Leslie Conton, a cultural/ transpersonal anthropologist as well as Faculty Member and Field Associate for the Foundation, began her experiential study and initial seven-year apprenticeship in shamanism in 1977. Fieldwork with traditional healers and shamans took her to Papua New Guinea (1974-75, 1981, 1988), Australia (1988), and northern China and Inner Mongolia (1995). In 1996 she worked in Nepal, where she observed and interviewed shamans of several traditions and began a shamanic initiatory process with a female shaman of the Tamang tradition. Leslie's experiential fieldwork also includes work with shamans and other healers from several West Coast Native American traditions as part of her role as an applied anthropologist and advocate for traditional spiritual values in various cultural resource management projects.
Leslie's students say:
"A very powerful weekend of awakening. I learned so much from you and feel empowered and affirmed in a way that I've not yet fully integrated. Any doubts I may have had about my connection to spirit have been washed away, replaced by a certitude and sense of comfort in knowing I am not alone, feeling almost like I'm being 'carried', or at least guided, by the spirit beings." —Carolyn D. Hallett, JD CCH
"I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful Intro to shamanism. What wonderful practices. What amazing journeys I took. It was such a delight to meet and learn from you — you create a very special circle, with deep integrity and light. I look forward to the next opportunity to learn with you." —Kitty Hoffman, Victoria, BC