Join us for a full day of nature exploration at Sarana Springs, a 171 acre eco sanctuary near Chatsworth. Forage wild edible plants with Eco-educator Alexis Burnett, and dialogue with our Yana faculty around our relationship with the Climate Emergency.

Register Here. Sliding Scale Fee. Please see below for all details

Alexis Burnett will guide us on a morning hike to meet our spring visitors on the land as we learn about the abundant plant medicines and nutritional gifts that grow close to us.

In the afternoon, we will enter into a group 'community council' with the Yana (Young Adult Nature Awareness) Faculty as we touch into the Eco-dharma based teachings of Joanna Macy and Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. We will end our day together with another guided walk and nature connection experience in the 'Peace Forest' at Sarana Springs.

Plan to come up for just the day or choose to camp overnight and experience the chorus of spring peepers in action.

What we'll gain together on May 7th:

🌱 Knowledge of local wild edible plants and some yummy new recipes

🌱 A sense of joy, kinship and connection with the Land and participants

🌱 Ease and renewal from spending time in nature and community

🌱 Practices for navigating grief, anger and despair in facing the Climate Crisis

This event is by registration only and includes a catered lunch featuring wild edible plants and local flavours.

Details:

  • Arrival begins at 9:30 am
  • Program runs from 10 am - 5 pm, May 7th
  • Local catered lunch is provided
  • Suggested fee: Sliding scale from $30 - $50
  • Registration is required here
  • This is an intergenerational event, open to all ages
  • Hosted at Sarana Springs in Holland Centre, Ont.
  • Donations to our Yana Retreat that will be hosted in August are appreciated and encouraged
  • This is an outdoor event that will run rain or shine
  • Camping overnight is possible Friday May 6th or Saturday May 7th. See more details here

    Schedule:

  • 9:30 - 10 am: Arrival begins
  • 10:15 am Program begins with teachings and a guided foraging hike with Alexis Burnett
  • 1:00 pm catered vegetarian lunch featuring local wild edible plants
  • 2:00 pm 'Community Council' and teachings with the Yana Faculty and Alexis Burnett
  • 4:00 pm hike to the peace forest
  • 5:00 pm Day-long program ends

This opportunity is made possible by donations made directly to our Yana Fund. Want to support our work of bringing Mindfulness, Compassion and Nature Connection skills to young adults? Donate Here

Register Here

Meet Your Facilitators

Alexis Burnett


Alexis will be guiding the first half of our day together through nature education and wild edible foraging

Alexis Burnett is a naturalist, tracker, herbalist, and nature connection mentor who lives on the traditional land of the Three Fires Confederacy, home of the Anishinabek Nation also called Grey County, Ontario Canada.  He lives with his wife and 2 kids on Rebel Roots Herb Farm (www.rebelrootsherbfarm.com) where they grow, sell and ethically wildcraft more than 50 medicinal plants using organic and regenerative farming practices to produce high quality herbs and herbal medicines.  Their farm is also home to Earth Tracks Outdoor School (www.earthtracks.ca) which specializes in connecting people to nature and forming a deep relationship with the earth. Earth Tracks courses and apprenticeship programs include learning how to forage for edible and medicinal plants, herbalism, naturalist training, wildlife tracking, bird language, bush craft skills and nature connection programming for children and adults.

Yana Faculty


Our Group Council and self-reflective practices will be guided by members of our Yana teaching team later in the day.

Our Yana faculty is an intergenerational and cross-disciplinary teaching team. Some of our members will be with us today for this workshop! Co-founders of Sarana Institute, Angie Di Iorio Blake and Andrew Blake will be hosting us on the land and guiding our community practices, along with Maxine Iharosy, Yana Program Director. If you are new to Sarana Institute you can read more about our team here.

We draw from the fields of mindfulness, meditation, expressive arts, yoga, somatics, nervous system health, permaculture, holistic nutrition, deep ecology, psychotherapy, Buddhist chaplaincy, and secular and spiritual traditions alike.


Through exploring nature education and foraging, we can deepen our wonder and appreciation for the natural world. This connection brings us joy and sustains us as engage this challenging dialogue and contemplation about living during a time of mass extinction, where we seem not to be heeding the call to stop. This day-long workshop is our response to the collective need for ecological well-being in facing the despair and loss that is present on a daily basis.

We will be getting our hands in the soil, tantalizing our tastebuds, and opening our hearts up to the fragile balance and truth of interconnectedness that exists between all life on our precious planet. We hope to see you there!

About Sarana Springs

Sarana Springs is 171 acres of wildlife refuge located on the traditional lands of the Anishinabek Nation.

Sarana Springs is home to Sarana Institute's land based retreats like our Mindfulness in Nature retreat for young adults (August 12-17th, 2022) and our Autumn Equinox Meditation Retreat. We are approximately 2.5 hours North of Toronto, near Owen Sound, Ontario.

The Land is home to many different beings and ecologies including wetland, meadow, old growth forest and young hardwoods.

Getting to Sarana Springs

We are approx 2.5 North of Toronto, in Holland Chatsworth, Ontario. If you are arriving from the GTA we encourage carpooling when safe to do so. If you are open to sharing a ride with someone else, there is an option in our registration form to select if you need a ride or can provide one. We will do our best to help coordinate ridesharing. If you have any questions about this, just reach out.

Camping at Sarana Springs

Whether you are traveling from out of town or you're local to us, we welcome you to camp here Friday May 6th or Saturday May 7th (or both!) Camping is optional at an additional fee of $25 per night. This fee can be paid by cash or cheque separately to Angie Di Iorio Blake. Compostable toilets are near 'The Nest' which is a pine forest that makes for excellent sleeping. There is wifi and electricity access on the Land, but not at the camping area. There is access to our community kitchen. If you choose to camp you will be responsible for your own meals (aside from our lunch the day of) and clean up.

Make it a whole weekend experience

There are many local Air B&B options as well if you'd like to find a cozy place to stay as a homebase for the weekend. Grey-Bruce is home to many breathtaking hiking trails, artisan shops, and vistas, and we welcome you to come explore and include our day-long event as part of your weekend!

Food and nature awareness are central pillars of Yana. Here are some participants from our summer retreat at Sarana Springs in Chatsworth, Ontario.

Ready to come explore?

Register Here

Need a little more of an introduction to us?

Check out our YouTube meditations with (Rev) Andrew Blake, one of our faculty members and co-founder of Sarana Institute. The ones listed below were specifically designed with young adults in mind.

FAQ

What is Yana?

Yana is Sarana Institute's young adult-focused program serving those aged ~18-35. For us, it stands for 'Young Adult Nature Awareness', and yāna is also a Buddhist term meaning 'vehicle'. Our intention is to provide a “vehicle” to support you in realizing and manifesting your potential

Why is this workshop fee sliding scale?

All of our Yana events are funded through donations. Because of this, we're able to offer reduced rates and sliding scale fees. Please contribute a suggested amount of $30, $40 or $50 according to your means. To make additional donations that support our work (and provide scholarships!) click here.

If you really want to attend, but our sliding scale fee feels inaccessible, please reach out to us directly by emailing maxine@saranainstitute.org . No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If you want to come, we want you to be here!

Is this just for young adults?

Our May 7th event is open to all ages. Scholarships and some spaces are being specifically reserved for young adults (18-35)

What should I bring to prepare?

Bring walking shoes or boots that can definitely get muddy. We will be outside rain or shine. Layer up because May temperatures can fluctuate. We will send you an official 'what to bring' list closer to the date. Just make sure you register to receive this.

What is Sarana Institute? Is it a secular organization?

Yana events are hosted by Sarana Institute which is a secular mindfulness-based registered Canadian charity focusing on offering mindfulness training that awakens compassion in caring for ourselves, others and the earth. Yana events are part of our Yana program, and we also host a yearly mindfulness retreat for young adults called Yana Retreat.

I'm coming from out of town - are there places to stay?

Whether you are traveling from out of town or you're local to us, we welcome you to camp here Friday May 6th or Saturday May 7th (or both!) Camping is optional at an additional fee of $25 per night. This fee can be paid by cash or cheque separately to Angie Di Iorio Blake. Compostable toilets are near 'The Nest'. The Nest is a pine forest that makes for excellent sleeping and sheltered camping. There is wifi and electricity access on the Land, but not at the camping area. There is access to our community kitchen. If you choose to camp you will be responsible for your own meals (aside from our lunch the day of) and clean up.

There are also lots of local Air B+B options to explore if you'd prefer a more solid home-base for the weekend. We encourage you to take as much time as you can to explore this beautiful area!

Carpooling from the GTA

Sarana Springs is 2.5 Hours North of Toronto. We do our best to coordinate ridesharing when it is safe to do so. If you are open to sharing a ride with someone else, there is an option in our registration form to select if you need a ride or can provide one. If you have any questions about this, just reach out.

Whenever you're ready...

Register Here