The setting for the summer intensive is quite idyllic. Peaceful, fog shrouded mornings, followed by mountain-breeze-filled, sunny afternoons, pleasant evenings with chilly nights. I will try to post pictures soon.
For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I did training with Myrna Martin and there were 12 of us participants, along with 3 teaching assistants plus the 2 head teachers (Myrna and Ken). You can find her site here: http://www.myrnamartin.net
Looking out over the valley each morning, the large mountains of the Kootenai Lake valley were opposite us. They were about 5 to 6,000 feet high with evergreen trees rising up their steep slopes, usually to the top. Further in the distance, rising slightly above the northern, closer peaks were higher mountains still. The Kokanee Glacier lay hidden behind those, about 30 km away or more. The guys (myself included) would hike around that Glacier park during the middle weekend.
The three of us males were down from the main house. I stayed in a large dome type set-up – not quite a tent, but not quite a permanent structure either. I had one dome-mate and there was plenty of space for both of us. We each had a twin mattress and boxsprings to sleep on, along with piles of blankets which I actually needed during some of the chillier nights.
Ken and Myrna are really big about living greener lifestyles, so they grow a lot of their own food – they had blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, sea buckthorn berries, pears, plums and more. Most of these were ripe while I was there (definitely recommend being there in August!!).
Walking further up the hill, above the main house, is the “super dome” as some of us called it. They have a large dome structure, similar in material to the residential domes, but the large dome could easily hold 30 people, seated. They had a screen and a projector there, where they would show birth videos, yoga videos and power point presentations, etc.
It was definitely more rustic! We used composting toilets every day – these were actually buckets that we put peat moss on each time we went to the bathroom. They were emptied every day. The warm showers were nice but most mornings I would step out of the shower into a chilly morning, so it was refreshing and occasionally bittersweet.
They have beautiful gardens scattered all over their property. They must have had two dozen cherry tomato plants as well, so these were always available to snack on – right off the vine! Plus they had a large fountain with a Buddha and Kuan Yin statue nearby – very serene and perfect for their intention. In addition to that, they also had a hot tub! I watched the sun set several times from the hot tub. It was the perfect way to rest sore muscles after a mid-day hike.
And speaking of hiking, my dome was close to the gate which was down at the end of their driveway. And beyond that, I could be on a hiking trail within minutes! It was so nice to head up the mountain and explore the dozens of hiking trails. I’m good in the woods and with direction, so I was never concerned about getting lost.
In fact, one day I took off intending to discover a loop trail. I knew generally where it was and where it led to, but I did not know how long it would take. Therefore I was jogging half the time. I was later told it was close to 6 km long and I somehow finished it in under 30 minutes! It was very steep coming down though!
There were several cats on the property which was nice. They sort of broke up the intensity of sitting with my psychological, developmental stuff. I could just pick up a cat and have good company in my lap for a short time!
They were having issues with their internet, so it was perfect. It was one of my intentions to have less screen time and I think for the entire 2 weeks I had about 20 – 30 minutes of internet, email checking time. And of my goodness, it was refreshing to be away from Facebook for 2 weeks as well (especially with all the polarizing political garbage going on).
They are up in the mountains, so bears are a potential issue. Therefore they have an electric fence around their property. There was one day that a bear cub somehow shimmied over a gate and was eating blue berries. Ken had to chase him out with a shovel. Fortunately we did not see that cub’s mother! And I went for at least six different hikes while I was up there and never saw a bear while hiking. I did make noises every 10 yards or so, knowing I was hiking alone, I did not want to startle a bear or a coyote. Rather have them know I was coming and mosey on out of my way 🙂
All in all, they have set up and created the ideal space for a process workshop. Negative ions from the woods which surround their property, lots and lots of views of nature and mountains and flowers abound. And they must have at least half a dozen statues of Kuan Yin scattered throughout their property.