Sandra Epstein – Educator in Essence and Action

From early in life I became interested in education approached beyond conventional ways: I have always been passionate about learning and studying, and I could see that subjects were being taught in ways that were devoid of the aliveness brought by creative and systemic perspectives.

University training in Art Education
When I entered University to get my degree in Arts, I chose to specialize in Art Education, and my focus was to explore the creative process, making it into the source from which a healthy individual could feel nourished in life. In my view, one should have the opportunity to explore different expressions, practicing different languages of human perception such as acting, film-making, sculpture, painting and photography as interfaces for a multi-faceted perception of life.

My intention: contributing to the creation of a healthier society
Not really wanting to become an artist, what I wanted was to search, within that rich universe, for ways through which I could contribute to the creation of a healthier society, one in which schooling can teach people how to live in community, providing them with support to interact and live well with others, in ways that would always reflect on, and give back, to the world at large.

Further studies in Anthroposophy, Vibrational Healing and Quantum Physics / Biology
I searched to complement my training with Anthroposophy and Flower Essence Therapy studies, learning with several international teachers and researchers. This study led me to the creation of my own Atlantic Rainforest system of essences, and furthered my investigation into the realm of quantum physics and biology. In a special way, the research and thinking of Rupert Sheldrake, Antonio Damasio and Fritjop Capra, as well as encounters held by the Dalai Lama with neuroscientists and monks, had an important impact in my approach and thinking.

Bringing it all together: the creation of the Araretama Company and System
It has been amidst this journey of search, holding the paradox between my passion for education and my dissatisfaction with current educational methods that, in the early 90s, I started my company Rainforest Essences – now called Araretama Natural Essences.
Through my work of 21 years, I was able to bring together my main interests into what comprises the Araretama System:

  1. By contacting the Biological Intelligence of the forest, I was able to produce essences that help improve human beings
  2. I developed a line of cosmetics, using vibrational essences, color and essential oils, that integrates the intelligence of the physical body with the mental and emotional intelligence
  3. I created a Therapeutic method of self development – The Emotional Fitness Program and Araretama Mandala – always geared towards an active reflection on three planes: self development, improvement in relationships, and contribution towards a more healthy society
  4. I developed a series of Workshops divided into three categories:
    • learning from the researched Atlantic Rainforest plants and their therapeutic qualities
    • understanding behavior physiology and how it can be transformed
    • reviewing anthropological themes and ancestral perspective and integrating these into our contemporary world

The Araretama Emotional Fitness Program and Araretama Mandala offer a structured series of educational practices for individuals willing to develop their emotional dimension by following programs of Emotional Fitness. The Araretama Mandala’s approach brings together the dramaturgic inheritance of ancestral xamanism, psycosynthesis and the sub personalities of Roberto Assagioli, with Stanislav Groff’s transpersonal psychology.

The Araretama approach applied to Educational work with children
An experimental work with children applied by Lenka Siwkova has started in the Czech Republic, where within a school curriculum there is a subject called Forest, through which small children become familar with the virtues of the Atlantic Rainforest.
By looking at this page you can read a rich testimonial about it with images.