2013 Retreat Presenters

This list is tentative and subject to change

April Oshun Grace

OshunApril Oshun Grace is inspired by the nexus of personal and cultural evolution. Her formal studies have been in environmental health, social justice, and regenerative development. She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Leadership from The School for International Training where she’s received training in facilitating experiential learning and change. April’s favorite personal mentors have included Joanna Macy, David Bohm, Arnold Mindell, and Richard Moss.
April has facilitated workshops and dialogue in a variety of intercultural settings. She is currently writing a book encouraging the idea that what is indeed most healing to our Lives, and conducive to the Wholling of our world, is our quality of attention within in all our relations.
Prior to this work, April was an organic farmer and cheesemaker, and served  for years as an activities coordinator for a “life-sharing” community in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. Life-sharing is an alternative living arrangement for people with differing abilities to participate meaningfully in communities.

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Ben Silver

bensilverBen is a singer, musician and poly and bi activist who has been in an open primary relationship for 26 years.  He and his partner started a support group for committed non-monogamous relationships in the ‘80s which met monthly for over 15 years.  As a performer, Ben’s music slides through folk, R&B, funk, jazz and back again; he sings about freedom, the environment, LBGT issues, parenting and love.  His writing has been published in “Carry it On,” ”Sing Out” magazine and the book “Hearing Everyone’s Voice.”

 

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Claudia Lanigan

ClaudiaClaudia Lanigan is trained in numerous healing modalities; she has a passion for healing and helping people. Claudia combines powerful tools of Theta Healing, nurturing touch, massage and Young Living essential oils creating a holistic approach to health and wellness. She believes that it is not enough to offer therapeutic healing, rather that it is essential for people to involve themselves in their own process of healing.

 

 

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Jesus Garcia

Jesus2INtJesus Garcia is the Board President of Loving More Nonprofit, polyamory activist and leader in the community. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay area who began exploring alternatives to monogamy in 2004. In 2005 he attended his first Loving More Retreat. In September 2006 he was invited to join Loving More’s Board of Directors. He has worked at raising money for many worthy causes and continues to work tirelessly as Loving More Nonprofit’s volunteer Director of IT. Jesus has been presenting on polyamory at conferences, Universities and special events. He is a key coordinator for Loving More conferences and volunteers. In addition Jesus has worked in the computer information technology field since 1995 and is currently a senior systems administrator living in Colorado.

 

 

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Julio Cortes

Juliophoto Julio Cortés is a trainer and consultant who specializes in building long-term mutually beneficial relationships using a blend of modalities from eastern and western philosophies and spiritual practices. A graduate in East Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese and Japanese Philosophy from UCLA, Julio has dedicated his life to finding simple yet powerful ways to assist people in becoming more effective and fulfilled, as they find the bigger picture in their lives.

Julio teaches workshops and seminars on effective communication, relationship skills building and sacred sexuality.  He has studied with such teachers and masters as Dan Millman, Mantak Chia, Wang Fu-lai, Jibiki Hidemine, and Jim Tamm and has been teaching and in practice since 1991 in the United States and Japan.

In addition Julio is also a licensed Tai Chi instructor with additional extensive martial arts training in other systems (Jeet Kune Do,  Zong Nan/Cheng-Ming Internal Kung Fu, Systema).  Finally, Julio has had in-depth intensive training in energy work and is a master healer and teacher in several modalities (Reiki, Johrei, Sekhem, Qigong, Light Body).

Mark Shepard

mark back to window1 crop300pxAs a gifted and prolific songwriter, Mark struggled early on in his life with stage fright, fear of rejection and self sabotage that stopped him from not only pursuing his passion but being the kind of person who shows up authentically in life. After 30 years of deep work and exploration of the human pysche around love, life and creativity, what has emerged is an multi-dimensional creative and performing artist who’s work is transformative and healing.

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Rev. Poohzen D. Bear

PoozenRev. Poohzen D. Bear is a founding member of the Society of Modern American Shamans and has been practicing responsible non-monogamy since 1976.  After receiving a BA in Psychology and marrying her college sweetheart, she discovered he expected her “fantasy” of a group marriage to go away once they got married.  Poohzen left him and graduate school (in Psych.) to pursue her dream of a group marriage with her second husband and his best friend.  They succeeded and for over 20 years lived in the same open triad.  Having focused on human sexuality, relationship coaching and group dynamics, she has often been consulted in negotiating relationships, especially Polyamorous ones.

Since discovering Loving More at their first conference in Berkeley (1990), Poohzen has participated in as many conferences as possible.  For a number of years Poohzen’s articles appeared fairly regularly in the  Loving More magazine.   After her triad ended romantically 7 years ago, she withdrew from the Poly community.  It was just too challenging to share other people’s joy.  The on-going family dynamics; the continuing success in co-parenting; going back to school and connecting with the alternative rainbow crowd of kids;  combined with missing her favorite community to bring Poohzen back.

 

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Tara Shakti-Ma

IMG_4633Tara Shakti-Ma is a polyamory relationships rights activist and educator whose experience of multi-partner relating began in the 70s. Her life journey includes deeply exploring an eclectic array of spiritual philosophies and practices.  Recently Tara’s primary focuses has been exploring “non-spiritual” personal-growth processes that she and many others have found profoundly useful in navigating the complex waters of polyamorous relating.  Seeing a need for a discussion group environment where a diverse spectrum of people  could share in an environment of radical acceptance, Tara started the popular Yahoo group,”Expansive Loving” in Sept. 2008.  Expansive Loving has been both a great sounding board and learning space for numerous polyamorous explorers, and is recommended by www.polyinfo.org as “one of the most active and insightful of the email discussion lists on polyamory”.   Tara is also a member of the Polyamory Leadership Network, a collective of passionate activists working to create viable support systems for polyfolk, as well as to educate the public at large.  Tara lives in the Taconic-Berkshire mountain area of New York state, on 7 acres of wooded land with her nesting partner, Kyther, where they host monthly gatherings of the Berkshire Mountain Area Polyamory Network.  BMAPN began meeting in Oct. 2011, and now boasts over 100 members. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ExpansiveLoving/

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Robyn Trask

Robyn2013Robyn is the Executive Director and Editor of Loving More Non-Profit and Magazine since October 2004.  She has been openly polyamorous for 21 years, a mom for 23 years.  Robyn has been running poly support groups, teaching and facilitating relationship and sexuality workshop since 1999. She has done numerous interviews on polyamory for radio, television, newspapers and magazines articles.