Eco-Spirituality and the Climate Crisis
July 27-31, 2020
at Earthaven Ecovillage | near Asheville, NC
In these interesting times, the Earth is asking us to stay passionate, get creative, search for and implement solutions. We must answer this call to truly make a difference for a time beyond our own.
The complex nature of the climate crisis calls for courageous action and holistic solutions. Those which weave together social, ecological, economic, political, spiritual, and scientific dynamics. Luckily for us, there is ancient wisdom stored in our bodies and in the ecosystems that surround us. And we can learn from many solution-oriented spiritual teachings from across cultures.
Our sacred work of rising up to meet the challenge of the climate crisis begs us to problem-solve from a seat of wellness and holistic understanding. As humans we will only protect and care for what we love. Thus, the first step in becoming a truly engaged and effective earth activist is to fall in love with the world.
We must be in intimate relationship with the land we live on, the food that feeds us, and the waters we drink and bathe in. This course correction also requires we pursue our heart projects, and connect deeply with the people we share this beautiful world with.
learn creative solutions
through ancient wisdom & holistic perspectives
Curriculum and Learning Environment
This week-long intensive at Earthaven Ecovillage will deepen our understanding of the ecological, social, and cultural causes of the climate crisis. It will empower us to become activated and informed change agents in our communities.
We’ll learn alongside courageous change-makers including spiritual leaders, regenerative practitioners, and bio-cultural designers. The curriculum will explore systems design for a resilient future; a new mythology; the connection between environmental justice and social justice; earth-based spiritual exercises; and more.
Workshops will consist of expert lectures, fireside conversations, hands-on projects, tours, community panels, and interactive activities. The goal is to provide an intimate, well-rounded, powerful, and embodied learning experience.
You’ll also have the opportunity to experience and connect with our unique village life. You'll enjoy meals with community members and participate in community activities like our Thursday dance. There will be time to practice yoga, meditate, or hike.
To wrap up the week, we’ll visit the Carolina Memorial Sanctuary, North Carolina’s first Green Burial Council-certified conservation burial ground. We’ll explore a true manifestation of ashes-to-ashes and dust-to-dust. Conservation & green burial practices support and reinforce the cycle of life. They offer a powerful testament to your life or that of your loved one. You’ll get to learn how your relationship to death can help heal our culture as well as preserve, protect, and renew the planet.
Monday, July 27
11:00–12:30 Arrival, Camp Setup
1:30–5:00 Opening Session and Tour of Earthaven
7:30–9:00 Opening Circle
Tuesday, July 28 through Thursday, July 30
7:00-8:00 Well-Being Practice (optional)
9:00–12:00 AM Session
12:30–2:00 Lunch and Independent Time
2:00–5:00 PM Session
5:00–6:30 Independent Time
7:30–9:30 Evening Activities
Friday, July 31
9:00–12:30 AM Session
2:00-5:00 Tour of Carolina Memorial Sanctuary (Mills River)
About The Facilitators
Facilitated by a team of instructors who not only lead with thought, they lead with action.
Swami Ravi Rudra Bharati is a monk/teacher at Dancing Shiva Retreat Center in Earthaven Ecovillage. He was previously a psychiatrist, holistic physician, and President and Acharya of the Himalayan International Institute of the USA. He is the author or co-author of a number of books on yoga, meditation, holistic medicine and tantra.
Lee Warren is a homesteader, herbalist, writer, food activist, and the co-founder of Imani Farm, a pasture-based cooperative farm focused on small-scale organic dairy and egg production. She is also a co-founder of Village Terraces CoHousing Neighborhood, a permaculture neighborhood “pod” within Earthaven Ecovillage. Lee has lived, loved, and worked in cooperatives since 1997 and has facilitated work-trade, internships, and apprentice programs for over ten years. Equally passionate about women’s empowerment, nourishing foods, and self-reliant healthcare, she is the Executive Director for the Organic Grower's School.
Justin Goldstein was ordained as a rabbi by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2011 and served congregations in Bangor, ME and Asheville, NC for a total of 8 years. Currently, Justin serves as the Scholar in Residence at Yesod Farm+Kitchen in Fairview, NC, a new sustainable farm incorporating the wisdom of ancient Jewish agricultural practices. For over 20 years, Justin has been investigating the relationship between environmental sustainability, environmental justice, food security, and the Jewish tradition. In both online and print publications, Justin has been published extensively on various topics of the intersection between Jewish wisdom and contemporary environmental and food-related matters.
Courtney Brooke Allen is a Social Ecologist and Regenerative Designer and educator whose work aims to reconnect people with a sense of belonging to place.
Her work in the world aim to address the root cause of today’s overwhelming ecological challenges - that humans are starved of a sense of belonging to the places they live.
Courtney Brooke Allen was raised on a small farm in North Georgia, and has been guided by a lifetime of living close to the land. Her greatest teachers have been the Appalachian Mountains, the land of Aotearoa, and Selu, the Corn Mother. She holds a degree in Ecology from the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, and has 10 years of experience facilitating earth-based education, ecological landscape design, women’s rites of passage, and cultural healing.
Courtney Brooke Allen has taught and facilitated environmental education curriculum, Deep Ecology, Permaculture Design Courses, hands-on craft and farming workshops, and Holistic Management to a wide range of audiences in 9 countries from toddlers to adults and everyone in between.
Deeply committed to spreading the healing that comes from belonging to the places we live, Courtney Brooke Allen is passionate about designing learning opportunities that celebrate life. She lives at Earthaven Ecovillage where she tends the land, raises food, participates in communal ritual agriculture, swims in wild water, enjoys the mysterious blessing of being alive, and tends her own wild Hearth. She loves cooking home-grown and wild foraged foods, playing her flute to the sunrise, running on mountain trails, making compost piles, crafting from natural materials, and bringing people together to create beauty that feeds the holy.
Zev Friedman is a leading permaculture designer, researcher, teacher and writer in western North Carolina. He grew up in Sylva, NC and received his B.S. in Human Ecology from UNCA. Zev’s specialty is forest agriculture; he now runs the Forest Cuisine Project, which helps land owners to start forest farms and to market their products. He is particularly passionate about assisting landowners in setting up mushroom farming operations and in using fungi as remediators for damaged environments. Zev also specializes in urban permaculture design and installation, including many private residences, as well as consulting on the design of the Mars Hill town hall and grounds; he is an active member and teacher in Transition Asheville, helping to plan for Asheville’s future as an abundant, self-reliant city in the age of petroleum decline.
NikiAnne Feinberg has over a decade of experience with experiential, nature-based program development in both the nonprofit and academic sectors. She is the co-founder of the School Gardens Program in Santa Barbara, CA, which has been instrumental in implementing food production systems in over 30 public schools, serves on the advisory board of Quail Springs True Nature Society, and holds a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University. Traveling throughout much of Asia, the Americas, and Europe helped ground NikiAnne’s formal education with “real-world” connections and have shaped her cooperative cultural values and commitment to responsible global citizenship. SOIL is the manifestation and culmination of her life experiences in sustainable living, experiential-education leadership, and program management.
When Chris Farmer was 20 years old, he realized that he had never eaten a single thing that he knew where it came from. At 22, he helped start an organic vegetable farm outside of Olympia, WA. Journeying home to the Carolinas to be closer to family, he moved to Earthaven Ecovillage in 1999 and since his arrival, Chris has cleared his own farm field, designed and built passive solar homes using the wood from trees he had a hand in killing, held community leadership positions, raised turkeys, grown vegetables, co-founded the Forestry Cooperative, designed and installed multiple off-grid energy systems, and a few other things. Currently he’s engaged in building his eco-conscious home with a multitude of integrated utility systems (intended to last hundreds of years) and providing electrical contracting services. When he’s not working one of his fascinations you might find him dabbling in small-scale biochar production and wood gasification at Gateway Farm. Regardless of how Chris is spending his days, he's often wondering what it's going to take to get us through these troubling times.
