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Art of Vitality

We invite you to join us in an exploration of the regenerative wisdom of the human body and the healing power of nature!

Art of Vitality

Revitalizing Mind, Body and Spirit


Free introduction to the Art of Vitality program August 25, 10-1pm at Commonweal Garden. Join Anna and James to experience a flavour of the journey.


 The Art of Vitality program will now be hosted by Natura Institute for Ecology and Medicine, the new institute managing the Commonweal Garden as RDI will be moving to Whidbey Island WA in July. To connect to the Natura website click HERE and to register for the program click HERE.

What would our lives be like if we were living into our healthiest potential? How would we feel if each meal was a nourishing experience that optimized our vitality and decreased risk of disease? What would we gain by learning to attune ourselves 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?

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 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’ll be empowered to walk our individual and collective paths toward wellbeing.

The Art of Vitality is an initiation into Self-Healing

The Art of Vitality programs weave self-healing concepts and practices with experiential learning about food as medicine, mind-body medicine, and body-ecological permaculture. Anna O’Malley and James Stark will guide you on a path of discovery through creative work, personal and inter-personal reflection, deep nature connection, integrative medicine conversation, cooking demonstrations, and fire circle ritual. You will be oriented to healthy ecological systems on all levels: cellular, whole-body, interpersonal, and community.

The Art of Vitality is offered in two formats: an introductory three-day weekend intensive workshop, and a full nine month program delivered over four seasonal weekend experiences.

What You Will Learn

Over the course of the programs, you’ll develop a set of practices and behaviors  designed to optimize your physical and mental functions. You’ll develop recognition of limiting mental, emotional, and physical habits, and be supported to “compost” these no longer useful ways of being.

You will experience the profound connection between the mind, the body and the spirit. You’ll discover the use of food as medicine, the ability of nature to facilitate self-healing and inquiry, and the delightfully effective medicine that is movement. You will discover meditative modalities and culinary alchemy, cultivate reciprocal relationship with nature and supportive relationships with each other.  You will move your body and open your heart. You’ll recognize your natural state of being: vital, open, connected and whole.

You will discover:

  • Practices to prevent or reverse chronic disease processes by limiting inflammation and detoxifying.
  • Mind-body practices that harness the relaxation response, deepen your connection to the natural world, increase energy and decrease harmful stress.
  • The use of food as medicine, through chef demonstrations and medicinal pot-lucks. This will include seasonal wild-crafted delights.
  • Practices to support a healthy gut ecology, and the emerging awareness of the farm-food-gut ecological connection as pertains to health
  • Practices supporting healthy sleep
  • Self-directed, facilitated goal-setting toward behavior change with between-workshop support, partner work, and consultation.
  • Practice with honing intuition, insight and vision in manifesting one’s utmost mind-body vital potential.
  • Engaging and accessible yoga poses and qi gong practices

Program Logistics

Participants in our programs at Commonweal Garden are asked to bring camping gear and stay overnight during consecutive meeting dates. Please note that each Art of Vitality weekend starts at 9 am the first day (see dates under each program offering) and ends at 5pm on the last day. Participants are asked to stay on site at Commonweal Garden for the entire duration, as there will be evening and early morning programming.

We are happy to support anyone who has questions or concerns around camping logistics. Our What To Know page has information on things you will need to know for your visit to Commonweal Garden, including directions, transportaion options, site accommodations and what to bring. Please read through this information, which will answer many of your questions. When you register for one of our programs, you will also receive a detailed email with further logistics information.

Upcoming Art of Vitality Offerings 2019-20