Earth in Mind – A silent meditation retreat – Dharma, Deep Ecology and the Land

Earth in Mind – A silent meditation retreat – Dharma, Deep Ecology and the Land

7th – 12th December, 2021

“Grant me the ability to be alone; may it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grass – among all growing things – and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer to talk with that which I belong to.”

– Adapted from the writings of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav


This wider context in which we hold contemplative practice and indeed our lives is the larger story of our times, the story of our people and this Earth at this precarious time. Acknowledging the inseparability of our own well-being with that of the wider Earth community, this retreat is offered as an invitation to resource ourselves, to deepen our gratitude for being alive on this Earth as well as to nourish and inspire us as we navigate our way into an uncertain future.


During this retreat we will take the time to slow down; to connect with ourselves, each other and with the land in service of remembering with our minds, hearts and bodies what most deeply matters to us, and what we most deeply belong to.


Integral to this retreat is our relationship with the land we will live upon, in addition to our relationship with the inner landscapes of our own mind. We ask, ‘What does contemplative practice look like when informed by the land, and how is our relationship with the land in turn deepened by contemplative practice? Both inner and outer practices serve as sources of deepening presence, understanding and belonging that mutually support one another, and ultimately are not separate.


On this retreat the three threads of our practice: individual contemplative practice, community inquiry and connection with the land will serve as the foundation through which we explore how the Dharma is woven through our lives.


In support of this we will draw on a range of tools and practices including:


Meditation instruction on the four foundations of mindfulness, Dharma talks, experiential work drawn from the fields of experiential ecopsychology and deep ecology, all within a framework that invites spaciousness, simplicity and intimacy with life. Group inquiry and individual support will also be offered by the teachers. In support of deepening this exploration the majority the retreat will be held in silence, interspersed with periods of shared exploration through dialogue.


 Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life
and wait there patiently,
until the song that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

– Martha Postlewaite


Rupert Marques
Rupert’s background is in environmental and outdoor education with an emphasis on experiential approaches to exploring ecological identity and personal agency. For several years he trained and guided with the School of Lost Borders (U.S.) in Contemporary wilderness rites of passage, and now offers this work here in Europe.

The other thread of Rupert’s livelihood centers on contemplative practice. He has practiced in the insight meditation tradition for over 25 years in Europe, America and Asia, and teaches at various retreat centers in Europe and beyond.

In recent years Rupert has sought to bring the fields of contemplative practice and wilderness immersion together. This has been supported by living and working at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to the movements for social justice and ecological sustainability.

Rupert currently works with individuals and organizations offering a range of retreats and trainings that explore personal empowerment and resilience in service of creating a more just and beneficial human presence on this Earth.

Adrian Kowal

Adrian is passionate about the wellbeing of the whole. He is a social entrepreneur and community builder. Adrian himself pines for a healthy mix between adventure (doing) and slowing down (being), both of which he brings into the retreats and expeditions that he runs. Adrian deeply enjoys supporting the balance in people’s personal holistic well-being, working with men’s groups and also guiding adventures and expeditions.

Adrian lives off-grid in southern Tuscany, Italy, where he is growing an intentional community. He is the co-founder of Way of Nature UK and is impassioned by the alchemical reaction of combining deep relaxation processes with Rites of Passage nature connection practices. He has trained and assisted in facilitating programmes with John P. Milton, and has been leading wilderness programmes for 7 years. Adrian is also a co-founder of The Visionaries, an organisation that creates nurturing school communities that support young people into healthy adulthood. Adrian co-founded and runs Evolve, a centre for growth and wellbeing in London, for 10 years and has deep knowledge of both urban and nature-based wellness practices.

He works on a host of other businesses and projects that involve being of service, supporting the emergence of a better world for our grandchildren’s grandchildren and having a great deal of fun and connection along the way.



The price for the program  including all activities, practices, accommodation and food: £600

We have a few bursary places available.

We really want to support people to participate. If you are challenged by your income please get in touch with us: [email protected]



If you would like to apply for this mentorship, please complete this application form.

For more information please email [email protected].



We ask that you bring your own sheets and sleeping bag for this programme. We will have indoors accommodation for this programme. Please check our packing list to ensure you have everything you need.


Travel Information

We will send more travel information on registration to the programme.

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