wanderers retreat

6th to 20th Oct 2018

a nature based practice retreat following the pathless path

Inspired by the lives of the early Buddhist practitioners and yogis, who were homeless wanderers, forest and mountain dwellers, this nomadic retreat carries us into a simple life immersed in elemental nature. Through meditation, dharma study and deep ecological perspectives, for two weeks we will wander the pathless path.

This retreat begins at the residential centre, where a day or two of initial preparation take place. For the rest of the time we will wander as a small itinerant band through the spectacular landscape of the Serra de Carreau. The objective is not getting from one place to another! Some days may be spent in one place, with time devoted to sitting meditation and study, others might involve a short wander or a long hike.

Wilderness immersion has long been recognised for its powerful transformative potential. Combined with mediation and mindfulness practice, and the supportive context of a small nomadic community, it offers a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our practice, clarify our sense of our deeper self, and reconnect intimately with the web of life. These are aims of all events in our Nature Based Practice and Learning series.

As we move through the external terrain, encountering different places and atmospheres, we will also follow an inner journey and adventure – stepping into a world not easily contained by our superficial and habitual assumptions.

We will meditate and live together in glorious simplicity – one pot between us for cooking on a fire, sleeping under the stars or a bivi sheet. We are likely to wander through and stay in the caves of the Val de Carreau, to spend time by the river and pools of Riu d’Abella, and to pass by the woods surrounding the vulture feeding grounds in the Serra de Boumourt.

There will be lots of silent time. And plenty of meditation, periods of study, discussion, story-telling and sharing will all be woven into the two weeks. Food will be simple, porridge for breakfast and one basic cooked meal a day. Food will be dropped in various caches for the group every few days so we don’t need to carry much. However, the group will carry its own sleeping and bivi material. Gear will be kept to a bare minimum. Leave your digital camera and change of spare trousers behind – radical simplicity is the goal! Participants need to be in good health and have an adequate level of physical fitness (which we can explore with you during the application process) as parts of the route include rough mountain terrain.

The event ends with a couple of days back at the centre, where we can de-brief, assimilate and prepare for taking our learning back into our everyday lives.

The Team

Rupert Marques has worked within the field of experiential environmental education for the past fifteen years with an emphasis in outdoor education. He trained extensively and subsequently worked as a guide with the School of Lost borders in the U.S. offering contemporary wilderness rites of passage.
A practitioner in the Insight meditation tradition for over 20 years, he is interested in how experiences in wild places can serve to open the mind and remind us of what we belong to. “I am interested in how we come to find our place, our sense of belonging in the times we are living through, how we meet the magnitude of the challenges we face in a manner that calls forth our integrity and even our gratitude.”

Liam Thomas has been involved in outdoor experiential learning in the UK and abroad for over a decade, working with a wide range of people from young children to adults with physical disabilities. He has a contagious love for wildlife, and supports people to foster a sacred connection with the mountain environment and themselves. He is a qualified Mountain Leader & Qigong Instructor, holding a strong meditative practice based on sitting, and movement disciplines like Yoga, Aikido, Contact Improvisation, and Qigong for over 15 years. Through his own lived experience, Liam firmly believes that the refuge of community, nature based practice, and movement arts play a critical role in supporting humans to live engaged, healthy and fulfilling lives in an increasingly fragmented and complex society.

Suggested contribution in the Dana Economy €450/€700/€1025 (euros). Make a booking.

Some useful background reading: The Practice of the Wild, Gary Snyder, Shoemaker & Hoard/ Eco psychology – Restoring the Earth and Mind, edited by Theodore Roszak/ Living with Awareness, Sangharakshita, Windhorse Publications/ Deep Ecology, edited by Bill Devall and George Sessions, Perregrine Smith / Buddhism and Ecology, Tucker and Williams, Harvard University Press.

» The dana economy
» Make a booking