’t want to hire me. They said you don’t have the experience.

To watch the video and read the transcript of Gregg’’s 6-minute story of how a demanding factory job set him up for success in life, click here.

David Crow’s Story
Master herbalist, aromatherapist, Shift faculty, and host of the The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

EXCERPT: He was in Kathmandu after leaving Tibet, after being in Chinese prison camps for almost 30 years after the Chinese invasion. And he had been the physician of a large monastery. As he was going through his training as a young man, he had trained in the classical ways of going out into the forest with his teacher, harvesting the herbs, having ceremonies to give thanks to the plants, and all these classical kinds of ways of learning and practicing Tibetan medicine.

To watch the video and read the transcript of David’s life-changing 9-minute story, click here.

Adriana Ayales’ Story
Rainforest herbalist, Shift faculty, and co-host of the The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

EXCERPT: I was a little girl. I was probably eight years old, but it was such a profound story for me because I remember coming out of school late and I was waiting for my mom to pick me up at school, and I was just there hanging out, everybody had left and I was sitting on the sidewalk. And it was a mystical experience. This lady walked by and she had an iguana on her shoulder, and I looked up and I had this thick science book and my backpack was heavy and I was all sad that my mom was late.

To watch the video and read the transcript of Adriana’s 4-minute story about her reptile-loving guardian angel, click here.

Feature Articles

A Mini Guide on How to Avoid Burnout
From the Anima Mundi Apothecary blog, founded by Adriana Ayales, co-host of The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

Stress in the 21st century is no joke. As human residents of this beautiful planet, most of us are being bombarded with a wide array of toxicity from all directions. Many of us often forget that stress doesn’t just come from a busy life or emotional overwhelm, stress can come equally as strong from a biological inheritance, environmental toxicity, agricultural chemicals, exposure to heavy metals, electro-smog, and viruses. It is no wonder that physicians state that 90% of all office visits are for stress-related conditions and/or complaints.

To read more, click here.


Balancing Vata for Fall
From the Shakti School blog, founded by Katie Silcox, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

As we shift into fall, we are leaving the Pitta season and entering into the Vata season. The Vata element is associated with air and ether. It functions as movement and energy, and seasonally it is the time of year when the atmosphere is dry, cool, and rough (windy).

It is easy to see how Vata presents itself if we look at what is happening in nature (especially those of us that live in a four season climate). The cool air begins to dry the leaves making them brittle and rough and eventually they fall. These qualities translate to our own inner climate as well.

To read more, click here.

Herbs for Pain
By K.P. Khalsa, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

Pain is probably about the most disruptive thing you can have in your life. A simple tummy ache can make it seem like you’ll never feel right again.

Many excellent new pain-relieving drugs are available, but they all have side effects. Herbal medicines can give you the relief you need, without the concern for future problems or unwanted effects. With all the effective herbal medicines available, you don’t have to live with pain. You truly can feel the way you would like, day after day. If pain strikes, give it the boot. Herbs can help.

To read more, click here.

Bioenergetically Tap Into Your Heart’s Guidance to Experience Peace in a Polarizing World
By Dr. Shamini Jain, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

Have you been wondering whether humanity is capable of finding some type of common ground these days? Like you, I’ve been witnessing the growing divisiveness in our human family, even in the holistic and spiritual community. These days, it seems strong opinions get more energy than anything else.

But one thing I’ve noticed that brings me a sense of optimism and hope is that all of us know that greater healing is possible.

To read more, click here.

What is Medicine? Herbs Are Not Drugs
By Christopher Hobbs, PhD, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit.

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the way we view our health and what we think about our medical system has changed in unexpected ways over the nearly 2 years since the first diagnosis in December of 2019.

Medicinal mushrooms are known to provide the most potent, safest, and most comprehensive immune activation to help protect us against a wide range of pathogens that is known. This is based on decades of scientific research in labs around the world.

To read more, click here.

Racial Healing & Justice

ACTION RESOURCE: Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute — Transforming Trauma Into Nonviolent Power!

From Rev. Dr. Aliah MaJon:

Let me begin by making this statement: The journey towards genuine and sustainable racial healing must include us looking at trauma.

How do I know this? Because including trauma simply means that we understand that healing requires us to want to restore wholeness.

In this edition I’m returning to my commitment to share tools with YOU, our valued friends and readers, and I have a deeply relevant one to shine a light on.

It’s an organization called Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute, and I invite you to watch a brief video about them and their work...

