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Elemental Medicine

co-facilitated by Spencer Nielsen and Anna O'Malley, MD

Friday, March 31 (evening) through Sunday, April 2 (afternoon)

Join us for this immersive weekend cultivating and experiencing the healing found in nature in the well-loved and tended Commonweal Garden. We will weave together a social fabric, sharing meals, stories around the fire, music and movement, while learning about and directly experiencing elements of nature-based healing practices. Your guides, Spencer and Anna, both steeped in nature-attuned healing, will bring forward perspectives from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. We will pulse between the science of our physiology and the healing effects we are experiencing, and the quieting of the mind to drop into the experience.


Wherever you are in relation to healing–whether you are healthy and wanting to optimize your vitality, are on a healing journey, or are walking the path of a healer, this program will inspire, nourish, and ground you in the healing available to us when we attune to the natural world.


Opening our senses, we will take in the medicine through herbal tea, nourishing food sourced from the garden and surrounding wilds, guided meditations in healing groves, listening to birdsong and feeling the earth beneath us. We will open our energetic channels with movement practices, including Qigong, Hatha yoga and Tsa Lung (also known as Tibetan yoga), utilizing movement and stillness to explore the anatomy of healing connection between the breath, body and mind.


Exploring the link between the health of the soil and our human bodies, we will learn foundational regenerative, ecological gardening and design principles. We will get our hands in the soil and tend the Garden. Design principles for ecological, healing oases, drawn from permaculture and the science of nature medicine, will be discussed as we move through the Garden. We will discuss applying these principles on the home scale, and participants will go home with cuttings and planted seeds to bring the experience home. 


We will be celebrating the healing power of plants through herbal and culinary medicine. We will make medicinal teas together, and you will bring home herbal medicine that you have made. Each meal will be an opportunity to explore the nourishing, healing effect that food can have on the body, with a focus on the use of spices and culinary herbs, and the creation of personal healing rituals and practices in your daily life.


Sleeping on the land allows for an intimate connection with place. Evenings will offer opportunities to connect around the fire, to receive sound medicine in the yurt, and, if the spirit moves us, to dance. You’ll drop off to sleep to the sound of our resident owls calling to each other, body humming with the medicine of connection to self, community, and nature. 

Meals and Accommodation:

Camping is included. We do have a limited number of shared bell tents with cots, for elders or those unable to sleep on the ground. 

Breakfast and Dinners will be provided as part of the course.

Lunch on Saturday is up to participants to bring - coolers are available to use during the weekend.

Sunday lunch will be provided as a cooking demonstration.

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

Tuition Details:

Tuition for this weekend program (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) is as follows:

Early bird (before March 1): $350

Full tuition (reflective of cost to put on the program): $500

Discounted price-tier 1: $400

Discounted price-tier 2: $350

Limited scholarship funds are available for those in need of further discounting. 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 strongly encouraged but not required.


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