There's nothing more enjoyable than sitting around a campfire and whittling away at a sycamore stick while noticing what's going on inside and out, and talking to new friends. It's calming and fun, and wooden butter knives are a great item to make.
Alex said he wasn't creative. Then he went and made this extraordinary piece of Land Art: a circle marked by leaves, with two found posts positioned to align perfectly with the i360 tower on the horizon.
It linked the place where he was on the Downs to Brighton in the distance.
Join us this Sunday for more Land Art and Mindfulness with Anniek Verholt.
This row of stones and tiny yellow petals were made by Liz at last years Land Art & Mindfulness.
We're doing it again this Sunday. Join us.
"I invite you to walk slowly up the hill in silence, taking in the surroundings, coming back to yourself and noticing how you’re feeling.”
It’s a sunny morning in October, and we’re gathered in a small lay-by in the shadow of the Downs. Dutch Artist and therapist Anniek Verholt is giving us a short briefing before we head up the hill to my favourite spot near Blackcap for a Land Art and Mindfulness session.
We’re ten participants from far and wide: London, Rottingdean, Brighton, Eastbourne... the journey here has been eventful for most. Two people got lost, trains were missed, and we’re running late.
I’m flustered to be honest.
Somehow Anniek has remained calm despite the back and forth in the car, and the herding of lost souls by phone and text. The mindful walk up the hill helps to clear my mind of the journey and the complications of organising the gathering.
At the top, the vista of the Downs, the clouds, sea and sky opens out in front of us. For a moment all else falls away as we breathe in the view.
A few months ago I was at forager Robin Harford’s Green Gathering on Exmoor.
It was a weekend of plant-based experiences. From workshops on foraging and fermentation to herbal remedies and storytelling round the fire… one of the sessions that had the most effect on me was an Earth Mandala workshop by artist Keith Beaney.
Keith got us collecting natural materials to contribute to a mandala frame that he'd created for us in the woods.
It was very muddy and wet, and initially I struggled with connecting with it, but suddenly something took over and I got caught up in the process, of being in the woods and looking around at the trees and wildlife for inspiration.
I started gathering white leaves, interesting twigs and unusual flowers for my section of the mandala, absorbed in a child-like flow.
It was an inspiring and fun creative process.
Each person in my group reported a similar experience.
It was an uplifting and inspiring summer's day.
Walking barefoot in the woods, listening to the birds, smelling the woodsmoke and feeling the soft touch of the breeze.
Simultaneous Awareness with Ben Rayner was a hit. Thanks to everyone who came along.
Simultaneous Awareness is a way to use your senses to become aware of everything that's happening around you at the same time.
Apache Scouts like Stalking Wolf had this extraordinary ability.
Developed by Ben Rayner after a serious skydiving accident, and then time spent alone in the wilderness, Simultaneous Awareness is based on Native ways of experiencing and relating to the world.
It includes easy-to-learn tools and techniques that will help you discover a profoundly different way of being.
In this short video, Ben explains more about it and how it can bring benefits.
Simultaneous Awareness and Natural Movement, June 5th. More details and booking on Meetup here.
Friday April 22nd was a pretty big day for the planet.
170 countries signed the Paris Climate deal at the UN, and it was also Earth Day, a movement who's ambitious aim includes planting 7.8 billion trees, and making cities 100% renewable.
At a time when the planet needs us more than ever to make choices that are nourishing for body, soul and the Earth, at School of the Wild we're passionate about ways that bring us closer to nature.
Nigel Berman is founder of School of the Wild, a school of wild skills and wild thought.