Eco-Mindfulness Retreat at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Join us for a one-day experiential learning retreat designed to expand your awareness and develop a deeper understanding of the unifying patterns of nature.

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Explore The Unifying Patterns of Nature

Experience the world with more childlike wonder and develop a new way of seeing the interconnected patterns of life.

This full day retreat at the Royal Botanical Gardens will help you expand your awareness and develop a deeper understanding of the unifying patterns found throughout nature in flowers, plants, and trees.

We will explore the ancient art of sacred geometry as taught by Plato and Pythagoras in the Classical Liberal Arts while learning about the natural symmetry and beauty that seduces the human eye and provokes feelings of awe and wonder.

On this experiential learning adventure, you will learn eco-mindfulness practices that can help quiet the chattering of your thinking mind so you can experience deeper embodiment in the heartfelt presence of your immediate sensory experience.

Shift your perception toward seeing our world in a more animistic way as an integral part of this living, breathing Earth rather than as a detached observers analyzing the world with the reductionist, mechanistic and cold objectivity that is dominant today.

Through tuning our senses to nature and building a deeper relationship with the other living beings in the web of life, we can heal ourselves and grow more resilient communities.

We will explore 5 aspects of healing the trauma of our culture's alienation from nature and restoring harmony and sanity in the world.

1. Healing The Mind:

Experience the healing power of nature connection and learn how to naturally heal anxiety, depression, and distractibility. 

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

2. Healing The Body:

So many degenerative illnesses are driven by our sedentary culture. We need to spend more time unplugged from our screens outside playing and experiencing the world through all of our senses.

Discover a simple set of Qigong movement practices that you can do anywhere to build greater embodiment, balance, and flexibility while also increasing your ability to focus and concentrate.

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 eco-mindfulness rituals can help us breathe slower and deeper so we can tune into the natural world and enjoy a richer sensory experience.

4. Healing The Tribe:

Many of the amazing technological advances that have given us bigger houses and supercomputers in our pockets have been accompanied by a loss of community and shallower relationships.

This retreat is about learning and sharing through conversation with other likeminded people who love nature. Meet new friends and learn practices to inspire your family to join you on your outdoor adventures.

5. Healing The Planet

Healing the damage we've done to the Planet requires relearning the language of nature that speaks to us without words through feeling and intuition.

We'll explore our connection with plants, trees, birds, and animals in the interconnected web of life and how we can create a regenerative culture that lives in harmony with nature.

About The Guide

Kyle Pearce is from Vancouver, British Columbia 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 ancient history, religious traditions, and meditation practices with teachers from around the world. He also runs a self-directed learning website called DIY Genius helping students develop their focus, creativity, and self-motivation.

The Day's Schedule

Spend the day unplugged from your smartphone and tuned into the living presence of natural world.

10:00 am - 1:00 pm: Eco-Mindfulness and Studying Unifying Patterns of Flowers

We'll start with a meditation and group introductions so everyone can get to know each other and share their insights in conversation throughout the retreat.

We will explore the power of bringing our full attention to our sensory experience while walking in the flower gardens and learning about the unifying patterns of nature.

Along the way you'll learn eco-mindfulness practices for feeling a deeper sense of embodiment in your immediate experience and expanding your awareness of what you see, smell, hear, and touch.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Lunch and Personal Eco-Mindfulness Practice 

We recommend you bring your lunch with you so we can eat together (or you're welcome to eat at the RBG's Greenhouse Cafe). 

Enjoy some personal time after lunch to explore the Mediterranean Garden in the greenhouses and practice eco-mindfulness and silent contemplation.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: The Wild Plants and Mushrooms of Spring

Learn about the wild plants and fungi found throughout the Spring season in the local Carolinian forests and grasslands.

Gain foundational knowledge for identifying edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms and learn a systematic way to develop your  pattern recognition skills so you can forage safely and responsibly.

We will specifically cover the species you will find from April to June so apply what you learn immediately and discover the seasonal plants this time of year.

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Forest Meditation and Practicing Pattern Recognition Outside

In our afternoon learning session outside, we will explore the forests and wetlands of the 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, which makes the miracle of life and biodiversity possible.

We will take a dive into the groundbreaking research that has been done recently into the Gaia hypothesis, plant sentience, and the importance of fungi mycelium for healthy soils.

Bonus: 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 Ecological Changemakers discussion forum to continue sharing with the group

You will also get these self-directed learning guides to go deeper into what they learn at the retreat:

1. Edible Plants and Mushrooms 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 and mushrooms found in the local Carolinian Forest ecosystem.

Learn how to catalog species and systemically develop your pattern recognition skills so you can safely identify wild plants and medicinal mushrooms.

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.

2. Biomimicry and The Art of Learning From 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.

 We will also have a videographer on site for this retreat to film and take photos that you will receive after the retreat.

Location

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).

Date

Sunday, May 19th from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Unplug, reconnect and rewild your senses in the largest botanical garden in Canada and a National Historic Site.

Investment

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

Book your spot for this eco-mindfulness retreat at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

EARLY BIRD

$85

PER TICKET

One-Day Retreat

Biomimicry Learning Guide

Wild Plants and Mushrooms of the Carolinian Forest Guide

Expired

RETREAT TICKETS

$100

PER TICKET

One-Day Retreat

Biomimicry Learning Guide

Wild Plants and Mushrooms of the Carolinian Forest Guide

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"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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