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Touching the Earth: A Homestead Retreat for Young Adults
Dates: Jul 31, 2021 - Aug 21, 2021
Days: Sat - Sat (21 Nights)

Instructor(s): Kirstin Edelglass, Larkspur Morton, William Edelglass

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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 18-24) 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.

As we work to become a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse 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.


Off-site, in-person retreat: July 31 – August 21


The total program fee is $2400. In an effort to make this program accessible to well-suited applicants regardless of their financial circumstances, a scholarship fund has been established specifically for Touching the Earth. An application for need-based financial assistance is included at the bottom of the program application. We will offer what we can to meet financial need up to 75% of the program fee. Accepted students wishing to develop creative fundraising plans to meet the tuition balance will receive guidance and support from the faculty.


This program is cosponsored by the Expedition Education Institute.

  • Kirstin Edelglass, MA 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.

  • 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.

  • William Edelglass is Director of Studies at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He is a scholar who has practiced in several Buddhist traditions. In addition to teaching at dharma centers, William taught in a federal prison in New York, as a wilderness guide for many years, and at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics, in Dharamsala, India. William is co-editor of Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, the Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy, and Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought.


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