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Touching the Earth: A Homestead Retreat for Young Adults

Residential Program
Dates: Jul 28, 2023 - Aug 19, 2023
Days: Friday - Saturday
Number of Nights: 22 nights

Instructor(s): Kirstin Edelglass, Dawn Scott, Clayton Moon Clemetson, Larkspur Morton, Rupert Marques, William Edelglass

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Course Description:

An invitation to live and learn in a community of vibrant peers, tending gardens and practicing meditation. 

This three-week immersion for young adults (ages 18-25) on a secluded Vermont homestead is an opportunity to cultivate self-awareness and deepen your relationship with others and the living earth. Our small learning community will explore the Buddhist concept of interbeing through the fields of permaculture, ecology, living systems theory, ecopsychology, social justice, and climate studies. Readings on these topics will feed rich discussions, often facilitated by students. 

At times we will co-create rituals inspired by Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects, calling on our moral imaginations as we live beside ancestors and future beings. Daily rhythms will include morning silence, mindfulness practice, physical exercise (e.g. work projects, hiking, swimming, yoga), solitude in nature, creative expression (e.g. writing, reciting poetry, singing), council practice, and sharing nourishing meals. We will also learn from and be inspired by local farmers, artists, climate activists, and wildlife biologists – people who can share their experience of composing an original life and engaging in meaningful work during this time of transition toward a life-sustaining society.

A full description of the program can be found here.

Cancellation Policy:
If you need to cancel your registration, please contact us as soon as possible. If you cancel two or more weeks before a program begins, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. If you cancel less than two weeks before your program begins, your full deposit is forfeited. If you received financial assistance, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. All cancellation fees support our Scholarship Funds.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Kirstin Edelglass is a wilderness guide, ecological educator, and counselor whose passion for supporting young adults runs deep.  In addition to teaching at Sterling College, Colby College, Marlboro College, and Lesley University’s Audubon Expedition Institute, she has founded a number of programs including the Canoe Expedition for Maine Girls and the Earth Leadership Cohort (for young activists learning to facilitate the Work That Reconnects).  She is cofounder of the New England Council Collective and leads workshops in facilitating listening circles, song leading, and cultivating ecological consciousness.

  • Dawn Scott has been practicing Insight Meditation since 2008 and served as the Family Program Coordinator for eight years at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is a graduate of the Insight Meditation Society’s 2017 – 2021 teacher training program, a co-principal teacher of Marin Sangha, and is a core teacher of Spirit Rock’s Liberation, Emptiness, and Awareness Practices (LEAP) Program and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and Insight Meditation's joint program, Exploring the Heart of Freedom. Dawn has a deep love of long retreat practice and the Buddha's liberative teachings.

  • Clayton Moon Clemetson has been immersed in earth-based ways of living for most of their life, from home-schooling in rural Maine to traveling with Kroka Expeditions in Ecuador.  They feel fortunate to have received an early grounding in meditation by attending the Teen Retreat at IMS.  After graduating from Marlboro College with a degree in holistic education, Moon studied the potential of experiential semester programs to deepen their connection with the world around and within.  In 2020, they co-facilitated a nine-month gap year program with the High Desert Center in Colorado, and they have joyfully served on the Touching the Earth faculty since the first retreat in 2021. As a teacher and performer of world folk music and contact improvisation dance, Moon inspires the exploration of meditative and expressive arts.

  • Larkspur Morton, Ph.D. has devoted the last two decades to teaching and leading experiential education programs focused on natural history and ecology, cultural perspectives and worldviews, the functioning of vital learning communities, and advocacy for environmental/sustainable/regenerative change.  Prior to that she taught in the Biology Department at Colby College and created teaching improvement workshops for her colleagues.  As part of her own post-doctorate experiential gap year, Larkspur thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, ending in Maine, where she now resides.  She has served as the Executive Director of the Expedition Education Institute for the past six years.

  • Rupert Marques has practiced in the insight meditation tradition for over 25 years in Europe, America, and Asia. His teaching emphasizes the role of the Dharma in the movements for social justice and ecological sustainability. For three years, he lived and worked at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to the embodiment of this exploration. Rupert leads retreats and wilderness journeys in outdoor contexts that explore ecopsychology and ecological identity. He trained and then guided with the School of Lost Borders (CA) in contemporary wilderness rites of passage and now offers this work internationally. He is passionate about supporting personal empowerment and ecological belonging in service of creating a more just and beneficial human presence on this Earth. For more information on Rupert, see https://www.handontheearth.org/.

  • William Edelglass is Director of Studies at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.  He publishes broadly in Buddhist studies, environmental humanities, and philosophy.  William has practiced in several different Buddhist traditions and has taught widely in dharma centers, academia, as a wilderness guide, and at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, in Dharamsala, India.  William is chair of the board of directors of the International Association of Environmental Philosophy and co-editor of the journal, Environmental Philosophy. His most recent publication is The Routledge Handbook of Indian Buddhist Philosophy (2022).