From Heartbreak to Purpose in an Age of Planetary Distress


Meditation at the Earth & Spirit CenterSaturday, April 27, 2019 – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Sunday, April 28, 2019 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm


April 27 =  $75,  April 27 & 28 = $100 


Guided by: Doug Van Houten and Marilyn Stoner


It is impossible to escape the hard reality of the growing worldwide planetary distress. Climate disruption, social and financial unrest, and injustices erupting in all directions leave many of us feeling increasing anxiety and despair. It is hard to know where to turn or what to do. But the good news is that there is a gift buried in the heart of these emotions, a gift that empowers us to seeing the world with new eyes!


In our two days together we will explore the pioneering work of Joanna Macy and Bill Plotkin, and together with the group energy and the support of our inner and outer nature we will learn ways to transform our despair into greater purpose.


Our practices include deep sharing and listening, Truth Mandala, deep imagery, journaling, focused time alone in nature, journaling, body movement, grief, enchantment, gratitude and praise.


Joanna Macy, is an environmental activist, author, Buddhist scholar, general systems theorist and deep ecologist. She has developed over the course of the last 50 years an international following as a speaker and workshop leader in eco-justice and social justice.


Bill Plotkin, is a depth-psychologist, wilderness guide and agent of cultural evolution. He has guided tens of thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages to a life more centered in soul and visionary purpose.


We’ll gather rain or shine. Must pre-register.  Scholarships available.




Doug Van Houten— In this work, Doug draws on the wisdom of the natural world, depth-psychology, eco-psychology, dreams, somatic knowing, poetry, and many pan-cultural, soul furthering practices that includes: The Way of Council, vision fasting, trance dancing and conversations with the more than human world. Doug’s true calling in life is to support others as they uncover their own unique gifts and in so doing, transform their lives in service to what Joanna Macy calls ”The Great Turning” transformation of our times. Doug is also a student of Refined Hakomi, an ardent beekeeper, a visual artist, a wily wanderer, a dream tracker, a deep ceremonialist, a heart-centered activist, a budding yoga instructor and a seasoned guide for Animas Valley Institute ( which was founded by Bill Plotkin. He has attended workshops with Joanna Macy.

Marylyn Stoner— A retired psychotherapist, Marilyn was the co-chair of the Festival of Faiths in 2008.  She has guided many day long and weekend retreats with Doug Van Houten, and also with Mark Steiner featuring The Work that Reconnects founded by Joanna Macy, Nature and Soul work founded by Bill Plotkin, Brian Swimme's Evolutionary Cosmology studies, and the Awakening the Dreamer series. She has worked with the Hosparus Bereavement Center, and Choose Well to provide expressive therapy and guided imagery for adults. She is working with Louisville's Compassionate Community, having signed on with the worldwide Charter of Compassion, originated by Karen Armstrong.  Marilyn specializes in guided imagery, expressive therapy and the poetry of the mystics in her psychospiritual work with groups.


Living a Visionary Life

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