Life-Changing Nature Immersion Experiences

Animist Ekstatis is a 5-day perception shifting and mind/body transformation retreat with an international tribe of ecologically-minded changemakers.

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Animist Ekstasis Retreats are transformational nature quests held in the world's most awe-inspiring forests

Each day on these retreats we explore a different pillar of expanding awareness and developing a new way of seeing and living in balance with nature.

Ekstasis: From the Ancient Greek ἔκστασις which means "to go beyond oneself"

Our Ekstasis Retreats are a 5-day ritual journey for transforming how you view yourself and your place in the web of life.

Based around experiential learning, we embark on daily adventures through wild landscapes to expand our sensory awareness and develop our ecological knowledge of the interconnected relationships formed in ecosystems.

We explore some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring forests in the world on a learning journey designed to awaken your senses and develop a more heartfelt relationship with living beings in your world.

Each day we follow nature connection and mind-expanding rituals to heal ourselves and become more confident and engaging leaders in our communities:

1. Healing The Spirit

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

In ancient times it was associated with the Anima Mundi or the unifying spirit of the world and the holy wind that infuses us with the magic and mystery of living spirit.

We start with breathing because it is often the most overlooked part of healing ourselves. The breath is a powerful tool to quiet the mind and develop a more rich and immersive sensory experience.

You will learn ancient breathwork and meditation practices that give you more control over your emotions, allow you to reach alter states of consciousness and help you live in a state of embodied mindfulness where you feel more connected with the world around you.

We also explore the meaning of the mythology of the Tree of Life across ancient cultures and the symbiotic relationship between trees and human beings. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

2. Healing The Mind

Nothing illuminates the power of the mind like the mythological Hero's Journey that initiates us into a higher state of purpose and meaning.

In our modern societies, many of us no longer participate in the coming-of-age initiation rituals that once connected us to nature and provided the foundation for building the self-awareness and a purpose-driven life.

We will explore the power of mythology and storytelling to heal the mind and give us orientation with a higher purpose to serve in the world.

If you want to find your calling and leave behind the comfort of the known world to understand your true potential in the world, we'll guide you through a mythological process based on what legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell called The Hero’s Journey.

This blueprints of this mythological narrative are all around us in stories of great spiritual teachers like Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna -- as well as blockbuster movies such as Avatar, The Matrix, and Star Wars.

Understanding and embodying this archetypal story structure is crucial to becoming a better leader, storyteller, and teacher. 

3. Healing The Body

The mind cannot reach deep states of peace and tranquility unless the body is in optimal health.

Learn how to "rewild" your body with movement practices that are fun and playful and help get you out of your head and become more embodied in the "felt presence" of your immediate experience.

We have become domesticated by the technologies we have created and today too much of life involves sedentary activities and working in man-made environments that make us feel stagnant and disconnected. 

The antidote is to build nature and movement rituals to completely unplugged and immersed ourselves in what psychologists call "flow states" where we are completely absorbed in a meaningful challenge that action and awareness can merge in a more timeless state of immersion.

Our philosophy is that learning should be an experiential adventure where we explore our curiosity and have fun while developing more autonomy, mastery and purpose in our lives.

4. Healing The Tribe

We are here to master and share our creative gifts with a wider of tribe of people who share our values.

But as we develop more eclectic interests and consume less of mass consumer culture, it's easy to feel a sense of loneliness and a lack of belonging in this world.

We will experience the power of social tribe dynamics and tribe building for increasing empathy and understanding so we can connect with each other on a much deeper, more vulnerable level.

Ecology is ultimately about relationships and the most important part of healing is developing our connection to other people. When you remove the "I" from illness, you start to restore the "We" of wellness.

To create a regenerative culture and an ecological civilization, we must rebuild the community spirit that gives everyone hope for the future and fosters a deep sense of "place" in our respective lands. 

5. Healing The Planet

In ancient Buddhist legend, it is said that being born as a human is a chance of less than one in a billion and therefore to be born in a human form is to be extremely privileged.

With this great privilege comes a responsibility to learn knowledge and eternal truths that we can spread and embody in our actions.

We will study the art of nature and gain a much deeper understanding of miracle of life and biodiversity so we can live in balance with the natural order of things.

We each have a role to play reimagining our place in the world, reinventing our institutions, and creating an inspiring vision of an ecological civilization where we can coexist with the other living beings in the web of life.

At the end of the experience, each of us will take what we have learned and design daily rituals to take the insights and self-knowledge developed through Ekstasis back to our communities so we can live more aligned with connection and purpose.

After each retreat, we provide support for you and the others on this Ekstasis journey to keep building your shared relationships and collaborate online from wherever you are in the world.

2019 Ekstasis Retreats

Join us in the summer in Western Europe and the fall in Latin America.

1. Sintra, Portugal

Explore the mysteries of the ancient Celtic priesthood known as the Druids on the edge of Western Europe. Sintra-Cascais Natural Park in a 200 km enchanted forest full of castles, neolithic sites and some of the wildest forests and most awe-inspiring beaches on the continent.

5 Days in August 2019

2. Huatulco, Mexico

Explore the ancient indigenous cultures of Mexico and learn about mushroom ecology in one of the most biodiverse places in the world in Oaxaca State just outside the ecotourism resort of Huatulco.

5 Days in September 2019

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Get early access to our Ekstasis nature retreats when each of the dates are officially announced.

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