year-long certificate training in nature based practice

Spring 2018 to Spring 2019

This training will offer a small group of individuals working in the broad field of Nature Based Practice the opportunity to develop their work through immersion in the approaches currently offered at ecodharma in this field.

Ecodharma offers a unique engagement with Nature Based Practice, weaving together practices and teachings from a range of mutually supportive fields including: Nature connection work drawing on the ‘core routines’ of the Wilderness Awareness School, Contemplative Dharma Practice, experiential and theoretical work from the field of ecopsychology, contemporary Wilderness Rites of Passage, Permaculture, Deep Ecology and ‘The Work that Reconnects’. Facilitators likewise come from a range of backgrounds and offer a diverse embodiment of nature base practice.

A guiding emphasis of the work at ecodharma is the mutually supportive relationship between inner contemplative work and outer engagement in the world. Ecodharma has a history of supporting individuals working within the fields of social justice and ecological sustainability. A unique aspect of this training is that it is specifically directed toward people engaged in the broad work of cultural regeneration.

The program will commence with the Spring 2018 season and conclude at the end of the Spring 2019 season, offering participants flexibility in both program design and timing. Individuals will be able to choose either 3 trainings from our range of nature based programming within this time frame. A common thread throughout all of our courses is the exploration of relationship to Self, to Community/Society and to the wider Ecological Community, held within the context of the times we are living through. Each course differs in the way these relationships are explored and cultivated. Participation in courses serves as a living laboratory of how individuals, many of whom are engaged in diverse areas of cultural renewal and ecological resilience, are served through different approaches within Nature Based Practice.

Participants can choose from the following trainings in our program along with similar courses to be scheduled for the spring 2019:

14th to 21st April – Earth Consciousness
21st to 29th April – Wildcamp
5th to 13th May – Wild Therapy: An Ecopsychology Training
2nd to 16th June – Meeting the Wild
23rd June to 3rd July – Earth Initiation
22nd Sept to 2nd Oct – Earth Initiation – Autumn
6th to 20th Oct – Wanderers Retreat
20th to 27th Oct – Permaculture, Nature Connection and Deep Ecology
30th Oct to 10th Nov – Roots of Resilience

In addition to experiential learning through selected courses, students will be supported in understanding the conceptual frameworks and world-views that underpin our work through specific readings throughout the year. This will be enhanced through a series of modules with readings and webinars, where individuals will have the opportunity to share their learning journey and engagement with both the theoretical and experiential content of the training as it progresses.

This year’s modules will be:

Spring: Indigeniety & Sense Based practice
Summer: Ecopsychology and Ecocentric models of development
Autumn: Contextualizing our work – The Larger Story of Our Times
Winter: Dharma, Contemplative Practice and Nature.

Our intention is to foster a supportive peer-based learning community that is responsive to the emergent needs of the group and enriched through the range of perspectives and backgrounds that each person brings. Individual mentorship will be supported both through the webinars and through contact with the program organiser throughout the training and on specific courses.

Participants will be exposed to a range of pedagogical approaches and content throughout the program. They will develop increased competence and understanding in the following areas (with varying emphasis depending on the course selection):

• How to develop Nature-based learning that provides an experiential understanding of the wider natural world – offering a mirror, a refuge, and guide and a larger ground of belonging and identity.
• How ‘ecological consciousness’ can provide a sense of connection and identity that affirms our solidarity with life and empowers our action in defense of the earth.
• The theoretical underpinnings of different approaches to Nature Based Practice and how they can serve a range of learning outcomes and developmental needs.
• Facilitation of an array of nature connection practices.
• Embodied understanding of the complementarity between contemplative practice and sense-based nature connection work.
• Creating safe, inclusive and vibrant group cultures that foster honest communication, support emotional learning and nurture community.
• Experiential and theoretical understanding of ecopsychological / eco-centric models of human development and how Nature Based Practice supports such development.
• The role of self-generated ceremony and community generated ceremony within Nature Based Practice
• Understanding the broader context of Nature Based Practice in building resilient human communities and cultural regeneration.

Candidates will be eligible for a certificate issued by us in ‘Nature Based Practice’ through participation in at least 3 courses (minimum of 250+ hours contact time) plus engagement with webinars & theoretical coursework.

The program will be led by Rupert Marques, a key member of our Nature Based Practice team at ecodharma. Rupert brings a background in ecopsychology, outdoor and environmental education and Wilderness Rites of Passage and has worked in the field for over 15 years. He brings over two decades of practice in the Insight Meditation tradition.

To apply and for more information contact us at

Suggested contribution in the Dana Economy €1200/€2200/€3400 (euros). Make a booking.

» The dana economy
» Make a booking