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August 5-12, 2018 w/ camping

Mindfulness As Survival Equipment

August 5 - 12, 2018

Led by Kurt Hoelting

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"Mindfulness as Survival Equipment" is an apt metaphor for this journey of the heart. During this weeklong retreat we will be exploring the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska by kayak, while simultaneously opening to the inner habitat of mind and spirit that often gets lost in the busyness of our everyday lives. 


We are living through a time of wrenching changes, culturally, politically and ecologically. Inside Passages retreats offer a time of refuge, in the midst of Southeast Alaska's extraordinary natural beauty, from which to cultivate the inner resources we need to meet these challenges with resilience and with heart.

During this journey we will experience a blend of solitude and community, silent practice and shared conversation, learning to transform the challenges of our time into opportunities for deepening personal growth and service. Each day will include guided meditation, Qi gong, yoga and time on the water kayaking through the Tongass National Forest's expansive coastal wilderness.

Weather permitting, this six-day, seven-night retreat will include a two-night camping experience, accessed by a ten mile paddle from our base at Keene Channel Lodge, to a campsite on Cloverleaf Island in the Castle Islands of Duncan Canal.

 All Inside Passages retreats are based out of Keene Channel Lodge south of Petersburg, on the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska. 

All Inside Passages retreats are based out of Keene Channel Lodge south of Petersburg, on the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska. 

This combination of mindfulness practice and wilderness exploration catalyzes a natural re-connection to what is most essential and enduring about our lives, building our capacity to be agents of healing to ourselves, and on behalf of a world that needs our wholehearted presence more than ever before.

 Dawn at Keene Channel Lodge

Dawn at Keene Channel Lodge

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Mindfulness gives us the practical tools for building this vital practice of presence. Daily Qi gong, yoga, sitting and walking meditation gives us trustworthy maps for accessing our own inner wild with confidence. Kayaking brings us into the outer wilderness, enlivening the body and calling forth a spirit of adventure in our quest for wholeness. All these elements together, held in the embrace of practicing community, can be life-changing. 



Kurt Hoelting is a wilderness guide, mindfulness teacher and writer. He has led kayaking mindfulness retreats in Alaska for the past twenty-three years through his outfitter/guide company Inside Passages. He worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for thirty years, and is intimately acquainted with the terrain.

Kurt has practiced Zen for almost 40 years. He leads mindfulness trainings and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest, and is certified as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine. For the past decade he has taught MBSR to veterans at Seattle's VA Hospital, as well as other venues. 

He is the author of The Circumference of Home, which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in 2011.


Because of the level of physical exertion involved in the 10 mile paddle to our camp site, previous kayaking experience is recommended, and a strong basic level of physical conditioning. If you have questions about whether this trip is a good fit for you, please contact Kurt Hoelting, trip leader, to discuss this.  He can be reached by email at (Read More about our retreats)

Retreat cost (with extra day for camping experience): $2650. Includes lodging and all meals for six days and seven nights at Keene Channel Lodge and Cloverleaf Camp, kayak guide services, kayaks and all related gear, tents and camping guide services, and transportation by charter vessel to and from the lodge from Petersburg (14 miles each way).

Cost does not include airfare to Petersburg from the Lower '48, or any meal or lodging costs in Petersburg before or after the trip. (See details about retreat information & schedule, and travel planning here. 

For more information, email

Earlier Event: July 18
July 18-24, 2018