Scotland, 29th August to 6th September, 2020
This unique gathering is a journey exploring the wild and crazy times we live in, combined with a powerful, four day ‘Vision Quest’ adapted for modern life. The intention is to work as a camp – sharing stories, mini-adventures and questions together, then venturing into the wilderness alone before returning to share insights and wisdom to take back home.
At a time of increasing ecological and social urgency, this programme brings added emphasis to qualities such as resilience, transformation and letting go of the old. We do it with a spirit of adventure, care and love of the wild – at the end of the day, life is a gift to enjoy – with fires, good food, big skies and the roar of the ocean to relish.
Vision Quest Gathering takes place on a remote wilderness base near Knoydart, in the north of Scotland. To get there, we will travel as far as the furthest railway line, then hike or catch a boat to our coastal base. At the base we will make home in small huts and embark on a journey of small adventures, mini-workshops, fire-side conversations, sea journeys and of course – your own, contemporary, Vision Quest.
For this gathering we are also inviting special guests and artists in residence, bringing extra insight and magic to help us work at deeper levels with head, hands and heart.
After the retreat, we will make time to stay connected as a modern-day community – finding ways to keep supporting our own journeys, back in real life.
A Modern ‘Quest’
Throughout time and across cultures, people have gone into nature alone to seek guidance. Some people call these journeys ‘Vision Quests’ – journeys away from the everyday, to make space, to support change, and to connect with deeper purpose and wisdom to carry through life. Our aim for this gathering is to host just such a journey, made fit for modern times.
Through this programme, we will first make room to explore some of the dynamics of life in the modern world – the drive for speed and growth; the contrast of push and pull; the mindset of disconnection; and a search for something new. We explore these dynamics of modern life, and look into what they mean within ourselves. From here, we make room to delve and explore our own personal stories – our passions, talents, burning questions; lights and shadows; and make room to work with something deeper with the help of the wild.
The Vision Quest itself will take place across four days and three nights. We do so by working with the conditions of the north – offering support and choices about how to do it in a way that feels most helpful to you. The quest is often a profound, deeply nourishing and transformative experience for people. It is extraordinary to see what time alone, raw with the elements and the patterns of nature can do for our mind, heart and soul . We host this journey with great care, respect and dedication.
After the quest, we will make room to listen to each other’s insights and stories; to celebrate; and to help each other take lessons and gifts back into life at home.
Here we also want to acknowledge that there are many forms of Vision Quest in the world, each connected to long lineages and Earth traditions. It is important to say that the way we work here is rooted in the teachings of elders including John P. Milton, Thich Naht Nahn, Joanna Macy and others. We adopt and adapt these ideas with great care respect. We do so guided by a Taoist principle – that aim of life is to live well – and a goal is to be an integrated person. We do this with an added intention to care and replenish our world.
This programme takes place on a remote seaside base, in the far North of Scotland. It is a place far from other people, with access to wild spots on the high-grounds and the edge of the ocean.
To arrive at the base we will first meet at the end of a railway line – a place called Mallaig, in the far north of Scotland. We will then choose to either hike or travel by boat to our base.
The base has everything we need to leave civilization behind, stop; be nourished; and prepare for a journey that can stay with us for the rest of life.
The programme will weave stories, activities, walks, mini-workshops and four days alone in nature across ten days.
Core themes include:
– What are the patterns and dynamics of modern life? How do we choose how to navigate them, work with them and/or break through them?
– What is my story – and the story that I want to work with?
– How to cultivate relaxation, awareness, resilience and connection
– How to connect and work with the deeper qualities of nature and the principles of life
– Sessions hosted by guest contributors and artists in residence
– Continued connection to this group
Andres Roberts is a guide dedicated to a new kind of progress, fit for a positive future for all. His work combines renewed ideas about learning and change, reconnection to Nature, and the wisdom of ancient cultures to help more positive, and more systemic, change happen. Building on twenty years of experience in learning and leadership, Andres has studied with respected elders from across the world, helping to make ancient wisdom and Nature-based practices more accessible in the modern world. Andres is co-founder of Way of Nature UK and founding partner of The Bio-Leadership Project.
The price for the full retreat including all activities, practices, accommodation and food:
£1200 or £950 Early Bird price before 28th February.
We also offer three bursary spots for people who are working to care for nature and who wouldn’t normally have space or opportunity to do this. The bursary rate is £550. Please get in touch to find out more.
To book your place on this programme please complete this registration form, following payment instructions at the end.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equipment and Camping
We ask that you bring your own camping equipment for this programme. Please check our packing list to ensure you have everything you need.
The meeting point for this programme will be Mallaig Railway station on the afternoon of Saturday 29th August, 2020. We will depart to return to Mallaig by early afternoon on Sunday 6th September 2020.
We will also be coordinating an optional slow, low impact form of travel for the programme.
We will send more travel information on registration to the programme.