Way of Nature is many things; common ground practices, processes and principles of many; a way of Life; a path to Liberation; a Movement; a Network of spiritual seekers. The Way of Nature Spiritual Fellowship is rooted in the belief of Source Awareness as our True Nature, and that we can recognize and attain this level of awareness through meditative time spent alone, AllOne, in Nature. Influenced by the common ground of many of the world's great liberating lineages, Way of Nature offers a universal path to spiritual realization that is truly unique.
Who is John P. Milton?
John P. Milton is the founder of Way of Nature, as well as a pioneering ecologist, spiritual teacher, meditation master, vision quest leader and shaman. He began his spiritual quests into the wilderness in the mid-1940s at the age of 7, and went on to become an instrumental figure in early environmental movement as an adult, allowing him to embody a unique blending of scientific grounding in ecology with the heart and mind openness of a spiritual seeker. After devoting many years to studying with masters of Buddhism, Taoism, Dzogchen, Tantra, Vedanta, and several Shamanic paths, John has labored to pioneer what he refers to as 'Sacred Ecology' as a new cultural foundation for the West. These unique influences and a lifetime of personal practice inspired John to create the Twelve Guiding Principles of Natural Liberation, which act as the foundation for the Way of Nature process. Learn more about John P. Milton here.
What is "Source Awareness?"
An awareness of our inextricable connection to the primordial essence of all Life
Is Way of Nature a religion?
Not in a traditional sense. At Way of Nature, spiritual realization is found through meditation, energy cultivation practices, ceremony, and by exploring your intrinsic spiritual connection to all of Life. Our Twelve Guiding Principles of Natural Liberation are built upon the common sacred principles found at the core of the world's most enlightening, earth-honoring lineages. Through meditative time spent alone, AllOne, in nature, a natural unfolding takes place, opening your consciousness to new levels of awareness and bliss. Nature is the temple. Source Awareness is the intention. The universal practices can be woven into anyone's personal beliefs, appealing to those of all walks of life!
What are the Twelve Guiding Principles of Natural Liberation?
Emerged after John’s many years, the Twelve Guiding Principles are an interfaith path to Liberation, or Spiritual Realization. They represent the core sacred principles that the teachings of the world's most profoundly enlightening, earth-honoring lineages have in common. These 12 Principles organically emerged after many years of devoted study and deep training in traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Dzogchen, Tantra, Vedanta, and several Shamanic paths, as well as from John’s over 70 years of habitual spiritual practice and solo immersion in the wilderness. For a list and explanations of the Twelve Guiding Principles, please visit here.
What makes Way of Nature unique?
Rarely in today's society is a path to liberation found through the portal of meditative time spent alone in nature, and yet because of our ancestral history and true nature as beings of nature, it is the most organic, instinctual path there is. The Way of Nature thrives naturally in our inherent design, but it is suppressed. We are intrinsically linked to the world around us, but we live in a society that continuously pulls us away from that connection through everyday distractions. When these distractions are stripped away, our true nature is given an opportunity to arise, resulting in a dramatic reduction of daily stress, a substantial increase in creativity and mental clarity, feelings of deep peace and harmony, and an enlightening sense of awareness. Way of Nature retreats are built upon this belief, providing the teachings and environment needed to allow this process to naturally unfold.
About our Programs
What is a "Sacred Passage?"
Sacred Passage is our foundational program at Way of Nature, taking place in a variety of stunningly beautiful, sacred locations worldwide. Typically lasting 12 days, the retreat begins with a travel day, followed by 2-3 days of Source Awareness Training and Nature connection training.During this training, participants set up camp at our base-camp and learn various energy cultivating practices, meditation, Qi Gong, GaiaFlow, wilderness skills, overtoning, techniques for transmuting emotional and energetic blockages, and more. These teachings, taught directly by John P. Milton or a certified WoN Guide, prepare your mind, body and spirit for the solo immersion to follow. After Awareness Training, participants venture out to their AllOne Time locations, where they will spend 5-6 nights in nature alone. This is where the magic happens! Without any phones, computers or worries to distract you from the present moment, you eliminate the trappings, distractions and contractions of everyday life, unleashing your true essence and allowing the qi energy you gather from Gaia to permeate your body without being drained. This opens the portal to profound revelation and healing! After emerging from your AllOne Time, there is adequate time for group sharing and 2 days of Reintegration Training. Reintegration Training is a continuation of Awareness Training, but with an emphasis on grounding your experience into your everyday life, allowing you to go back to your home, families and work with a renewed sense of awareness and greatly enhanced ability to handle life's challenges. Learn more about Sacred Passage here.
How do I get there?
Way of Nature hosts events all over the world, and sometimes the exact locations of these events will change from program to program. Please read the event page prior to registration to learn more about where your retreat is taking place. Each event page should include the event location and contact information for a WoN guide in case you have any questions about the program.
One of the most common locations for Way of Nature retreats is at the Sacred Land Sanctuary (SLS) in our homebase of Crestone, Colorado, USA.
