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Calendar of Events - Advanced Awareness Training

Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado, Sacred Land Sanctuary - 16 Day Advanced Awareness Training & Nature Quest Guide Training
Colorado ( 8/02/2014 - 8/17/2014 )
Advanced Awareness Training

Our summer 2014, 16 Day session of John's combined Advanced Awareness Training and Nature Quest Level Guide Training & Certification will be held in one of North America's most powerful and ancient sacred places: Crestone and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado. This Advanced Training will be open to anyone who has done at least one Sacred Passage with John before, or equivalent nature-based meditation retreat work with another teacher. Both Advanced Awareness Training Cycles 3 and 4 are encouraged to attend this AAT Summer Retreat.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Sacred Land Sanctuary and Crestone are among North America's most powerful and ancient sacred places. Our alpine skies are vast, clear and spacious. No urban pollution mars the mountains or our lungs. The Way of Nature group training and solo sites are very easy to access with a short walk at 8500 feet. Towering above our solo camps are five 14,000-foot summits that lift above the land here - a dramatic mountain panorama rivaling the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Lovely groves of large ponderosas, aspen and cottonwood line the mountain streams; open savannahs of juniper and pinyon pine spread right up to the base of the mountains. Higher up, forests of bristlecone pine, spruce and fir clothe the slopes below the rugged, cliffy peaks. During your Awareness Training and solo you share the land with mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, pronghorn antelope and beautiful black fox squirrels. Bird life abounds and Eagles circle above. A large, beautiful stream flows for more than a mile across our private, protected land where we do the Advanced Awareness Training. The stream flows crystal clear and provides superb, revitalizing drinking water for all of us, where we do our eight days of solo and eight days of Advanced Training.

For deepening our study and training together, this protected land is ideal.

In the late 1970's, John moved to Crestone and was the initial discoverer of the ancient stone meditation seats that fill the land here. An estimated two thousand such sacred stone meditation seats cluster on the Sacred Land Sanctuary area, the largest aggregation of such sacred sites in the world. Working with Threshold's Sacred Land Sanctuary Project, The Way of Nature is fund-raising to preserve these extraordinary sites in perpetuity. Meanwhile, those of you who choose to do the Advanced Awareness Training and Nature Solo here are the beneficiaries; beneficiaries of deep immersion in the Sacred View that is profoundly supported by this amazing land and its stone seats. These special sites have been used for millennia for vision questing, ceremony and prayer. Your pilgrimage here to do Advanced Training is part of that great lineage of the Land.

Native peoples trace back their vision questing and sacred ceremony here for over 15,000 years. An ancient indigenous name for this place is "The Corridor of Visions." Virtually all of the Advanced Training is done within the area of the "Sacred Land Sanctuary" (also known locally as "Gaia Sanctuary") just north of Crestone.

This summer we will emphasize a variety of themes:
 a special Advanced Awareness Training on Shamanism - shared in a way that will be accessible to all who come, from beginners to experienced shamanic practitioners. The liberating aspect of shamanic training we will explore focuses on how to deepen the experience of the connection-communion-union-mandala-resting in Source Sequence as the foundation for accessing liberating shamanic wisdom. John will also teach much more deeply on the system of Sacred Movement that is unique to the Way of Nature: GaiaFlow. He will also share a unique form of North American Geomancy and shamanism based on the ancient meditation seats and "power places" of the Crestone area; we will learn how to cultivate universal energy and spiritual insight with the support of these extraordinary sacred sites. Other themes that will be explored include: Taoist energy cultivation and inner alchemy practices for physical longevity and spiritual realization; and cultivating Advanced meditation practices from Taoism, Dzogchen and Vedanta to help realize Primordial Awareness, the unchanging Natural State that is the very root of our Being. To assist in this, the third text on "Enchantment" from the great Tibetan Master Longchenpa's "Kindly Bent to Ease Us," will be the main focus of our Source Awareness Study Group for this retreat.

