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Sacred Medicine Journey
Costa Rica
February 2016

The Gaia School of Healing Tropical Plant Medicine Retreat
at Punta Mona Permaculture Center

Jan 31 - Feb 8, 2016

          Join us for an 9 day course in tropical plant medicine, holistic healing, yoga, meditation, healing rituals and sacred circle, located at the beautiful Permaculture Farm and Retreat Center, Punta Mona, in the jungle and on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

This course is intended to be a healing journey and retreat, honoring our individual and collective path of healing, reconnecting with nature and the magic of sacred circle and ritual.

          We will begin our journey by meeting on Jan 30th in the colorful caribbean town of Puerto Viejo. We root the initiation of our journey on Jan 31st. with Alda, a local medicine woman and folk herbalist who will take us on a medicinal plant walk and then guide us in cooking a traditional caribbean feast. The following day, we will take a boat to Punta Mona, our retreat home and jungle sanctuary where we will spend 8 nights, culminating in a New Moon ritual on February 8th.

          Each day of the course will center on journeying through each of the 7 chakras, moving from the root to the crown, focusing on herbs, yoga, meditation, and ritual to open and nourish each of these sacred centers. We will also enjoy a day in the caribbean town of Puerto Viejo before our immersion in the retreat, and go on a medicinal plant walk with a local traditional wise woman and healer.

          The retreat will include traditional healing practices, daily plant medicine classes, meditation, yoga, hiking, plant medicine journeys, medicine making, rituals, ocean bathing, mud baths, chocolate making and more. Bodywork, massage, and yoga therapy will be available for those wishing to schedule sessions with our massage therapist.

Plants we will be working with in medicine making and ritual through the retreat include Cacao, Ylang Ylang, Hibiscus, Guava, Passionflower, Guanabana, Biriba, Ginger, Coffee, Yerba Mate, Coconut, Jasmine, Tilo, Guava, Sugar Cane, Noni, Bitter Melon, Citrus, Jackass bitters, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Hombre Grande, and others. Work with the plants will include a combination of plant walks, medicine making, plant spirit journeys, explorations in ethnobotany, ritual, and connecting to the spirits of the nature.

          Students will enjoy 3 organic vegetarian meals a day, all plant medicine classes, optional daily yoga and meditation classes, healing ceremonies, evening fire circles, access to Punta MonaÕs beaches, trails, rivers, kayaks and beautiful grounds. Healing journeys with the ocean and rainforest will be a part each course, as well as exploring the deep history and spirit held in the land of Central America. For those wishing to stay for a longer period of time before or after the start of the course, please contact Punta Mona for lodging availability.

Tropical Plant Harvest & Medicine Making


Space is limited to 20 participants. You may hold your space with a $200 non refundable deposit.

To register, fill out the registration form and send it to the address provided. Full course details will be sent upon registration.

View 2016 Course Itinerary

Itinerary for January 2016 Uploaded Soon!


Plant Medicine Classes & Journeys with Marysia Miernowska
(Course Facilitator)

Marysia Miernowska is an herbalist, Witch, biodynamic gardener and Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner trained in the Wise Woman Tradition of healing. She is the director of the California Branch of The Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education where she teaches apprenticeships in herbal medicine, plant shamanism, and Earth magick.

Native to Poland and a multicultural and multilingual devotee of Mother Earth, Marysia has traveled extensively studying earth wisdom and ancient healing practices from different cultures around the world. Marysia keeps her feet rooted by designing and tending to medicinal and sacred gardens using permaculture and biodynamic practices. She formulates herbal medicine, forages, and makes sacred plant botanicals under the label Flora Sagrada. She lives in Santa Monica, CA. with her daughter Flora, grows biodynamic herbs in Malibu, and teaches and holds ceremony in the greater LA area and at gatherings such as SpiritWeavers. She shares her passion for wellness of the Earth and her people with students, in the gardens she tends, and in her writing. You can follow Marysia on Instagram @thegaiaschoolofhealingca.

Guest Teacher & Healers

Alda, Local Medicine Woman & Folk Herbalist
During your visit to the small fishing village of Manzanillo, you'll visit Centro Ashe Herbal Education Center, an organization rooted in supporting local herbalists and farmers in preserving their traditional knowledge. Here you'll spend the morning with Afro-Costa Rican folk herbalist Alda as she shares the abundant plant medicine that grows all around her home town and the healing ways she was taught by her grandmother. After that her sister Luba will share one of the central Afro-Costa Rican traditional foodways (Rundon) which we will cook together from locally grown produce and enjoy for lunch.

Sarah Wu, Co director of PUNTA MONA -
Sarah and her husband Steven run Punta Mona and they are an extraordinary team of plant lovers, permaculturists and activists. Sarah has developed the medicinal gardens in Punta Mona and will be sharing as some of the local magic using her holistic and integrated approach. Sarah merges the philosophy and practice of permaculture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wise Woman Reclaiming traditions, Deep Ecology, Village Witchery and life sciences in her practice as a Planetary Eclectic. Sarah teaches from the ground up helping to bring people closer to the land to improve their health and quality of life. She is a clinical herbalist of 15 years, specializing in field first aid, constitutional formulations and whole system health.

Yoga Classes with Tasha Rein
Tasha is a yogini and a second year Gaia School Apprentice of the California branch. She has found Yoga to be a safe place to experiment with becoming more mindful, loving and fearless and aims to create this same safe and playful space for you in class. Tasha teaches a vinyasa style of yoga with long sequences that develop strength, stability, flexibility and balance by connecting movement with purposeful breath. Our optional morning yoga flow with Tasha is designed to embody the medicine and energy of the chakras as we journey with our tropical plant allies. An opportunity to start the day connecting to our body, breath, mind and Spirit.

Tonia Lodge - Bodywork & Massage
Tonia is a Gaia Apprentice and an incredible bodyworker, fulfilling her Massage and Healing vision since 1995. She will be available to book private sessions in the evenings during our retreat. Tonia has studied many modalities and traditions with teachers from the U.S.A, Europe, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. Her technique is intuitively and spiritually inspired whilst tuned to the body's individual needs, giving a powerful healing experience, tempered with compassion. She currently manages her own business-Balanced Body and Soul in Venice California whilst continuing to study and expand her knowledge within the healing realm.


Sliding Scale from $1475 - $1575 (Sliding scale plus Paypal fee)
*** Based on what you can afford.
(includes cost of course and all classes, dorm lodging, 3 organic meals a day)

Upon reserving your space with the deposit, you may also mail a check for tuition to
The Gaia School of Healing California, 2635 28th st #1, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Sliding scale is an honor system based on what you can afford. By choosing the higher end of the scale, you help support our low income students Limited Partial Scholarships available upon request for low income students.

Costa Rica Payment Using Paypal

To contact Marysia about the course, you can email her at
or by phone at (310) 866-7095. Please allow a few days for her to get back to you.

Harvesting Ylang Ylang

Bring fresh Tropical Plant Medicine home with you

Daily Yoga Space

Punta Mona Permaculture Center

Jungle Kitchen, Punta Mona Permaculture Center

Punta Mona Beach

Punta Mona Hang Area

Ocean Bliss


Costa Rica Retreats

Retreat 1 - Photo Gallery

Retreat 2 - Photo Gallery

Retreat 3 - Photo Gallery