AllOne Time is the portion of Way of Nature retreats that involves a solo immersion in nature. In most Sacred Passage retreats, the AllOne Time can last from 5-6 nights, however, shorter programs will have shorter periods of AllOne Time. Nature Quest retreats may include 1-3 nights of AllOne Time, while Natural Renewal programs typically have a block of a few hours spent alone, AllOne, in nature. During this time, no electronics are permitted and reading and writing are limited to your notes from Awareness Training or the book Sky Above, Earth Below by John P. Milton. By eliminating the trappings of everyday life, you unleash your true essence, allowing the qi energy you gather from Gaia to permeate your body without being drained. Utilizing both the teachings learned in Awareness Training and the healing qualities of the sacred land upon which you are practicing, you are able to release or transmute emotional and energetic blockages, opening your body and spirit to profound healing and growth. This is truly a unique and beautiful experience, and the very heart of a Way of Nature retreat. Note the renewal programs does not require camping, only shorter solo time each day before returning to base camp.
Many people express reservations about being alone in the wilderness. This is understandably so, as it is not a common practice in today's society. However, we have had many participants with little to no solo backcountry experience that have successfully engaged in Way of Nature retreats after undergoing Awareness Training. In fact, participating in AllOne Time is as safe as going camping. A uniquely designed "buddy system" with daily checkpoints allows you, your fellow participants (Passagers) and your Guide to verify the safety of everyone involved, while still honoring your solitude. In addition, a base camp is located nearby. Most programs include a whistle for emergency alert so help from your buddy can be available quickly. A teacher or guide is available and happy to answer any questions you may have about this experience prior to registration.
What should I pack?
Upon completion of online registration, you will receive a comprehensive email about your upcoming retreat. This email will include a detailed packing list, contact information, necessary paperwork and logistical details about the program and travel. Please check your spam folder in case the email was rejected by your server. If you do not receive this email within an hour of registration, please contact us via email at [email protected].
Are there shorter programs?
Way of Nature offers a variety of events ranging from 1 to 44 days. If you are not able to commit to a full 12 day Sacred Passage, you may consider our shorter Nature Quest or Natural Renewal programs. For a complete list of our offerings and their descriptions, please visit our Programs page. You may also view our Upcoming Events page to see current offerings.
How do I prepare my mind and body for a Way of Nature retreat?
We suggest you begin the following preparations three to four months in advance to help your body, energy, emotions, mind and spirit clear for what they are about to experience...
Stimulants tend to act as a barrier to the interconnecting of inner and outer nature, so try to abstain from non-prescription drugs, coffee, black teas and cigarettes. This is a good way to help clear your system and develop sensitivity. While slowly entering into this cleansing, this is also an excellent time to partake in sweats, saunas and natural hot spring baths to help the body purge itself of toxins. Highly processed and “fast foods” should be eliminated from the diet. Drugs of any nature (including alcohol and tobacco) should also be avoided, unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. If this is the case, check with your doctor to be sure doing an Awareness Training Intensive and Sacred Passage wilderness solo is wise at this time.
Start introducing yourself to Nature by spending time each day exploring, and walking or sitting in, natural environments. This is an excellent time to practice spiritual disciplines outdoors, such as outdoor ceremony, sacred drumming, meditation, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, the various yogas, Zazen, TM, or any personal meditation. If you use affirmations, use them in natural settings, and start your attunement with Nature prior to your Way of Nature retreat. If possible, spend one day a week alone in Nature, establishing deeper inner and outer connectedness. These guidelines, if followed, will bring a richer experience to your process in Nature.
Need to Know
Terms and Conditions
View the Terms and Conditions for participation in a Way of Nature event here.
After receipt of deposit securing your participation in a Way of Nature program, that deposit may be non-refundable at any time.
After receipt of full payment for this Way of Nature program, you will receive a 50% refund upon any cancellation made within 4-8 weeks of the start of the program.
For cancellations within 4 weeks of the start of the program, no refund is available.
In the case of a cancellation due to a health-related or family emergency, the deposit and/or full payment may be transferred to another program upon approval by John P. Milton or senior WoN Guide.
Way of Nature will provide a full refund if the program is cancelled.
To participate in a Way of Nature retreat, you will be required to fill out a health questionnaire. This allows your guide to be well informed of any health issue that could influence your ability to participate in a Way of Nature retreat. All information is kept private and will not be shared except for with a medical professional in the case of an emergency. You will receive a copy of the health questionnaire via email upon registration. If you have any questions prior to registration, please reach out to [email protected].
To participate in a Way of Nature retreat, you will be required to fill out a liability form and have it notarized prior to the start of the event. You will receive a copy of the liability form via email upon registration. You may view the WoN Program Participation Terms and Conditions, which includes the Liability form here.
Way of Nature Educational Materials
Cultivating Natural Liberation: Teachings on reconnecting with the 3 Natures, Volume One, 2018, Way of Nature
Box-Set with 56 6x9'' beautiful and inspiring cards (leaves) with water-resistant finish to support your spiritual practice in Nature. Purchase here.
Twelve Guiding Principles of Natural Liberation
Developed by Way of Nature Founder, John P. Milton, the Twelve Guiding Principles are an interfaith path to Liberation, or Spiritual Realization. They represent the core sacred principles that the teachings of the world's most profoundly enlightening, earth-honoring lineages have in common. These 12 Principles organically emerged after many years of devoted study and deep training in traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Dzogchen, Tantra, Vedanta, and several Shamanic paths, as well as from 70 years of habitual spiritual practice and solo immersion in the wilderness. For a list and explanations of the Twelve Guiding Principles, please visit here.
Sky Above, Earth Below by John P. Milton
John P. Milton's seminal guide to healing one's physical and spiritual body and creating a new relationship with oneself through meditation and connecting with nature's healing energy. Purchase here.
We have many Qigong instructional videos by John P. Milton available on our YouTube channel. Please visit us on YouTube here.
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