Don Howard


Don Howard Lawler

Maestro Emeritus of Shamanic Programs at SpiritQuest Sanctuary


Don Howard is the founder and principal facilitator of Peruvian SpiritQuest Listening to the Plants at SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary, innovative healing and spiritual retreats exploring the deepest roots of traditional Peruvian shamanism, and focusing on holistic healing, personal growth, spiritual transformation, and realization of ancient shamanic spiritual truth.

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

As a trained ethnobiologist, environmental educator, and life-long shamanic practitioner, don Howard dynamically combines his extensive knowledge of natural science and traditional core shamanism to guide profoundly stimulating and transformative experiences for the serious seeker of authentic ‘old-fashioned’ shamanism.

Don Howard has practiced traditional core shamanism for over 49 years, and during that time has initiated thousands of people in traditional ceremonial plant shamanism. His shamanic practice is 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 Perú, predating the Inca by over 2,500 years. The extraordinary Chavín culture, founded over 3,500 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 Chavin de Huantar.

Don Howard’s five decades of shamanic experience, shamanic skills, compassion, and personal integrity provide the perfect transcultural bridge for those seeking a connection with Source. He believes this ancient path offers great benefit to humankind to realize personal healing, renewal and spiritual consciousness much needed in today’s world. His rich knowledge and experience in this field combines with strong sensitivity, human insight, unbridled enthusiasm and dynamic transcultural skills to make your SpiritQuest journeys truly an experience of a lifetime.

Don Howard is a Peruvian citizen and permanently resides in Iquitos with his Peruvian wife and two children. In the Peruvian Amazon, he works closely with members of the Muruy Huitoto Muruy, 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 has conducted field studies and group workshops in conservation biology, herpetology, ethnobiology, and New World shamanism in the U.S., Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, and Perú since 1969. During this time he has published over fifty papers and articles on ecological, wildlife, conservation and research topics and has addressed formal lecture audiences in Mexico, Perú, Sweden and throughout the United States.

Don Howard is presently receiving treatment in the the U.S. for a rare form of blood cancer and is no longeer able to personally conduct the SpiritQuest shamanic retreats at the Sanctuary.

We are pleased to announce that his hand-picked sucessor Mr. Parker Sherry has assumed his duties at SpiritQuest Sanctuary.   Parker has apprenticed with don Howard for several years and has attained a high level of shamanic knowledge which, combined with his extraordinary heart-centered sensitivity and impeccable integrity, is continuing the legacy of service to humanity and pachamama for which SpiritQuest Sanctuary is internationally renowned.

 Parker, don Rober, doña Eliana, and don Carlos will guide you through the joys and challenges of the spirit plant shamanic path, and the rewarding integration of which follows, amplifying your relationship with nature, cosmos, and all humanity through your deep connection with the profound spiritual essence of ancient Perú.