Wilderness Meditation Retreat

Filed under: — Matt @ 12:46 pm

The Wilderness Dharma Center is delighted to announce a 7-day backpacking retreat to take place September 4th – 10th, 2005 in the Sierra Nevada. For all the details, please read on below, or see the printable version of our flier.





Wilderness Meditation Retreat

awakening awareness, connection, and insight in Nature
September 4th – 10th, 2005

Come join us as we spend 7 days backpacking in beautiful Sierra Nevada wilderness. Creating a community of mindfulness, we will cultivate greater freedom and well-being through careful attention to our inner experience and to the outer world. Our days will follow the natural rhythms of wilderness travel and will alternate periods of silence and dialogue, stillness and movement, and guided activities and unstructured personal time.

We will spend part of the first and last few days hiking and will take several layover days in between. On hiking days we will spend the morning traveling in silence and then pitch camp in the afternoon. Each day we will practice formal sitting meditation around the times of dawn and dusk. In the afternoons will use a variety of nature-based experiential processes to explore our relationship with the wider web of life. We will hold a sharing circle (council) each evening. There will also be the option to participate in a 24-hour solo fast during one of the layover days. We will supply food for the duration of our trip and cooking duties will be shared by the group. This retreat is suitable for beginning and experienced meditators of all traditions. Previous backpacking experience is recommended as participants must have the ability to travel, at high altitude, with a 40 pound pack.

In the spirit of generosity, this retreat is offered at a cost (tentatively $125) which solely covers food, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. At the end of the retreat, participants may make a voluntary donation to the guides.

For questions, further information, or to apply for this retreat, please contact Matt via email or phone at (510) 847-3636

Matt McNeil has practiced mindfulness meditation since 1991 and has completed the Community Dharma Leaders training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He holds an M.A. in Counseling and since 1996 has worked with teens and adults as a clinical intern, wilderness guide, rites of passage leader, and meditation and yoga instructor. He has a deep love of Nature and is committed to developing programs that integrate mindfulness practice, leadership training, and wilderness experience. He is trained in emergency medicine and is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

Caiyloirch Marques is a registered psychiatric nurse and currently works as an outdoor educator with a background in wilderness therapy and wilderness leadership. He holds a degree in ecopsychology from Naropa University and is trained in the facilitation of wilderness rites of passage in the tradition of the School of Lost Borders. He has been a practitioner of vipassana meditation for over a decade and has sat several three-month retreats through Gaia House and IMS. He is certified as a Wilderness First Responder


  1. Hi, this looks interesting. I’m a vegetarian ( not vegan yet ) and I was wondering about the food; I’M very paticular about what I eat and I was hopping that I could bring my own food or at least some. Also, I’m a rock climber, will their be opprutunities for climbing allowd? Thank you. Thomas…

    Comment by Thoomas DeAragonaise — 6/13/2005 @ 2:42 pm

  2. Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for the question. The food that we will provide will be vegetarian, but you’re welcome to bring any of your own supplemental food or snacks. With regard to rock climbing, since the retreat focus will contemplative, we won’t be doing any technical climbing. However, there will be free time during the trip where people could explore the nearby rock formations in a non-technical way if they were so inclined.

    Comment by Matt — 6/16/2005 @ 4:09 pm

  3. Hi. I am really interested in this trip! What will the transportation arrangments look like? Specifically, I have an obligation in the early evening on the 24th and I am wondering if I will be able to leave earlier that morning without disturbing the group?

    Comment by Jon Rosenfield — 6/22/2005 @ 9:58 am

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