Rocky Mountain

Ecodharma Retreat Center

A Home for Meditation in Nature

Retreat

  • CAMPING – $915.00
  • RV CAMPING 1 - Lodge Parking Area – $915.00
  • RV CAMPING 2 - Overflow Parking Area – $915.00
  • CABIN BEDROOM (2 single beds) – $1,530.00
  • CABIN CURTAINED SPACE – $1,080.00
  • GLAMPING TENT – $1,080.00
  • MINI SINGLE – $1,080.00
  • SEMI-PRIVATE NOOK (Single) – $1,080.00
  • SINGLE ROOM – $1,530.00
  • DOUBLE (1 double bed; cost is for double occupancy) – $2,480.00
  • DOUBLE (SHARED) – $1,240.00

Date & Time Details:
Arrival:4pm Friday, July 19, 2024
Departure:1pm Sunday, July 28 2024

Location: Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center (RMERC)

Address: 8941 Overland Road, Ward, CO, USA

Contact: Alice Robbins
[email protected]

Registration Questions:
Contact Kathy: [email protected]

Pricing:
Starting at $910 (After May 5, 2024)

Registration and Program Payments:
$180 non-refundable registration fee. Full payment due 60 days before the program starts (your credit card will be automatically charged at this time).

Email us about program

Exploring Ecodharma: Going Deeply into Nature

With Johann Robbins, David Loy, Rochelle Calvert and Cornelia Santschi

July 19 - 28, 2024

Exploring Ecodharma: Going Deeply into Nature

This ten day retreat (open to all) is a deep dive into abiding in nature silently, joining inner nature with outer nature, and dissolving separation. There is also a two night solo opportunity, which is an incredible highlight (please see much more about the solo below). Each day includes plentiful time for sitting, hiking/walking meditation, as well as nature meditation instruction, nightly dharma talks around a campfire, and small group ecodharma exploration. July is incredible in the mountains, typically with warm sunny days, cool nights, a full creek, abundant animals, and wildflowers everywhere.

The overall intention is to foster the joy and healing that comes with a profound connection in nature, and then integrating that into your life. To that end, we will also begin to investigate and work with the emotions (fear, anger, grief, sadness, guilt, anxiety, etc.) we are all experiencing around the many intertwined ecological, social, political, and economic crises we face today. As these are immense, planet wide problems, essentially created by a sense of separation, facing and dealing with them on our own can be overwhelming. Within a safe and supportive sangha, in small guided groups, we will delve into ecodharma together, with openness, sincerity, and courage. This leads to deep healing, which makes possible more connective, powerful and creative responses to our collective situation. Facing this all together we come back home, to ourselves and the earth, grounded in the truth of our belonging.

All retreat activities will be outdoors as much as the weather allows. Each day there will be instruction in nature meditation and lots of time to practice, in the larger group, smaller groups, and on your own, grounding each of us in non-separation in the natural world. The emphasis is not so much on precise technique, but rather developing a relaxed open awareness that can lead to a new integration of inner and outer experience. Please note while there is ample silent time each day, and of course the solo, the retreat is not totally silent.

There are no prerequisites for this retreat, and beginning meditators or first time retreaters are welcome and will be fully supported, while those with extensive experience will find much opportunity for learning and growth as well. Our large teaching team makes this possible.

Venue at Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Center

See website HERE  | Photo gallery HERE  |  Address map HERE

This Retreat Includes:

  • Guidance and instruction for meditation in nature (both sitting and walking) to deepen our experience of connection with the natural world, while dissolving the sense of a fixed and separate self.
  • Individual attention. Our large teaching team allows us to fully support everyone who attends the retreat, from beginners to those much more experienced.
  • The joy and healing and connection that comes with sitting and walking in beautiful wild settings.
  • Exploration of Ecodharma; sharing, healing and empowerment facing it all together. This is mostly done in teacher guided small group sessions.
  • Free time for meditation and/or rest.
  • Evening campfire dharma talks.
  • One on one discussions with the teachers.
  • Three wonderful vegetarian meals, including food for solos.
  • Camp site or indoor lodging.
  • Time for a two day and night solo in a place of your choosing.
  • If you want to do this retreat and the four night Solo/Sangha retreat after it, please look at the information and register for both. The interim night is included for free.

