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Don Howard Lawler


October 3, 1947 - October 13, 2019 (Ascended)

Don Howard was the founder and Maestro Emeritus of Listening to the Plants at SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary. SpiritQuest offers innovative healing and spiritual retreats exploring the deepest roots of traditional Peruvian Shamanism, focusing on holistic healing, personal growth, spiritual transformation, and realization of ancient Shamanic spiritual truth.

Don Howard's professional background in biology, ecology, ethnobiology, environmental education, and Latin American transcultural liaison spanned over three decades as a curator at natural history and cultural institutions in the United States. He held degrees in biology, education, and cultural history from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

As a trained ethnobiologist, environmental educator, and lifelong Shamanic practitioner, Don Howard dynamically combined his extensive knowledge of natural science and traditional core Shamanism to guide profoundly stimulating and transformative experiences for the serious seeker of authentic Shamanism.

Don Howard practiced traditional core Shamanism for over 50 years, and during that time initiated thousands and thousands of people in traditional ceremonial plant Shamanism. His Shamanic practice was rooted in the ancient art of the Chavín Huachuma mesa. The Chavín Huachuma mesa is the most sophisticated and advanced sacred plant ceremonial practice of Andean Peru, predating the Inca by over 2,500 years. The extraordinary Chavín culture, founded over 4,000 years ago, is recognized as the cradle of Andean civilization. The genesis of Andean civilization was the grand Huachuma mesada ceremonies at the great temple of Chavín de Huántar.

"¡Para El Bien De Todos!" ("For The Good Of All!")
- Don Howard

Don Howard’s five decades of Shamanic experience, Shamanic skills, compassion, and personal integrity created the perfect transcultural bridge for those seeking a connection with Source. He believed this ancient path offers great benefit to humankind to realize personal healing, renewal, and spiritual consciousness that are much needed in today’s world. Don Howard's rich knowledge and experience in this field combined with strong sensitivity, human insight, unbridled enthusiasm, and dynamic transcultural skills to make SpiritQuest journeys - past, present, and future - truly an experience of a lifetime.

In the Peruvian Amazon, Don Howard worked closely with members of the Muruy Huitoto, Yahua, Bora, Quichua Alamas, and Shipibo indigenous communities in the Iquitos region to materially support self-sustaining health care, education, community development, land rights, and cultural preservation projects.

Don Howard conducted field studies and group workshops in conservation biology, herpetology, ethnobiology, and New World Shamanism in the U.S., Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, and Peru since 1969. During this time, he published over 50 papers and articles on ecological, wildlife, conservation, and research topics and addressed formal lecture audiences in Mexico, Peru, Sweden, and throughout the United States. 


Don Howard transitioned from his body and ascended on October 13, 2019. Don Howard's spirit is very much alive at SpiritQuest Sanctuary, and our team is utterly devoted to continuing his life's work. 


Don Howard observed that, "Once you really see the beauty in the world, you'll never let it leave you." Well, Maestro, the SpiritQuest team and our esteemed graduates really see the beauty in you and your life's mission of service to humanity and Mother Earth, and we'll never let it leave us. 


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"My mind is my office, and my heart is my home. And I only go to the office when I absolutely have to, otherwise I work from and stay at home."
- Don Howard
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