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Unplugged Summer Weekend

Key Info: 
  • Introduction to Gaia Theory with Stephan Harding
  • Peaceful walk across Dartmoor's beautiful landscape
  • Gong meditation and yoga sessions
  • Optional cooking sessions or relaxation periods
  • Gentle Gardening with aromatic herbs in Schumacher College's Tea Garden

With Stephan Harding, Matti Spence, Ty Lynne and Faze Ali

£ 295.00
Course fees include simple accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Friday to Sunday afternoon, and includes two nights private accommodation with shared bathroom and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure.

How do we shake off the effects of our mechanized, systemised fast-past world? How do we strip away the burdens of daily life to re-discover our true selves? The Unplugged weekend offers the chance to relax in the peaceful surroundings of the historic Dartington estate and immerse yourself in the calm of the natural world.

Throughout the weekend you will have the opportunity to take part in a guided walk across the unique wilderness of Dartmoor and listen to the vibration of your body as you experience the unique sensation of gong meditation and yoga sessions.

An idea of what you will be doing:

Friday evening
Enjoy an introduction to Gaia Theory with College Ecologist and Programme Head of MSc Holistic Science, Dr. Stephan Harding followed by a calming Gong Meditation Session with Faze Ali

After your breakfast of hot porridge, fresh fruits and cereals, journey through the magical landscapes of Dartmoor* on a guided walking tour
Sign up for an optional group cooking session in the late afternoon or take time out to explore Dartington, our librarys, our forest and gardens or simply unplug from the world
Join a fireside chat* about Poetics of Presence with Matti Spence whilst enjoying an indulgent hot chocolate around the bonfire

Gentle group gardening in our aromatic tea gardens before a yoga session with Sarah Gray

*subject to weather conditions


With Stephan Harding, Matti Spence, Ty Lynne and Faze Ali
Dr Stephan Harding FLS

Stephan Harding

Stephan coordinated and lectured on the college’s MSc Holistic Science for nearly two decades, teaching on the core models of the programme, as well as on several short courses at the College.  He was born in Venezuela in 1953, and came to England at the age of six.  Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world which led him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University.  He later returned to Venezuela where he was a field assistant for the Smithsonian Institute, studying mammalian diversity in the rainforest and in the lowland plains. He also spent two years as Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica.

In 1990 Stephan was one of the founding members of Schumacher College where he worked closely with James Lovelock, with whom he has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration.  They were jointly appointmed as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo.  At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Brian Goodwin, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.  He is now the Deep Ecology Fellow at Schumacher College.

Faze Ali

Over the last 4 years, Faisal has developed a close connection with Schumacher College, having been a short course participant, a volunteer, a postgraduate student, a member of staff and facilitator, which has given him a unique perspective on college life and nurtured an intimate bond with the college. His academic studies have included Neuroscience, Digital Media, Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology, permaculture, Ecological Design Thinking. He has also spent a year immersed in the Myth & Ecology MA programme, as a course facilitator.

Faisal regularly holds Gong Meditation sessions, focused on wellbeing through relaxation using sound. He creates and holds a space for people to drop into deep states of relaxation, often with quite profound effects. He is also trained in the energetic healing modality of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and makes and works with labyrinths – sacred spaces used for contemplation and relaxation. In addition, Faze has been co-designing and running Fermentation workshops as part of the Craft Revolution at Dartington for 2 years, teaching the art and culture of fermentation. He also works with a local Devon-based social enterprise called The Woodland Presents which is working to revitalise British Woodland Culture.

Of his many varied interests, Faisal is particularly interested in the two-way relationship between individual wellbeing and collective wellbeing; the space and tension between poles, and the creativity that can and does come out of that space; and what living with a holistic worldview actually means and might look like. He is looking forward to welcoming people to the magical place that is Schumacher college, and accompanying them on their immersive journey here.

Ella Sparks

Ella became interested in horticulture and sustainable food systems whilst undertaking the Shift Bristol Practical Sustainability Course.  After a year spent woofing on different farms and working at a tree nursery in Ireland, Ella came to Schumacher in 2016 to study on the practical residency in sustainable horticulture, with a particular interest to in forest garden and agroforestry systems. After the program, she continued working in the Schumacher gardens as a horticultural intern for a further year. In autumn 2017 she has started a two year project at the college developing a fruit and nut tree nursery and developing the new forest garden area in the college’s main growing field.

Matti Spence

Matti Spence is a poet and performer based in Totnes - his work is focused on the act of listening; on becoming a vessel for recieving and sharing the mysterious beauty of everyday life. Matti is a Spiritual Ecology Fellow of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace and has a strong grounding in Zen Buddhism, which inspires his simple approach to creativity. Key to his practice is the notion art-as-offering; of the artist/poet being in-service through the acts of composition and performance.


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray leads playful, heartful yoga enquiries for attuning deeply to self and the environment. The yoga practice invites freedom, fluidity and permissiveness in both the body and mind. Inspired by somatics, which is at the heart of her practice, Sarah is interested in shifting our values to work without ambition and to embrace our whole selves with curiosity and kindness. The session includes calm and gentle guided meditation, breath work and classic yoga poses promoting joyful, grounded and healthy movement.

Sarah is an interdisciplinary artist, producer and teacher distilling wisdom from her experience in various disciplines, combining approaches for exploring consciousness. Sarah is a Scaravelli-inspired Hatha Yoga Teacher, training as Somatic Movement Educator in Body-Mind Centering ®, holds a First Class degree in Theatre & Choreography from Dartington College of Arts, and is a teacher of somatics and experiential anatomy at the School of Experiential Learning or SOEL.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

NB: Please do not pay your deposit for the course yet. Any applications received where a deposit has been paid will be rejected and the deposit refunded.

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.

More about our growing areas and philosophy

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing, and all it entails, a truly transformative time.   Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

Integral to the College’s international learning community, you will get to know students, staff and volunteers through daily meetings and shared activities. There is also a diverse programme of events and evening talks, offered by college residents, visiting teachers and local experts.