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Calendar of Events - International Pilgrimages

Costa Rican Pacific Coast - 12 Day Sacred Passage Solo Quest & Nature Retreat, Osa Peninsula
Central America ( 2/05/2014 - 2/16/2014 )
International Pilgrimages
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage
Tai Chi Training

Come explore the depths of your True Nature in relationship with one of the most beautiful tropical rainforest wilderness areas in Central America, the Osa Peninsula. This 12-day, all inclusive, Sacred Passage has been uniquely designed to bring you into deeper communion with inner and outer Nature - helping you realize greater vitality, purpose, and authenticity in your life.

The Passage Program begins with 3 days of our unique Way of Nature Awareness Training, followed by 7 days of safe, nurturing alone time in nature, and concludes with 2 days of additional training, heart-opening group sharing and learning powerful approaches to integrating the insights and transformational breakthroughs you have accomplished. The Awareness Training will include instruction in our 12 unique universal principles of meditation in Nature, qi gong, t'ai chi, GaiaFlow Movement System and sensing awareness practices - along with unique teachings designed to support the specilal needs of each of the participants in the group. The intent of the Awareness Training is to give participants the tools to deeply relax, cultivate a profund level of presence and enter a heightened state of pure Source awareness. These tools are immensely useful during your alone (AllOne) time. Some of the alone time sites are located along miles of pristine, solitary, private beaches along Osa Peninsula's Pacific Coast. The wilderness alone time gives you the opportunity to let go of everyday distractions, stress, and social identity, while bringing rejuvenation, relaxation, and an authentic uncovering of your True Self. During this time you will have the support of beautiful and pristine wilderness to help you cleanse, invigorate and enjoy the exploration of Self and connections to Nature's creations. Upon re-entry from the solo immersion we guide you through a unique integration process so that you may bring the gifts received from this experience into your everyday life.

In the 30 years these programs have been run, participants have found their experience to be rejuvinating, deeply transformative and insightful; many report experiencing positive changes in their careers, relationships, and personal lives. The Sacred Passage and other Way of Nature programs have shown that when we relax and become present to the great mystery of life, our lives become enriched with beauty and an experience of profound harmony.

To register and for costs and more information please contact and

Price will include transportation to and from San Jose, organic meals, and lodging.

Early bird discount of $200 if you register before November 30, 2013.
Receive $100 off if you bring a friend.

Teacher: John P. Milton
Guide: Jennifer Menke


Nature Quest on Espiritu Santo Island, Sea of Cortez, 7 Day Program
Mexico ( 3/06/2014 - 3/12/2014 )
International Pilgrimages
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage

Immerse yourself in a sacred journey to Baja California's wild, beautiful Espiritu Santo Island, a World Heritage Trust Bio-Reserve in the luminous Sea of Cortez. This Nature Quest will be the Way of Nature's first program at Espiritu Santo Island and in the Sea of Cortez. We will also spend time in the lovely historic town of La Paz (The Peace), the capital city of Baja California del Sur. Our Nature and Source Awareness Training will be based in this tropical, dramatically beautiful coastal area. The La Paz area contains natural oasis' of tropical gardens with palms, mangos, papayas, bananas and citrus - local gardens will provide us with our own fresh fruit and the local Cortez Sea will support us with delicious local seafood during John's Awareness Training, before and after the coastal wilderness solos.

This program's Nature and Awareness Training will share extensive teachings on John's universal 12 Principles for Natural Liberation: a direct path to enlightenment that honors the essence of all the world’s great liberating traditions. He will also teach practices that open profound connections to Source Awareness, Nature and the Elements. The integrated solo time allows for a great deepening of these practices and will be a heart-opening and soul-enlivening experience.

Your solo is on a secluded beach, often in a beautiful cove enclosed by hills, bluffs and mountains. People are visited by friendly whales and dolphins during their solo. Bird life abounds, and a sparkling Sea of Cortez inspires communion with the depth of your Being. Watching the sunsets from these secluded beaches is incredible. From each solo site, clear skies stretch out over the vastness of the Sea and Sky - opening your Heart and merging your Spirit with sky and ocean's spaciousness and light.

