Find your Self in the wild.

AUGUST 9 - 14, 2019

Mindfulness in Nature | a 6-day Retreat

August 9th - 14th, 2019 at Sarana Springs near Chatsworth, Ontario

In the busyness of every day life, it’s SO easy to get distracted, anxious, and completely overwhelmed about how to lead your life. It feels like there’s an infinite amount of choices to make; what career path should you take, what school to attend, where you should live, work, travel, eat, who you should spend your time with, and the list goes on and on…and on. On top of this all, you want to be more enviornmentally conscious, but you don't know where to start, or you feel isolated and uninspired. You want to take better care of yourself and the planet but it feels like there is no time to reflect and no room to make simple changes.  

Being in nature—living, camping, swimming, hiking—deepens your sense of interconnection with the world around you. And more importantly, it gives you a chance to disconnect from your racing thoughts, relieve your anxiety, and tune into how you want to live. The more we are able to attune to our inner state and to our surroundings with mindfulness and compassion, the better equipped we are to live an empowered life and face our fears and limitations.

Mindfulness in Nature runs August 9 - 14, 2019. We are located at Sarana Springs near Chatsworth, Ontario. Approximately a 2.5 hour drive North from Toronto. Full location details shared after registration.  

For 6 days and 5 nights you will become immersed in Nature on our beautiful acreage right here at Sarana Springs. Surrounded by 170 acres of meadow, mixed wood, red pine and cedar forest, ponds, a small lake and abundant fresh water springs with adjacent wetland, you will discover what is truly in your heart.  

The natural world provides the perfect environment for turning your attention inward. With the guidance of our skilled faculty members and community mentors, you will gather new inner resources and wisdom and gain the confidence to reach your potential. Deep connection to self, other and the environment are core to the human experience — community makes this happen!  

• Learn Mindfulness and Compassion tools to support you living with balance  

• Develop compassion and confidence in facing your personal obstacles  

• Experience being with the natural world off grid and unplugged 

• Find a space of non judgment and self acceptance  

• Nourish yourself with nutrient dense and locally based meals  

• Illuminate your process with an optional fast and all night inner quest in the outdoors  

• Explore concepts for self understanding shared by many spiritual traditions 

• Be with like-minded people who root for you and support your growth


The Sarana Team is an intergenerational community. We draw from the fields of mindfulness, meditation, healing + expressive arts, yoga, embodied movement, permaculture, holistic nutrition/cooking, deep ecology, psychotherapy, chaplaincy, and end-of-life, where we draw from secular and spiritual traditions alike, including Neuroscience, Systems Theory, Buddhism and Indigenous Wisdom.  

Left to Right: Andrew Blake - Lead Instructor, Angie Di Iorio Blake - Program Director, Maxine Iharosy - Program Coordinator, Goldie Sherman, Natalie Howard 


• All meals. Locally catered or prepared by us from the permaculture garden. • Our loaded Mindfulness in Nature Manual to keep you inspired and resourced. • Easy to create and nutrient dense recipes to take home • 5 nights of camping on the land, off-grid with solar showers 


• Transportation to and from. We will help connect you with other participants to carpool. • Camping equipment. Though we will help you find some to borrow!  


$1450 now only $795 thanks to the generosity of our donors. Payment plans are available. Contact Our Program Coordinator, Maxine to ask for more details: maxine@saranainstitute.org  

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do I have to between the ages of 18 - 30? We have been known to make exceptions here! Our curriculum is geared to best support adults going through the transitional phase of 18 - 30. Please contact us and fill us in on your situation. We also have more programs to support a diversity of ages - see here.  

I don’t have a tent. Can I borrow camping equipment? Yes! Please contact maxine@saranainstitute.org to set something up.  

I don’t think I can afford this all at once. Do you do payment plans? Yes! Maxine will help you out. We require a minimum of $200 as a deposit. From there on we arrange a schedule for payment and assist you as much as we can in the process.  

What happens if I register and something comes up? Is there a cancellation policy? Yes! Click here to view all of Sarana Institute’s cancellation policies.  

I have no way to get there. Do you arrange pick up? We do not arrange long distance transportation for participants but we will do everything we can to support carpooling. Should you need to arrive by bus we can arrange a pick up at the Owen Sound terminal.  

I have a restricted diet, intolerances or allergies. Will I be taken care of? Absolutely. Many of our participants have attended with dietary needs specific to lowering inflammation. Our caterer is known for her creativity in specializing menus for allergen friendly meals. Our menu is not strictly vegan or vegetarian but we provide many options for plant powered proteins. We also utlizie the permaculture garden on site. Ingredients are are fresh and vibrant as possible.  

How off-grid are we talking? What if I need to use my phone? There are some areas on the property with cell reception. During free time on the schedule you are able to make calls. There is no wi-fi on site. We encourage a digital detox but absolutely will not restrict your need to contact someone.  

What do I need to bring? Upon registration we will send you a list of what is needed along with a reminder in our official welcome letter in July. Long answer short: whatever you personally need to be camping for 5 days knowing that all your meals will be taken care of.  

I hate bugs. Are there bugs? Yeah. There’s bugs. The best remedy is layered clothing, bug spray, and patience.  

What is the daily schedule like? Do I have free time? You will have free time. Within our schedule you will also be going on solo hikes or visits to your 'sit spot' - a place in nature you return to each day for contemplations. Here’s an example of a day at Mindfulness in Nature:  

7:00 – 8:00 am: Morning Mindfuless Practice 8:00 – 9:00 am: Breakfast 9:15 am – 9:30 am: Morning check in with the group 9:30 – 12:30 pm: Morning Session 12:30 – 1:00 pm: You time 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Lunch 2:00 – 5:45 pm: Afternoon Session 5:45 – 6:15 pm: You time 6:15 – 7:30 pm: Dinner 7:30 – 9:00 pm: Evening Session 


About Sarana Institute 

Sarana Institute is a non for profit registered charity that offers mindfulness training and resources to deepen compassion in caring for self, other and the earth.  

We are a community inspired organization.  

 Sarana means “refuge or sanctuary” in Pali (an ancient language from the time of the Historical Buddha). For us, sarana means where we draw inner or spiritual strength and meaning. A place of refuge is both an inner state or an outer place that reminds us of our wholeness and oneness with life and all creatures.  

Our CoFounders, (Revs.) Angie & &ndrew Blake ‘s inspiration for Sarana Institute is to build an inter-generational community that supports our world in integrating mindfulness and compassion as essential inner resources in living more gently with the natural world.