A new series of walking excursions in nature plus a creative essential guided curriculum is coming to you this fall! You’ve heard about forest bathing and picked up on the buzz of “rewilding”, and now ocean earth wind fire is bringing brilliant and fresh experiential practices to guide your immersion into the natural world with all her bountiful benefits to head, heart and soul! Perhaps you knew it was only a matter of time until Susan invited you off the farm and into the woods!
In his beautiful book, Rewilding Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature, Micah Mortali states,
“When we disconnect from the living earth, we lose the life-affirming wisdom that is found outdoors. If we consider the fact that we are an evolutionary expression
of the evolving earth, then our own self-awareness can be thought of as the self-awareness of the living earth itself.
Which is a pretty powerful idea to ponder!
And it means that human rewilding can lead to a rewilding of our spirit, a reinspiriting of our essential nature.”
Mortali is the director of the Kripalu Schools, which includes the School of Yoga, Ayurveda, Integrative Yoga Therapy, and the School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership (which he founded in 2018). It is only NATURAL to weave these disciplines and practices together, intertwining physical movement, ancient medicine, pathways to healing and the wide natural environment just outside our doors.
Wherever Is Your Heart is a guided hiking and mindfulness adventure that will be facilitated over the course of 7 weeks from mid-September into the beginning of November. Our into-the-woods and under-the-open-sky meet ups will be held on Wednesdays & a couple select Mondays beginning on Wednesday, October 5 ! You can join one walk at a time as your schedule allows OR register in advance for the entire series. Wherever is Your Heart will delve into rich and varied modes of healing and awakening via forest bathing, exercise, meditation, grounding, community and the support of your local conservationists.
Here are the details you need:
Bryn Coed Preserve Miller Road Access, a part of the Natural Lands Trust; on the black/red/purple loop, approximately 3.8 miles (your 10,850 steps!) on a moderate trail.
And, on rainy days, under cover for gentle movement and seated meditation or yoga nidra in the Love Shack at Bethel Road.
First walk on October 5 will be an evening walk from 4-6pm.
Then all walks will be mornings 9-11am on October 19, 26, and November 2, 7, 9 & 14.
I’ll follow a consistent agenda each time we gather: Arrival, Circle Up Orientation, Walking Observation, Halfway There Essential Lessons & Seated/Silent Meditation, The Return Trip, Cool Down & Gratitude on the Bridge & Departure. The complete round trip will take about 2 hours. Each of 7 adventures will expose you to a new and vital way of opening to and experiencing the natural world around you while also delving deeper into your INNER world and the sanctity of our community. Some topic teasers: foraging, desire mapping, earth altars, Native American ceremony, pranayama, acupressure/self massage, chanting, cypress healing, and MORE!
Each excursion is $12 with the first $2 taken off the top as a donation to the Natural Lands Trust. The remaining cost will cover my leadership, encouragement, all curriculum development and various materials & treats.
You may register for walks one at a time, anytime. $12 each.
You may pre-register for 7 walks for $84 and receive a one-of-a-kind, handmade cross-body pocket and field notebook!
“Your outer perception, your senses, which perceive the world, developed in relationship with the environments our ancestors evolved in. Your sense of hearing developed over millions of years in relationship with the songs of birds, the trickle of water, the crackling of fire, and the many other manifestations of the life force on earth. [All of your senses] developed in nature. Being mindful of your perceptions of the living earth helps move you out of the mental plane, where we easily abstract and objectify nature, and into an embodied experience of being woven into the fabric of life on this planet. When this happens, you have the opportunity to come home to your body and life presence in a powerful way. You have the chance to be soothed by a very old and wise friend, a being who has always fed, clothed and sheltered you. When you begin to feel a part of your landscape and relate to the other life-forms around your as your relatives, rather than as an inanimate or less-evolved objects, your begin to feel more connection. No longer estranged from your home planet, your great earthly Mother, you begin to feel part of something much greater than yourself.” ~Micah Mortali
I can’t really make that any clearer…it is good for us!
A few notes:
~The Miller Road Access of Bryn Coed Preserve does not appear on Google maps. I’ll drop a pin to link to the next time I go. In the meantime, turn onto Miller Road from St. Matthews Road and follow until you reach the Natural Lands Trust sign and parking lot on the left.
~BYO drinking water, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks & tissues (AKA TP). Dress according to the weather and wear good walking footwear (sneakers are fine/boots optional).
~As a 63-year-old in so-so shape post-Covid, I find this 3.8 mile trail to be a perfect reintroduction to building cardio health, strength and sweat! My health app noted “27 flights of stairs”, tho that sounds more dramatic than it is…a nice combo of ups and downs and level ground, part open sky, part wooded shade. I’m not “hoofing” it, nor meandering; but will defer to our group and to keeping a pace that suits us all.
~I suggest that you plan your arrival a few minutes before the hour (9am). I will begin orientation (a brief introductory talk and hellos all around) at 7 minutes past the hour, with the walk beginning just after that. If you arrive late you may be able to hustle to catch up.
~Obviously, every individual reading this is capable of getting out into nature (for free!) on their own. And if this concept and explanation inspires you to do so or to amp up your time in the great outdoors, that’s a win/win! I AM enamored of the collective aspect of this project…gathering with others to realign always pumps up the power of the choice…as a sangha, a community of forest bathers, we amplify our skills of receptivity and attunement. I do hope you will join us!
~The group (even if “the group” is comprised of only me and you) acts as your accountability buddy; but asking an actual friend or family member to commit to this series WITH you will prove advantageous on those days you inevitably feel like skipping. Ask someone to come out and play with you! The more the merrier, and more vitally awake and alive!
~I wouldn’t be surprised if after-hike social time became a sometimes thing…Stonehouse Grill in Kimberton and Butterscotch Pastry Shop in Birchrunville are both close by!
If you have questions or comments, please contact me directly! I can’t wait to get my feet on the earth with you!