For millennia, human beings have entered wild landscapes to study the self in relation to mountains, canyons and rivers. This practice of pilgrimage — common from Asia to the Americas — has proven fundamentally transformative.
Wild places preserve a timeless wisdom that, like a diamond, cuts through layers of distraction subconsciously accumulated through our habituated, and often frantic, daily lives.
Fully unplugged from a competitive culture and completely in tune with the spaciousness of wild nature, the open trail awaits.
Wilderness Meditation Expeditions integrate wilderness travel, meditation practices and ecological literacy.
Explore the true meaning of freedom.
Integrating Zen Buddhist meditation with wilderness travel awakens inherent connections with the natural world and fosters a sense of peace, purpose and authenticity.
Wilderness meditation expeditions are physically challenging. Expeditions travel several miles daily over uneven terain, both on and off trail. Participants carry full packs (containing personal equipment, shared group gear, food, and water). Our intention is to keep the body active while the mind settles into the natural rhythms of the wild.
All expeditions involve daily wilderness travel, set-up and clean-up of camp, and meditation practice. Participants learn best practices for wilderness travel, including orienting with topographical maps, food preparation and storage, safety precautions, and Leave No Trace ethics.
Experience with Buddhist meditation practice is required.
Wake Up Bell at Dawn
Morning Sitting Meditation
Lunch on Route
Afternoon Yoga Practice
Evening Sitting Meditation
Camp Fire Discussion
Wilderness Expedition Safety and Preparedness
Wilderness travel comes with inherent risks and AI is serious about safety. AI guides are certified as Wilderness First Responders. WFR certification is acquired through the most current and cutting edge course of any first response medical training (urban or remote) in the world.
AI guides have experience teaching and implementing risk management and decision making in wilderness settings. We prioritize safety in adventure.
Most injuries acquired during strenuous physical activity can be prevented with physical training and adequate equipment. AI recommends expedition participants begin and maintain a training program at least three months in advance of the expedition. Ideally this training will include cardiovascular workout and strength building, as well as flexibility training (i.e. yoga). Advance training will not only help prevent injury while on an expedition, but will also help you enjoy the rigor of the experience. As for equipment, it is essential to break in your boots before heading out on a multi-day expedition. We also recommend you try on your weighted pack to get the best adjusted fit.
Meditation comes with its own unique mental challenges. There is often discomfort (at least initially) when we turn our focus on the mind. AI participants need not have prior experience with meditation, but we do recommend you spend time quieting your mind in advance of an AI expedition. This quieting can be as simple as turning off technology and sitting with eyes closed on your couch for five to ten minutes before bed and upon awakening in the morning. In this stillness, you can pay attention to sounds you aren’t usually aware of, including the sound of your breath.
Click meditation and yoga practices for more information about techniques you will learn while on an expedition.