If we listen carefully, we can hear a voice trying to get our attention and wake us up. The first sign, or messenger comes when our lives are no longer satisfying.
— Spring Washam, A Fierce Heart

It all started when...

I decided to go on a trip to Peru 10 years ago, I can’t believe it’s been so long. I began working with Ayahuasca after experiencing an emotional breakdown while on a long meditation retreat. I was scared and overwhelmed. My teacher didn’t know how to help me anymore. In spite of being a meditation teacher myself and spending many years doing retreats, I realized that the traumas I endured as a child was still there. I experienced a deep sense of sadness every day and had difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. There were places inside of me that felt so broken and I couldn’t seem to uproot my unhealthy patterns no matter how hard I tried. I didn’t how to heal myself anymore so I began praying for a new approach.

It was during my darkest hour that a dear friend reached out and introduced me to Ayahuasca. She was a clinical psychologist who led private groups up in the mountains of northern California. My first ceremony changed my life forever and I immediately planned a long trip to Peru. It was the first of many and I began working with plant-based medicine regularly and studying with Indigenous Shipibo healers. I ended up spending a year in the jungle doing plant diets and apprenticing with experienced healers. I have participated in a hundred Ayahuasca ceremonies over the years.

Buddhism and Shamanism are ancient wisdom traditions and both are dedicated to helping us restore our basic sanity and goodness. At Lotus Vine Journeys we combine them. Within the Buddhist tradition the meditation practices that we do are designed to clear away all the blockages so that we can see through our habitual negative patterns. In Shamanic practices we can actually locate the blockages and uproot them quickly. First, we become aware of them, then, through meditation or plant-based medicine ceremonies, we start to cut. Time is of great importance now and we must transform our misunderstandings sooner rather than later. When we combine these two great traditions, we have power tools that can be skillfully used to accelerate our own awakening. 

I have seen and personally experienced many transformations over the past 10 years and it's been a joy to share this work with others. This organization was born out compassion and my sincere intentions to be of service to the world. May this work be of benefit to all beings everywhere.

More About Spring

Spring Washam is a well-known meditation teacher, author and visionary leader based in southern California. She founded Lotus Vine Journeys 4 years ago.  She is the author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage and Wisdom in Any Moment. She is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices to diverse communities. She is one of the founding teachers of the East Bay Meditation Center located in Oakland, CA. She is the co-founder of an organization called Communities Rizing, which is dedicated to providing yoga and meditation teacher training programs to underserved communities. She received extensive training by Jack Kornfield and is a member of the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California. She has practiced and studied Buddhist philosophy in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism for the last 20 years. 

Her writing and teachings have appeared in many online journals and publications such as Lions RoarTricycle, and Belief.net. She has been a guest on many popular podcasts and radio shows. She currently travels and teaches meditation retreats, workshops and classes worldwide.

Spring's website: www.springwasham.com

Video Teachings

Please enjoy some of my favorite video teachings. Each video focuses on a different theme. I hope you enjoy them! Learn more on my YouTube channel. 

 Podcasts and Interviews

The One You Feed Podcast

The One You Feed

This interview includes conversations about The Wolf Parable, Spring's book, A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment, how she became a meditation teacher, how self-compassion is at the heart of Buddhist teachings, how being with ourselves in difficult times is an act of mercy, how a synonym for mindfulness is remembering, Spring's first ayahuasca ceremony, what ayahuasca is, the risks of using entheogens, the debate in the Buddhist community about this approach, whether you need to go to the jungle for this type of healing, how we often need multiple approaches to healing ourselves, and how feeling like you are innately good changes the whole path.

Buddhist Geeks Podcast

Buddhist Geeks

This podcast features a discussion about the integration of Buddhist contemplative practice with the Peruvian plant medicine ayahuasca. Beginning with Spring's dharma journey and the way that silent practice no longer served her deeper healing journey, and how that ultimately brought her to the jungles of Peru. The conversation then turns to healing ancestral trauma, and how a deeper collective healing process underlies each of our personal journeys. Spring shares an interesting perspective on how these “medicines of the earth" can be understood as collective wisdom rising from nature itself at a crucial point in our time on this planet.

10% Happier with Dan Harris

Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He wrote the bestselling book, "10% Happier," started an app -- "10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" -- and now, in this podcast, Dan talks with smart people about whether there's anything beyond 10%.

Listen Chitheads Podcast

Embodied Philosophy - Chitheads

In a cultural climate exhibiting profound levels of anxiety and depression, stress and alienation, apathy and moral malaise, Embodied Philosophy recognizes the need for what we call embodied philosophical living.  Embodied philosophy is not philosophy of the intellect alone, but is an integrated, non-dualistic living wisdom. 


Audio Talks

I put together a collection of some of my favorite dharma talks. I hope they inspire you in your practice! For full collection check out Dharma Talks