February, 2009 News

Energy and Spirit, a Week-Long Symposium at the Epona Center

The Epona International Study Center at Apache Springs Ranch is pleased to present its first week-long symposium featuring internationally-known researchers/authors recognized for their contributions to mind-body science, energy and consciousness studies, and the healing potential of the human-animal bond. With each clinician sharing his or her latest insights, including research so new it hasn’t yet been published, participants have the opportunity to hear cutting edge theories and studies “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

“When we moved to Apache Springs Ranch over three years ago,” says Epona founder Linda Kohanov, “it was one of our long-term goals to offer affordable seminars by innovative authors and clinicians who stretch the boundaries of reality—while also grounding their ideas in appropriate research and experience.” Over the years, through her travels and the positive response from her books, Linda has made connections with numerous well-respected authors and researchers who’ve expressed an interest in presenting at the Epona Center. This first collection of seminars will feature Gary Schwartz, PhD, and Ann Linda Baldwin, PhD.

“Gary and Ann are not only among the most accomplished researchers in the field of mind-body science, they have a strong connection to animals as well,” Linda reveals. “Gary’s theories in The Living Energy Universe saved my sanity during the time I was writing my first book The Tao of Equus, as his carefully researched ideas helped me deal constructively with my most outlandish mystical experiences with horses. Then there’s Ann Baldwin, who has worked with Gary on some influential papers published in scientific journals. This University of Arizona physiologist has done some of the most significant research on the horse-human connection out there. She’ll present the results of some intriguing experiments she conducted last fall. If you’re at all interested in how emotion, energy, and consciousness affect your relationships with your horse and other animals, as well as the two-legged creatures in your life, you won’t want to miss her workshop.”

Seminars during the Energy and Spirit week may be attended individually, or as a package for 10 percent off the total cost. Here is a brief overview.

Monday, March 16 – The Sacred Promise: Reuniting Science and Spirit for Healing and Transformation

Gary E. Schwartz, PhD ($250)

Gary E. Schwartz, PhD, is the author of numerous books that explore the borderlands between science and spirituality, including The Energy Healing Experiments (2007), The Afterlife Experiments (2002), and The Living Energy Universe (1999). He serves as Director of the University of Arizona’s Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health, where much of his cutting-edge research is conducted. Gary’s newly completed book, The Sacred Promise (2010) expresses “an urgent call for reuniting Science and Spirit” by focusing on three areas of visionary science—Afterlife, Spirit Guide, and Spiritual Healing research—with direct applications for our personal and collective lives. Join us for an inspiring pre-publication introduction to the latest research exploring these “big picture” questions as Gary draws on remarkable new discoveries from his university laboratory as well as the laboratory of personal life: Does conscious-ness survive death? Do spirit guides and guardian angels exist? Does Spirit play a fundamental role in healing and health? Is that its “Sacred Promise” to us?

Tuesday, March 17 – Mystics with Tails: Horses as Messengers and Guides for Transformation

Linda Kohanov ($250)

Horses are universally depicted as messengers of wisdom, creativity, and healing. Pegasus inspired artists and carried heroes to the stars. Muhammad received his visions astride the magical mare Alborak. Druid priests employed horses as oracles. The centaur, Chiron, taught the Greek god of medicine everything he knew, while in India, twin horses known as the Asvins were said to have created the healing arts. And according to Hindu prophecies, an equine avatar named Kalki will usher in a future era of peace on earth. Epona founder/bestselling author Linda Kohanov has spent 20 years researching the mythical/spiritual dimension of the horse-human connection—and putting it to practical use. She will show how many of these ancient myths have parallels in reality as living, breathing horses are increasingly recognized for their powerful healing capabilities. She’ll offer the latest research in mind-body awareness to explain how horses seem to read people’s minds, and why they so easily jump-start creativity, intuition and transformation in humans. She’ll teach simple techniques for accessing horse wisdom as a form of guidance, including how to connect with the “Horse Ancestors,” the collective memory of the species. And she’ll share the parallels between equine myths of transformation and the meaning behind the predicted shift in 2012.

Wednesday, March 18 to Friday, March 20 – The energy of Connection: the Heart as an Organ of Perception and Communication

Ann Linda Baldwin, PhD ($450 to $650)

Ann Linda Baldwin, PhD, a physiologist and respected researcher in the field of integrative medicine, brings years of experience in biofeedback, Reiki, and the equestrian arts into play, helping people find the optimal mind-body connection for creating richer, mutually beneficial relationships. Using biofeedback devices, you will experience how positive and negative emotions can be easily distinguished in your heart rhythm patterns. You’ll also explore how horses sense, respond to and communicate through the heart’s electro-magnetic field. Ann will share results of experiments showing how the heart rate rhythms of paired humans and of humans paired with horses reflect the bonds that exist between them. You’ll learn about studies on animals and humans published in scientific journals that confirm the benefits of energy healing. You may also receive an optional Reiki I and/or Reiki II attunement/training, allowing you to perform energy healing on yourself, as well as other people and animals.