What You’ll Love About This Retreat:

  • Ample time to immerse into and feel at home with this land and its life.
  • A deepening experience of sangha and community.
  • Time alone to rest in love and beauty in nature/as nature.
  • Open sharing and connecting with the pain of our world, and insight into your purpose and relationship to it.
  • Guidance and support from teachers, other yogis, and the natural world.

And at the bottom of the page you can read how past retreatants felt.

About Immersion in Nature (Solo Time)

Being alone in nature is a rare opportunity for healing and connection. Abiding in a spot of your choosing for two full days is time to explore and relax: opening deeply to the power and beauty of the environment, with the freedom that solitude provides. Over time, the elements, plants and animals become our teachers, the land our home, and silence our cherished companion.

The solo does not require any intense physical exertion, or even backpacking, you can solo in our campground near the lodge if you prefer not to go far. It is not a survival course or an ordeal, and does not require anything particularly challenging, except to simply be in nature, with one’s self.

There is ample instruction, preparation, support, and flexibility for the solo, so each participant can benefit fully from their experience. All necessary food is provided, with no cooking or stove necessary. Everyone can do their solo in a variety of locations, anywhere from next to the lodge to deep in the wilderness. Most past participants have found the solo a highlight of their retreat. If you are are physically or medically unable to camp during the solo, you can continue sleeping in the lodge during it. Otherwise plan on bringing a tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc. so you can camp out.

General Retreat Guidelines

  • The retreat is designed to be enjoyable, not rigorous, and participants are expected to have a willingness to maintain silence during silent times, to help with yogi jobs, and to cooperate with the group structure.
  • Some camping experience (car camping or backpacking) is helpful for the solo, but not necessary.
  • Being in good health, able to camp and hike (at least the easier) trails at the center.
  • Having the necessary clothing and equipment to enjoy being outdoors in a variety of conditions, and do the solo. We will be living and practicing outdoors, under the barn or another shelter in case of bad weather, including meditating, eating and walking.

If you are not sure about any of this, please inquire.

At the bottom of the page you can read comments from past retreatants.

Time and Transportation

The retreat begins at 4:00pm on the first day, and ends about 1:00pm after lunch on the last day. If you are flying into Denver, the airport is about 90 minutes from the center, so you should plan on your flight arriving no later than 1:00pm to reach the retreat center on time. Return flights departing from the Denver airport should leave no earlier than 4:30pm, so you can get to the airport on time. Please do not plan on leaving the retreat early or arriving late. If camping you might want to allow some extra time to set up your tent before the retreat starts.

Please note that the center is at 8500 feet, similar to most Colorado ski towns. If you are concerned about acclimating from sea level, you might consider arriving a day or two in the Denver/Boulder area before the retreat.

Contact

You will be out of contact with no internet access or cellphone service during the retreat. Please complete all personal business before you arrive. The staff will have the ability to make and receive emergency calls or emails on your behalf, but phone and internet are not available for personal use.

Approximate Daily Schedule

Mornings are totally silent. We awaken at first light, hot water and coffee are available, and we meditate outside. Then breakfast is put out, and everyone eats and then packs their lunch. Daily activities include being out on the land doing sitting and hiking meditation, including instructions. In the afternoons there are one on one practice discussions with teachers (everyone can get at least two), and on most days, small group process/discussion of Ecodharma. After dinner there is an evening meditation, followed by a dharma talk around the campfire, and then bedtime or optional practice after it gets dark.

Lodging:  see lodging options here

You may camp in a beautiful campsite, or stay in the lodge. Lodge rooms are for single individuals, or couples or friends arranging to room together.  If you reserve a space in a single room, you may request to change your rooming to a double, with another consenting participant. Your cost will be adjusted to reflect the cost of a double room.  Contact Kathy at [email protected] if you will be rooming with another participants.

Lodging Options

  • $915     Camping
  • $915|$1830 RV Camping
  • $1080   Mini Single
  • $1530    Single Room
  • $1080   Semi-Private Nook (single) see more details on registration page
  • $1240    Shared Double Room (2 single beds; cost per person).
  • $2480   Shared Double Room (1 double bed; cost for couples).

