Join us for an experiential learning retreat in the old-growth cathedrals of Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Canada. Expand your ecological awareness and learn about the plants, trees and mushrooms in the coastal rainforests.
Come explore your sensory experience and your place in nature in the old-growth rainforests of Clayoquot Sound on the western edge of Vancouver Island.
Clayoquot Sound was home to the famous war in the woods that in the 1990s that mobilized people from across Canada to unite with First Nations groups in the area against the government of British Columbia to block the clearcut of the ancient and irreplaceable rainforests of Clayoquot Sound.
Fortunately, this was one of the battles that the people won and today Clayoquot Sound is a world-renowned ecotourism destination.
This 3-day nature immersion experience is taking place on the BC Day long weekend from Friday evening to Monday morning. We will be staying at the Lone Cone Mountain Hostel and Campground on Meares Island on the unceded territories of the Ahousaht First Nation.
Learn about the healing power of rewilding your senses in the forest and expand your knowledge of the interconnected ecology of the temperate rainforest ecosystem on the west coast.
Learn the practice of sensory immersion ecology, which combines ecological learning about the web of life while building a deeper relationship with the forest through focusing in on the "felt presence" of your immediate sensory experience.
This form of active sensory meditation is not merely a practice or routine, it's the cultivation of a way of life spent in the living present in heartfelt connection with other sentient living creatures.
We believe that healing the brokenness of the human spirit in modern times and the wholesale destruction of the Biosphere necessitates the rediscovery of the ancestral wisdom that once helped human beings live sustainably in balance with nature.
This experiential learning retreat will be a catalyst to develop a deeper relationship with healing plants, medicinal mushrooms and grow your understanding of rainforest ecology.
Come develop a fresh way of seeing and experiencing the world with deeper embodiment in the richness and aliveness of your senses.
In today's sedentary culture where it is common to spend up to 10 hours a day sitting and staring at screens, it has never been more important to unplug and reconnect our senses with natural rhythms and flow.
In our free 30-minute webinar, learn about the philosophy of rewilding and how to reverse the negative effects of domestication and sedentary living that contribute to today's epidemic of mental and degenerative illnesses.Watch The Webinar
We have arranged for a taxiboat from Tofino's docks on the evening of Friday, August 2nd. Our adventures in the rainforest will begin on Saturday morning.
We will start on Friday evening with a bonfire under the stars and then spend Saturday exploring the old-growth forests of Meares Island in Clayoquot Sound.
Rather than learning through textbooks and lectures, our focus on all of our nature retreats is experiential learning.
We will learn in the forest hiking the trails of Clayoquot Sound and visiting the spectacular Lone Cone Mountain viewpoint, ancient old-growth forest groves and explore the tidal ecosystem at low tide.
You will learn sensory immersion ecology meditation practices to go beyond thinking and experience deep embodiment in your sensory awareness.
Here are some of places we will explore and things you will learn on our adventure in the temperate old-growth rainforests:
After breakfast, we'll hike to the spectacular Lone Cone Mountain viewpoint overlooking the grandeur of Clayoquot Sound, the town of Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park. At the top, you'll learn sensory immersion practices that explore depth perception.
Later in the day we will learn about the medicinal plants found in new growth forest, mid-range growth, and old growth rainforests. Many of the medicines we need for improving our mental health and physical vitality are growing in the rainforests and can be cultivated at home.
In the afternoon, we'll hike to pristine lake to swim in the refreshing waters. At the lake, we'll do a group water meditation circle exploring our connection with the element of water. Later in the day, we will watch the sunset along a spectacular cove overlooking the islands of Clayoquot Sound in the distance.
In the evening, we will do a breathwork ceremony around a fire to set clear intentions for the future and learn about the power of lucid dreaming. We will explore the constellations of stars above and different ancient cosmologies and mythologist rooted in Earth Goddesses and the heavenly realms of Sky Gods.
On Sunday, we will build upon our meditation foundation and go deeper into the ancient history of this magical and mysterious old-growth rainforest on the edge of the Western world.
Deepening the senosry immersion ecology practices learned on the first day, you will start developing your pattern recognition skills in the forest and learn about what herbalists call the Imaginal Realm, a fusion of imagination, intuition and deep connection with your senses.
You'll learn to tune into the spirit of the forest and deepen your intuition of the interconnected patterns. This can help you better understand the natural world and develop a more meaningful relationship with the other living beings in the web of life.
You will learn about plant medicine and mushrooms, which can heal the mind and body, and are found throughout the coastal rainforest of British Columbia and the world.
The nature retreat in Clayoquot Sound will end after breakfast on Monday morning but you will have the option of joining in a group surfing session on Long Beach near Tofino on the way back to the city.
Here are some of the adventures on this day of exploration and experiential learning in Clayoquot Sound:
Learn about medicinal mushrooms in the forest forest and how fungi mycelium, what's called the "Wood Wide Web" enables the miracle of life and terrestrial biodiversity. Discover an amazing world of healing mushrooms that grow in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest and what can be cultivated at home.
In the morning, we will take a 30-minute boat across Clayoquot Sound to walk the 11 km one way Wildside Trail on Flores Island with an Ahousaht Guide (we will be picked up by boat at the end of the trail). Learn about the ancient rainforest and the history, culture and ecological worldview of the Ahousaht people.
