Defend the Sacred: Envision a Global Alternative

International Gathering on Sacred Activism in Tamera, Portugal August 7-16th, 2017


We stand up to protect life wherever we are. From the depth of our being comes a NO against the insanity of this world. No to any violence, to the destruction of nature and the exploitation of people. No to a system of injustice, racism and war, to all hypocrisy and lies.

For our NO to succeed, we have to know what we say YES to. For life to win, the global resistance needs to unify around a common positive aim for the future. We need a realistic vision for post-capitalism - a love-based, regenerative, nonviolent world - that will allow millions to divest from the old system and create a new one. There's enormous potential in coming together and focusing the many movements into a common force for system change.

We dedicate this gathering to the sacred activism that was embodied by the resistance of First Nation people at Standing Rock in the United States against the Dakota Access Pipeline. A young Indigenous activist told the oil company, "We do not hate you, but we are not going to obey your orders either." What began at Standing Rock in 2016 must turn into a planetary movement in 2017.

We invite activists from around the world to come together for ten days in a space of calmness, reflection, envisioning and exchange. We want to think about how we can organize in a way that global system change will be successful. We want to come together to connect with the original indigenous wisdom of building community within all of us. Beyond all religions, we want to rediscover the sacredness of life and root our political activism in it. To defend the sacred, we need to know what is sacred.



One core question is how to establish a foundation of trust between people across movements? Trust based on mutual support and responsible participation creating a unified movement, as incorruptible force to withstand any offensive. Other questions include:

  • What is sacred to us? How can we align with the sacred in all aspect of our lives?

  • How can we carry out a paradigm shift from a world of war and fear to trust and love?

  • What common vision can we create and focus our movements on?

  • What's the specific role of the feminine and masculine in protecting the Earth?

  • What's the effective role of media in the vision and movement to create a global alternative?

  • How can we use theater, music and art as expressions of sacred activism?

  • What can we do as a global community to protect the Portuguese coast from the oil drilling and offshore fracking planned to begin in 2018?


The Program

  • Morning meditations and body work

  • Mornings - lectures from key speakers in Tamera and our international network.

  • Later morning and afternoons - study groups

    • Introduction to Tamera and the Healing Biotopes Plan

    • Community and system change

    • Sacred Activism and Global Campus

  • Throughout the day - special presentations, cultural events and activities, study groups and networking

  • Rituals


Speakers from Tamera


Sabine Lichtenfels
Theologian, spiritual teacher, co-founder of Tamera and the Global Love School, author of several books including Temple of Love and Grace. Pilgrimage for a Future without War

Dieter Duhm

Psychoanalyst, sociologist and art historian. He was one of the intellectual leaders of the German "New Left" in the 1960s and 70s. In 1978, he initiated of the Healing Biotopes project, which led to the founding of Tamera in 1995. Author of several books including Terra Nova: Global Revolution and the Healing of Love, The Sacred Matrix and Eros Unredeemed

Benjamin von Mendelssohn

Speaker, global networker, director of The Grace Foundation, co-founder of the Global Love School

Bernd W. Mueller

Ecological visionary, permaculturist and leader of the Global Ecology Institute, one of the leading engineers that built Tamera's Water Retention Landscape

Martin Winiecki

Leader of the Institute for Global Peace Work (IGP), writer and networker

Vera Kleinhammes

Community-builder in service of the Global Campus, speaker and responsible for internal coordination


Activists coming from around the world

Many of our invited guests are on the frontline of movements in their countries and fields, and we want to support them attending by covering their costs. That's why we're running a crowdfunding campaign for 42,000€, which we invite you to contribute to. Watch our short campaign video.

The activists we would like to fund include:


Tiokasin Ghosthorse, USA
A member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota, Tiokasin has a long history with Indigenous activism and advocacy. He is the founder and host of "First Voices Radio", authored several books, teaches as a guest faculty member at Yale University and was part of the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock. Tiokasin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 from the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy.


Pat McCabe, USA
"Woman Stands Shining" is an elder of the Dine (Navajo) Nation, writer, artist, activist and more. Her work is driven by the study of the Science of Right Relations, as she brings the understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing into discussion on sustainability. Pat has actively participated in Indigenous gatherings around the world and consults various international movements and initiatives.


Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, USA
Elder of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Lakota historian and activist. She founded the first resistance camp at Standing Rock, Sacred Stones, aimed at halting the Dakota Access Pipeline from crossing the Missouri river, sparking a nation movement of water protectors coming together to "Defend the Sacred."


Tokata Iron Eyes, USA
She has been involved with the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline since it's inception. She is part of the Standing Rock Youth, some of whom ran from North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to deliver 350,000 petition signatures asking to stop the pipeline. As a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, she continues to advocate and organize for indigenous youth and against the pipeline.


Chase Iron Eyes, USA 
Father of Tokata and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's lawyer.


Vasamalli Kurtaz, India
An indigenous leader and spokeswoman of the Toda people in the Nilgiri Mountains of southern India, Vasamalli carries the original tribal knowledge of a threatened culture, which up until the mid 20th century has been a matrilineal society, living in harmony with the Earth and among men and women.


Ati Quigua, Colombia
An indigenous leader, environmentalist and human rights activist from the Sierra Nevada in Colombia, at a very young age, Ati became the first indigenous woman to have a seat in the Council of Bogota. She represented the indigenous population in the Havana Peace Negotiations and won the 2016 International Daniele Po Award.