Cost and Dana (Supporting the Teachers)

The cost of the retreat is set as low as possible by Impermanent Sangha and only covers expenses: operating the center, food, cooks, insurance, staff travel, etc. The teachers and manager do not receive any of the registration fee, so they are supported solely by your generosity. We encourage you to look for an amount that fully expresses your gratitude for the teachings offered, but does not leave you financially stressed. Whatever you offer will be received with gratitude. Please bring cash or a blank check; as we divide it up, one check works fine.”

Scholarships

It is our intention that cost not be an impediment to practice.  If you cannot afford to attend without a fee reduction, you can ask for a scholarship on the registration web site, and then just pay the remaining amount.

Anyone with financial hardship is welcome to apply and will be assessed based on needs and fund availability. We ask that you request the lowest amount required to attend the retreat, so that we can offer support to as many people as possible. But do not let cost be an impediment to your attending; if you need a scholarship, please let us know.

Payment, Deposits

A non-refundable deposit of $180 is due at the time of registration. Full payment is due 60 days before the retreat start date; your credit card will automatically be charged at that time.

Cancellation, and Refund Policies

  • If you cancel your retreat at any time, the $180 registration fee is not refunded.
  • Cancellations received 60-30 days prior will get a refund of half of the final payment.
  • Cancellations 30-7 days prior will get a refund of a quarter of the final payment.
  • For cancellations inside of 7 days there will be no refunds.

Teacher Donations (Dana)

None of this cost share goes to the teachers or to the manager, who are solely supported by the dana (generosity) of the participants. In the tradition of the Buddha, teachings are offered without a set fee, keeping costs as low as possible, so no one is excluded due to finances. In turn, we ask that your donation be as generous as possible within your means. Please bring a check or cash. We are grateful for your support.

Infectious Disease Policy

See the complete infectious disease policy here.

RMERC prioritizes creating a safe and comfortable retreat environment. While we don’t require vaccinations, testing, or masks, individual retreats might have stricter policies. We recommend wearing N95 masks during travel and self-monitoring your health before arrival. If you experience symptoms, contact the retreat leader and consider adjusting your plans. HEPA air purifiers are available in shared rooms, and mask-wearing is always welcome.

Food and Meals

Three delicious vegetarian meals a day will be provided from dinner the first day through lunch of the last, including solo food which does not require cooking. If you want a snack between meals, or supplemental protein such as jerky or packaged fish, you can bring a small quantity of packaged unrefrigerated food. Tea and coffee along with milk and sweeteners are available before and during breakfast. Please do not bring anything that needs refrigeration (medicine excepted). Excessive snacks are unnecessary: if you need a boost, a little gorp or an energy bar is sufficient for most people.

To allow us to be out on the land we will be packing our lunches after breakfast. Please bring a plastic container or two with tight fitting lids to carry your lunch in.

Special Needs

Figuring menus and quantities, shopping, organizing, and cooking are complex and crucial tasks for a retreat. We provide simple, wholesome, natural, predominantly organic, vegetarian meals. We can accommodate common food allergies such as gluten, soy or dairy, but not preferences. Make sure to include on the registration form full details of any special allergy or health needs you have beyond basic vegetarian.  If you have allergies beyond nuts, gluten or dairy, contact us to discuss if the cook can accommodate your allergy needs. 

Helper (Yogi) Jobs

Some of the work necessary to support the group will be handled by participants during the retreat. You will be able to choose your yogi job, and will keep it throughout the retreat. Most participants find serving others in this way quite enjoyable, and a great opportunity for practice in action.

Click Here for a What to Bring List

What Past Participants Say:

“An amazing experience that exceeded all expectations and left me feeling the most grateful I have ever felt in my life. I am inspired to live my life more fully!” Haley Dourron, Doctoral Student in Neuropsychology, UAB, Birmingham, AL

“I came to this retreat knowing very little about meditation and less about Buddhism. David and Johann were incredibly knowledgeable and relatable for a beginner. They gave useful, practical tools that made the challenge of the work an opportunity for me. The solo was an event I will cherish for my life.”    Chase Butala, Psychologist, LPC, Ranson, WV

“This retreat provided me with deep, deep connection to myself, the others in the sangha, and the land. I believe it will also help me deepen my connection to my life and the greater community of the planet. Words can’t adequately express my gratitude and appreciation for this retreat.” Cynde Denson, Conifer, CO