$2880 fee.
Teacher: John P. Milton

Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado - Long Mountain Retreats: 28 Day Intermediate Awareness Training or 44 Day Advanced Awareness Training
Colorado ( 8/18/2014 - 9/14/2014 )
Advanced Awareness Training

This summer's Intermediate and Advanced Awareness Trainings include powerful, Heart-opening 28 or 44 Day deep solos and personalized Awareness Trainings. Because these Trainings are such profound transformational processes, John recommends that only those consider doing the 44 Day Advanced Training who have completed most of last five years of Advanced Training Sessions with him. Those who have completed the earlier two cycles of Advanced Awareness Trainings with him are also welcome to apply. These two programs are essential components of The Way of Nature's Guide Training, certification and licensing for both NatureQuests (the 28 day solo) and Sacred Passages (the 44 Day solo).

John's Awareness Training time is integrated into both the 28 and 44 day mountain retreats. John will include weekly personalized training with each individual doing either mountain retreat.

Preparation for the powerful 44 Day retreat should include deep cultivation of all the practices taught during the five years of prior Advanced Awareness Training. This spiritual training and practice should include our past work done in Dzogchen, Bon, Buddhism, Taoism, Tantra, Native American Way, Shamanism, Vedanta - and the special training given to open the deeper levels of the Twelve Principles of Natural Liberation.

This 44 Day Mountain Retreat is an essential part of the Advanced Awareness Training.

Those interested in doing either the 28 Day Intermediate Training, or 44 Day Advanced Training Solos this year, (both are normally held in Crestone during mid-summer), should contact John directly to make special arrangements this year. The 28 Day Retreat is open to all who have done at least one full Sacred Passage with John. The 44 Day Mountain Retreat is open to all who have previously done the 28 Day Solo Retreat or the equivalent, and completed a substantial amount of the Advanced Awawreness Training Programs. John reserves the right to determine whether you are properly prepared for the deep transformational processes of either Program.

Allocating ideal space for the long mountain retreats, solos and vision quests are challenging since good long-term sites are limited, and we will be offering both 28 Day and 44 Day Awareness Training Retreat Programs. Therefore, be sure to contact us as soon as possible if you want to do either the 28 Day or 44 Day Retreat this year.

Both the 28 Day and 44 Day Mountain Retreats will be carried out in dramatically beautiful higher elevation mountain areas, between 10,000 and 12,000 feet. Surrounding peaks often lift to over 14,000 feet. Native peoples trace back their vision questing and sacred ceremony in these same places for over 15,000 years. Doing our longer Intermediate and Advanced Awareness Trainings here will join you with those who have entered the Sacred Way on this land over many thousands of years. This sacred land offers profound communion with Mother Earth, birthing of powerful joy and a deep, opening realization of Source Awareness itself.

$2880 fee for the 44 Day Program.
$2550 fee for the 28 Day Program
Teacher and Guide: John P. Milton


Sacred Island of Bali - 16 Day Advanced Awareness Training & Pilgrimage (Open to all)
Asia ( 11/22/2014 - 12/07/2014 )
Advanced Awareness Training
Intermediate Awareness Training
International Pilgrimages
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage
Tai Chi Training
Workshops and Custom Retreats

Join us on a 15 day Advanced Awareness Training and Pilgrimage to magical, sacred Bali. Our teacher and guide, John Milton, has led pilgrimage and done spiritual practice here over many years. The extraordinarily friendly people of this amazing Hindu island culture have preserved one of Southeast Asia's most deeply spiritual ways of life. We will immerse ourselves deeply in Bali's ceremonies, sacred temples and incredibly beautiful landscapes. Our Balinese friends will share their secrets to opening a life of harmony, ceremony, beauty and sacredness in every step.

