AitW Europe: Teacher Training

Current Training: September 2023 – July 2024

Registration Closed: At Capacity

AitW Teacher Training

Become a Nature Meditation Teacher

Current Training: September 2023 – July 2024

Registration Closed: At Capacity

The Awake in the Wild Teacher Training is an in-depth facilitator training in nature meditation. The training is inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature meditation wilderness retreats that he has been leading internationally for over twenty years. It also draws on his first book Awake in the Wild which lays out the path of nature immersive practice. Mark’s work is inspired by his decades of study and teaching within various Buddhist traditions. Mark is passionate about sharing this cherished work with dedicated practitioners so that they can continue to pass on these profound tools and practices.

This training is for those who care deeply about the Earth, have a strong dharma-meditation practice, and want to share nature-based meditation and practice with others in the outdoors. It is also for people who want to deepen their own nature meditation practice and who wish to immerse in a rich learning community for a year.

Those who enter the training will join a very vibrant and alive teaching community that has grown to 90+ Awake in the Wild trained teachers from around the world. No matter your intention for joining, everyone will discover how cultivating an embodied awareness, sensory attention, and meditative presence outdoors, opens your heart to a deeper love and connection to yourself, each other, and to all life on earth.

Training Dates and Locations

Over the course of a year, there will be 4 week-long immersive retreats. These retreats are where you will receive experiential training in the essentials of what an Awake in the Wild program is, how to guide nature-based meditations and how to lead a variety of mindful nature programs and practices in the outdoors.

The following dates are when the four immersive retreats will take place:

  • September 12-18, 2023| Dartmoor, Devon, England (Link)
  • December 12-18, 2023 | Jérica, Castellón, Spain (Link)
  • April 9-15, 2024 |Savoie. France (Link)
  • July 2-8, 2024 | Ostana CN, Italy (Link)

In addition to the four retreats, there will also be monthly tutorials,  small group meetings, personal nature-based contemplative practice, book readings and study, and a teaching practicum.

Training Schedule

What to Expect

The Schedule of Activities

Students are expected to participate in the following activities:

  • The study of mindfulness-based nature meditation
  • Four weeklong, immersive study retreats in nature
  • Monthly online tutorials with Mark and faculty
  • Monthly small group meetings and a collegial learning community
  • A teaching practicum and teaching practice
  • Mentoring and supervision by Mark and faculty

Training Outcomes

The AitW Teacher Training will empower you to:

  • Skillfully teach mindfulness in nature in a variety of formats
  • Organize and facilitate nature classes, courses, and immersive retreats
  • Navigate the unique challenges of teaching nature-based meditation
  • Mindfully work with diverse populations
  • Integrate the reality of the ecological crisis into your teachings with compassion

Acquired Skills

Costs of Training

Tuition, Retreats, and Other Costs

Tuition is €4495, which does not include the costs associated with each retreat. Each retreat will cost roughly €450. This estimate excludes travel costs and depends on location and your choice of accommodations (tent camping will be less expensive than cabin choices).

Monthly payment plans are available. If you think you might be in need of a custom payment plan, please indicate that in the last question on the application form, and please give us a sense of what would be within your means.

Application Process

The application asks for specifics on your meditation practice, your retreat experiences, your teaching experiences, and your intentions in taking the training. You can download a copy of this application to use a worksheet or if you are experiencing technical difficulties in submitting the application.


  • Minimum three years of regular meditation practice (mindfulness-based)
  • One silent mindfulness/meditation retreat of 5-7 days or longer
  • Extensive experience being in nature


  • This is not a Wilderness Guide Training (all AITW retreats are accompanied by a certified wilderness guide)
  • This is not a mindfulness teacher training. (Applicants are expected to have a pre-existing thorough understanding of mindfulness meditation and preferably have had some experience in teaching/facilitation)
  • To teach AITW intensive silent retreats longer than a weekend, this requires individual approval from Mark. Apprenticeship for this is available on an individual basis with Mark post-graduation

Apply Today

Meet The Faculty

Mark Coleman

AitW Founder & Lead Teacher

Awake in the Wild (AitW) was founded by Mark Coleman — a leading mindfulness meditation teacher, nature guide, and author. Mark published the seminal nature meditation book, Awake in the Wild, in 2006, with an introduction by Jack Kornfield.

Mark has led AITW retreats and programs since 2003 in the U.S., Canada, Alaska, Europe, and Australia. He leads AitW teacher trainings in the U.S. and Europe. He has now trained over 90 teachers to lead their own AitW programs across the U.S, Canada, Europe, and beyond.

View His Full Bio

Lori Schwanbeck

AitW Teacher

Lori brings a unique set of skills and expertise to working with individuals and organizations. She has taught thousands of people in diverse global settings and is known for her ability to foster connection with warmth, humor and authenticity, while inspiring the best in others.

She is a senior faculty member at Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), an organization born at Google, where she mentors and trains teachers, and designs and facilitates both in-person and virtual mindfulness based emotional intelligence programs.

View Her Full Bio

Got Questions?

Ask us Anything!

If you still have questions about the training program, prerequisites,  travel components, self-study process, or anything else that might help you decide whether this training program is a fit for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to ask us for more information. We’re happy to chat. You can contact Jen, our wonderful program administrator, with any and all questions.

Frequently asked questions

In general, the time requirements increase as the training progresses and you move closer to holding your own Awake in the Wild retreat for your practicum.

You can divide up the year into three segments, each one bookended by the week-long intensive training. These retreats are where you will receive the bulk of your training from Mark and where Mark will be preparing you for the next phase of the training. Though we do record sections of the training by audio and video for you to review afterward, missing even one will severely hamper your learning process. You are expected to attend every one.

After the retreats, there will be one-hour online group meetings with Mark each month to discuss teaching topics and for the group to ask questions. You’ll be encouraged to meet with your fellow student-teachers–both through the training member-only website and directly–to discuss homework assignments and issues that come up in your own teaching: a support group that will hopefully last much longer than the training. As for those homework assignments, below is a general timeline of the homework assignments to help you better gauge the workload.

Book Readings

Retreat 1 – Intensive Training Week – September 2023

Between Retreats – September – December 2023
Online Meetings Once a Month (1 hour)
Book Reading
Group Meetings (Number and Amount in Hands of Your Group)

Retreat 2 – Intensive Training Week – December 2023

Between Retreats – December 2023 – April 2024
Online Meetings Once a Month (1 hour)
Book Reading
Short Meditation Video
Group Meetings (Number and Amount in Hands of Your Group)

Retreat 3 – Intensive Training Week – April 2024

Between Retreats – April 2024 – July 2024
Online Meetings Once a Month (1 hour)
Practicum and Teaching Video (of you doing your practicum – roughly 10 minutes of teaching a meditation topic followed by a 5-minute Q&A)
Two Essays

Retreat 4 – Intensive Training Week and Graduation – July 2024

The total tuition cost is €4495. This does not include travel, books, supplies, or the lodging and food costs of the four training retreats, which will be roughly €450 each on average (the higher end of that scale is for single accommodations in a cabin).

A €1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place in the course. Then €1748 will be due on May 1, 2023, and the second payment of €1747 will be due by July 1, 2023.

The retreat payment costs are due within two weeks of the conclusion of each retreat.

Payment plans are available.

If the original payment schedule is a financial burden, we can extend your payment plan as described below.

Option 1:

A €1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place in the course. Then, €695 will be due a month after your deposit. Starting the month after your €695 payment, a monthly payment of €400 will be due every month for the next 7 months. As a sign of your commitment to the training, instead of sending a check every month, you would send in your installment payments as postdated checks when you send in your deposit. The checks will be deposited as they become payable.

You may also pay by credit card or PayPal, but you will be charged a 3.2% or 4% respectively processing fee for each installment payment.

If this payment plan would not work within your budget, you do have another option.

Option 2:

For those with greater financial need, Mark asks that you submit 2 to 3 paragraphs describing your financial situation. Along with this statement, you should also submit a payment plan proposal of your own that will work within your budget. Mark will review your statement and proposal with your application to evaluate whether it is acceptable.

You will be camping during the majority of the retreats, either in tents or simple cabins. Below is a list of recommended items, particularly for the first retreat.

On your head:
wool hat
baseball cap, sun hat, or visor

On the top:
2 polypropylene shirts
3 t-shirts
fleece or down jacket
warm sweater for the cold nights

On the bottom:
2 nylon long pants
warm pants or thermal layer for evenings / mornings

On your feet:
2 pair wool socks
2 pair socks
hiking boots
shoes for wearing in camp

For camping:
floor tarp for tent
sleeping bag
sleeping pad / thermarest
camping pillow – can be found at camp stores

For meditation:
Zafu or thermarest back jack  (that your thermarest fits into – that’s what I use and its very comfortable)

Important Miscellaneous Items
small day pack for carrying lunch, water, etc. during day hikes
personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, etc.)
bio-degradable soap
flashlight – headlamp is ideal
cup, silverware, bowl & plate
small towel
sun block
water bottle
journal / pens
bug spray / repellent
spare batteries for headlamp

personal snacks – bars / trail mix etc.
personal teas
any special dietary foods you may need​

The costs for the retreat are to cover the rental of the location, food, supplies and any provided lodging. Since the retreats will be at different locations and we are uncertain how many people will be in the training, plus some locations allow for different types of accommodations (for example, single room, double room, or camping), the retreat costs are estimated to begin with, roughly in the €450 range.

After you have completed the training, you will be invited to affiliate with Awake in the Wild, much like you would do with any professional or medical association. The affiliation will allow you to network with other graduates of the training and include 4 online group meetings with Mark to help you continue expanding your practice and ask questions that may have come up in your teachings. You will also be offered the opportunity to enroll in online and in-person alumni retreats. The cost of affiliation is currently €125.

The apprenticeship with Mark Coleman lasts from 1-2 years, depending on how often you would be able to assist with Mark’s retreats, and is by invitation upon completion of the Awake in the Wild Teacher Training. It is an unpaid apprenticeship, but you would gain a wealth of knowledge as you assist Mark.

Depending on the retreat locations, there would be the travel and potentially some lodging costs associated with the retreats you would be apprenticing on. There would be no other fees involved.

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