Transforming Psychological Trauma Into Nonviolent Power

Although the consideration of trauma might be thought of as an unpleasant and maybe even weighty topic, as someone with traumatic experiences in my own background, I can assure you that the statement that I just made is true.

When human beings experience racism, exclusion, grief, disenfranchisement, fear, and sometimes even overt violence, they are — we are — enduring psychological harm .

As a lay person I cannot speak from a clinical understanding of this, I just hope that you will believe me. Also, if we find ourselves tempted to go the route of avoiding the icky stuff or constructing what is often called a spiritual bypass, let’s not do that.

If we do, our racial healing efforts will only be a fabrication. Something made up that is not real healing at all. Like metaphorical healers, we must not shy away from what may be hard to look at; instead, let’s join together to look at the ugly wounds so that we can restore all that is beautiful.

P.S. I personally went through the 1-Day STAR-Lite training last summer... It’s the real deal! Visit them here.

Liberating Race Podcast

The Holocaust, an infamously brutal and heart-wrenching atrocity, was planned and executed with a collectively sociopathic will by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime, the governing members of the Third Reich in Germany during the years of WWII.

There is less known, however, about the consequent healing, forgiveness, hope, and even some newfound happiness that also came out of this dark mark upon our human history.

This episode of Liberating Race, entitled “Reconciling Race,”is an interview with Cantor Judith Koeppel Steel, a Holocaust Survivor, whose entire life was impacted by this utter failure of human decency. Judith’s Jewish family had escaped aboard the ship St. Louis when she was an infant in 1939 — however, they and the hundreds of other passengers aboard were turned away by Cuba and the United States.

Now, as an elder, Judith is bringing us a message of hope regarding the power of love and how we can always focus our attention on building a better future. For the very first time, we are sharing an actual snippet from this interview, when Cantor Judith Steel told her story to Aliah MaJon, Gillian (Gweyn) Shelley, Joy Donnell and our Guest Host Phoenix Singer — a Jewish member of Shift’s team who was honored to receive a firsthand account from a Survivor.

This 3-minute excerpt teaches us how forgiveness can become a healing balm. Judith’s survival gave her and those around her the opportunity for sacred restoration and blessings. I believe that even hearing her words as she reveals her story offers a healing power of its own.

This podcast is an invitation to all those who are willing to take this journey and be architects of the process of racial healing. Evolution is a stretch, but our convictions matter.
— Aliah MaJon

Listen on Spotify, Apple, or anywhere you get your podcasts.

Featured Media

Tapping Into Your Subconscious Mind to Heal Your Body
The Dr. Oz Show
Featuring Dr. Trupti Gokani, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit
(Scroll down and click on the image underneath the video title)

Most people underestimate the power we have to heal ourselves because they don’t realize that many physical issues are triggered by the subconscious mind

In this fascinating and informative Dr. Oz clip, Dr. Trupti Gokani joins Oz to explore what it’s like to be able to tap into the subconscious and why many struggle doing so. In the process, they use high quality graphics to illustrate the different layers of the nervous system that the conscious mind has absolutely no awareness of and how they impact your waking experience.

When we ignore our subconscious mind, it’s a problem! The good news is that there are therapies that include modalities like hypnosis, meditation, and yoga that calm the stress response — at which point many physical symptoms begin to disappear.

Click here to watch this 4-minute video.

Hello, We’re The Abdominal Therapy Collective
By Rosita Arvigo, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit.

What is Abdominal Therapy?

In this brief video, Rosita Arvigo explains what Abdominal Therapy is, how it helps, and where to find a practitioner.

This treatment focuses on deep abdominal and fascial integration which assists general circulation and improves your all-round health and well-being. Abdominal Therapy encompasses simple and intuitive folk massage techniques and combines them with anatomy, physiology, and other focused learning.

It’s so much more than a belly rub!

Click here to watch this 4-minute video.

Sacred America, Sacred World

Infused with visionary power, this book by Stephen Dinan, Shift Network’s co-founder and CEO, is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.

Sacred America, Sacred World is so crucial to the times we’re in that we are serializing it in every issue of Catalyst. You can read the sixth installment (as well as the previous one) here.


Movement News

Climate Crisis As Spiritual Path
By Joanna Macy and Old Dog Documentaries

How can we live our lives fully, with inner peace and courage (and even joy) as we confront a world that is rapidly destroying itself?
— Joanna Macy

In 2013 Joanna Macy was interviewed for a film released in 2014 called The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community. And much of the unused footage was released recently in a 21-minute special director’s cut because in the filmmakers’ own words to her:

“It’s filled with things that are even more pressing now than when you said them in 2013. We think that it answers the most important and painful questions of our time.”

