Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Reclaiming the Senses, Rewilding the Mind: Perceptual transformation for social change

Reclaiming the Senses, Rewilding the Mind: Perceptual transformation for social change

Course dates: 
Monday, 29 January, 2018 to Friday, 2 February, 2018
Rewilding Short Course

With Joana Formosinho and Kara Moses

This course is about change at the most fundamental of levels: fully inhabiting the wildness of our attention, day to day. Through practising a more connected and sensual attention we can subtly but radically change the quality and depth of seeing, being - and ultimately of acting. In communion with the living world, we will gently expand and enrich our awareness, deepen our relationship with the more-than-human world and explore the role of skillful perception and embodied nature connection in wider social change.

At A Glance

  • Uniquely weaves together practices of perception and deep nature connection with personal and social change
  • Learning and living together in a supportive temporary community, within the magical grounds of Schumacher College and the historic Dartington Estate
  • Offers tools and practices to expand and texturize perception, creating new possibilities for positive change

About This Course

Our senses are gateways into the world. Through a weaving of texture, colour, flavour and sound, they determine what we experience and how we feel, ultimately shaping our responses and actions. Yet, far from being passive receivers of an information that is already out there, our senses reflect a finely tuned mutual responsiveness with the world, simultaneously making our reality and being made by it.

Through practising a more connected and sensual attention we can subtly but radically change the quality and depth of seeing, of being - and ultimately of acting. This course is about change at the most fundamental of levels, fully inhabiting the wildness of our attention: overcoming cultural conditionings, communing with the living world through our own subjective experience and developing a personal vision. For one week, instead of focusing on the horizon of where we want to be, we will step back into the myriad possibilities of our own experience, and re-awaken aesthetic aliveness to empower positive action. Together, we will explore the power of perception and embodied nature connection in wider social change.

As a group, in an intimate woodland setting nested within the grounds of Schumacher College, we will gently expand and enrich our awareness and deepen our relationship with the more-than-human world, learning tools and practices you can take with you into your day to day. We will use poetic interplays between receptive attention, focused observation and imagination, and nature connection practices – examining how these tools and techniques can subtly shift the quality of our participation in the world, creating new possibilities for personal and social transformation. We will alternate exploration time outside with reflection and further exploration indoors – please come prepared with warm clothes and waterproofs. Whatever the weather, there will always be a warm, cosy nest to return to: complete with blankets, hot tea and companionship.

Together we will:

● Invite the living world into our experience in its dynamic richness
● Learn how to amplify and texturise experience, moment by moment
● Deepen our connection to the more-than-human world
● Enrich and expand our perception of ourselves and the world around us
● Shift habitual patterns of perceiving and thinking
● Explore the role of perception and nature connection in social change
● Practice seeing beyond static things to processes and living relationships
● Practice experiencing beyond clock-driven urban time into deep, woodland time
● Learn how to integrate this fresh seeing and deeper connection into our lives, communities and wider society
● Create and live together in a supportive temporary community
● Explore ways to take positive action from a renewed place of depth and resilience.

When we get out of the glass bottles of our own ego,
and when we escape like squirrels from turning in the cages of our personality
and get into the forest again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us,
so that we don't know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.

- DH Lawrence


Kara Moses

Kara Moses is a facilitator of social change, nature connection and spiritual ecology, combining all three wherever possible. She is passionate about rewilding, seeing the transformation of self and society to be more deeply connected and life-affirming as an essential part of this work alongside widescale ecological restoration. Her passion for the natural world also finds expression in writing, political activism and practical ecology.

She is particularly interested in real-world applications of nature connection and works with diverse groups to bring the natural world into spheres of society including architecture, activism and social change, creative arts, personal resilience, spirituality, sustainability, and climate change adaptation.

She teaches and facilitates at various education centres including EcoDharma, St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, and the Centre for Alternative Technology, where she also manages woodlands.

Joana Formosinho

Joana is a zoologist with a passion for exploring ways of knowing that are at once relational and rigorous, and do not objectify living subjects. As a research student at the University of Cambridge, Joana spent time with baboons in the Namibian semi-desert. Tracking a troop dawn to dusk, day after day, she aimed to understand how their behaviour evolved in relation to landscape over evolutionary time. It was here, human and non-human primate taking step after step together through an inhospitable landscape, that Joana first glimpsed a rich world of understanding that comes from active participation in life: following the eyes of another and letting them tell us what matters to them, letting facts inhabit living stories.

Joana's career has included applied animal behaviour research at the Universities of British Columbia and Bristol, as well as work as a writer for the animal welfare NGO sector and developer of science training courses for the business sector. In 2013/14, Joana arrived at Schumacher College as a student on the Holistic Science MSc, specialising in Goethean Science. Joana teaches on two of the Masters programmes; she also facilitates wildfulness workshops, bringing people closer to the parts of themselves that awaken through contact with hills, soils, roots and leaves.

£ 595.00
NOTE: Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday of the first week to Friday afternoon the last week, and includes four nights private accommodation from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure.