With Kurt Hoelting, MDiv., and Susan Taplin Curtis, MD
In response to demand for a second All-Comers trip in Alaska this summer, we have added a retreat during the week of August 13-20, 2017. These kayaking mindfulness retreats are a wonderful opportunity to unplug from the stresses of daily life and work, and to enter into a deep period of solitude and "inner habitat restoration."
We are living through a time of wrenching changes, culturally, politically and ecologically. Many people feel a sense of despair or bewilderment at the scale and pace of these changes. At times like this we need to re-establish our connection to what is most essential and enduring about our lives. We need to reconnect with our own inner depth, vitality and resilience. Our capacity to be agents of healing, for ourselves and others, depends on our ability to navigate these challenges with skill and with heart.
Mindfulness gives us the practical tools for doing this. Alaska's majestic Tongass National Forest, and wild coastal ecosystems, give us a spacious container for rediscovering the vastness of our own inner life. Mindful kayaking gives us access to that wilderness, both inner and outer, in ways that enliven the body and that call forth a necessary spirit of adventure for the work ahead. All these elements together, held in the embrace of practicing community, can be life-changing.
Our trip leaders, Kurt Hoelting and Susan Taplin Curtis, are both experienced mindfulness teachers, and certified by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teachers.
Kurt Hoelting has led over sixty wilderness kayaking retreats in Alaska over the last twenty-two years through Inside Passages, an outfitter-guide company he founded in 1994. He spends winters on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, and has taught MBSR in the Seattle area since 2006. He worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for thirty years, and is intimately acquainted with the terrain. Kurt is the author of The Circumference of Home, which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in 2011.
Susan Taplin Curtis, MD, has been in medical practice in Missoula, MT, for sixteen years. She has been a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher for the past six years. Like Kurt, she has taught MBSR extensively to veterans at her local VA clinic, as well as offering regular community MBSR classes and mindfulness trainings in the Missoula area. She has trained extensively in Zen and Vipassana meditation, and is an avid climber, hiker and outdoor adventurer.