Eco-Mindfulness Retreat at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Join a group of ecological changemakers on a unique one-day experiential learning retreat where you will expand your awareness and study the art of nature through your senses.

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Explore The Unifying Patterns of Nature

Open your eyes to a fresh world of wonder and develop a new way of seeing.

This one-day retreat at the Royal Botanical Gardens will develop your mindful awareness to awaken your senses and expand your perception of nature's unifying patterns.

We will explore the ancient art of sacred geometry and experience the unifying patterns found across the world in flowers, plants, and forests.

There is a natural intelligence in the world around us that we have become disconnect from in modern times. Discover the active imagination of what herbalists call the "imaginal realm" and start developing the heartfelt sense to connect with the living spirit of plants.

On this experiential learning adventure, you will learn to see the world with child-like eyes again and quiet the chattering of your mind through eco-mindfulness practices that help you sense through your body and heart rather than the conceptual ideas of your analytical mind.

This can be valuable in helping heal the fragmented worldview of reductionist, materialistic science and balancing it again with the ancient, animistic worldview of humanity that we are an intimate part of the interconnected web of life.

This other way of perceiving our place in the world is both ancient and a growing movement in ecology and biological sciences. It recognizes that every aspect of the Earth from the soil, to the forests, and the atmosphere that sustains us are intelligent, self-organizing systems and everything is interconnected.

What You Will Learn At This Retreat:

We will explore a series of nature connection and eco-mindfulness practices to help you develop a deeper feeling of awe and wonder at the magic of biodiversity and the miracle of life.

We will practice shifting our perception toward seeing our world in a more animistic way as an integral part of our breathing Planet and how we can heal ourselves and our communities through tuning into nature.

1. Healing The Mind:

We will explore nature connection rituals where you can develop your knowledge of the interconnected symbiosis of plants, trees, birds, animals, and fungi, which can give you a deeper sense of reverence for life.

Learn simple eco-mindfulness practices that facilitate the experience of awe and wonder while rekindling curiosity and relaxing the mental chatter of the analytical mind.

2. Healing The Body:

So many degenerative and mental illnesses are driven by our sedentary, modern culture. We need to move, stretch and play daily to maintain healthy bodies and minds.

Learn a simple set of Qigong movement practices that you can do anywhere to build greater strength, balance, and flexibility while also increasing the power of your focus and concentration.

3. Healing The Spirit:

The English word “spirit” comes from the Latin “spiritus”, which means breath and an animating or vital principle that gives life its vitality.

We will explore how to develop meditation and eco-mindfulness rituals that can calm the incessant chatter of your analytical mind and help you enjoy a richer sensory experience.

4. Healing The Tribe:

Many of the amazing technological advances of the modern world that have given us bigger houses, inexpensive cars, and smartphones in our pockets have been accompanied by a loss of community and shallower relationships.

Make new friends who love nature as well to join you on your adventures this summer and learn valuable ecological knowledge you can share with your family and local community.

5. Healing The Planet

We'll explore how we can learn the language of nature with an introduction to nature connection practices such as studying bird songs and learning through direct sensory connection with the interconnected web of life all around us.

A better understanding of nature and the "living wisdom" of biodiversity can help us create a regenerative culture that can live in harmony again with nature.


About The Guide

Kyle Pearce is from Vancouver, British Columbia and has been designing and leading experiential learning adventures, nature immersion retreats, and forest meditation workshops through Animist Ecology since 2015.

He has spent the last decade traveling the world in the winters studying with ecology teachers and exploring ancient nature connection traditions of Planet Earth from his ancestral tradition of Celtic Druidry, to the Forest Monk tradition of Thailand, and the ancient shamanic traditions of the Central American highlands and the Andes.

He also runs a self-directed learning website called DIY Genius and a digital storytelling program for social entrepreneurs called Social Creators.

The Day's Schedule

Spend the day unplugged from your smartphone and plugged into the rejuvenating power of your five senses in nature.

10 am - 1:00 pm - Sensory Immersion In The Flower Gardens
Mindful Awareness Training and Studying Unifying Patterns In The Flower Gardens

Learn how to awaken your senses and feel a deeper sense of awe and wonder by developing the practice of mindful awareness while exploring the flower gardens.

