Mindful Outdoor Guide Certification Level 2: Aligning with Nature

Service Outside

This intensive nine-day immersion provides a powerful opportunity to deepen your relationship to the earth through meditation and practices, as well as traditional outdoor skills which add depth to your presence and practice as a guide. This experience will include two full-day excursions to ecologically and historically rich places of power in the Berkshires. We will explore Ice Glen and Masaswahi, two sacred places to the Mohican people that provide a powerful juxtaposition—a deep, boulder-filled chasm, inhabited by the oldest Eastern Hemlocks in New England, and the axis-mundi, the sky-piercing summit of Masaswahi which provides the only 360-degree view above the tree line in the Berkshires. This is an educational and ceremonial journey from earth to sky, retracing ancient steps and honoring the Great Elements. 

Upon successful completion of KSMOL Level 1, you are eligible to register for Level 2. No additional application is necessary.

What You Will Learn


Learn from Shawn Stevens, language and cultural peacekeeper of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans, the history of the indigenous people for whom the Kripalu grounds are part of their ancestral homeland.


Explore advanced nature meditation, working with the air, ether, fire, water, and earth elements as your focal points.

Micah Mortali starting a fire using a stick.


Carve your own bow-drill kit, learning the ancient art of birthing fire through friction.


Learn how to integrate fire into your mindful outdoor experiences, both as a focal point for meditation and as an ally for carving your own wooden tools and utensils.


Continue your studies with Mass Audubon, honing your exploration of the geology, flora, and fauna.

Person holding small cup of tea.


Forage for wild teas and incorporate the ceremonial art of making and sharing tea within the context of guiding mindful outdoor experiences.


Discover how to fashion a safe, dry, and cozy shelter using only what you gather from the forest—a crucial skill for building confidence and a sense of connection to the outdoors.


Receive mentoring and supportive feedback from faculty and peers on the 45-minute Mindful Outdoor Experience you lead at the completion of your Level 2 training.

Upcoming Trainings

Level 2: Aligning With Nature   ON CAMPUS  
October 18–27, 2024


Information Sessions

Register for one of our free, online information sessions to learn more.




Reading List

Required Reading

  • The Spell of Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human-World, David Abram
  • Tom Brown’s Guide to Healing the Earth, Randy Walker and Tom Brown, Jr.

Suggested Reading

  • Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass, Martin Shaw
  • Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, Tyson Yunkaporta
  • A Field Guide to Nature Meditations: 52 Mindfulness Practices for Joy, Wisdom and Wonder, Mark Coleman


Frequently Asked Questions


Is the curriculum different for the online versus the campus training?
There is no difference in the curriculum. However, there is additional one-on-one mentoring with Kripalu Faculty made available to our students taking the training online.

How will the trainings be shared?
All sessions of the training will be held by Zoom video call. Links, passwords, and more information will be shared once you are registered in the training.


Is the whole training outdoors?
Yes, barring extreme or unsafe weather conditions the entirety of this training is held outside on the land surrounding Kripalu Center. As a Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide in training, it is important that you prepare for the training by spending regular time outdoors in a variety of weather conditions before arriving.  Proper clothing and gear is also essential.  You will receive a complete gear list when you are accepted into the training.




Do I need to be an experienced outdoor leader to take this training?
No.  You do not need to be a seasoned outdoor guide to take this training.  The Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide certification teaches you how to lead others in connecting mindfully with nature.  You do, however, need to be able to be outdoors for up to 12 hours each day for seven full days in a variety of weather conditions.

What is Mindful Outdoor Leadership?
Mindful outdoor leaders use mindfulness, which is the practice of cultivating non-judgmental awareness in the present moment, to help those they are guiding get out of their heads and into their bodies in order to connect more deeply with nature and the outdoors.  In our modern society people are spending less and less time outdoors and more and more time on their devices.  Mindful outdoor guides help people to open their senses in nature for greater health and quality of life.

What is Nature Deficit Disorder?
In 2005, author and journalist Richard Louv added a new word to the English lexicon, Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).  Louv defines NDD as, “The human costs of alienation from nature, among them: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses.”  Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, framed the loss of connection with nature as a public health issue and challenged the trajectory of our current course of unbridled and unquestioning integration of tech into all aspects of our lives to the exclusion of time spent in nature.

Do I need to be a yoga or meditation teacher?
No.  In this training, you will learn to lead short centerings, simple breathing, and mindful movements within the context of nature immersion.   You do need at least two years of experience with a mindfulness-based practice, such as yoga, meditation, mindful walking, Qi Gong, etc.