Sami Awad, Palestine

Executive Director of Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem, Sami is a visionary and nonviolence trainer working with Palestinian communities to end of the Israeli occupation with the power of love. He's one of the initiators and leaders of the Sumud Freedom Camp near Hebron.


Gabriel Meyer Halevy, Argentina/Israel
A musician and peace-maker, as a teenager Gabriel began his work as a human rights and spiritual activist in Argentina during the 1970s "Dirty War." He co-founded the Sulha Peace Project for the Reconciliation and Healing of the Children of Abraham in Israel-Palestine and is active at the Sumud Freedom Camp near Hebron.


Philip Munyasia, Kenya
Founder of OTEPIC and Global Campus partner, Philip has dedicated his life work to bettering his local environment in Kenya, teaching permaculture and regeneration to regain food security and care for biodiversity. He empowered thousands of women and youth to become self-sufficient in cooperation with nature.


Gildardo Tuberquia & Ruby Arteaga, Colombia
Gildardo and Ruby are leaders of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, a remarkable group of farmers that established a role model for reconciliation, nonviolent resistance, autonomy and solidarity in the middle of atrocious war. Despite of unimaginable persecution, they've stood their ground and continue working. San José has been a Global Campus partner since the beginning and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.


Claudio Miranda & Hellem Fernandes, Brazil
Claudio and Hellem are members of Poesia Samba Soul, a band of the favelas of Sao Paulo. They've played a vital role in transforming a neighborhood marked by gang wars and drug trafficking into a place of community and joy of life. They've helped thousands of youth to get out of violence and drugs, offering them creative outlets for their life energy. Poesia Samba Soul is a Global Campus partner, their vision is "Favela da Paz" - an urban model for peace and sustainability.


Maria Eduarda Souza, Brazil
A MA student of ecology and spirituality at Schumacher College, Maria is a researcher, activist, and artist engaged in bridging wisdom from the indigenous world to the western world. She supported the Indigenous people resisting the construction of the Belo Monte Dam in the Amazon.


Geraldine Ovando, Bolivia
Geraldine is a filmmaker and activist for a new culture. She runs a media company in Bolivia's capital La Paz promoting ecological awareness, Indigenous philosophies and new models for a post-capitalist future. Geraldine is part of a group preparing to found an education center in Bolivia - for ecological restoration and building community.


Andrea Toro, Bolivia
Andrea is a social educator in Bolivia, working in rural and urban communities to enhance community development, in women and youth empowerment, Permaculture, alternative economies and local fare trade markets.


Please check out, support and share our crowdfunding campaign.


Other activists confirmed as attending and self-funding are:

Monique Wilson, Philippines
A veteran theater and film actresses, Monique is one of Asia's leading feminists. She founded the New Voice Company to bring socially and politically provocative theater into the Philippines. Monique is the global coordinator of One Billion Rising, the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history, which is annually celebrated in 200 countries on February 14th.


John Quigley, USA
John is an environmentalist, educator, and aerial artist. He travels the world, bringing people together for art actions to draw messages on the ground. Be it about ending the destruction of the Amazon, the war in Gaza, or going for renewable energy, John is there with his drone camera and full heart. This summer, he will facilitate an action at the Portuguese coast against the planned oil exploration, with all participants of our gathering.


Scilla Elworthy, UK
Scilla is a peace builder and the founder of the Oxford Research Group, a non-governmental organization she set up in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2012 co-founded Rising Women Rising World, a growing, vibrant community of women on all continents who take responsibility for building a world that works for all.


Lawrence Bloom, Secretary General of the Be Earth Foundation, UK
For over 20 years, Lawrence sat on the Executive Committee of the Intercontinental Hotel Group from where he managed their $3B global real estate portfolio. He was appointed the first Chairman of the World Economic Forum at Davos and is former Chairman of the UN Environmental Programme, Green Economy Initiative, Green Cities, Buildings and Transport Council. His passion is to support what is breaking through via what is breaking down in the current system.


Saad Dagher, Palestine
Saad Dagher is an agronomist and environmentalist who specializes in agro-ecology, an area of study and practice with much in common with permaculture. He recently established his own farm and, besides numerous volunteering engagements, is also an experienced Yoga teacher. He's collaborated with the Global Campus and works with Farkha, Palestine's first ecovillage.



Parallel to our international gathering we will also run a youth camp, starting on July 31st, where youth (between 13 and 17) will approach "defending the sacred" with creative means. To find out more and for registration click here.

We look forward to having you with us. In the service of love for all that lives!


Practical Information and Registration

Language: English
Seminar Fee: 480€
(Youth Camp) Youth price: 320€
For Portuguese participants: In 2017, Tamera has opened a study fund which covers up to 50% of all costs for participants from Portugal. Just mention the word "study fund" in your application. Read more about the idea of this fund and how you can use and support it.
Price for Accommodation and food: 30 €/night
(Youth Camp) Youth price: 20 €/night
Children (6 -16 years): 15€/night
Accommodation: own tent
Food: vegan full board
Arrival and departure: On the day before / after the seminar.
Want to join? Write to office (at)
General Information for your stay

Order the book "Terra Nova" here