Dialogues on Science, Art, History, Myth and Spirituality

Linguist, anthropologist and Doctor in Comparative Religion Luis Eduardo Luna and his wife, cultural producer Adriana Rosa, created Wasiwaska, Research Center for the Study of Psychointegrator Plants, Visionary Art and Consciousness in October 2003, an educational organization. It is conceived as a place for open-minded exchange of ideas on consciousness and creativity, science and the arts, history, myth and spirituality. The compound is located in Florianópolis, on the northern part of the island of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, on a hill overlooking the ocean and surrounded by patches of Atlantic coastal forest. A quiet beach is just five minutes walk from the house. Wasiwaska is surrounded by an ethnobotanical garden that includes species of culturally important plants as well as many species of native and fruit trees and medicinal plants. We have also a vegetable garden where we produce part of what it is consumed during our seminars. Wasiwaska has works of art, a library of about four thousand books, an extensive documentary collection, and space for lectures and discussion.

Wasiwaska is first of all a home, with a fireplace, hammocks, a beautiful garden, plenty of corners for small talk, and the freedom to pick up a book, a fruit, or a cup of tea at any time. We take special care of the food we serve, always healthy, delicious and mostly organic, with a great variety of fruit and vegetables.

Wasiwaska is not only a place of learning and communication, but also of rest and even leisure. Every year we organize a few seminars opened to small groups of up to fifteen participants, including four or five guest speakers. Every seminar features lectures and workshops by distinguished scientists, scholars, therapists, writers, artists or musicians stimulated by excursions to the island’s different ecosystems, bird watching, and tree planting. At times we also offer botanical illustration, bookmaking, painting, drumming, Holotropic Breathwork, trance dance and other activities. Wasiwaska is a privilege place for bird watching and a good base for trekking to the surrounding area.

Our approach is highly interdisciplinary: consciousness studies, neuroscience, psychopharmacology, psychobiology, psychotherapy, ethnobotany, ecology, history, myth, visionary art, anthropology, and whatever new art or discipline our expanding network of teachers and participants may bring to our project. We place special emphasis on the study of the botany, pharmacology, history, ethnography and psychodynamics of psychointegrator plants, such as those involved in ayahuasca, the sacred brew of the Amazon.

Participants typically come from many countries and cultural backgrounds, with a common interest in wondering about the nature of reality and the mystery of consciousness and temporality: scientists, artists, writers, psychiatrists, medical doctors, psychologists and other therapists, social workers, businessmen, students coming from various disciplines, and people from all walks of life. Many return, so that an extensive international multicultural and multidisciplinary family is being created.