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Stanley Park Forest Meditation Retreat

Saturday, August 10th and Sunday, August 11th 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

Develop A Stronger Connection To The Land In Stanley Park

Expand your ecological awareness, explore your interconnectedness with other living species and develop a stronger connection to the land in the rainforests of Stanley Park.

Come learn about plant intelligence, how fungi mycelium interconnects the web of life in the soil and learn forest meditation practices for reconnecting with the living, breathing intelligence of Mother Earth.

On this weekend retreat on the edge of the city, we will explore the living intelligence all around us through the lens of ecology and the analytical mind and learn about what's happening right now on the frontiers of ecology and biological sciences.

We will combine this knowledge with a more ancient way of perception and knowing through direct sensory experience that goes beyond the compulsive labelling, biases and pre-conceptions of analytical thinking and human language.

If you are interested in cultivating a stronger connection to the rhythms of nature and the perceptual intelligence of your heart, this forest ecology learning immersion will help you develop a more heartfelt connection to the land, birds and wildlife where you live.

Stanley Park is the perfect outdoor classroom to learn to start identifying the amazing biodiversity of plants, trees and mushrooms that grow in the coastal rainforests.

On this weekend retreat, we will explore some of the most fascinating off-the-beaten path spots in Stanley Park and visit the oldest and tallest Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Big Leaf Maple trees found in the park.

Learn about the natural history of Stanley Park and explore your senses through forest bathing and sensory meditation practices that can help you quiet the chattering of your analytical mind and reconnect you with the living, breathing rainforest around you.

We will explore the forest through all of our senses and learn about different forest meditation traditions such as the Shinrin-Yoku tradition rooted from Japanese Shintoism, the Forest Monk tradition rooted in Thai Buddhism and the Druidic Forest Grove ritualistic practices rooted in Celtic Druidry.

Join us and participate in a group conversation around reconnecting to nature and building a regenerative culture that can heal our relationship to the Earth.

“The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are our biological kin, not resources; or if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity—then we will treat each one with greater respect. That is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective.”

― David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance

Here's what you will takeaway from this experiential learning retreat:

All of our educational retreats are designed around experiential learning and group storytelling practices.

Develop in-depth knowledge about forest ecology, mycelium and nature's intelligence that will change how you experience the rainforest on your hikes.

You will also get an introduction to Flow Psychology, which is the psychology of optimal experience and the study of how we feel and perform our best.

Flow Psychology can be used to create regular rituals to fully unplug yourself from distracting and highly addictive smartphones so you can bring your full attention to the "felt presence" of your immediate experience and tune your senses into the natural world around you.

Here are the key takeaway from this experiential learning retreat in Stanley Park:

1. Knowledge of how to start identifying and cataloging the edible wild plants and medicinal mushrooms found in the coastal rainforest ecosystem.

2. A detailed visual guide to the Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest's Rainforests.

3. A detailed visual guided to the Wild Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest's Rainforests.

4. An introduction to animistic perception, sensory immersion meditation and flow psychology to bring your full attention to the "felt presence" of your immediate sensory experience.

5. Better knowledge about your local land, the natural history of the Pacific Northwest and the First Nations people of this region.

You will also come away with a fresh way of seeing your place in nature and you will have the opportunity to make new friends that also love nature and participate in sharing your stories and experiences in an interactive, group conversation.

We will not be providing catering or accommodations for this retreat but please bring a lunch and we will eat together on the grass in the centre of Stanley Park.

To sustain the new habits and build on the ecological knowledge learned at this retreat, you will also get a month of access to our Flow Rituals academy if you attend the 2-day retreat.

Day 1: Plant Intelligence, Herbalism and Nature's Living Wisdom

Human beings are not the only creatures endowed with sentience, feelings and intelligence... the entire world is infused with sentient intelligence.

Indigenous people have always known that plants are intelligence beings and they have communicated directly with them.

Now, finally Western science is coming around full circle documenting how trees and plants are sentient beings that can learn, remember and communicate.

The old scientific paradigm of reductionist logic, a mechanistic Universe and cold objective rationality that grew out of 18th century "Enlightenment" is now being challenged at its metaphysical foundations by science itself.

