Awake in the Wild Teacher Training

The Awake in the Wild Teacher Training is an apprenticeship training in guiding contemplative nature practice, inspired by wisdom teachings from the Buddhist tradition, by Mark Coleman’s book Awake in the Wild (AITW) and by the wilderness retreats led by Mark for more than a decade across the Americas. Nature meditation brings mindful awareness practices into the outdoors as a support for presence, connection, and insight. Mark is excited to share this cherished work with a group of dedicated nature meditation practitioners that will give them tools to begin to share similar practices with others.

The Awake in the Wild Teacher Training is for people who care deeply about the earth, who have a a strong Dharma / meditation practice and who take that contemplative presence into the outdoors. Equally important, it is for those who feel called to take people deep into nature with a spirit of reverence and contemplation.

This program will have four residential retreats with Mark in California, the western states or Mexico. There will also be monthly online tutorials, personal nature-based work and a teaching practicum.

NOTE: The application period for the 2021-2022 Awake in the Wild Teacher Training is now open and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply now for early admission to the next training.

“I joined the first AITW Teacher Training because I appreciated Mark as a teacher and I already had, what I felt was, a deep connection to nature. I wanted to help others use nature to support them in their lives. But, through the experience of the AITW training, I found this training has really connected me to nature and to all living things on this earth more than all my years of backpacking and hiking in nature had done. I found the experience to be profound in how it expanded my relationship to the earth and how I share that relationship with others. I would recommend AITW Teacher Training to anyone with a love for both nature and Mindfulness.”

Christine Lustik, graduate of the AitW Teacher Training

“The Awake in the Wild Teacher Training has been a great way to deepen my practice and connection to nature. It has become a way of being that influences not only my professional life but my life.”

Dorthe Djernis, graduate of the AitW Teacher Training

“I use these practices to help my own students cultivate mindful connection to the Earth and to find their own meaningful place in the natural world.

This practice has taught me to look more closely at flowers, listen more attentively to the chirping of birds and insects, feel the subtle touch of the wind on my skin, and feel more vibrantly alive in each moment.”

Topher Stephens, graduate of the AitW Teacher Training

Awake in the Wild Teacher Training Course Overview

Awake in the Wild Teacher Training Course Details

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This in-depth apprenticeship training in nature-based mindful contemplative practice trains you to:

  • Skillfully teach guided mindfulness in nature practices
  • Prepare for the unique challenges in facilitating meditation programs in nature
  • Create and facilitate immersive nature meditation programs
  • Teach Awake in the Wild classes, daylong and weekend programs

This one year training includes:

  • Four weeklong, immersive study retreats in nature
  • Monthly online tutorials
  • A rich collegial learning community of peers
  • Studying mindfulness-based nature meditation
  • Practice teaching nature-based meditations
  • Mentoring and supervision with Mark and faculty
Mark Coleman Teaching

The Awake in the Wild Teacher Training will be organized under an apprenticeship model. This means that Mark will be sharing his heart and soul’s knowledge of nature-based meditation as a way to inspire your own creativity and nature-based work. Upon successful completion of the course, you may teach nature-based meditation practices and we encourage you to be creatively inspired by Mark’s practices and content.

If, after gaining experience teaching nature-based meditation workshops and courses, you would like to become a certified AITW facilitator, you are encouraged to apply for authorization that may require apprenticing with Mark.

As you can see, this is a different model than a typical teacher training and we feel it will best support the work to thrive – based on creative empowerment and learning by apprenticing.

This training will take place over one year including 4 Awake in the Wild immersion retreats. It will include:

  • Multiple immersions in the Awake in the Wild experience
  • Orientation to teaching foundational and in-depth nature-based meditation practices
  • Applications of contemplative practice in the wild to daily life
  • Nuts and bolts of organizing and holding a nature meditation course
  • Exploring the key elements of a AITW course which includes cultivating the areas of silence, meditation, community, wilderness awareness, inquiry, mindfulness and love
  • Learning how to teach nature-based practices in multiple formats
  • Understanding issues of diversity and cultural sensitivity to different populations
  • Integrate issues relating to the climate / ecological crisis in the context from a mindfulness and compassionate perspective


  • 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

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

Mark Coleman Teaching

There will be 4 week-long teaching retreats throughout the year of the 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.

These retreats will take place in locations in the western half of the U.S. and Mexico. They may involve tent camping or staying in rustic cabins or lodges.

Retreat dates and locations for the 2021-2022 training are yet to be decided. It is likely that they will be held in May 2021, September 2021, February 2022, and May 2022.

Tuition is $5,950, which does not include the costs associated with each retreat. The retreats will cost roughly $500-600 each, not including travel costs.

Monthly payment plans are available. If you think you might be in need 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.

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.

An online application can be found at the link below and also if you click here.

In addition to the application form, you will need to submit a 2-3 min video of you speaking directly to camera, saying how meditation has impacted your life and why you want to take the course. To submit the video, you’ll need to upload it to your own personal YouTube or Vimeo account and paste the link into your application form.

For instructions on how to upload a video to YouTube, please click here.
Please note: If you would prefer that your YouTube video does not come up in general searches, please set the privacy setting to “Unlisted”.

For instructions on how to upload to video to Vimeo, please click here.
Please note: If you would prefer that your Vimeo video does not come up in general searches, please set the privacy setting to “Anyone with a password can view it” and submit the password with your application.

Remaining Questions?

Visit our FAQ page or email Jen at

To Apply

“When we attune to nature with sensitivity, we can see just how connected we are. We are always in relationship; we just rarely notice it. From this perspective, everything on this earth, from the spring rains that provide fresh drinking water to the warmth of the sun, is an open-hearted, generous offering.”

Mark Coleman, from Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery

“In my own life, the combination of mindfulness and time in the wilderness has greatly increased my capacity for joy. Awareness practices taught me how to pay attention and how to wake up to the beautiful world around me. Practicing mindfulness outdoors has exposed me to a deep well of abundant happiness. It is this joy that has inspired me to lead others into the wilderness. It is too much to keep all to myself, and it feels natural to share the joy and blessings of nature.”

Mark Coleman, from Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery

“Nature is a nurturing environment in which we can begin to open up to emotions that have long been repressed. The spaciousness and openness we feel when we look at the ocean or walk in the mountains can give us a larger container to hold any difficult inner experience.”

Mark Coleman, from Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery

“Oscillating our attention between our inner feelings and the outward tranquility of the natural world can prevent us from becoming so overwhelmed by our emotions, and support us in staying balanced even in the midst of great difficulty.”

Mark Coleman, from Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery

“Opening our awareness to the natural world can bring us a balanced perspective between life’s agonies and its ecstasies. When we turn our attention to the beauty of the wild, both outside and inside ourselves, even in the midst of city life, the core of our being comes alive with joy and vitality.”

Mark Coleman, from Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery