Forest Meditation and Mushroom Ecology Retreat

Join us for on a one-day experiential learning retreat designed to help you expand your ecological awareness and develop your knowledge of our local trees, plants and fungi.

Get Your Early Bird Tickets

Rewild Your Senses In The Forest

The global ecological crisis we face today is ultimately a crisis of consciousness. We have become disconnected from nature and the ancestral knowledge that once helped us live in harmony and connection with the Earth.

At this one-day experiential learning retreat at ThinkSpot in the Lowville Forest just north of Burlington, you will learn practices for rewilding your senses and exploring your perception of nature.

We will explore the dominance of mechanistic, reductionist science today and how modern people have been taught to see nature as mechanistic and without meaning while giving us the false perception of standing outside of nature and above it.

By helping us to become a major force on the Planet, conventional science has inadvertently helped to create the global ecological crisis by enabling the development of technology that's being used not to cooperate or mimic nature — to learn from nature — but rather to dominate it.

Fortunately, there is a holistic science emerging that can re-balance this fragmented worldview 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 forest bathing and embodied meditation practices to help you develop a deeper feeling of awe and wonder while exploring the forest ecosystem through all of your senses.

We will practice shifting our perception toward seeing our world in a more animistic way, less as a detached analytical observer and more by tuning into nature and feeling your integral connection with  our living, breathing Planet.

1. Healing The Mind:

We will explore nature connection rituals where you can develop your knowledge and appreciation of the interconnected symbiosis of plants, trees, birds, animals, fungi, and human beings.

We will learn the practice of forest bathing and embodied meditation. Use these simple techniques to explore the power of awe and wonder while relaxing the mental chatter of the thinking mind so you can feel more connected and alive.

2. Healing The Body:

Learn creative and fun ways to work embodied movement into your routine. This is essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind.

There is an epidemic of degenerative diseases and mental illnesses today because we have become so sedentary and disconnection from nature as a culture. This is not the way we have evolved to live and rewilding our bodies is an important step in healing our connection with nature.

3. Healing The Spirit:

The English word “spirit” comes from the Latin “spiritus”, which means breath, as well as soul, life and vitality. In its ancient context, it also meant air, wind, and the living spirit of Mother Nature.

Breathing is the physical function that energizes our bodies and connects us to the living world around us. We will explore some forest bathing and embodied meditation practices that can help calm the incessant chatter of the analytical mind so you can 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.

We will explore social tribe dynamics and how you can develop more meaningful friendships through nature connection and build a stronger tribe that will increase your resilience and happiness.

5. Healing The Planet

Discover the learn the language of nature that speak without words with an introduction to nature connection practices such as wildlife tracking and studying bird songs.

A better understanding of nature and the living wisdom of biodiversity can help us develop regenerative ecology practices that allow our communities to be more self-reliant and live in harmony with our local soil.

Come make new friends and join the nature connection conversation. We will create a sense of tribe for the day around our shared passion for exploring our senses, developing ecological knowledge and appreciation of nature.

Animist Ecology Photo Gallery

Photos from our educational nature retreats and experiential learning adventures.

 

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 learned mushroom ecology at the Vancouver Mycology Society and he has hosted mushroom ecology events in Vancouver's Stanley Park and in forests across Canada.

He has spent the last decade traveling in the winters studying ecology and meditation practices with teachers from around the world. He has been teaching meditation and flow psychology for 7 years through his self-directed learning company DIY Genius.

You can learn more about what he teaches with our free webinars and learning guides.

The Day's Schedule

Spend the day unplugged from your smartphone and tuned in to the rejuvenating power of your sensory awareness in nature.

10 am - 12:30 pm - Forest Meditation Session

The Ecology of Wonder: Exploring Your Perception Through Forest Meditation

Learn how to awaken your senses and feel a deeper sense of awe and wonder by learning the practice of forest meditation.

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

We will explore some of the most beautiful trails in the area along Bronte Creek and the Bruce Trail near the Lowville.

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm - Lunchtime 

We recommend you bring your lunch with you (or you can eat next door at the Lowville Bistro).

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Silent Forest Meditation Time

Enjoy some personal time to practice the forest meditation and sensory awareness practices learned in the morning.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Indoor Learning Session
The Wild Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Carolinian Forests

Learn about the edible and medicinal mushrooms that grow in our local Carolinian forests and grasslands.

You will learn about the most common species of edible and medicinal mushrooms that grow all around you. You will also learn how to catalog the fungi you discover using a handy tool for your smartphone. This way you can start building the pattern recognition skills to identify mushrooms safely with 100% accuracy.

We will specifically cover the species you will find this time of year in our local forests so you can apply what you learn during the retreat.

3:00 - 5:00 pm: Forest Learning Session

Sentience In Nature: Mycelium, The Web of Life and The Miracle of Biodiversity

Learn about the interconnected symbiosis between trees, plants, and fungi.

We will explore how mycelial networks in the soil connect plants and trees through their roots systems and allow them to communicate. 

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

5:00 - 5:30 pm: Group Fire Breathwork Ritual

We will end the retreat with a fire outside where we will set clear intentions for applying what we have learned followed by a group breathwork ceremony for energizing the body and mind.

Bonuses: 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 and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Carolinian Forest

“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

Get our detailed guide to the wild edibles and medicinal mushrooms found in our 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. Mushroom Ecology Learning Guide

“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

Learn how to mushrooms can help save the world. This extensive guide explores the role of mushrooms in the evolutionary terrestrial life on Planet Earth.

It also covers how to learn more about using mushrooms for bioremediation to detoxify and breakdown chemical pollutants in the soil.

It also goes into greater detail about growing mushrooms at home for their medicinal benefits. Medicinal mushrooms can heal in a number of ways:

1. Healthier gut microbiome.
2. They reduce inflammation.
3. Boost the immune system.
4. Improve memory and cognition.
5. Anti-oxidant and anti-microbial.

 

Location

ThinkSpot Retreat Centre. A 1-hour drive from Toronto. Pickup can be arranged from the Burlington GO Station.

Date

Saturday, June 22nd from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Unplug, reconnect and rewild yourself in the beautiful forests of Lowville.

Investment

Get your tickets online at the bottom of this page. You can save 15% by purchasing an early bird ticket.

There is no environment ‘out there’ separate from us. The environment 
is embedded in us. We are as much a part of our surroundings as the 
trees and birds and fish, the sky, 
water and rocks.

- David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance

ThinkSpot Location In North Burlington (Lowville)

A 1-hour drive from Toronto, ThinkSpot (location on Google Maps) is a tranquil oasis along Bronte Creek in the beautiful Lowville Forest between Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point. Watch the video below to learn more about this retreat and the Lowville area.

 

Join This Forest Meditation and Mushroom Ecology Retreat

Book your spot for this forest meditation retreat in the Lowville Forest.

EARLY BIRD

$85

PER TICKET (+TAX)

One-Day Retreat at ThinkSpot

Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Carolinian Forest

Mushroom Ecology Learning Guide

Ecological Changemakers Facebook Group

Join The Retreat

RETREAT TICKETS

$100

PER TICKET (+TAX)

One-Day Retreat at ThinkSpot

Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Carolinian Forest

Mushroom Ecology Learning Guide

Ecological Changemakers Facebook Group

Join The Retreat

"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 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.

A Guide To Natural Highs

Explore some of the best ways to prime your mind, energize your body, and feel more relaxed without relying on drugs or stimulants.

Choose from 10 practices to restore the imbalances caused by today's sedentary lifestyle and build daily rituals that make you feel more alive.

 

Download The Guide

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