All the Manager’s at Samata are Official Volunteer’s of the Dunagiri Foundation.We thank all of their hardwork and dedication for the simple exchange of food and accommodation. It’s truly a blessing to have all of these individuals on our team.
Vajra ‘Ben’ Ashara
Samata Holistic Retreat Center
Founding Trustee and Director
Vajra, in his life quest to preserve endangered Himalayan plant species, has built Samata to act as a fundraising Center for the Dunagiri Foundation. Compelled by a deep inner calling to serve these plants, he didn’t know that his work would manifest in so many different facets, one of them being Samata. Doing his best to put together an All-Star team of enthusiastic inspired beings, both Indian and foreigner, he feels blessed to have a worthy vision to serve, one that stemmed from the core of his being, and gifted to him by the Earth. Believing that everyone has that core purpose inside them, he knows that the world will be a better place if more of us listened and yearned for that sense of purpose, and had the bravery to actualize it. Dunagiri and Samata are huge platforms for people like You to plug in and actualize this purpose through offering ourselves to a vision that we can share and create together, one day at a time…
Administrative and Accounts Manager
From an early age, Russia-born Olga realized her passion and skill for numbers and pursued a Bachelor in Air Physics and Cosmic Investigations, a study of aeronautics and engineering.
Olga fell in love with the colorful diversity of Goa from her first trip; and Goa subsequently became one of her home bases. Samata allows her to focus on her passion of yoga and numbers in the same time.
Chef for Amrit Holistic Kitchen
Dunagiri Foundation Trustee
Having a keen interest in healing plant medicines and yogic lifestyle, Tess naturally leaned toward the holistic science of Ayurveda early on. By incorporating these ways in her own life and in raising her daughter and seeing profound results, she took this as her path of service and life practice to share with others.
Tess began her study in Ayurveda and Western Herbalism in 1998 and soon after in Tibetan Medicine. With a traditional approach rooted in the classical Ayurvedic texts, Tess has spent many years training with traditional teachers in India and the US, including advanced studies in Ayurvedic theory and clinical practice with senior Vaidyas (Ayurvedic doctors) from Punarvasu Prabodhini in Pune, India.
Tess has also worked as a main therapist for 4 years in a Pancha Karma retreat center, which gave her valuable experience treating her patients with focused attention and care. She is a skilled practitioner of external therapies and teaches Ayurvedic Body Therapies to existing students of Ayurveda.
Within the modality of Tibetan Medicine, Tess completed a four-year study with the Sorig Institute under the guidance of her teacher Dr. Nida Chenagtsang and other accomplished Tibetan doctors. In Tibet, she joins yearly study programs incorporating clinical work treating patients in a remote regional hospital with Tibetan Medicine and external treatments.
Since 2004, Tess has held a private practice in Nevada City, CA, founding the Gunanatha Clinic with her husband Eric Rosenbush, incorporating Ayurveda and Tibetan therapies, as well as organizing clinical events and teachings. She has assisted low-cost clinics providing traditional medicine to chronically afflicted patients. She is now working as a practitioner at the Samata Clinic in Northern Goa, and also manages the Amrita Kitchen, serving healthy, nourishing food.
Tess is an active member of the Dunagiri Foundation. This enables her to do what she loves- spending time working in Himalayan villages with farmers and high altitude plant medicines during the year when she is not in Goa or abroad.
Prashanti de Jager
Prashanti de Jager, MS, EMT
Dunagiri Foundation Founding Trustee
Prashanti’s clinical forte/specialty is his ability to use many of the ‘Vedic sciences,’ from Ayurveda to Vedic Astrology to Yoga to Vastu Shastra to Advaita, to analyze, diagnose, treat and empower his clients. This powerful ‘confluence of factors’ is comparable to having a session with ten different wellness guides all at once. After earning many degrees while at the University of Michigan in the fields of Math, Engineering, Biophysics and Emergency Medicine and studying numerous adjunct healing modalities in Ann Arbor, Prashanti moved to India in 1990 to study Advaita and the Vedic Sciences including Ayurveda, Vastu shastra, Yoga, Jyotish, etc.
On his travels, he experienced the very good fortune of a decade of sitting at the feet of epic paragons like Sri H.W.L. Poonja, Annamalai Swami, Lakshman Swami, the Dalai Lama, Urgen Tulku, Jamgong Kontrul Rinpoche, Hart de Fouw, Kaviraj Vaidya Nanakchand Sharma, as well a dozens of eminent Yogis, Priests, Scientists and many truly empowered Grand Mothers. Traveling all over India training as a Yogi, Clinician and an Ethnopharmacologist he settled in Lucknow, North India, where he started to treat hundreds of locals and foreigners that came to him with a vast number of health issues.