We will explore our senses and how we perceive and interpret the natural world around us.

The morning will be spent in the most spectacular garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens practicing eco-mindfulness and studying the the unifying patterns in flowers and other plants.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Lunchtime 

We recommend you bring your lunch with you (or you can eat at the Greenhouse Cafe at the RBG). 

Enjoy some personal time to practice the eco-mindfulness and sensory immersion practices learned in the morning while wandering the expansive gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Indoor Learning Session
The Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants and Fungi of Early Spring

Learn about the wild plants and fungi of Spring in the local Carolinian forests and grasslands.

You will learn about the most common species of edible and medicinal plants and herbs that grow all around you and how you can start building the pattern recognition skills to identify them properly.

We will specifically cover the species you will find from April to June so you can connect with the seasonal plants this time of year.

3:00 - 5:00 pm: Forest Learning Session
Symbiogenesis: Mycelium, The Web of Life and The Miracle of Biodiversity

In our afternoon learning session, we will explore the forests and wetlands of the peaceful Hendrie Valley and start applying our developing pattern recognition skills to wild landscapes.

We will also explore the interconnected symbiosis between trees, plants, and fungi that makes the miracle of life and biodiversity possible.

We will take a dive into the groundbreaking research that has been done recently into Gaia theory, plant sentience, and how fungi mycelium is crucial to soil biology and by extension our health through our gut microbiome and the biodiversity of our surroundings.

Bonuses: Animist Collective + Lifelong Learning Guides

To take what you learn on this one-day retreat to a higher level, you will get an invite to our online Animist Collective discussion forum to continue sharing with the group and all attendees will get these self-directed learning guides to go deeper into what they learn at the retreat:

1. Mushroom Ecology Learning Guide

“I believe that mycelium is the neurological network of nature. Interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitats with information-sharing membranes. These membranes are aware, react to change, and collectively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind. The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication with its environment, devising diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to complex challenges.”
― Paul Stamets

Continue your learning adventure with a 50-page visual guide for learning about edible and medicinal fungi in our local forests and the role of fungal mycelium in the evolution of biodiversity of Earth.

2. Regenerative Cultures: Biomimicry and The Art of Nature

“I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.” ― Steve Jobs

Explore ecological design thinking with our 30-page guide covering biomimicry and the study of nature-inspired solutions for a healthier planet. This fascinating discipline studies the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes.

Learn how biomimicry can inspire innovation and more sustainable ways of living and doing business, and help us restore biodiversity in our community and around the world.

3. Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Carolinian Forest

"Herbalism is based on relationship - relationship between plant and human, plant and planet, human and plant. Using herbs in the healing process means taking part in an ecological cycle. - Wendell Berry

Get our detailed guide to the wild edibles and medicinal herbs of our local Carolinian Forest ecosystem.

Learn how to catalog species and improve your pattern recognition skills over time so you can identify wild plants and medicinal herbs that grow all around you.

This is a great way to build a nature connection ritual where you can develop an intuitive sense of what makes a healthy ecosystem so you can forage healing plants safely.


Royal Botanical Gardens. A 45-minute drive from the city of Toronto and a short distance from the Aldershot GO Train Station (pick up can be arranged).


Sunday, May 19th from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Unplug, reconnect and rewild your senses in the incredible gardens and the forest.


Tickets are only available online through our website. You can save 15% by purchasing an early bird ticket. It also includes garden admission + parking.

“Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

- Leonardo da Vinci

The Royal Botanical Gardens

Sprawling across 2,700 acres and containing over 40,000 plants, the Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest botanical garden in Canada and one of the largest in the world.

Eco-Mindfulness Retreat Pricing Options

Choose the best package for your needs and book your spot early on this eco-mindfulness retreat.




One-Day Retreat

Animist Collective Membership

Mushroom Ecology Learning Guide

Biomimicry Learning Guide

Wild Plants of the Carolinian Forest Guide

Sign Up




One-Day Retreat

Animist Collective Membership

Mushroom Ecology Learning Guide

Biomimicry Learning Guide

Wild Plants of the Carolinian Forest Guide

Sign Up

"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."

Clara F.

"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! "

Dana M.

"My experience at the mushroom ecology workshop with Kyle was a great introduction into a vast new world of connections. The workshop 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."

Brittany B.

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