Our 2023 Lineup of Presenters, Activities and Events
We are enthralled to bring back the Universal Consciousness Festival this year and to bring together presenters that will open your mind and expand your knowledge. With an array of guest lectures and workshops you are sure to find remedies, movements, knowledge and exercises to awaken your original spirit and follow your own path of enlightenment.
Meet Our Presenters
Maya Tiwari, Ayurveda Matriarch, Peace Leader and humanitarian and best-selling author has been in the field for more than 35 years. Maya established the first Ayurvedic school in North America in 1981, and founded the Mother Om Mission (MOM), a charitable organization that works in the at-risk communities of New York. She helps communities to transform disease and despair into wellness and joy. Among the many gems she has restored to the earth based education of Ayurveda are the sadhana of food, breath and sound; the earth therapies of Pancha Karma, and the long lost lunar education for women's healing.
An ovarian cancer survivor at age 23, she has personally helped thousands of women to heal from devastating disorders. Through her global humanitarian work with the World Peace Mandala and Honoring Ancestors' Conferences participants are taught to spread practices that promote inner peace, ancestral wellness and create harmony with Mother Earth. Maya is a regular Featured Speaker at the Parliament of the World Religions and other Inter-faith and holistic health conferences worldwide. Tiwari is also the recipient of the Dhanvantari Award and AAPNA's Rishi Award for her outstanding work in Ayurvedic medicine.
Paul Pitchford studied and apprenticed with masters of pre-Revolutionary Traditional Chinese medicine, nutrition, and Tai Ji and Chan (Zen) meditation. These teachings incorporate an abundance of ancient methods and traditional values. He has been teaching nutrition in the context of foundational healing for several decades. This approach prioritizes three basic integrative steps in a person's pathway to enduring health: 1) awareness practices, (2) mindful movement including yoga, Tai Ji and Qi Gong (3) nutrition based on regional, unrefined (whole) foods.
His landmark book, Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition forms the foundation of his unique dietary teachings, which unify Eastern and Western therapies. His work has become a primary impetus behind the most fundamental, clinically effective and innovative dietary movement today, widely known as "whole foods nutrition". He sees a universal shift to whole foods nutrition as essential for overcoming ecologic ravages to the Earth as well as quelling pervasive disease and degeneration among her peoples.
As a 16th generation lineage inheritor of the Wudang Martial Culture, he considers what he does a natural way of life. Founder of Wudang West Cultural Heritage Center 501(c)3 nonprofit wellness ministry, they have a mission to teach and share the ancient knowledge to aid those who are sick, ill or diseased with healing movements and practices, and to share those same practices with those who are strong and vital as means to maintain their health and well-being. He considers himself and the Center a modest circle of cultivators exploring the depths of Daoism amidst day to day living.
Michael Xia Chongyi
Wudang Daoist Swordsman Michael Xia Chonggyi is regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts in Wu-Tang Swordsmanship and the internal martial arts. With over 30 years dedicated to the martial and wellness skills, Xia combines his scholarly Taoist studies and experience with his hands on journey as an inductee into the Wudang branch of the Dragon Gate Daoist Sect. Xia is a disciple of Wudang Spiritual Master Zhou Xuan Yun and was formally inducted by The Venerable Li Guangfu at Purple Heaven Palace in 2010. Xia's most notable contributions to the arts can be found in his dissection and development of curriculum's and training modules focused on developing tangible results in the cultivation and personal refinement practices of Daoist martial and esoteric arts. You can access Xia's publicly available curriculums through his website.
Wu Dang Chen
He was chosen as a child to be trained by 5 elder Daoist Masters in the sacred Wu Dang Temples. Traditional Daoism of Wu Dang is ancient knowledge and mystical practice based on thousands of years of observation of the universe and our true nature within it. Through intensive training in a harsh environment, Chen learned the skills to master mind, body, and spirit. He holds two sacred lineages of knowledge, Long Men Pai (Dragon’s Gate) and Zhang San Feng Pai. Master Chen came to the United States in 1990 with a mission to teach Daoist practical philosophies to empower us in the West to heal our bodies, our minds, our environment, and our spirit.
Founder of Integration Meditation and creator of navigating the mind meditation and 72 Transformations Program, he has successfully taught his students how to navigate the mind through meditation to achieve liberation. With the use of frequency and drumming, Choying facilitates shamanic healing journeys. Choying embarked on a series of journeys to strengthen his awareness and hone in on his own personal power. His travels allowed him to explore the difference between Eastern and Western cultures, which inspired him to create the Navigating the Mind Program. he is also an author and publisher of Love Story.