To ensure high quality formulas for his clients he started an Ayurvedic herb company in 1993 in North India where he grew, wildcrafted and processed the herbs by hand. As the reputation for these herbs grew worldwide, a beautiful team/Vision called ‘Organic India’ emerged to serve the demand in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable way. Besides being a Founder of Organic India, he also is a trustee on other projects, like the Dunagiri Foundation Trust, instilling sustainable herbal wildcrafting amongst thousands of tribals in central India and also in the fragile ecosystems of the High Himalyas.
He constantly is editing and writing articles for numerous magazines and his own books; he is teaching classes on herbs and Ayurvedic Medicine around the world from the Mayo Clinic to Children in local schools, and has creating a full Ayurvedic clinic, an excellent Yoga-Ayurveda-Indological Library, an Apothecary, and Medicine making center in San Francisco as well as the ‘Kailash Vedic Guild’ in Prague.
The Samata Goa Wellness team, including Eric, Tess, Brent, etc, is quite an incredible crew and Prashanti is very honored to add his skills and experience to this formidable collection of compassionate and accomplished adepts!
Brendt Reynolds, OMD
Brendt brings to Samata the culmination of over 10 years experience living, working and studying in East-Asia.
From his provenance on the east coast of Australia he has lived in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Each of those destinations, and the teachings he received there, informs his current practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
At Samata he will be offering consultations for treatment with acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and Chinese herbal medicine.
Brendt’s passion for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was ignited in his early twenties during extensive travels in Asia. He came to learn of TCM through readings in Eastern philosophy and history, and the healing modalities they encompassed including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, massage, qigong, meditation and yoga. These early interests naturally segued into a deeper and more devoted focus for formal study. Now, nearly twenty years later, Brendt’s practice of Vajrayana Buddhism, TCM and yoga ultimately informs how he approaches each interaction with his patients.
Brendt is an accredited member of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association having received his four-year Bachelor of Health Science degree majoring in TCM in 2004. After graduating he continued his training with a hospital internship in Nanning, China, followed by advanced clinical and post-graduate studies in Taipei, Taiwan. In the clinic in Taipei Brendt was fortunate enough to be instructed on how to treat pain and other musculo-skeletal disorders by Dr. Ye – the official acupuncturist in the 1990’s to the Chinese Taipei Olympic Team.
Brendt now comes to India after five years of clinical experience at a private integrated-medicine clinic in Hong Kong. There he treated a wide range of patients for both external pain disorders and internal medicine, and developed a special interest in metabolic disorders, thyroid disorders, gynaecological issues, sub-fertility, adrenal fatigue and other hormone insufficiencies.
Dunagiri Foundation Trustee
Eric Rosenbush, LAc. practices classical Tibetan, Chinese, Ayurvedic medicine, and Jyotish, based out of the GunaNatha clinic in California. As an instructor with the International Academy of Traditional Tibetan Medicine, he teaches Tibetan Medicine and and other subjects internationally.
He has focused his study on the classical texts and languages of Tibet, India, and China, and their living traditions of clinical practice. Eric studied Tibetan Medicine with Dr. Nida Chenagtsang and other Tibetan doctors in the US and Asia, and is the co-founder and educational director of the Sorig Institute of Tibetan Medicine in California. He is also a licensed acupuncturist, receiving a master’s degree in Chinese medicine from ACTCM in San Francisco, with further studies and clinical training in classical Chinese herbal medicine and diagnostics. Studies in Indian sciences include advanced Ayurvedic textual and clinical training with Punarvasu Prabodhini in Pune, India, and Jyotisha (Vedic astro-sciences) with Pt. Sanjay Rath in India.
Samata Garden Manager
Born in Canada, into a family of organic farmers who created a vibrant back-to-the-land homestead trying to be as self-sufficient as possible. Jonathan grew up immersed in a permaculture and organics community. His father started the WWOOFing Canada organization and his family’s homestead hosted many enthusiastic international volunteers doing a labor-for-accommodation exchange to learn about organic farming.
Jonathan’s passion for gardening and nature continued. Coming most recently from Australia where he has been for the last two years establishing revegetation of native species, living filter systems, water-wise gardens for wildlife corridors, and building vertical gardens. Jonathan is excited to be a part of the Samata biodynamic garden team. To lovingly cultivate delicious heritage and heirloom vegetables, herbs, spices and medicinal plants for Tamarind Café while continuously learning about the flora and fauna of the Indian tropics.
Jonathan is happy to share his knowledge and is experimenting with different gardening modalities, and is excited about potential village outreach agricultural development projects.