Being Nature
 

no 2022 dates

2.30pm start / 3pm finish 

Dartmoor

£470 adults

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unfortunately the 2022 dates are cancelled - please get in touch if you are interested for next year

Being Nature: Finding our way home through body, awareness, ecology and community.

“Body is our first environment.. It’s the medium through which we know the earth.”

Andrea Olsen, Body and Earth

How is it to slow down enough that we feel the meetings of body and earth, spine and tree, skin and moss more intimately? To slow down enough to know the earth, waters and air within us? Through presence and awareness practices, movement, play, foraging and enquiry we’ll invite each other back home to our innate connection to life, as life.

So often when we speak of nature, we miss our selves - our own species - out of the picture. And yet here we are, in an animal body, born of evolution just like the oak, the lizard or the chimpanzee. For generations we have distanced ourselves from our own ‘deep ecology’, our own embodied awareness of self and our belonging as nature.

This retreat / exploration is for you if

  • You long to be outdoors, to explore nature connection in ways that includes you as nature
  • You want to deepen your access to the insight, presence and creativity available through your body and connection with the earth body
  • You want to explore how we might collectively and personally re-wild and decolonise our sense of self and belonging and how this might impact collective change
  • You are troubled by the mess made when societies lose their place in the web of life and want to explore alternative ways of being and responding to the environmental, social and interpersonal challenges of our times - in good company

What we’ll do

Over 5 days in the Dart Valley - with river, woodland, rocks and each other - we will:

  • follow a simple structure of morning practices, taught sessions and space to follow what arises in the moment
  • follow trails of sensate awareness, of pleasure, of somatic intelligence and re-wilding through inner and outer landscapes
  • explore movement, wild food, nature connection, voice and community building exercises
  • spend time as a group, in pairs and ample solo time
  • make space for feelings that can arise from these important, tender, exciting and sometimes challenging enquiries
  • call up stories of how we fit in the web, challenge the stories we’ve been told and sit around fire together in silence.
  • explore questions such as:
  • What is the natural movement of our being, moment to moment?
  • How do we relate to and engage with the world differently when we are ‘embodied’?
  • What’s in the way of our sense of belonging and participation as and for nature?

“...let the soft animal of your body love what it loves…”
Mary Oliver

After many years of exploring movement and stillness practices, culture change and foraging, activism and improvisational prayer, Toni offers a depth and breadth of holding. Together we will support a rich enquiry into what it is to re-member ourselves as nature, and how this might influence collective change, healing and justice. There is no easy fix and we will fail often, but to come together and make time for these things is golden.

The sessions will include activities gleaned from embodiment practices, teachings and examples of indigenous cultures (with permission), ecology, trauma awareness, ecopsychology, improvisation and mystic traditions.

Along the way we will also include questions of a more collective context such as:
How might these themes and practices of ‘Being Nature’ weave into everyday community? Economics? Decolonial practice?
How do we experience the split from nature? And how does trauma awareness support the wholeness we seek around us?
How do we learn from and support existing Indigenous cultures without repeating the extractive patterns of disconnection?
And any other questions you might bring to explore.

This is not a boot camp but a being camp! A chance to strengthen your muscles of awareness, connection and belonging in and as nature. Join us!

Event Leader

Toni Spencer

Toni’s work as a facilitator, poet and mentor seeks to enable a deeper and more diverse engagement with the ecological, cultural and social issues of our times. She works with organisations as diverse as The Emergence Network, Schumacher College, Ulex and St Ethelburgas and more. Her work attends to themes such as culture change, collective healing, decolonisation, Deep Adaptation and environmental justice. She has worked with WildWise on ‘Call of The Wild’ and professional trainings for 9 years.
She creates spaces where grit, grief, messiness, and laughter are welcome and where new shapes of wisdom and power can emerge. Modalities Toni works with include Process Work, The Work That Reconnects, Trauma Informed Leadership, Movement of Being, Authentic Movement and many other forms of emb

odiment and facilitation. Born in London as a daughter of immigrants and now residing in Devon she has spent the last 20 years exploring themes of presence, participation, solidarity and belonging - both personally and as an essential ingredient of collective change. She delights in sitting by and in wild water, in foraging and feasting with wild foods and in the sound of birdsong - wherever she is. Read more about Toni Here.

The Dart Valley: The place and the ecology of the place will be  co-guiding our time together: the running river, birds and mosses, dark nights and damp dawns, summer foliage and all other ‘more than humans’ who make their home in this sweet campsite by the river.

Assisted by

Jenna Blencowe and the WildWise hearth team.

Jenna is a nature connection facilitator, ecotherapist and outdoor enthusiast. Since stepping out of mainstream teaching six years ago, she has been on a journey of enquiry and exploration into rewilding herself and the education system. Jenna is a lover of all things song, particularly if it’s around a campfire.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • All main meals. Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten & Dairy Free diets catered for.

NB Bring any snacks or luxury foods; plus any foods for any other special diets

  • Some shelter for group activities.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Camping gear (tent, mat, bag, torch etc); spare clothes; yoga mat or similar.
  • Snacks & Luxury Foods

Full details on booking.

Cost

£470    NB limited concessions may be available subject to application

HOW TO BOOK

1. Email us here: please provide your contact details and how you would like to pay i.e. BACS or card
2. By phone: call 01803 868269 (message service when office unattended)

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