Falling Awake

The Ecology of Wonder

July 27 - August 1, 2018

How can we open a fresh and unshakeable solidarity between humankind and the other animals, plants, and elemental forces that compose this breathing biosphere? The climatic changes now underway ensure that civilization will experience dramatic transformations in the near term future, indeed that humanity is about to undergo a sea change of immense proportions. How can we help such metamorphoses unfold in a manner beneficial not just to human elites, but to the greatest possible range of species, ecosystems, and cultures?

A dawning recognition of the primacy of place, an awareness of wildness unfolding wherever we train our attention, a fresh humility in relation to other earthborn beings (whether salmon or cedars or stormclouds), and a radically transformed sense of the sacred — all these are struggling to be born at this moment in the world’s unfolding. How can this transformed awareness settle deep into our muscles and bones, and how can it come most powerfully to expression in our lives?

Join us for a program vivid with personal experience and collective exploration — a gathering rich with solitude, storytelling, and heartfelt conversation. Together, we’ll pool our discoveries toward engendering a new experience of the enveloping earth— as an exuberant, improvisational, and sentient reality— and of ourselves as full-bodied participants (along with the bears and the crickets) in the emergence of that reality.

This program supports you to:

  • Expand your perceptual and sensory skills
  • Enter into richer relationship/rapport with the more-than-human natural world
  • Learn new ways of tuning to your home-place, deepening your experience of the local earth
  • Wildly expand your philosophical toolkit
  • Awaken to the beauty and power of indigenous cosmologies
  • Expand and intensify your sense of wonder
  • Hone your poetic and storytelling skills
  • Become a more effective agent of cultural metamorphosis

David Abram is a cultural ecologist and geophilosopher who teaches widely on several continents. He’s the award-winning author of  The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. Hailed as “revolutionary” by the Los Angeles Times, as “daring” and “truly original” by Science, David’s work has helped catalyze the emergence of several disciplines, including the burgeoning field of ecopsychology. Named by both Utne Reader and Resurgence as one of a hundred visionaries changing contemporary culture, David is a magical teacher who transforms lives. His writings on the cultural causes and consequences of environmental disarray are published in numerous magazines, scholarly journals, and anthologies. Co-founder of the Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE), he lives with his family in the southern Rockies. wildethics.org

Prose as lush as a moss-draped rain forest and as luminous as a high desert night… Deeply resonant with indigenous ways of knowing, Abram lets us listen in on wordless conversations with ancient boulders, walruses, birds, and roof beams. His profound recognition of intelligences other than our own enables us to enter into reciprocal symbioses that can, in turn, sustain the world. Becoming Animal illuminates a way forward in restoring relationship with the earth, led by our vibrant animal bodies to re-inhabit the glittering world.


In this Hollyhock Talks Podcast, David Abram speaks about awakening our sensual ability to touch the spirit embedded in the world around us: