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Art of Vitality 
Co-taught by Anna O'Malley, MD and James Stark

It is increasingly clear that our health and wellbeing are inextricably linked with the health of our communities and the natural world. As we navigate our post-pandemic and climate change realities, we have a unique opportunity to bring a new focus to the way we are living on this precious Earth. As we face into uncertain times, having skills in sourcing wellness from within, from relationship with nature, and from supportive relationships with each other strengthens our resilience.

Aligned with the seasons, Art of Vitality is an immersive program in transformative well-being, of vitality on a personal, interpersonal, community and ecological level. Drawing on emerging science and the essence of that which heals, we are building community around well-being, deep nature connection, and ecological consciousness.

What would our lives be like if we were living a life grounded in healing connections? How would we feel if each meal was a nourishing experience that optimized our vitality, decreased risk of disease, and contributed to a regenerative existence on this planet? What would we gain by tuning in to the rhythms of nature and our natural world? What might shift if we brought our behaviors and lives into alignment with our highest selves? What can we ripple out into our communities, centering our wellbeing on justice and equality within our human family and beyond? 

We know there is a way toward healing, wholeness and vitality, and that it starts from within. We know that living systems, including our human bodies, have tremendous regenerative potential. We know that we belong to the life-giving body of the Earth, and that remembering and reconnecting to this source renews our body, mind and spirit. We know that there is much to be done to eliminate barriers to wellbeing for all people in our communities. Building community around recognizing and dismantling structural barriers to wellbeing is a path toward healing for us all.

We invite you to join us in exploring liberating, life-affirming and life-sustaining ways of being. Drawing inspiration from time-honored wisdom, advances in integrative medicine, and nature herself, we will walk our individual and collective paths toward wellbeing.

The experience weaves reverent connection with the beautiful and inspiring nature here in the Commonweal Garden, connection with each other with movement and nature connection practices. Anna brings ecological, nature-allied, integrative medicine teachings into the curriculum. James brings his supportive elder wisdom, spiritual psychology background and permaculture skillset to the circle. We will all, together, create a nourishing, healing experience. And have a lot of fun.

Covered topics include:

  • Practices to prevent or reverse chronic disease processes by limiting inflammation and detoxifying.

  • An evaluation of the anthropomorphic (human-created) drivers of inflammation and dis-ease, and the ways in which relationship with the natural world dampens these.

  • Mind-body practices that create the relaxation response, deepen your connection to the natural world, improve health including immune function and decrease harmful stress.

  • The use of food as medicine, with chef demonstrations and medicinal pot-lucks. This will include seasonal yumminess consciously sourced from the garden and the wild nature around us, and conversation about food, culture, and regenerative and just ways of engaging this.

  • Evaluating our mental, emotional and behavioral patterns, where they come from, and how to cultivate healthy, resilient inner worlds.

  • Practices to support a healthy gut ecology, and the emerging awareness of the farm-food-gut ecological connection as pertains to health

  • Practices to support healthy sleep, including ways to attune to natural rhythms

  • Engaging and accessible yoga poses and qi gong practices

  • Self-directed, facilitated goal-setting toward behavior change with between-workshop support, partner work, and consultation.

  • Practice with honing intuition, insight and vision in living into our most resilient, vital potential, and how we can each be a stand for this sort of healing at this planetary moment.

We will come together for four weekends to explore this together. We ask that you commit to attending all four of the gatherings.

In addition to the four weekends, you will be supported between the gatherings with group Zoom calls with Anna and James, a buddy relationship to anchor you in integrating new nurturing practices, and supportive material to assist you in attaining your vision of vitality for yourself.


Staying on-site is encouraged; camping is included in the registration. 

Tuition Details:

Tuition for the year-long program (four two-day weekends with between-session support and communication) is as follows:

Early bird (before September 5): $1200

Elders, students, and non-profits: $1200

Full tuition: $1600

Limited scholarship funds are available for those in need. Priority given to BIPOC individuals.

**COVID considerations: 

As we get closer to the launch we will assess COVID safety considerations including whether testing before the weekend is needed. Immunizations are encouraged but not required.


*Please note that this event takes place on wood-chipped paths, with port-o-potties that have a step.

2023-2024 Dates: 

September 30-October 1, December 2-3, March 23-24, June 1-2

9 am Saturday through 5 pm Sunday

**Registration will open in July**

Stay tuned!


Register for Art of Vitality:


If you would like to request a scholarship or discount, please email us before registering at

Once registered will receive a followup email requesting further details relevant to the program.

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