This program takes place at Earthaven Ecovillage. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where participants will engage with the natural world, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of rural community living.
The final session on Friday will take place at Carolina Memorial Sanctuary in Mills River, an 11 acre conservation and green cemetery providing eco-friendly burials for people and pets of all ages, faiths and backgrounds. As a death activist organization committed to helping our culture heal its relationship to death, it provides an alternative to conventional funeral practices, particularly embalming and standard caskets. It is the leadership of this organization that has supported Earthaven in consecrating its village cemetery and continues to mentor the community on home burials and death-care midwifery.
Camping is included for 4 nights (Mon-Fri). Private indoor lodging at Earthaven is available for an additional cost.
Additional Nights of Camping
Shared indoor lodging
Cost per person: 4 nights $50; 5 nights $60
Private indoor lodging
Cost for 1 person: 4 nights $85; 5 nights $100
Cost for 2 people (shared bed):4 nights $85; 5 nights $100
Earthaven is nestled in the heart of the rural Southern Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles outside of Asheville, NC on curvy mountain roads and within two hours of three airports.
Delicious, omnivorous meals are prepared by talented culinary artists from the Earthaven community. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available. Snacks and beverages (tea, coffee) are provided. Participants are invited to help with meal clean-up. Many hands make light work.
As much food as possible is sourced from Earthaven and its surrounding farms and gardens, with some ingredients sourced from local grocery stores. Our meals are created with seasonal, local, fresh, wildcrafted, humanely-raised, and organic ingredients.
***If you have dietary needs beyond the ones listed here, please be prepared to bring supplemental food to support your nourishment and well-being. Our kitchen simply cannot accommodate all diets.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, Monday lunch through Friday lunch.
This program is primarily designed for adults. However, mature young adults under 18 years old are also welcome. Please contact SOIL to discuss the enrollment of passionate individuals under 18.
We welcome families with children to attend and will do our best to support you and your children, however we are not able to offer childcare. As much of the content involves focused, sit-down presentations, attending with a young child will likely mean being less able to participate fully in the course.
Tuition Sliding Scale: $575 - $675
Tuition includes meals, camping, instruction, and all materials. Private indoor lodging is available for an additional cost. Transportation is available for an additional cost.
We offer partial scholarships (50% of the bottom of the sliding scale) to black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend. We understand that BIPOC experience more financial and institutional barriers to participation, and this is one way we are able to create more access. If you identify as BIPOC and would like to receive a scholarship, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to secure your space
step 1 - Register: Fill out the registration form. Please give yourself plenty of time to complete the application, because it cannot be saved until submitted. (Your space is not reserved until your payment is received.)
Registration Form opens new window
step 2 - Payment: Use the cart below to select your tuition, meal, transportation, and lodging options, then select "Add to Cart." After the page refreshes, select the "Checkout with PayPal" option and continue through the PayPal website.
SLIDING SCALE: Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. The high-end of the scale reflects the value we believe the program holds, and the low-end offers a more accessible entry point. By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. Please consider your needs and resources to determine what might be a stretch, but not a strain.
We also accept checks or money orders payable to the following address and note the class for which you are registering in the memo field:
School of Integrated Living
11 Full Circle Trail
Black Mountain, NC 28711
Crowdfunding and Fundraising: Check out our Crowdfunding and Fundraising page for creative ways to engage your community and launch a "Community Supported Education" campaign. This approach can help support your investment in yourself, your community, the planet, and future generations.
If you cancel, you may:
- Transfer your registration to a friend (they would need to register online).
- Donate your place to someone who would not be able to participate without financial assistance (SOIL would handle this).
- Request a refund per our policy:
- 90% refund for cancellations prior to 30 days before the start of the program.
- 50% refund for cancellations prior to 10 days before the start of the program
If SOIL cancels this program for any reason whatsoever, you would receive a 100% refund.
Contact us at email@example.com with registration questions.