Click here to watch this important video: Climate Crisis As Spiritual Path

The People’s Ecochallenge
(October 6 – 27)

Thousands of committed individuals and groups from around the globe will be a part of The People’s Ecochallenge — an annual 21-day program promoting environmental actions and social engagement — this October.

Join our team where you can learn, take action, and gain community support. Take action steps that are aligned with your own values — while practicing and reinforcing healthy sustainable habits.

The People’s Ecochallenge harmonizes individual and collective action, creates new collaborations around the world and hosts some friendly competition ... all for a better shared future.

Register NOW and join Team Shift! See you there!

Healthy Happy Sexy: Ayurvedic Wisdom for Modern Women
By Katie Silcox, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

A hip, sensual Ayurveda bible for the modern woman, Katie Silcox offers a spirit-infused yet pragmatic guide that seamlessly brings this ancient wisdom into our modern lives without sacrificing the occasional rendezvous with red wine, fashion magazines, and other sensual pleasures. Healthy Happy Sexy offers not only a philosophy of life, but a time-tested (we’re talking thousands of years!) method for living your most radiant, healthy, and sexually vital life possible. This book is a complete guide to women’s health!

Click here to order your copy.


Healing Ourselves: Biofield Science and the Future of Health
By Shamini Jain, PhD, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

Spontaneous remission, the placebo effect, and energy healing — these phenomena have baffled the medical community for decades. What do all these marvels tell us? “Our current models of medicine fall short of understanding the depths of our human healing potential,” says Dr. Jain. “A growing number of scientists are exploring a new path — a true expansion of science that honors and incorporates ancient spiritual understandings.”

With her new book, Healing Ourselves: Biofield Science and the Future of Health, she rejects the “either-or” thinking that has placed conventional medicine at odds with so-called alternative methods — and offers an integrated path based on sound scientific evidence and personal empowerment.

Click here to order your copy.

Christopher Hobbs’s Medicinal Mushrooms: The Essential GuideBoost Immunity, Improve Memory, Fight Cancer, Stop Infection, and Expand Your Consciousness
By Dr. Christopher Hobbs, a featured speaker in The Future of Plant Medicine Summit

Mushrooms have been used as medicine for thousands of years and their value in boosting immunity, improving memory, and even fighting cancer is being recognized and documented in scientific research. Christopher Hobbs, a mycologist and herbalist at the forefront of contemporary research, profiles the most powerful medicinal mushrooms and explains the nutritional and medicinal compounds in each one, including details on psilocybin mushrooms for helping to heal mood disorders, addictions, and more.

Detailed instructions cover how to select, store, and prepare each variety for use. Whether readers are growing or foraging their own mushrooms, or sourcing them from a local provider, this essential handbook will guide them in making health-boosting medicine.

Click here to order your copy.

Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World
By Phil Bolsta of The Shift Network

Through God’s Eyes is a roadmap for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that shows you how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to bring joy and vitality to your daily life.

For more information and to order your copy, click here.
To download a free sample chapter on forgiveness, click here.

Through God’s Eyes is a superb book, a truly enlightened piece of work that is an essential read for all people who are truly devoted to the care and refinement of their soul. Phil is a contemporary mystic, a man whose life is a living commitment to spiritual service. I am honored to know him.
— Caroline Myss, author of Intimate Conversations with the Divine, Anatomy of the Spirit, and Defy Gravity

One of the most important books I’ve ever read. An incredible compilation of spiritual wisdom and insight. It’s the owner’s manual God should give you when you’re born.
– Robert Peterson, author of Answers Within

For several years, The Shift Network has hosted Indigenous leaders from around the world and invited them to share their sacred knowledge, rituals, and practices to guide us in a way of living that is sustainable, healthy, and just. We’re thus delighted that the Global Indigenous Wisdom Library makes this “virtual council” of leaders and their wisdom available for everyone, everywhere for free.

The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings, and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion, and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all.

The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform, and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We want to give a heartfelt thanks to Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. (“Brother Phil”) for his partnership in helping create this Indigenous Wisdom collection. And we thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge. To discover more, click here.

World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.

