To facilitate nature connection skills during a week-long retreat through an elemental and directional theme. Artistic/creative expression as a participant outcome. Community building with a collective intention of co-creating a group song as a collective representation of the essence of their week-long experience. See links and pdf’s below for activity reference.
Beginning of week- set intention around creating a collective song from their connection to the landscape to tells the group story and essence of this gathering. Be open to random images, art, drawings, words, poetry, melody, even little musical ditty’s that might come to them at random moments. Be aware to “song catch” these pieces as they might occur during the week. We are not intending to create a polished masterpiece, but instead a collective expression that involves each participant connecting to that quiet voice that comes from time spent intentionally connecting deeply to nature.
The Sit Spot
Daily sit spot routines that will build layers of connection during the week.
Exercise 1: Earth– set/announce personal intention (journal/share) find a sit local spot on the landscape using “body radar. Sit and observe. Mark 4 directions (don’t cheat with phone). Best guess. Find an object that catches their attention to “represent them”. Bring back to group. What essence of this object resonates with them. Build group art piece with collective objects (ex make a group nature altar to be visible during your week). Post sit spot- journal time: write about their object, sketch object (optional), draw their sit spot from a Birds Eye view showing the four directions. Option: Earth breath (nose nose/root chakra/grounding/big picture focus).
Exercise 2: Water– fox walk wide angle/soft eye activity (aka dynamic moving meditation). Theme is flow. Water moves and flows gracefully around objects. The practice is to become like water in their movement and awareness. Before going to your sit spot, practice the following exercise. Water breath: (nose mouth/ heart/emotion focus)
Fox Walking (shinobi aruki)
(add video link)
Dynamic movement (aka dynamic aruki)= combining fox walking with Owl Eyes
Exercise 3: Wind- We will tune in to the sounds of the forest. Sound is carried on the wind, as are the birds, the tree leaves, the weather and more. For this sit spot activity we are going to remove our eyesight to awaken our sense of hearing. Head to your sit spot (and return) using the dynamic movement exercise described above. This will avoid creating ripples of disturbance as you head to your sit spot. Once at your sit spot, put your blindfold on…+ video/tutorial etc… Breath practice (optional) mouth mouth/crown chakra/ envisioning
Exercise 4: Fire Sit spot exercise meet a tree. Breath practice (optional) mouth nose/solar plexus/motivation….+ video etc.
Exercise 5: The sit spot soul song. This could go well post hike to the mountain top. Reflect on the shift that has occurred/is occurring during this week (perhaps a sunset sit spot upon returning to the camp). …more details etc.
Group fire making together. Group singing around the fire. Storytelling (can link to song crafting). Make artist charcoal to be used in a closing art piece on the final day. More details….etc.