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Paddling Into Presence: A Kayaking & Camping Retreat for All Comers

Paddling Into Presence

Kayaking & Camping in Alaska
A Mindfulness Retreat for All-Comers

Led by Kurt Hoelting  

August 10 - 17, 2019


This six-day, seven-night mindfulness retreat, based out of Keene Channel Lodge, will include a two-night camping experience (weather permitting). This retreat does not require previous kayaking experience, but participants should be in good physical condition, and able to participate in daily paddling for up to three hours, with lunch stops in the middle. (Read More about our retreats.)

Inside Passages mindfulness retreats offer a time of refuge, in the midst of Southeast Alaska's beautiful Inside Passage, from which to cultivate the inner resources we need to meet the challenges of our time with creativity and courage. They offer a nourishing blend of solitude and community, silent practice and shared conversation. Each day will include guided meditation, Qi gong, yoga and daily mindful kayaking. We will share periods of silent practice, spectacular kayaking, and deep conversation about how to transform these challenges into opportunities for growth and service. 

Rebuilding Connections

There is no doubt that we are living through a time of wrenching changes, personally, politically, globally, ecologically. Many people feel a sense of overwhelm and despair at the scale and pace of these changes. Inside Passages retreats offer an extraordinary opportunity to re-establish our connection with what is most essential and enduring about our lives, a chance 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.

The Role of Mindfulness

Mindfulness gives us the practical tools for doing this. Alaska's majestic Tongass National Forest gives 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 call forth a necessary spirit of adventure for the work of our time. All these elements together, held in the embrace of practicing community, can be life-changing.


Your Group Leader


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.

Retreat cost: $2650. Includes lodging and all meals for five days and six nights at Keene Channel Lodge, kayak guide services, kayaks and all related gear, tents and community camping gear for the campout (sleeping bags, pads and rain gear not supplied) 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 the retreat information & schedule.)

For more information, Contact Us.