Shift Spotlight

Discover the Self-Healing Powers of Somatic Movement — A free video event with Brian Siddhartha Ingle, co-founder of Living Somatics, doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and naturopath, RSME... and Gayatri Schriefer, co-founder of Living Somatics, Hanna Somatic educator, RSME, BScEd. Experience how subtle, inward-focused, connected movements can help you self-correct physically, mentally, and spiritually — calming your nervous system, altering discomfort and distress, and fostering balance. Wednesday, September 29, at 5:30pm Pacific


Ignite Your Medical Intuitive Powers With Multisensory Energy Awareness Techniques — A free video event with energy medicine healer and medium Marie Manuchehri, RN. Discover the keys to raising your vibration and accessing your ability as a medical intuitive and manifester of your soul’s desires. Experience a powerful exercise to tap into your unique multisensory capabilities to cultivate feelings of wellbeing, peace, and happiness. Saturday, October 2, at 10:00am Pacific


Awaken Your Authentic Spiritual Essence to Catalyze Higher Love & Consciousness — A free video event with recipient of the President’s Lifetime National Community Service Award Sister Dr. Jenna, director of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Museum and host of the “America Meditating” radio show. Explore your innermost self with revived joy, wonder, and possibility using simple spiritual tools that help you shift from body awareness to soul awareness, revealing your core luminosity, true life blessings... and the Divine within. Wednesday, October 6, at 5:30pm Pacific


Discover How Energy Medicine Can Help You Release Blocks, Create Energetic Boundaries & Regain Radiance & Joy — A free video event with Jean Haner, Hay House author of five books about the spiritual side of Chinese medicine. Discover how energy clearing can release unresolved issues you’re still carrying from your past, including old stress, tension, or pain — and clear any negative energy you’ve soaked in from the people around you. Learn how to create and maintain healthy energetic boundaries so that you no longer take on others’ energy, and you can always return to a place of peace and balance no matter what life brings to you. Saturday, October 9, at 10:00am Pacific


Enhance Your Immunity, Resiliency and Inner Radiance With Ayurvedic Medicine and Tantric Philosophy With spiritual educator and bestselling Ayurveda author Katie Silcox. Unleash your potential for radiant living by fortifying your prana, tejas, and ojas through the healing and enlivening spiritual wisdom and science-based understanding of Ayurveda and its life-changing practices. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Monday, September 27


Cultivate Spiritual Immunity With Shamanic Medicine of the Earth With award-winning author and shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman. Explore potent ancient practices and the healing wisdom of your ancestors — to help transform the divides in your community, negativity in your heart, and darkness in the world. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Tuesday, September 28


Activate Your True Purpose Using Your Own Higher Guidance With Tim Kelley, author of True Purpose and founder of the True Purpose® Institute. Follow this proven system to manifest your full potential as you cultivate fulfillment, joy, and soul alignment in your life — so you can become the transformational change agent you’re meant to be. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Wednesday, September 29


A Sound Healing Journey With the Crystalline Vibrations of the Earth With internationally acclaimed singer Jeralyn Glass, crystal alchemy sound healer, inspirational speaker, and musician. Receive seven weekly one-of-a-kind sound-healing experiences to explore the beauty and significance of the modern crystalline music of the Earth — and engage with Jeralyn’s profound sonic tools as you apply their healing vibrations to your daily life. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Thursday, September 30


Deepen Into the Mystical Teachings of St. Hildegard With renowned spiritual pioneer Matthew Fox, the author of more than 35 books. Embody Hildegard’s profound teachings through her art, writings, music, and botanical soul alchemies to experience life as she did — rooted in the feminine, in allyship with the Earth, co-creating with Spirit and the angels, and filled with awe, wonder, and gratitude. New 9-Week Live Video Training Starts Tuesday, October 5


Tai Chi’s 8-Posture Form to Cultivate Balance, Harmony and Vitality With Master Helen Liang, the vice president of SYL Wushu Taiji Qigong Institute. Embody Tai Chi as a way of life, as you learn postures to cultivate inner and outer strength, flexibility, and mental focus in a world of constant change. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Wednesday, October 6


Mayan and Curanderismo Rituals to Heal, Awaken and Uplift Yourself and the Heart of the World With universal healer, visionary, and dreamer Grandmother Flordemayo, founder of The Path. Cultivate a greater appreciation for being alive and what it means to surrender to the present moment through Indigenous healing ceremonies, rituals, prayers, and divinely guided transmissions... that deepen your relationship to Mother Earth and your own spiritual gifts. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Thursday, October 7


The Flute as Sound Medicine to Open Your Heart and Expand Your World — A free video event with author, speaker, drummer and music therapist Christine Stevens. Discover the flute as a tool for transforming difficult emotions, and cultivating mindfulness, inner peace, and heart-guided ways of being. Now available!



Catalyst Back Issues
Click here to see all previous issues of Catalyst.