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Comments from Past Participants

Over the past 12 years many people have told us how much they loved these retreats; here is what some have to say:

I am so grateful for Johann's passion for taking people into the wilderness to meditate. I have always wanted take a trip like this, and with Johann's support and the rest of his wonderful team, it was possible. I felt challenged in the best ways and totally taken care of throughout the trip. The combination of the unbelievable beauty and mystery of the wilderness, and the silence and deep contemplative work was life changing.

Jessica G., Los Angeles, CA

I love backcountry camping, but had hesitation about doing a 10-day silent retreat in nature. Happily this was the longest and best retreat I’ve ever done. I highly recommend one for anyone wanting to deepen their practice.

Paulina M., Denver, CO

I am so grateful for Johann and Peter for creating this powerful and useful retreat. They are both extremely skillful at guiding a beautiful contemplative wilderness experience while maintaining a focus on how to apply practice in real life.

Katrin W., San Francisco, CA

These retreats are a great innovation in Western Vipassana. I loved bringing mindfulness to daily life and building our Sangha. Johann is an expert leader and guide; I highly recommend the river retreats!

Suzanne K., Washington DC

The instructions for practicing in nature were extremely helpful, and the scenery was spectacular. We had wonderful dharma talks around the campfire each night. We all pulled together to make the work of camping and canoeing easy and fun. I certainly recommend going.

Paula Van Tassel, Canyon City, CO

This was my first meditation retreat and it was an amazing experience. Johann is an outstanding backcountry guide and meditation teacher, and presented instruction appropriate for all levels of practice. The atmosphere was welcoming and relaxed, and there was a regular schedule of sitting, hiking, talks and discussion. If you want a deeper experience of meditation practice in a beautiful natural setting, I highly recommend joining Johann on a wilderness retreat.

Larry M.

Impermanent Sangha's canoe retreat is a rare opportunity to come back to my deep self. Getting past everyday life, and meeting myself in the open reality of the river and the cliffs and the sky. Sometimes it's difficult. Wind, rain, mud, hot sun. Sometimes it's beautiful. Indescribable colors, sensations, sounds. There is the spaciousness and silence to experience both the difficult and the beautiful fully and clearly. I was glad to have the guidance and  support of the teachers and staff. They took such good care of us. There was also the deep satisfaction of creating and nurturing a wilderness community with all of us on the retreat.

Jan Vanderlinden, Boulder, CO

I am so grateful to have done this retreat.  I may have never realized I have access to places that are so healing. The Silence I connected with was profound. But it made me aware of the noise in my head. That was hard, because Nature would not let me escape from what was real in me. In my particular case nature was reflecting some of the dark uncomfortable stuff I had hidden away. Life's different now that I can see it and feel it. Thanks, Johann, for giving your gifts so that I may be more able to give mine.

Dr. Jay Uecker, Louisville, CO

The synthesis of meditation practice and nature is brilliant! This has changed my path significantly. You guys rock! Wow, the dharma under a tree—the dharma on the river—who would have thought it could be so good.

Marvin Carter, Canyon City, CO

These silent canoe trips on the Green River have been life altering experiences for me. I love being in a community of people who agree to support each other in a silent wilderness experience. Johann is a great guide and teacher and makes it all feel so safe, yet allows for the adventurer in each of us.

Joanie T., Mancos, CO

I have had a deep love of wilderness my whole life and did this retreat to see if that love could be brought into my spiritual practice. The program exceeded my expectations tenfold. I have never been this inspired to incorporate meditation practice into my daily life. Johann is an expert guide for navigating both the natural and spiritual wilderness. He initiated us into wondrous practices for a contemplative wilderness journey with a great assist from the river. Peter shares his love of the journey and provided wonderful talks and instructions as well as solid river teaching and support. The two of them are a great dynamic duo (and funny too).

Peter Hurst, A Happy Yogi

Thank you Johann, Peter and the Colorado River for a profound and nourishing Vipassana retreat, and for your delightful, informal, teaching style. I particularly appreciated the instructions on nature -based mindfulness practice and the invitation to follow our bliss. The sense of community was very supportive, as was the container of silence we cultivated in our activities and formal sittings. Meditating by the river, gliding downstream, navigating the currents, listening to Dharma talks around the campfire, sleeping under the stars, and working together as a Sangha, I felt deeply connected to the stunning, wild beauty around and within us.

Deep bows, John Steele

Johann’s exceptional ability to lead meditation, back country camping and hiking created the space to fully experience the joy, peace and beauty of nature. Incredible mountain vistas, excellent food, the perfect stream side campsite, a fantastic sangha of like minded nature lovers with a skilled and dedicated guide and dharma teacher all made for one amazing awesome retreat.  Can't wait to do it again!

Elizabeth Ritchie, Salida, CO

The retreat was quite magical. I appreciate Johann’s combining meditation teaching with the wonders of nature. It helped me to integrate subtle and not so subtle aspects of my inner world into daily life. I am so thankful for the retreat, as meditation practice is so paramount in my life.

Jeff J., Lafayette, CO

With a crown of columbines and daisies above me I meditated on a flat boulder. Following my breath while climbing up to 12,500 ft above an emerald green lake, which reflected the snowy, jagged peaks and wispy clouds. Doing yoga while watching the morning sunlight bathe the Continental Divide. Sangha members taking care of one another. Constant soothing sounds of a sparkling stream. A completely incredible and unforgettable wilderness retreat.

Beth D., Boulder, CO

I felt embraced and welcomed by the canyons. The land and animals reminded me of just how deeply we all belong to this world.

Dr. Robin Page, Durango, CO

Impermanent Sangha created a sacred container which allowed my natural being to merge with the consciousness of the river. I was supported by our sangha, and canyon wrens, great blue herons, lizards, and the wind. Having practiced nine days in the dharma as we camped and canoed, I felt more prepared than ever for living in my world! Thank you so much!

Terry Kinsey, Chicago, IL

Thank you again for the wonderful experience. The experience of being in Wilderness with magnificent views, in quiet presence with other conscious people created deep healing and rejuvenation.

Phyllis S., Paonia, CO

Spending several days living close to nature, within the kind container of like-minded yogis, under the guidance and dharma teachings of Johann, was a gratifying and uplifting experience, and one I carry fondly in my heart and mind.

Jon S. , Boulder, CO