Retreats, Intensives and Wilderness Trips

2020 Schedule

Soulcraft Intensive

March 11-15, 2020
at Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, New Mexico

The Soulcraft Intensive is our popular five-day experiential plunge into the wild depths of Soulcraft — a synergistic set of nature-based practices designed to evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter. Your soul is your true self, those qualities that most deeply define and express who you are and the unique gift that you were born to bring to the world, a world so much in need of the socially-transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. To encounter the soul is to discover the mystical image you were born with, which reveals the path to your greatest personal fulfillment as well as the essence of your true service to society (the cross-cultural wisdom traditions say these are one and the same). Soulcraft practices spring from nature-based cultures, modern depth psychology, the poetic tradition, and wilderness rites of passage—to comprise a truly contemporary Western path to soul discovery and soul initiation.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and John Lynch
Program description and registration (PROGRAM FULL with waiting list)

 

Elder Council Weekend Intensive

April 30 – May 3, 2020
at Rocky Mountain EcoDharma Center, Colorado

Together in our three-day journey within this stunning wilderness community, just 35 minutes outside of Boulder, we will experience our lives as “sagers” – ones who come full of longing to learn nature’s wisdom at the threshold of this new, yet ancient experience of soulful, conscious aging. This intensive will offer multi-hour experiential practices on the land that inspire our eco-centric selves. You will be offered abundant time to wander and imagine – to awaken the Elder within. Through deep listening and seeing capacities, we will further cultivate our capacities for empathy, compassion, and sensitivity in large and small circle format. As elders in community, how can we be mirrors, to receive and offer back the Other’s stories, in both the human and other-than-human conversations of our lives? In the mirror of another, how might our eyes be opened to be “seers”, to serve in a deeper and clearer context in our role as Earth elders? We will seek these core unique gifts on behalf of the urgent global call to serve the human village and the Earth communities we are part of.

ElderSoul program guided by Gene Dilworth and Carol Kortsch
Program description and registration

 

Nature and the Human Soul: An Experiential Exploration of the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel

May 13-17, 2020
at University of Earth, Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills, California

Anchored in traditional four-directions wisdom, contemporary depth and archetypal psychologies, and twenty-five years of nature-based soul guiding, the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel (SDW) is a new ecopsychology of human development and cultural transformation. It’s a blueprint showing how richly we can grow and mature when soul and nature are embraced as our wisest and most trustworthy guides. It includes an integrated set of developmental guidelines that can help every human mature into an adulthood of visionary leadership — precisely what we need in this century if we are to create a just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Brian Stafford
Program description and registration

 

Animas Beauty Mesa Quest

June 16-27, 2020
Camping in the high forested mesas of Bear’s Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah

This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for individuals seeking greater depth and clarity about life purpose and meaning. As a rite of initiation, the quest is a ceremonial descent to the underworld, in which you die to your familiar way of belonging to the world, uncover the passion and wisdom of your soul, and retrieve the gift that is yours alone to bring to the world, enhancing personal fulfillment and genuine service. The heart of the quest consists of three days and nights of solitude in nature — fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. This quest begins at Kelly Place Bed & Breakfast at Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado, then progresses to a base-camp on a high forested mesa in the heart of the redrock canyon country of southern Utah. (No backpacking required.)

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Palika Rewilding
Program description and registration 

 

Wild Mind Intensive

July 29 – August 2, 2020
Riversong Farm & Forest Sanctuary, Hood River, Oregon

Join us for an experiential exploration of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature. Our wild minds possess astonishing resources, untapped potentials and depths that we might not even know exist until we discover how to access them, cultivate their powers, and eventually integrate them into our everyday lives. In this intensive, we will access these depths and potentials, and also explore the gifts of our fragmented or wounded parts that form during childhood.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Laura Gunion
Program description and registration 

 

The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring

August 3-7, 2020
Riversong Farm & Forest Sanctuary, Hood River, Oregon

There is an art to hearing a story as well as telling one. Mirroring is a collection of skills employed in receiving, embracing, and honoring each others’ stories. In mirroring, we neither project nor interpret but rather celebrate the magic of the story and the gifts of the One Who Bears the Tale. We help the storyteller glean-harvest-reap the jewels — the dark ones as well as those that sparkle.  The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring are invaluable practices on the descent to soul. Although much of the descent is solitary, gathering with others in Council can make all the difference in finding our way.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Laura Gunion
Program description and registration

 

Animas Canyon Country Quest 

September 15-26, 2020
Backpacking in the wild canyons of Bear’s Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah

This contemporary enactment of the pancultural vision quest is a dynamic wilderness rite for individuals who are prepared for the encounter with soul, seeking greater clarity regarding life purpose and meaning, and/or undergoing the healing and empowerment of a major life transition. 
The heart of the quest consists of three days and nights of solitude in nature — fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. This an all-camping quest; we spend the first three days car-camping at a remote primitive site, then backpack into the heart of the redrock canyon country to our wilderness base camp.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Erica Rhinehart
Program description and registration  

 

Sweet Darkness: The Initiatory Gifts of the Shadow, Projections, Subpersonalities and the Sacred Wound

October 14-18, 2020
at Aravaipa Canyon Ranch, Sonoran Desert, Arizona

One of AVI’s most challenging programs, Sweet Darkness is a truly intense, 5-day experiential immersion into nature-based Shadow work. The Shadow, of course, is the hidden side of our psyches, with both its “positive” and “negative” aspects. The Shadow is NOT what we know about ourselves and don’t like (and perhaps keep hidden). The Shadow is that which is true about us, but we know absolutely nothing about. During this intensive, we also explore those sticky, difficult, and immensely rewarding dynamics that come up so often in life, like those overpowering emotional charges triggered by other people and by our encounters in the more-than-human world…

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Laura Gunion
Program description and registration

 

Soulcraft Intensive

November 11-15, 2020
Joshua Tree National Park, California

The Soulcraft Intensive is our popular five-day experiential plunge into the wild depths of Soulcraft — a synergistic set of nature-based practices designed to evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter. Your soul is your true self, those qualities that most deeply define and express who you are and the unique gift that you were born to bring to the world, a world so much in need of the socially-transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. To encounter the soul is to discover the mystical image you were born with, which reveals the path to your greatest personal fulfillment as well as the essence of your true service to society (the cross-cultural wisdom traditions say these are one and the same). Soulcraft practices spring from nature-based cultures, modern depth psychology, the poetic tradition, and wilderness rites of passage—to comprise a truly contemporary Western path to soul discovery and soul initiation.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Brian Stafford
Program description and registration