METTA EARTH institute

A Center for Contemplative Ecology

802. 453. 8111

Ecological Leadership Intensives

Ecological Leadership Intensives

Actualize your leadership potential in a time of pivotal global change.

Ecology of Yoga
2020 Dates TBA

Wilderness & Ecopsychology
2020 Dates TBA

The Ecological Leadership Intensives offer training to empower leaders with transformative, ecological solutions to respond to the massive cultural upheaval and accelerating climate change our generation face. Metta Earth Institute offers 4 Leadership Intensives:

During these sustainability trainings, participants have the opportunity to deepen personal growth while building skills to lead and empower others. Each of the four sessions offers an in depth focus as a response to the environmental, social, and spiritual crises manifesting on the planet at this time.

After the training, Metta Earth faculty will support you in catalyzing change back in your community with three mentoring calls to help clarify and activate the next steps in your leadership journey.

While each of the four trainings have a distinctive focus, all are strengthened by the additional core practices of leadership processes, yoga and meditation, farmstead living skills, and the arts. Tailored to the specific focus of each training, relevant themes and practices are highlighted within these core areas. The rich medley of these realms is offered intentionally to provide a holistic set of leadership skills, an enhanced vibrancy to daily life, and to stimulate possibilities for social and cultural renewal.

“The Metta Earth training has been a beautiful whirlwind of learning and laughter. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life that has taught me far more than I can comprehend. My month here has been beyond amazing with Gillian and Russell’s immense warmth and groundedness.” – Amanda Chin, 2011 participant

Program Information

15 days: $1500 (including $500 deposit)

Tuition Includes:

  • Program, meals, and accommodations
  • Three thirty minute life/leadership coaching consults after the training to help participants sustain change.
  • Financial assistance may be available to those in need.
  • Credit with your university or college is usually available as independent study. We will offer assistance, as needed, for this process.

Scholarship Opportunities: 

Metta Earth is committed to making our program accessible to low-income individuals who normally would be unable to attend such a program. We have a limited number of full and partial scholarships available based on need. We prioritize scholarships for those from minority groups and inner-city backgrounds.
After having submitted a general application, please fill out a scholarship application by clicking the button below. Don’t hesitate to contact us if would like to receive additional self-fundraising advice and coaching.

Every Leadership Intensive is available for credit:

  • 15 days, 150 hours, 3 credits

Metta Earth is nestled in the quietude of the mountains, the stunning headwaters of the New Haven river with abundant waterfalls and pools for swimming, wilderness trails to walk or bike, and 158 acres of Metta Earth land to explore.

Meals are vegetarian and lovingly prepared with seasonal, local and organic foods, much of our food comes from our own 3⁄4 acre organic garden and farmstead. Participants assist and have the opportunity to learn about harvesting, cooking, putting food by, and other aspects of organic, local food.

Options for sleeping accommodations include shared peaceful rooms in the main Metta Earth house, shared space in one of the yurts, or space to set up your own tent.

The Metta Earth main house provides bathrooms, laundry, phones, wireless internet, library, kitchen and dining facilities, and teaching, study, and practice space.

6:00 – 7:00am
Yoga (self guided practice)

7:00 – 7:30am
Sitting Meditation

7:30 – 8:30am

Experiential Learning Activities

12:30 – 1:30pm
Lunch Community Meeting

1:30 – 2:30
Open Time

Experiential Learning Activities

5:00 – 6:15pm
Metta Earth Yoga Class

6:30 – 7:30pm

7:30 – 9:30pm
Evening Program

  • Metta Earth Yoga: Contemplative Ecological Practices for a Sustainable Future by Russell Comstock
  • Quantum Community ~ The Archetype of Communion & Community, An Interdisciplinary Inquiry by Gillian Kapteyn Comstock
  • Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice on and Off the Mat by Richard Faulds
  • Ecovillage Living: Restoring the Earth and Her People by Hildur Jackson
  • Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World by Wendy Johnson
  • Moving Like a Gardener by Deb Soule
  • Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel
  • The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Radical Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Soul of Nature: Visions of a Living Earth by Michael Tobias
  • The Way of Council by Jack Zimmerman

All Sessions Include:

Leadership Processes

  • Essentials for creating safety & sanctuary
  • Models of leadership
  • Forms of emergent leadership & future frontiers
  • Non-Violent Communication (NVC)
  • Giving & receiving feedback
  • Five Points of Power, Full Value Contract, & Co-Listening
  • Way of the Council
  • Working with dyads & other group constellations to develop communication skills
  • Communication out of the realm of the individual, ego-field into non-ego, beyond ego
  • Enlivening the space between individuals
  • Quantum relational theory
  • Forms of attention, frames of mind, & channels of expression

The Arts

Ecological Leadership Arts
  • Cultivating imagination for innovative solutions & change
  • Support for daily art making processes to enhance learning
  • Integration of art modalities including clay, collage, painting, earth sculptures, earth mandalas, theater, & music
  • Creative problem solving & strategizing
  • Art as activism
  • Keeping a Journal: Word and Image
  • Connecting with plants as a way of knowing place
  • Mindful drawings in nature to develop observation skills

Farmstead Living Skills

Farmstead Living Skills
  • Specialized skills through hands-on learning in organic gardening & farming, animal husbandry, herbal harvesting & preparations, whole foods cooking, food preservation, & other homestead life ways
  • Participation in the community life & daily rhythms of a working organic farm

Yoga/Meditation Practices

Metta Earth Yoga and Meditation
  • Opportunities for self-guided practice with others during an optional morning practice
  • Daily class including asana, meditation, & breath practice
  • Study of the Yamas & Niyamas (yoga’s ten ethical guidelines for skillful living)
  • Practices for inner transformation
  • Silence to deepen perception & experience

NOTE: Amanda has taken wonderful photos of Metta Earth, which are used with her permission in many places throughout the web site. You can contact her about her work

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