Guides: John P Milton, Jennifer Menke and Brad Kahland
Teacher: John P. Milton

For pricing, more program information and to register, contact:


John P Milton European Tour - May, June, July 2014
Europe ( 5/25/2014 - 7/03/2014 )
International Pilgrimages
Organizational Training
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage
Tai Chi Training
Workshops and Custom Retreats

May 25th - 28th - Hunebed, Netherlands - Nature Quest program with a 48 hour solo

May 30th - 31st - Central Netherlands - Natural Renewal program

June 1st - Holland - Evening fundraising event

June 2nd - Holland - A 1 day Organizational Leadership Program

(Please contact Annemieke Wiercx for more information regarding the Netherlands and Holland programs -

June 4th - London - Qigong / internal alchemy program

June 7th and 8th - London - 2 day program with Responsible Business Masters community

June 9th - London - 1 day workshop with the Responsible Leadership Forum

(Please contact Andres Roberts for more information regarding UK programs - or visit

June 12th - 22nd - Pyrenees - John will conduct an 11 day Sacred Passage in the Pyrenees Mountains with Manex Ibar and Way of Nature Pyrennes.

(Please contact Manex Ibar for more information regarding Pyrenees Sacred Passage- or visit

June 23rd - 25th - Tallberg, Sweden - John will teach a "How to Meditate in Nature" program with Mind House

(For more information contact Goran Gennvi or visit

June 27th - July 4th - North Central Sweden - John and Goran Gennvi will conduct a Nature Quest in traditional Sami territory with Way of Nature Scandinavia and Mind House

(For more information contact Goran Gennvi


St. Francis and the Way of Nature Pilgrimage & Nature Retreat
Europe ( 10/19/2014 - 10/25/2014 )
International Pilgrimages

Bart's recent description of our unique retreat:

"After a literally wonderful Sacred Passage in Crestone Colorado, summer 2011, John and I had an inspiring conversation about my experiences during the solo. One of the other things I mentioned was that I have organized and facilitated several retreats in Assisi (It) inspired by the life and work of Saint Francis of Assisi. We discovered that we both are great admirers of Saint Francis.
This was the moment we first considered giving a retreat together in Assisi (It). And now we want to let you know that we have decided that this unique retreat is going to take place, starting Monday October 1st and ending on Sunday October 7th 2012."

"Saint Francis (1182 – 1226) and the Way of Nature:

Saint Francis lived in a period as turbulent as our present days. There were many radical changes on an individual as well as on a societal level. Similar to Saint Francis we pose ourselves essential questions and we encounter turning points. To stay connected to his Source he frequently went into the woods and the mountains for a solo period to pose himself so called ‘slow questions’ such as:
• What is really essential in my life and work?
• What are the basic values I want to build my life and work on?
• What is it that I have to do in the here and now?
The way Saint Francis coped with interacting events made him a colorful man. Determined, convincing and joyful he looked for answers and found them. More than once this brought him to important turning points in his life. He was an absolute master of living with form and formlessness. The value of Saint Francis’ message has proved to be permanent. That’s why we westerners find inspiration by the mystic, Saint Francis. Where John is the founder of the Way of Nature, we might call Saint Francis the godfather."

John and I are working on the program at the moment. It will be an integrated mixture of ‘the Way of Nature’ teachings and the retreats I have facilitated in Assisi before. The program will contain:
• Meditations
• Open-ended inquiries
• John's 6 core principles of Natural Liberation
• Visits to holy places where important turning points in the life of Saint Francis took place
• Solo’s in nature: connecting inner and outer nature
• Silent walks on Franciscan paths

Saint Francis had a very strong connection with nature as demonstrated in the Canticle of the Sun, also known as the Laudes Creaturarum (Praise of the Creatures). It is a religious song he composed shortly before he died and it is believed to be among the first works of literature, if not the first, written in the Italian language. The first time the Canticle was sung in its entirety was by Saint Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions, on his deathbed.
The Canticle of the Sun in its praise of God, thanks Him for such creations as “Brothers Wind and Air”, "Sister Water", "Brother Fire" and “Mother Earth”. Saint Francis also often referred to animals and plants as brothers and sisters to Mankind. There are beautiful stories about how he related to animals. A good example is the story of the wolf of Gubbio."

A voluptuous landscape fixed at the heart of the country, hill tops adorned with century-old towns and villages, rich in agriculture and tradition, is Italy's green beauty, Umbria. We are exploring good places to stay at the moment, close to the city of Assisi."

St. Francis' "Canticle of The Sun" summarizes the heart essence of this retreat:

"Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in his entire splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve him with great humility."

Description, cost and booking details to be listed soon. Hosted and taught jointly by Bart Schalkx and John P. Milton.

To view a series of Bart's wonderful photos taken at Assisi, go to Photo Gallery at the top banner of this website and open "Europe," then the Assisi section.

For more information contact:


Flinders Island, Australia 10-day Sacred Passage
Pacific Basin ( 11/08/2014 - 11/17/2014 )
International Pilgrimages
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage
Tai Chi Training

Sponsored by The Way of Nature - Australia, this Sacred Passage Awareness Training teaching and solo experience will be conducted on pristine privately owned land on Flinders Island, a magical, and completely unspoiled place in the Bass Strait, north of Tasmania, Australia.
The verdant, lush setting, with mountain water streams running through, is bounded by national parks and the ocean and situated at the intersection of powerful Ley (energy) Lines that reach across our planet. Mount Strzelecki soars to the East, and the land opens out to the Bass Strait and magnificent sunsets to the west. Wildlife abounds – Flinders Island is home to between 5 and 15 times as much wildlife as the rest of Tasmania and the Australian mainland. You will be joined by wallabies, wombats, wonderful birdlife, and much more.
Join us for 10 days of reflection and growth, immersed in nature, supported with contemplative practices from ancient eastern and indigenous traditions.
The full program takes 10 days, the first and last days being traveling days. The first two days of teaching include learning about the Way of Nature, based on John’s book, Sky Above Earth Below, as well as Qi Gong and contemplative practices that will be of benefit in the following days.
Flinders Island is easily accessible by plane, via Melbourne or Sydney.

Listed dates are tentative. Please contact Way of Nature Australia ( for current updates.

Guide and Teacher: John P. Milton

For more information and pricing, please go to or email

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


Whale Encounter Pilgrimage, Magdalena Bay, Baja California - 5 Days, Exact Days To Be Announced
Mexico ( 2/05/2015 - 2/09/2015 )
International Pilgrimages

Over the years, many on Sacred Passage in Baja California have experienced the wonderful presence of gray whales passing their solo sites. This year we honor these amazing beings with a special five-day guided trip to Magdalena Bay. In the warm and protected waters of Magdalena Bay, gray whale calves remain in close contact with their mothers while they grow large enough to migrate north. A surreal landscape of huge sand dunes and desert mountains surrounds this whale nursery, providing a dramatic backdrop as we witness these wise beings roll in the sea, spyhop, and tend to their young. Huge numbers of migratory birds, and dolphins also congregate here. Magdalena Bay is ranked by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the nine most important coastal habitats in all of Mexico.

We will enjoy a guided bay tour in small skiffs with many chances for an unforgettable close encounters with magnificent gray whales. It is not unusual for the whales to come quite close to the boats. We will also paddle kayaks through mangrove estuaries rich with wildlife, and explore towering sand dunes along miles of unspoiled beaches. Brad is an experienced ocean kayaking guide with extensive experience leading kayaking journeys in many of Baja's bays and lagoons, and in California's Monterray Bay and Tomales Bay.

Our comfortable base camp is situated on a secluded beach, and the trip price includes all base camp food and cooking, camp set-up, walk-in tents with sleeping cots and sleeping bags, camping showers, and helpful naturalist guides.

Evening guide-led talks about the whales and wildlife of the area will broaden our perspective. John will teach on GaiaFlow, Qigong and the Way of Nature's unique Nature Perception Awareness Training process as a way of deepening and integrating our meditative communion with the whales.

Transportation from Todos Santos or La Paz by van is included in the trip price.

Cost: $1250.00

Guides: John P. Milton, Brad Kahland & Jenny Menke


World Nature Quest: 9 Day World Nature Quest & Way of Nature Guide Training, in Sweden's Samiland
Europe ( 6/06/2015 - 6/14/2015 )
Intermediate Awareness Training
International Pilgrimages
Qi Gong Training
Sacred Passage
Tai Chi Training
Workshops and Custom Retreats

This 9 Day Nature Quest GuideTraining, led by John P. Milton and Goran Gennvi, includeses a Naturequest Solo and Meditation Retreat in one of the world's most beautiful and spectacular natural areas .

This 9 day Nature Quest marks Sweden's yearly participation in the second World Nature Quest process. World Nature Quest is designed to be held simultaneously around the world in different ecoregions, sharing training, re-entry and concluding celebrations. The concluding celebration will be part of our re-entry from solo time on the last evening of the program. That evening and the following morning will be devoted to sharing, worldwide, a giving of thanks back to Nature and Gaia for the support of all life As to location, this Retreat will embrace the vast spaces and natural luminosity of the traditional Sami back country. The land and John's unique training will integrate to support the special practices he will be teaching - an inner cultivation that will help us to recognize the Primordial Awareness that underlies all our Being._This 9 Day Awareness Training, Nature Quest Solo and Meditation Retreat will bring our AAT Community together in one of the world's most beautiful and spectacular natural areas - A perfect location for Sweden's participation in this global event.

In order to connect deeply with the dozens of other groups gathered around the world for this simultaneous retreat, at sunset of the final day we will gather for Earth-centered Tonglen and Rainbow Light Meditations. In the early morning, ideally at sunrise, on the final morning, we will perform the Eleven Direction Ceremony in a spirit of Thanksgiving from our species to Mother Earth for all She has done to nurture and support all of life, including human existence.

Before the solos, some of the John and Goran's Awareness Training will focus on the "Sensing" Practices that are essential to deepening and refining One's experience of connection to, and communion with, all life. A second part of this retreat will help establish direct recognition of pure Source Awareness. John will build on the Dzogchen teachings that he has provided in earlier Retreats. As a key resource, John will emphasize teachings from the great Dzogchen master, Longchenpa. Longchenpa’s teachings hold some of the purest teachings on the Way of Natural Perfection. John will also teach on a series of Dzogchen practices to clear, open and empower our internal energy channels. Half our teaching time will be devoted to both of these extraordinary Teachings.
The retreat will also emphasize some of John's teachings on Taoist Internal Alchemy. He will select from some of the following: Opening the Micro and Macrocosmic Orbit Circulations, and a new series of Qi (Chi) Energy Cultivation practices that help with the conversion from Jing to Qi, from Qi to Shen (Spirit) and from Shen to Wuji. Overall, the Advanced Awareness Training emphasis in 2008 and 2009 will include a significant emphasis on cultivating Internal Energy through a series of esoteric yet very practical both Taoist and Dzogchen techniques.
Daily T'ai Chi for Enlightenment training on form will also be included. Also, daily "Sensing Hands/Push hands' practice will be taught. John will also teach on the linkages between these Taoist practices and Tibetan Buddhist, Bon, Native American, and Dzogchen teachings and practices.

We will also go deeper with Teachings on GaiaFlow, and refining how the principles of T'ai Chi and Qi Gong Training apply to deepening GaiaFlow practice. John will also share his series of dyadic (two-person) practices that he designed to realize Source in each other, as well as in Oneself, in close relationship. This series of practices could be described as interpersonal Dzogchen, with an applied continuing view of Source as the basis for all relationships and their changes.

There will be four days of wilderness solo to cultivate these advanced practices during this retreat. The whole focus is on the teachings and the chance for individual meditation retreat practice in the solitude of the wilderness.

All are welcome to attend this retreat.

For more information on the broader World Nature Quest event, go to:

For more information and to register contact Goran Gennvi:
Telephone: +46 8 716 3677


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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