This is a new addition to our programme. It is a week long immersion experience in the wild with an emphasis on exploring nature connection practices. The course will also apply ecopsychology and Buddhist meditation to support an enriching and transformative relationship with the natural world and our own deeper nature.
The course takes us out into the mountains and woodlands in the remote Ecodharma valley, where we will set up and live in a wild camp. We will sleep beneath the stars or in simple bivouacs, living in intimate connection with the land, cooking together on campfires, and practicing together in close community.
The nature connection practices will help us to develop skills for observation and understanding of the non-human natural world. The ecopsychology dimension will help us to explore our truer identity as part of the evolving system of life and ecology of our world. Buddhist meditation will equip us with the mindful awareness and empathy to come into intimate relationship with the wild around us and within ourselves – connecting us to the mystery and wonder of life. It is a new addition to the Ecodharma Centre’s nature based practice series.
Living simply in the woods the emphasis of this training is the exploration of the “core routines” of nature connection (as developed in the sphere of ecopsychology, as well as the work of John Young and others of the Wilderness Awareness School). These include: · Learning to broaden our sphere of awareness and minimise our sphere of disturbance, so that we can learn from our natural surroundings. · Train in techniques for observation and understanding natural systems and the non-human inhabitants of the woods and mountains. · Using stalking and tracking techniques to increase our knowledge and understanding of the secret lives of animals – discovering how to move and live in the woods in a way that enables us to come into closer contact with the other beings who live there. · Discover the language of birds and how this can give us insights into the life of the woods and their inhabitants. · Learn to live simply and sensitively in the wild, leaving a minimal trace and existing in intimate respect for the natural world. · Explore how to read the landscape to understand its stories, short terma and deep-time processes which can re-connectus with the ancient past of our species.
With the practices of Buddhist meditation (which are offered in a way that doesn’t require a specific religious commitment) we will: · Apply techniques which lead to a clear and brighter awareness, enriching both our sensory experience and our self-awareness. · Find ways to help the mind to settle into quiet open receptivity. · Open up to our capacity for empathy and heartfelt respect, which underlies intimate connection with nature and other beings.
The course will be guided by a team of experienced facilitators with skills in wilderness living, bushcraft, and the contemplative arts of the Buddhist tradition. We will also support you to inegrate the skills you learn within the rest of your life, leading to an ongoing practice of self-inquiry and deepening nature connection. These practices can help you to find the nourishment and inspiration for living a life affirming existence.
Participants can join this course as a stand alone week or it can be used as a primer for the Meeting the Wild course which follows on directly in the Ecodharma events program. We will supply a basic gear list to participants. Arrival is for the Friday evening and departure on the Saturday morning.
Bookings and contributions: Suggested contribution - €200 to €600. The team: Subhachitta is an experienced nature connection facilitator and meditation teacher. She has several decades of experience growing out of her somatic-body based trainings, and a natural gift for supporting others to share in her passionate and sensitive respect for the non-human dimensions of nature. Her much appreciated no-nonsense character bring an authentic and grounding quality to her teaching. Caspar Brown teaches bushcraft ,nature awareness ,permaculture and mentoring in the UK and other parts of Europe. He has trained with various Wilderness schools including Trackways .Woodsmoke and Jon Young’s “The art of mentoring” program. He is a keen observationists and very interested in learning and teaching more about the relationship that humans have with their land base and see this as key in becoming an effective Permaculturist. He co-runs “Open Earth Ecology” where Radical permaculture techniques are encouraged and employed. He is also a talented musician and storyteller. Guhyapati is the founder and director of the Ecodharma Centre. He has worked as a wilderness and mountain guide for many years, facilitating nature connection, meditation retreats and radical ecological trainings. He is a talented holistic educator applying a wide range of approaches. He also facilitates Meeting the Wild and the Wanderers’ Retreat at the centre.