Nonduality in Nature: The Direct Path of Beauty and Love
With Johann Robbins and Caverly Morgan
July 19 - 23, 2023
First Time Offered: Non-Duality in Nature: The Direct Path of Beauty and Love
THIS RETREAT IS FULL. THE NATURE RETREAT FOLLOWING IT STILL HAS SPACES IN BOTH LODGE ROOMS AND CAMPING.
Our true nature is awareness and love. This peace and happiness, which we all long for, underlies the ceaseless striving of the limited sense of self, or ego.
Being in the natural world invites us to relax, to directly experience the beauty around us, and to be present to the appreciation, gratitude, and love that often arises in response. Being in the mountains in the soft gentle time of high summer–with green meadows, alive forests, abundant wildflowers, high peaks adorned with snowy caps, the running creek, and all the birds, moose, deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and others–is an ideal place and time to remember the heart of who we are. Here we are invited to return to our true nature, in nature. What a gift!
As we meditate, walk, converse, and share retreat space together, a natural sense of ease and belonging can come to the forefront of our experience. The wanting and aversion, seeking and resisting, of the conditioned mind begins to quiet. Without effort or struggle, separation dissolves and we are free to drop into love and connection. This is the Direct Path–not an effort, learning, or set of practices, but a natural and effortless connection to our very being, to the heart of who we are, which always has and always will be here.
This retreat will be informal and relaxed with ample time for teaching, guiding, support and discussion, as well as free time to explore what is being offered in whatever way is right for you. The schedule will have times of silence and at times be more open and relational, allowing the love that naturally arises to flow between and among participants in our human, social way, as well as silently as we rest in the heart of who we are, together.
Direct Path is not based on effort or technique, but is instead a relaxed falling back into our true nature, our being. If you have been practicing any form of Buddhism, Zen, or Mindfulness, have heard about the Direct Path or Non-Duality, or just feel drawn to a natural and deep approach to being in nature, this retreat will be a unique opportunity to explore, experience, love and enjoy.
This Retreat Includes:
- Guidance and instruction for meditation and being in nature (both sitting and walking) to deepen our experience of connection with what is, while allowing the sense of a fixed and separate self to dissolve.
- Individual attention and small groups. Beginners who attend the retreat will be fully supported, while those more experienced will find plenty to deepen their experience, so all are welcome.
- Sitting and walking in beautiful wild settings
- Free time for meditation and rest
- Evening campfire dharma talks
- One on one discussions with the teachers
- Simple but wonderful vegetarian meals
- Camping or a variety of indoor rooms to choose from
General Retreat Guidelines
- The retreats are designed to be enjoyable, not rigorous, but participants are expected to have a willingness to maintain periodic silence, to help with yogi jobs, and cooperate with the group structure.
- Being in good health, able to walk at least the easier trails at the center.
- Having the necessary clothing and equipment to enjoy being outdoors in a variety of conditions. We will be outdoors a lot, 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.
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 1pm to reach the retreat center on time. Return flights departing from the Denver airport should leave no earlier than 4pm, so you can get to the airport on time. We will try and facilitate carpooling for those who wish. Please do not plan on leaving the retreat early. 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.
You will be out of contact without internet 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
We awaken at first light, hot water and coffee are available, and we meditate outside. Then breakfast is put out, everyone eats, and then packs a trail lunch. Daily activities include being out on the land doing sitting, walking, and hiking meditation, including meditation instruction, and individual and small group practice discussions. After dinner there is an evening meditation, followed by a dharma talk around the campfire, and then bedtime or optional further meditation after dark. Please note that this retreat will include times of silence, and times of relating: it is not in complete noble silence.
You may camp in a beautiful campsite, or stay in the lodge. Lodge rooms are for single individuals or couples or friends wanting 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 regis[email protected] if you will be rooming with another participants.
- $445 Camping
- $500|$880 RV Camping
- $500 Glamping
- $500 Curtain Room
- $585 Single Room
- $500 Semi-Private Nook (single) see more details on registration page
- $1070 Shared Double Room (2 single beds; cost per couple).
- $1070 Shared Double Room (1 double bed; cost per couple).
Cost and Dana (Teacher Donations)
The cost of the retreat is set as low as possible and only covers expenses: renting the center, food, cooks, insurance, and staff travel. The teachers and manager are not paid, and are supported with dana. Please bring a check or cash to offer the teacher a donation.
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 need is welcome to a scholarship. 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. Please do not let cost be an impediment to your attending; if you need a scholarship, please ask.
You pay $120 registration fee at registration. Full payment is due 60 days before the program starts (your credit card will be automatically charged at this time).
Cancellation, and Refund Policies
- If you cancel your retreat at any time, the $120 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. 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 to the teachers be as generous as possible within your means. Please bring a check or cash to offer the teachers. We are grateful for your support.
Please read the complete RMERC covid policy here. The Covid policy may change at anytime in accordance with the teacher’s discretion. We use these policies to create a safe and comfortable sangha (community) together.
PRE-RETREAT. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that you wear an N95 mask during travel, especially while in planes and other public spaces, regardless of federal rules, and that you are really careful for 10 days before your retreat. If you have any COVID symptoms please do not come to RMERC until you are well.
To ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, RMERC requires that everyone arriving at the retreat center provide a negative covid test result, preferably from a PCR test, taken less than 96 hours before the retreat. If a PCR is not accessible, we require two rapid home tests, the first taken the day before the retreat, and the second taken the day of the retreat, with 24-36 hours between the two tests. Those using home tests should take time-stamped photos of both test results. This proof of negative test results must be presented before entering the lodge for your retreat.
Food and Meals
Three simple vegetarian meals a day will be provided from dinner the first day through lunch of the last. 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.
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, and we will contact you if they require discussion.
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.
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 modern secular approach. He has been meditating since 1974 and was asked to teach in 2008. He completed the two-year CDL teacher training program at Spirit Rock in 2012. His primary teachers include Shinzen Young and Eric Kolvig (who also helped found Impermanent Sangha and taught wilderness retreats for many years before his retirement).
Learn more about Johann Robbins
Caverly Morgan is a meditation teacher, author, speaker, and nonprofit founder. Her new book, The Heart of Who We Are: Realizing Freedom Together through Sounds True is available here. She is the founder and Lead Contemplative of Peace in Schools—a nonprofit which created the nation’s first for-credit mindfulness class in public high schools. She is also the founder of Presence Collective, a community of cross-cultural contemplatives committed to personal and collective transformation. Caverly blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern nondual approach. Her practice began in 1995 and has included eight years of training in a silent Zen monastery. She has been teaching contemplative practice since 2001 and leads meditation retreats, workshops and online classes internationally.
Learn more about Caverly Morgan