September 2023 – July 2024

The Awake in the Wild (AitW) Teacher Training is an apprenticeship training in contemplative nature practice, inspired by traditional Buddhist wisdom, and by Mark Coleman’s 2006 book Awake in the Wild.

Mark has been leading wilderness retreats for mindful nature lovers across the Americas since 2003. Our community has grown to 65+ AitW-trained teachers around the world.

When we bring awareness, inquiry, and meditation into the outdoors, we cultivate a deeper connection to ourselves, each other, and our planet. 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, who have a strong Dharma/meditation practice, and who want to share contemplative presence with others in the outdoors.


Mark versteht sich als Entdecker – des Inneren und Äußeren –, der seit drei Jahrzehnten hingebungsvoll die Praktiken der Achtsamkeitsmeditation studiert. Seine Leidenschaft ist es, die Meditation in der Natur weiterzugeben. In den letzten zwanzig Jahren hat er Achtsamkeits-Workshops und Meditations-Retreats auf fünf Kontinenten geleitet. Mark ist leitender Meditationslehrer im Spirit Rock Meditation Center und unterrichtet dort seit 2000. 


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:

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.

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
Acquired Skills

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

Costs of Training

Tuition, Retreats, and Other Costs

Tuition is 4.495 Euro, which does not include the costs associated with each retreat.

Each retreat will cost roughly 450 Euro. 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 specifics on your meditation practice, your retreat experiences, your teaching experiences, and your intentions in taking the training. If you would like a downloadable, Word document version to submit or to use to prepare your online application, you may download it here.

To submit the downloadable version, please email it to: sarah [at] or, please click the button below, to apply online.


  • Minimum three years regular meditation practice (mindfulness based)
  • One silent mindfulness/meditation retreats 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


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.