All programs include lunch. A limited number of rooms at the Epona Center are available for out-of-town guests, and dinner in the Epona Cantina will be served each night (for an additional fee), offering participants more time to share their ideas and discuss the day’s events with the clinicians. Contact booking@theeponacenter.com or 520-455-5908 for more information.

Riding between the Worlds

One of Epona’s most powerful, and popular, advanced workshops, Riding between the Worlds is the ultimate ride for people interested in experiencing the transformational power of the horse-human connection.

“Horses have an amazing gift for helping us move fluidly between multiple states of consciousness where we can access greater creativity, intuition, and sensitivity to both the seen and unseen aspects of a life lived fully,” says Linda Kohanov. “At the same time, they insist that we ground our intuitive insights in the ‘real world’ and make sure that we never lose sight of the constantly shifting nuances of our relationship to others. They teach us to ride between the worlds of mind and heart, logic and intuition, spirit and nature, energy and matter, the collective and the individual, helping us embrace these paradoxes—and expand beyond them.”

This six and a half day workshop, held April 11 through 19, combines experiential activities with horses, basic shamanic journeying techniques, and creativity-boosting experiences, with Holotropic Breathwork, a mind-expanding method developed by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina Grof. The extensive staff on board for this workshop includes Epona innovator Linda Kohanov, award-winning composer/performer Steve Roach, certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner and Advanced Epona Instructor Mary-Louise Gould, plus guest facilitators and Epona Approved Instructors as advisors for small group work.

“We will be moving in and out of a variety of powerful emotional, shamanic and creative states in a supportive interspecies community setting where the rules of interaction are quite different from those we were taught to follow in a conventional work-a-day setting,” Linda says. “Past participants have told me that it’s a life-changing experience, one that has inspired them to make profound shifts in their relationships with other people and animals, while also strengthening and enriching their inner lives, leading to increased courage and creativity in following their dreams.”

(Those wanting to attend this event, but who have not fulfilled the introductory-level workshop prerequisite, have the option of participating in an essential introductory supplement on Friday, April 10th from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11th. The basic skills supplement is available for an additional $300, which includes dinner and lodging on the 10th plus breakfast and lunch on the 11th.)

“I’ve already heard from people who are torn between attending the Energy and Spirit seminars in March and Riding between the Worlds in April,” Linda says. “Sometimes we do have European, Canadian and Australian clients come for extended stays, traveling in between the workshops they’d like to attend. But for the vast majority of people, job and family responsibilities create time limitations.

“If you’re interested in the mystical side of the horse-human bond, both weeks will provide significant food for thought. Riding between the Worlds allows you to experience and further develop the concepts, mythic power, and intuitive techniques that I will be introducing in the one-day Mystics with Tails seminar. So I’d say that if you want the tapas bar of gourmet hors d’oevres, attend the Energy and Spirit week and benefit from a taste of Ann’s and Gary’s exciting work as well. If you want the five-course meal with dessert, Riding between the Worlds is the way to go.”

Equine Wellness Magazine Features Natural Breeding

Linda Kohanov was asked to write an article on natural breeding for the March/April issues of Equine Wellness magazine. She reveals the challenges and successful techniques that she and Epona Herd Manager Shelley Rosenberg developed to teach stallion Midnight Merlin, and later his son Spirit, to respectfully live and mate with their mares. Here’s an excerpt:

As I define it, natural breeding occurs when a stallion lives with his mares and mates without direct human intervention. This is possible in a domesticated setting, but it takes some initial monitoring and training to make sure the stallion is appropriately socialized. Most stallions I’ve encountered are weaned suddenly at around six months, and isolated thereafter. Since they aren’t socialized with other horses, they don’t understand how to respect boundaries; they don’t pick up on subtle stress cues from other horses, let alone know how to defuse a situation that’s escalating.

A smaller percentage of stallions are turned out with other colts for a year or two after weaning, which gives them some experience in a herd. But this also causes socialization difficulties. Have you ever read William Golding’s classic book, Lord of the Flies? It’s an unsettling tale of an island shipwreck where the only survivors are English schoolboys. Without adult role models, the kids become increasingly brutal, creating outrageously savage dominance hierarchies.

The same thing happens to horses, especially young stallions. When we remove them from situations where older, wiser, more settled horses have influence, colts have a hard time learning how to control their tremendous energy. They don’t know how to balance their individual drives with the needs of the herd. They can be taught these skills later in life, but depending on how long the stallion was isolated and how roughly he was treated by humans in his past, it can sometimes be a hair-raising experience.


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