On our way back to camp, we will also visit the world-famous Big Tree Trail, a boardwalk meandering through some of the largest and most ancient trees found on the B.C. coast. Here we will explore the ecology and the natural history of the old-growth rainforests that goes back to the last Ice Age.
We will make a pilgrimage to the largest tree in Clayoquot Sound and one of the oldest in the world, known as the Hanging Garden. It is a Western Red Cedar tree that was given its name because of all the other trees and plants that are growing from it. It is about 18 meters wide and estimated to be 2,000 years old.
Friday, August 2nd to Monday, August 5th, 2019. 3 nights.
A short boat ride from Tofino, British Columbia on Meares Island, the unceded territory of the Ahousaht Nation.
Tickets are only available online. Accommodations and food are included.
Kyle Pearce is from Vancouver, British Columbia and he has been designing and leading experiential learning adventures, nature immersion retreats, and forest ecology workshops through Animist Ecology since 2015.
He has spent the last decade traveling the world studying ancient history, ecology and meditation practices with teachers from around the world.
He has been teaching meditation and flow psychology for 7 years through his online learning company DIY Genius.
If you want to learn more about the philosophy of Animist Ecology, watch his 30-minute webinar on Rewilding Yourself: The Healing Power of Nature Connection.
The retreat experience includes plant-based meals and accommodations (your choice of camping or dorm rooms) at the Lone Cone Hostel and Campground from Friday evening to Monday morning.
It also includes a water taxi (return) from Tofino's docks to Meares Island.
We have people coming from Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle so contact us if you're looking for a ride or you're willing to carpool with another retreat participant.
Otherwise, to get to Tofino we recommend the Tofino Bus.
We have limited availability for this retreat so book early with your refundable deposit to avoid disappointment.
The meals will be healthy and plant-based and we will be sharing some treats around the fire. If you have any food sensitivities or dietary restrictions please let us know.
After 4 years of facilitating experiential learning experiences in nature, we know that the most important part is the relationships you form with other people at the retreat.
Meet other ecological changemakers from across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
Form lasting friendships and meet other co-collaborators for your ecological and regenerative projects that can help save this world from the destructive forces of greed and detachment from life.
All retreat attendees will also get our extensive West Coast Plant and Mushroom Ecology Learning Guides to continue learning to identify healing plants and medicinal mushrooms that grow in rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
Book your spot online through our website and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
We provide a return boat taxi from Tofino to the nature retreat location on Meares Island. For transportation from Vancouver or Victoria if you don't have a car, we recommend Tofino Bus.
Yes, meals are provided from breakfast on Saturday to our final breakfast together on Monday morning.
We will do our best to accommodate to dietary restrictions, please let us know immediately when you register for this retreat.
18+ for all of our nature retreats in Canada. Most of our retreat participants are between the ages of 25 and 40.
Absolutely, the majority of our retreat participants come solo. It is a great opportunity to make new friends for your foraging adventures in the future.
Our group sizes vary, but we expect 10-15 participants for this retreat. This gives us the chance to really connect with one another and to make sure each individual has the best time possible.
All our retreats go rain or shine. We enjoy the rainforest in all it's moods. As this event is in August during the dry season, it's unlikely to be a problem.
"My experience was a great introduction into a vast new world of connections. The retreat was ideal for every level, as Kyle catered to the unique interests of all individuals that day. Kyle has a depth of knowledge that spans beyond pure mushroom ecology which creates a very dynamic experience. We were able to find many different species of mushrooms and identify them with Kyle's expertise. Kyle also provided a dense list of references and review from the session so there was no pressure to take notes and tons of resources to consult after the session! The forest meditation was an awesome experience and one that I have added to my meditation practices and can practice on my own. Kyle did a fantastic job making a connection with everyone and ensuring all questions were answered. He is so knowledgable on so many topics that he is able to add context to the geographic location, the ecology of the forest and even some anthropologic history. All around a fantastic experience that I would recommend to everyone regardless of their level of mushroom knowledge/interest."
"I enjoyed the retreat immensely and the knowledge gained/processed in a short time was enlightening and encouraging. There is much to learn about the amazing world we live in and our connection at the core to nature. We are nature! I mostly enjoyed the "gnosis" that happened while experiencing my learning together with all the other participants. Kyle was awesome at keeping the learning experiential and engaging and allowing everyone to contribute to the learning based on their journey of animism and personal connections with nature. I highly recommend this retreat to further your awareness of the forgotten knowledge of trees and mushrooms and leave feeling inspired that collectively we can form a deeper relationship with nature and others."
""I went on one of Kyle's meditation and foraging workshops in a local forest last fall and I was immediately hooked. Kyle not only chose a beautiful place to learn and meet like minded people, but has the education and charisma that left me more curious and has peaked my interest in mushrooms not only as a chef but for their amazing medicinal properties and their pivotal part in food sustainability. Kyle is engaged, entertaining and open minded. I could go on and on about going to this workshop I don't know what I expected but it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning and would recommend participating in anything Kyle has to offer because his passion about mushrooms is magnetic! ""
Join us for a nature retreat in Clayoquot Sound near the town of Tofino exploring forest meditation, ancient history and the old-growth ecology of British Columbia's coastal rainforests.