We are immersed in a world of living, breathing intelligence. What we do to other living sentient beings, we ultimately do to ourselves in the long run.

While generating great wealth and convenience for a small percentage of humanity, the secular modern world has impoverished this Planet's ecosystems and now existentially threatens the long-term survival of future generations.

As Buckminster Fuller so eloquently said, "you never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

We will explore the possibilities for a new model and how we can learn from and work in synergy with nature by studying native plants and gain a deeper understanding of the intelligence of nature. 

You will learn about plant herbalism and how you can grow your own food and heal your mind and body without using synthetic chemicals that pollute our rivers, lakes and ocean.

Day 2: Mycelium, Fungal Intelligence and the Interconnected Web of Life

Explore the magic of fungi, the interconnectivity of mycelial networks and how fungi mycelium is the detoxification and recycling engine of the natural world.

Did you know that fungi can clean up oil spills, toxic waste, digest plastic waste and create sustainable alternatives to leather, plastic packaging and cotton?

Mushrooms can literally save the world and we'll explore exactly how they can do that.

On Saturday morning, we will start with a presentation at the Stanley Park Pavilion about nature's intelligence and an introduction to identifying and cataloging the plants and mushrooms you discover in the rainforest.

This will give you a strong foundation for our activities in the forest where you will learn to identify common mushrooms in the coastal rainforest ecosystem.

We will also go into the crucial role that fungi plays in generating the soil that makes the miracle of life and biodiversity possible.

Mushrooms can not only save the world, they can help us save ourselves. They can heal your gut microbiome, boost your immune system, increase your energy and help you better manage stress and anxiety.

Most importantly, foraging for certain medicinal mushrooms in the fall and growing them yourself can help boost your energy and immune system during the gloomy, sun-deprived winters in the coastal rainforest.

Learn how you can cultivate your own medicinal mushrooms. We'll cover how to grow your own natural medicine: Reishi, Turkey Tail, Lion's Mane and Oyster Mushrooms can be grown inexpensively at home (for 90% less than you would pay in stores or online).

About The Guide


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 studied ancient and modern history at the University of Victoria and has spent the last decade traveling the world studying ancient civilizations, ecology and meditation with teachers from around the world. 

For the last 7 years, he has run an online learning website called DIY Genius where he teaches people how to design their own education and develop their focus, creativity and self-motivation using Flow Psychology.

He is passionate about experiential learning and taking learning beyond books, tests and lectures and back into the forest where people can learn through direct experience, group conversation and storytelling.


Join This Stanley Park Retreat

Join us for this experiential learning adventure in the rainforest. Tickets are only available online. We recommend you reverse your spot early as we have limited spots available.



Plus Tax (CAD)

Choose Which Day You Can Attend

Experiential Learning Retreat

Visual Guide To Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest

Visual Guide To Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

100 Trees Planted On Your Behalf at our Madagascar Rewilding Project

Join For A Single Day



Plus Tax (CAD)

Experiential Learning Retreat

Visual Guide To Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest

Visual Guide To Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

1-Month Access To Flow Rituals Training For For Building Keystone Habits and Nature Connection

100 Trees Planted On Your Behalf at our Madagascar Rewilding Project

Join The Full Weekend Retreat

About Animist Ecology

Browse our online learning resources and our upcoming nature retreats in Canada and around the world.

1. Educational Webinars

Watch our free educational webinars about rewilding, ancient history, and identifying plants and mushrooms.

2. Nature Retreats

Browse our upcoming nature retreats in Canada and in awe-inspiring national parks around the world.

3. Our Story

Learn how we got started in Vancouver's Stanley Park and view our photo gallery from past adventures.


"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."

Brittany B.
Environmental Science Student

"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.
Researcher, UWO Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging

""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 F.
Foraging Chef, Chez Dine

Animism is not a belief but a worldview: The world is a sacred place and we are part of it. The factuality of this statement is not the issue. To say that the world is a sacred place is to make a statement about values, not facts. It’s a statement about what you mean by “sacred,” just as “money can’t buy happiness” is a statement about what you mean by “happiness.” To put it all very simply, Animism isn’t a belief system, it’s a value system.

― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

Upcoming Nature Retreats

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