Image by Kunal Shinde

Ecological Healing Immersion

Our minds and bodies are not separate from our environment.

Our environment means other beings and our relationships with them, including people, animals, rivers, trees, and mountains.

As the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says, we "inter-are".

If we want total and radical healing, we must expand our process to include our relationships and our environments.

 

These immersions are a way for us to step into a time and space with this shared intention, to step out of ourselves in a space structured for unstructuring and opening into the immediacy of our coemerging with all life. And to direct that coemerging toward health and well-being.

Immersions range from one-day to multiple weeks, and can be done privately or in groups.

WHAT IS AN ECOLOGICAL HEALING IMMERSION?

If we really want to heal as an individual, it cannot be isolated from healing as an environment. Healing is not a technique, it is not an isolated event, it is not something discrete. Healing is an ongoing, active co-emerging of an ecological system - which includes an individual and their environment. Nothing is happening in a vacuum. An individual cannot exist within a vacuum. They don’t exist within vacuum. There is not a clear boundary where the individual ends and where the environment begins. There are many boundaries, but they are all porous boundaries. Ecological healing is something that involves the space and everyone and everything in it.

 

In an ecological healing immersion, we are intentionally co-creating a space which transcends our ordinary contexts, and transcends our ordinary individuality, for the explicit purpose of individual, collective, and environmental healing.

 

We will immerse into beautiful and serene environments to delve into intensive individual contemplative counseling, transformative bodywork, yoga, and meditation. We will come together to further our individual processes through dynamic relational therapy. We will engage the environment in new and constructive ways, learning to be comfortable in the outdoors and to regenerate and steward the land. 

 

 

Additionally, we will frame our time together with rites of passage, drawing from ancient traditions and indigenous wisdom. Neuropsychologists and medical biochemists are beginning to reveal evidence of what humans have known for time immemorial. Coming together in simple acts of kindness and connection, sharing the mythopoetic by fireside, singing to synchronize and regulate heart-rhythms and brainwaves, moving or dancing together to dissolve the self, forest bathing in phytoncides and terpenes (to say the least), engaging in group processing, ritual, and rites of passage, simply sitting in contemplative practice together, in retreat, and above all, collectively stewarding and giving back to the earth - the living system of which we are but a part - all creates an opportunity for radical transformation.

A TASTE

Look at an object some distance away from you.

Are you truly experiencing that object, or are you experiencing a sense of the object within your own mind?

Isn’t that what it means to have “senses”?

Can we say that our mind is located within the boundaries of our skin?

Or is our place, our space, our environment as much a part of our mind as the words floating in the phenomenon we call “thinking”?

Feel the support underneath you.

Are you feeling your body, or the relationship between your body and the support?

What’s supporting that support?

Can we say that what we "feel" is a sense isolated within the boundaries of our skin?

Or is our place, our space, our environment as much a part of our bodymind as the phenomenon we call “feeling”?

Take a deep breath.

Feel your body.

Keep noticing the sensations of your body.

Now think about the fires in Australia and in California.

Do you notice any visceral sensations arising with these thoughts?

Now think about the violence in Israel and Palestine.

Do you notice any visceral sensation?

Now take another deep breath and visualize yourself in a quiet and cool forest, with sunlight peaking through the trees and a soft trickle of water lapping over smooth pebbles in a gentle stream. Imagine there are no biting bugs, only beautiful and gentle birds flitting about, dragonflies shining in vibrant technicolor, and a warm breeze rustling leaves and branches, carrying with it the aroma of medicinal saps and herbs. 

What are you feeling in your body?

We are not separate from our environment.

We are ecological beings.

We inter-are.