In addition, John will teach his carefully-developed system of Qi Gong for health, for revitalization, for building powerful life force and for spiritual development. Qi Gong, which is a major foundation of Chinese health care, is easy to learn, safe for all ages, and fun to practice. John will also teach on Taoist Internal Alchemy - a spectrum of powerful practices for spiritual illumination at the heart of the Taoist Path. Additional teachings on Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu will complement the strong immersion in Taoist cultivation at this retreat. John will also share meditations from his extensive background training in the meditation practices of many traditions. With John's 12 Principles for Spiritual Cultivation as our guide, each day we will devote at least three hours to learning and cultivating complementary forms of Qi Gong, Advanced Taoist Yoga, Dzogchen, Tantra and practices from other meditation systems.

Devotional cultivation of the path to the Divine Feminine will be an important part of our Bali Retreat. This will focus on honoring of Kali, Durga and Bagalama through ceremony, prayer, mantra and meditation as part of our deep exploration and cultivation of the Divine Feminine.

John is keeping this pilgrimage-based Advanced Retreat open to those new students who are either joining the Advanced Awareness training for the first time, to students who have done training or Passages with John before, and to those wanting to experience deep Pilgrimage on this extraordinarily sacred island.

With the help of the rich tradition of spiritual teachers from Bali, we will also delve deeply into the ceremonies, practices and modes of spiritual cultivation of the remarkable Balinese People. In particular, we will discover the Balinese mastery of bringing the Sacred View into every aspect of everyday life - and explore how to create this spiritual harmony in our own lives, wherever we are.

$1600 Fee for John's Teaching
(meals, housing & land transport costs shared upon request)
teacher: John P. Milton


Canyonlands River Journey, Utah - 12 Day Redrock Canyon San Juan River Pilgrimage & Advanced Awareness Training Retreat
Arches and Canyonlands-SW USA ( 4/24/2015 - 5/05/2015 )
Advanced Awareness Training
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage
Workshops and Custom Retreats

This AAT is open to anyone who would like to participate; although this is an Advanced Training, the level of the training will allow anyone interested in these themes to participate without difficulty. Teachings will focus on John's unique GaiaFlow movement system and on how to cultivate the shamanic approaches to working with the elements of water, wood, fire, stone (metal), earth, and space. We are excited to announce we have recently obtained our official river permit for this limited access wilderness river. This is the first time we have integrated a spectacular river pilgrimage with our Advanced Awareness Training Process. The lower San Juan River Canyon is a land of bighorn sheep, peregrine falcons, and soaring redrock cliffs that lay bare many million years of geologic history. This dramatic canyon feeds directly into the upper Grand Canyon matrix and has very similar views and perspectives. We will float through time and space on a grand scale. This river is one of the major tributaries of the Grand Canyon. In summary, our voyage supports the opening of vast inner and outer space as we flow through the redrock terrain. The journey is outfitted with river rafts, and the river rating is beginner to intermediate with full instruction and support for beginners. John, who has run the entire Grand Canyon in a life vest and rowboat, will be assisted by river guides who have experience with this river, including Brad Kahland. We will balance on-water time with time in beach camps for teachings and fellowship. The middle of the training will include a 4-night red rock canyon solo to cultivate and ground the teachings. Space is limited to 10 participants for this exceptional journey, and advance reservation of river permit and rafting equipment is required, so please register by April 1. Because we have only recently won our difficult to obtain BLM lottery permit for our ideal chosen dates for the San Juan River trip, we must now pay for the exact number of participants by March 25; we have booked some extra still available spaces for latecomers so please complete your bookings with us as soon as possible. Thank you!

For those of you who have already booked this pilgrimage, please contact Sheila at our main office and send in your full river trip fee to paypal ASAP - we need to hire the assistant guides, rafts, duckies, life vests, cooking facilities, and other equipment by no later than late March, so your funds are needed to accomplish this.

On this sacred pilgrimage we will include ceremony, practice and meditation. We will also learn spiritual and energy practices from a wide variety of sources during our extraordinary journey.