“This was an amazing experiential retreat that deepened my intimacy with nature and this rare nature loving sangha. So much gratitude, love and deep appreciation.” Sylvie Rokab, Santa Monica, CA

“Everything about this retreat is an act of reverence, care, intentionality, and great love for us and for the earth. Thank you.” Juliet Trail, Palmyra, VA

“This was an incomparable experience to connect with practice, nature, myself (or non-self), and others, and overcoming separation. Thank you so much.” Barbara Carter, Boulder CO

“I came to appreciate and understand my unity with all of the planet in a way that will change my life.” Steve Henes, Prescott, AZ

“These teachers have such a depth of love for the beatiful land of RMERC, and a depth of caring for all of us retreatants. They are very gentle in leading us along a path of listing to our Mother Earth, and caring for and protecting her.” Christina Otoole, Longmont, CO

 

 

Teachers

Johann Robbins
Johann started backpacking and meditating as a teenager, and deepened his spiritual journey on frequent solo wilderness trips. His passion is facilitating spiritual practice in nature: he has guided and taught wilderness retreats and workshops in various traditions for over 25 years, including as a Vision Quest guide in the late 1990s. Johann founded Impermanent Sangha in 2002 and has led dozens of Ecodharma and nature meditation retreats, including backpacking, camping, canoeing and rafting. Johann founded Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center in 2016 and is its Executive Director. Johann teaches Mindfulness Meditation, also known as Insight or Vipassana, with a…
Learn more about Johann Robbins
David Loy
David identifies his spiritual roots as primarily in the Japanese Zen tradition. His Zen practice began in Hawaii in 1971 with Yamada Koun and Robert Aitken, and continued with Koun-roshi in Japan, where he lived for almost twenty years. He was authorized to teach in 1988 and has led retreats and workshops nationally and internationally in places such as Spirit Rock, the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, Terre d’Eveil in Paris, and Dharma Gate University in Budapest. In 2014 David received an honorary PhD from Carleton College, his alma mater, for his contributions to socially engaged…
Learn more about David Loy
Rochelle Calvert
Rochelle Calvert has a devoted love to share the power and healing potential of mindfulness, somatic awareness, and nature. She has studied and taught mindfulness for the past 19 years and knows personally the transformational potential. Rochelle currently leads courses and retreats in mindfulness, somatic experiencing, and Awake in the Wild- nature-based mindfulness. She is also the Eco-Therapy director for Southwestern College and New Earth Institue. She is a certified mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Teaching Institute and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. She has also trained and assisted with Mark Coleman and as an Awake in the Wild meditation…
Learn more about Rochelle Calvert
Cornelia Santschi
Cornelia (Punnya) Santschi is a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher. She is deeply committed to environmental conservation and social justice. At the RWJ Barnabas Health Institute of Neurology in NJ, she has specialized in brain-behavior relationships for over 20 years. Cornelia is a devoted student of Buddhism with a dedicated insight meditation practice since 2000.  She completed yoga teacher training at Integral Yoga in NYC in 2001, and graduated from the Community Dharma Leader Program in 2017. As founder/president of non-profit Anatta World Health & Education Outreach, Cornelia has organized culturally sensitive health, education, and women’s empowerment programs in multiple countries, with local partners…
Learn more about Cornelia Santschi
Join Our Mailing List, and Get a Chance to Win a Free Retreat
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All new subscribers will be entered in a drawing for a free retreat at RMERC.
Good towards any retreat in 2022; value up to $500; no cash value.

2024 Retreats

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Book now and get $55.00 off listed prices. Offer valid until Jul 3, 2024.
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Book now and get $55.00 off listed prices. Offer valid until Jul 9, 2024.
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With Heidi Bourne and Laurie Cousins

November 5 – 10, 2024
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Book now and get $60.00 off listed prices. Offer valid until Aug 21, 2024.
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GREEN BARS SHOW EXISTING RESERVATIONS

NOTE: The first and last days of back-to-back bookings overlap by one day.

That is, you can check in the same day as another party is checking out, or you can check out the same day as another party is checking in. Check-in time is 2 pm, and check-out time is 2 PM (disregard times on the calendar).

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