Filed under: — Matt @ 6:23 pm

The Wilderness Dharma Center brings together in one place three powerful and profound streams of training (wilderness experience, mindfulness, and leadership) to promote deep transformation and growth for adolescents and adults. While I have experienced each of these systems to be quite useful when practiced individually, I have also witnessed a strong synergetic effect when two or more of these types of training are combined.

For instance, I have experienced both as a student and as a facilitator the many additional opportunities for mindfulness and insight afforded during meditation retreats conducted in a wilderness setting. (Examples of these types of programs include Rainbow Expeditions and this retreat that I co-created under the auspices of Headwaters Outdoor School).

Similarly, while working as an instructor for several outdoor education programs, it became clear to me that the wilderness context was crucial in catalyzing the students’ leadership and interpersonal work. (Well known examples of these types of programs include NOLS and Outward Bound).

There are many examples of groups which successfully bring two of these three forms of training together. However, to my knowledge, there is no existing organization which combines all three elements into a unified program. I believe that this is a significant absence and that a program with such a combination of curricula would both be extremely effective and would fill an important need. It is my hope that this Wilderness Dharma Center will fulfill this role and, in bringing together the wisdom and practices of these three venerable areas of study, be of great benefit to all.

1 Comment »

  1. I am listening to a recording of a concert I created, as a labor of love, to honor first time voters. One of the students present shared his feelings about why people fear stepping out of the sidelines to create what they want in their lives and in their society. His perspective is that people want to step out, but they want people to do it with them…they don’t want to be the first, and they want to know that others will stand with them. Yet someone has to stand first for something to be created.
    So, I can picture what our community would be like with this structure that Matt has proposed, and it makes me very happy and excited! I am happy that someone like Matt has the love and vision to create this particular creature. The truth is, I expect, that there are many of us who feel this way, and it is hard to choose where to put our love, because it seems so finite. Though my time is very limited, my desire for this project Matt has impregnated us with is not, and I for one am available to you, Matt, when you would like feedback on an idea or aspect of the project that you would like my opinion on, as it develops.
    I am definitely standing with you to say that I hope, for my sake, that you are successful, and follow it through.

    Keep me on the mailing list, and keep me updated…

    Comment by Sky — 11/5/2004 @ 9:21 pm

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