During this retreat, John will emphasize the mutual exploration of shamanic energy and spirit/soul cultivation techniques from both the Tibetan Bonpo Shamanic practices of working with the elements as well as from the Taoist traditions of China - particularly emphasizing Qigong and T'ai Chi. The integrated exploration of these shamanic paths should be a unique, remarkable process. John will also emphasize the practice of GaiaFlow, a liberating system of movement unique to The Way of Nature.

For full details on this superb pilgrimage contact Brad Kahland at:

Fee: $2250

Logistics Coordinator: Brad Kahland

Guide and Teacher:

John P. Milton


Nepal Pilgrimage - 16 Day Pilgrimage & Advanced Awareness Training Retreat
Asia ( 10/24/2015 - 11/08/2015 )
Advanced Awareness Training
International Pilgrimages

This sacred journey to Nepal will emphasize the study and cultivation of Tibet's and Nepal's Dzogchen Teachings, from both Nyingma and Bon sources, - one of the most profound paths to full Liberation available on Earth. Our practice will be integrated with pilgrimage to many sites sacred to Dzogchen practitioners, both Bonpo, Kagyu, Gelugpa and Nyingma. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and Yeshe Tsogyal spent much time here, and considered many valleys in the Nepalese Himalaya to be some of the region's important sacred "Hidden Lands." Many great Bon Dzogchen masters cultivated profound recognition of the Natural State in Dolpo's (central/west Nepalese Himalaya) vast wildernness areas. During our last Advanced Awareness Training Retreat in Sikkim's Himalaya Mountains in the Spring of 2007, we completed pilgrimage to many sacred caves, mountains, lakes, rivers and valleys to do deep practice. We will continue this sacred tradition on this extraordinary 2012 pilgrimage and Advanced Training to the Nepalese Himalaya with John. The retreat will be open to all who have completed at least one major Way of Nature Programs with him as the teacher, such as a Sacred Passage, Nature Quest or Advanced Training Retreat.

Nepal is gifted with many of the world's greatest sacred mountains, such as Sagarmatha(Everest), Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. These spectacular, massive mountains are over 26,000 feet high. Nearby Kanchenjunga at over 28,000 feet translates as "Five treasuries of the Great Snow." Many have tried to capture its presence in words, for example, here is a quote from the book Everest, The Challenge: "Kanchenjunga is the very queen of mountains. The view of it from Darjeeling is the finest in the world. No other can compete with it." In sharing an experience in his mountain cave from his last Nepalese solo mountain retreat overlooking Kanchenjunga, John Milton noted: "this great sacred peak lifts One's eyes into the vastness of the sky, where form itself dissolves into rainbows..."

This Pilgrimage and Advanced Awareness Training will be focusing on powerful methods to recognize Primordial Source Awareness. The openness, spaciousness and clarity of sky, combined with the stillness,silence and powerfully spacious spiritual presence of the Himalayan Mountains will be a tremendous support to our practice here.

John will select the precise itinerary for this pilgrimage several months prior to departure; he will develop the route and program in consultion with the Pilgrimage Planning Group mentioned below; the Pilgrimage Planning Group will be voluntarily composed of members of the pilgrimage group doing the program. This AAT will include a solo mountain retreat in the Himalaya Mountains, with food, water, and shelter provided by local Nepalese guides, sherpas, cooks and porters trained by John. Food and gear will also be transported with the help of local mountain porters. In the 1960's, 1970,s and 1980's, John lived and worked extensively in Nepal, helping set up National Parks, Wildlife Refuges and forest preserves. During this time, he studied with a number of Himalayan Masters from Buddhist, Hindu, Tantric and Shamanic lineages. He has also led and taught numerous mountain retreats in many different parts of the Nepal Himalaya.

$1440 fee for contributions to Fellowship expenses & John's Teachings. Meals, housing & transport will be organized by a self-selected AAT Pilgrimage community group.
Teacher: John P. Milton

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