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A Wild & Sacred Call: Nature-Psyche-Spirit, An Experiential Workshop in the Woods

September 7 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm$65
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We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human. ~ David Abram

This workshop – open to everyone, with no previous experience required – will explore the psychological and spiritual dimensions of our relationship with the natural world, and the ecological dimensions of our psycho-spiritual existence. Fostering the mutual well-being of humans and the rest of nature is the “great work” of our era. Contemporary life is calling us to embrace this work for the benefit of all our relations: our loved ones, strangers around the world, the beings and presences of nature, and ourselves as well. This is truly a wild and sacred call. Our workshop is one response to this core ethical, interrelational summons.

Today’s culturally sponsored estrangement from the natural world – so-called “nature deficit disorder” – afflicts our psycho-spiritual life in ways we rarely understand: anxiousness, depression, a sense that something vital is lacking. Conversely, the earth is suffering the consequences of a pervasive psycho-spiritual confusion which will be explored in the workshop. From global warming to the mass extinction of species, it is clear that our ecological peril is not only a biological crisis but a crisis of consciousness and culture.

Because direct experience is a key to transformation and health, our workshop will primarily focus on a variety of experiential awareness exercises and shared conversations. Most of the workshop will take place in the beautiful mountain woods surrounding Saranam. Dr. Adams will share perspectives from contemporary psychology and contemplative/meditative spirituality, drawing especially from Zen Buddhism and Christian mysticism. Suggestions for reading and socially engaged involvement will be offered. The spirit of the workshop will be one of warm collaboration, open inquiry, playfulness, and fun!

FOOD: Please bring water, lunch, and snacks.
CLOTHES: Check the weather ahead of time and dress in removable layers. Wear sturdy shoes or boots suitable or light hiking. Bring rain gear if rain looks possible.
JOURNAL/NOTEBOOK: Please bring paper and pen.
ALSO BRING: An open heart and mind!
HEALTH ISSUES: Our workshop will involve light hiking and is designed to present no greater risks than those typically incurred in daily living. Each participant will be responsible for their own well-being and medical care. If you have any special medical needs — injuries, allergies, illnesses such as heart conditions, etc. — please consult with your physician and speak with Will Adams to be sure this workshop is suitable for you.
Bring any medications or allergy remedies (such as bee sting treatments) as you deem appropriate.

FEE: $65. (Scholarships may be available in case of need.)

WORKSHOP LEADER: Will W. Adams works as an Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, and as a psychotherapist and ecopsychologist in private practice. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and previously served as a Clinical Fellow in Psychology at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital. His training includes over thirty years of study and practice with esteemed meditation teachers, both Buddhist and Christian. His special interests are nature, meditation, contemplative spirituality, poetry, and psychotherapy. He is the author of numerous publications on ecopsychology and spirituality, and he would be happy to email participants any of these upon request. For eight years Will lived in Elkins, WV and taught at Davis & Elkins College. During that time he fell in love with the Appalachian mountains and the extraordinary people living there.

CONTACT: If you have questions about the workshop, you are welcome to email Will Adams: adamsw@duq.edu


Date: September 7
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cost: $65


Venue Name: Saranam Retreat Center
Address: Montrose, WV


Organizer Name: Will Adams