Mindfulness as Survival Equipment: a Kayaking Wilderness Retreat

This was a wonderful trip and will likely happen again in 2018. Check back for dates!


Its a Wilderness out there, and inside too. Come explore the mystery of Alaska’s inside passages while being steeped in mindfulness practices.
Unplug from the stresses of daily life, work and media, and enter into a period of stillness and exploration of inner and outer habitat.

img_3170We are living through challenging times, culturally, politically and ecologically, and it is essential that we take care of ourselves. We need to re-establish our connection to what is most essential and enduring about our lives and reconnect with that which is sacred and vital

Mindfulness gives us the practical tools for doing this. Alaska’s majestic Tongass National Forest, and wild coastal ecosystems, give us a spacious container for rediscovering the vastness of our own inner life.

Our capacity to be agents of healing, for ourselves, for others and for our world, depends on our ability to navigate this terrain with skill and resilience. Mindful kayaking gives us access to that wilderness, both inner and outer, in ways that enliven the body and that call forth a necessary spirit of adventure for the work ahead. All these elements together, held in the embrace of practicing community, can be life-changing.

Our trip leaders, Kurt Hoelting and Susan Taplin Curtis, are both experienced mindfulness teachers, and certified by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teachers.

dsc09139_4Kurt Hoelting has led over sixty wilderness kayaking retreats in Alaska over the last twenty-two years through Inside Passages, an outfitter-guide company he founded in 1994. He spends winters on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, and has taught MBSR in the Seattle area since 2006. He worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for thirty years, and is intimately acquainted with the terrain. Kurt is the author of The Circumference of Home, which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in 2011.

Susan Taplin CurtisSusan Taplin Curtis, MD, has been in medical practice in Missoula, MT, for sixteen years. She has been a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher for the past six years. Like Kurt, she has taught MBSR extensively to veterans at her local VA clinic, as well as offering regular community MBSR classes and mindfulness trainings in the Missoula area. She has trained extensively in Zen and Vipassana meditation, and is an avid climber, hiker and outdoor adventurer.


For more information see general trip information.

or to register please visit Kurt’s website.