The integrative Flora immersion
a two-day exploratory retreat
The World Tree, or Abor Mundi, is known in cosmogonic myths and spiritual traditions as the Sacred Axis of the Universe, which unifies different realms of existence and is inhabited by wondrous creatures.
At the same time, a tree is a unique living organism that supports life on Earth, and is the source and foundation of breath, food, medicine, architecture, fuel, clothing, music, scriptures, as well as many other underpinnings of civilization. Together with other plants, trees form complex ecosystems—the living environment for countless sentient beings, including us, humans.
The World Tree retreat is an amalgam of three integral learning environments: interactive presentations, practice sessions and sharing circles. During the interactive presentations, through the media of contemporary botany, biochemistry, ecology, world history, art, spiritual literature and photography we will discover mythological and mundane aspects of the Tree, and experience Its ubiquitous presence in everyday life. In practice sessions, through somatic exercises, sensory experiments and meditations, we will interact with trees and other plants, feel their subtle life force, experience what it is like to be sentient, naturally silent and spend lifetimes in one spot. We will explore the world from plants’ perspective as a practice of gently letting go of our everyday habitual self. Then we will communicate with plants and get relevant information according to our individual ability to ask questions and receive answers. We will also share with others what we were able to glimpse and comprehend.
Throughout the history of our planet, every atom of our bodies has been an integral part of billions of plants, so on the atomic level we intrinsically “know” how to be a tree, a flower, a blade of grass, or a tomato. This unique retreat offers first hand practical experience of another togetherness, an interspecific communion in shared awareness.
In the course of this retreat you will
Learn and experience the basics of interspecies communication.
Have an introduction into Polyphonic Perception—an ability to simultaneously See and experience the world from a variety of vantage points.
Study and explore the phenomenon of Flora from various perspectives: scientific, artistic, spiritual, cultural, etc.
Learn how to effectively receive healing energy and answers to your inquiries from plants and nature.
Explore your creativity through the communion with plants.
Spend time learning, practicing and sharing in a warm company of like-minded people.
Early bird price $525 if paid by June 20
Venmo, Zelle 973896 9320
The group of 12 people, please reserve your place in advance. Registration via WhatsApp 973 896 9320
Included : comfortable accommodation at the retreat center:
Two breakfasts and lunch. We will serve healthy organic meals. Please bring one healthy dish for a potluck dinner. For Sunday dinner we will go out to the New Paltz restaurant.
Arrival of participants
9-10AM Opening circle
10-11:30AM Interactive presentation
11:30AM-1:30PM Practice session
1:30-3:30PM Lunch, free time
3:30-7PM Practice session
8-9PM Evening circle
8-9AM Practice session
10-11:30AM Interactive presentation
11:30AM-1:30PM Practice session
1:30-3PM Lunch, free time
3:30-5PM Practice session
5-6PM Closing circle
6PM Departure of participants
Dr. Michael Yoshpa, PhD, DDiv
Doctor of Pharmacognosy and Medicinal Chemistry, Doctor of Divinity, Master's Degree in Biological Sciences, Master's Degree in Education. Process-oriented therapist. Life Coach. Graduated from the International School of Shiatsu, as well as the SAT Program by Dr. Claudio Naranjo.
Michael Yoshpa is a facilitator at internal development and self-realization retreats, photographer, Sun Moo Do martial arts senior instructor of Grand Master Bong Pil Yang lineage, Ashtanga Yoga instructor of David Swenson lineage, and Zhineng Qigong teacher of Master Ming Pang lineage.
Michael Yoshpa is engaged in the development and integration of innovative learning systems for children and adults. He is the author and leader of several educational laboratories: My Creative Self, LifeStream, Living Science, Living Dreams, and Living Myth, all of which are syntheses of traditional and devised approaches that Michael has developed over the course of many years in study, practice and research. He is founder of Russia's nationwide educational project, Future Now, as well as Facilitators school designed for psychologists and interpersonal specialists.
Arbor Mundi is an immersive experience, an exploratory meditation…
I contemplate trees. They are so diverse, so alive, so complex, so large, so unattainable, so near and dear…
I experience trees, their inner buildup, outward demeanor, our cellular makeup…
I hold a thin thread of life linking us all with the breath into one living Self, an integrated organism, breathing in and out, in and out…
I see the presence of trees—dead and alive they surround us, deformed, covered in paint, masked, stifled, shaped by human hands… So seldom do we touch a living tree—how did we forget to feel and hear them, and why are we always so eager to touch lifeless wooden things?..
I recall the Tree of Life that gave birth to us, humans. It comes back in dreams, fairy tales, myths and legends, it keeps reminding us about our nature, our roots, our heart, our prehistory…
So breath by breath we go down the ladder leading up to a place where matter begets shape, things—names, where realms of humanity, nature and consciousness reclaim again their initial oneness and inseparability.
This path is before us, but not readily known.
One needs a guide.
Thank you, Michael.
Tatevik Gukasyan, facilitator, dancer, English teacher
Michael Yoshpa's retreats are an incredible experience. As a psychotherapist, I fully believe in the importance of self-growth, and the power of working with a group guided by a skilled facilitator. Out of approximately 10 years of counseling and other workshops that I went through myself as a client and a participant, Michael's retreats were one of the most powerful tools for self-understanding and transformation I've ever come across. In fact, my first workshop with him was so powerful that I immediately signed up for another one. Michael is an incredibly sensitive and skillful facilitator. His two Doctoral degrees—one in Pharmacognosy and another in Divinity—show that he combines modern day science with deep understanding of spirituality. Over the course of one day he took me deeper and further than other facilitators in many months. He knows how to help understand the hidden parts of one's identity, and to realize what one can do to create positive changes in life. Because of my work at his retreats, I was able to go back to writing music after a long pause, and truly understood what stood in the way of my creativity. I will be forever grateful for these amazing retreats and would say this: do whatever you can to participate in Michael's retreats, they are life-changing!
Sasha Raskin, psychotherapist, life coach, musician, web designer
For me the most precious part of The World Tree experience was Michael’s outlook on plants and his worldview, where humans are not the pinnacle of creation, where there exist many other types of intelligence, aesthetics and wisdom. And it’s important that his worldview is backed by a strong scientific foundation: I was amazed with the wide expanse of Michael’s scientific knowledge, his personal experience, and stunning photographs. The practice session was a natural continuation of the lecture, a way to sense and experience this material with my entire body. During the practice session I encountered a very important quality within me, and later integrated it into my everyday life. After the seminar I am left with the feeling of deep trust and curiosity, and I’d like to continue studying with Michael. It feels like we just began to explore this immense territory. Thank you so much!
Natalie Doynikova, somatic therapist, instructor of AcroYoga and improvisational dance