Soulcraft Intensive

Animas Valley Institute

May 23 – May 27, 2013

Light on the Hill Retreat Center

Van Etten, New York

Guides: Len Fleischer , Ed.D., Lauren Chambliss, M.A.


The Soulcraft Intensive is our popular five-day experiential plunge into the wild depths ofUpstate-NY Soulcraft; a synergistic set of nature-based practices designed to evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter. Your soul is your true self, those qualities that most deeply define and express who you are and the unique gift that you were born to bring to the world, a world so much in need of the socially transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. To encounter the soul is to discover the mystical image you were born with, which reveals the path to your greatest personal fulfillment as well as the essence of your true service to society (the cross-cultural wisdom traditions say these are one and the same). Soulcraft practices spring from nature-based cultures, modern depth psychology, the poetic tradition, and wilderness rites of passage—to comprise a truly contemporary Western path to soul discovery and soul initiation. For a full discussion, see Bill Plotkin’s book Soulcraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche.


The Soulcraft Intensive is highly experiential and—well—intense. We alternate between practices utilized in group, practices explored in solitude in nature, and sharing and deepening those experiences in small groups (5 to 9 people each). There is a Soulcraft guide for each small group, providing you with a fully individualized experience. What you discover through one practice is carried into and amplified by what you learn in the next. By the end of the intensive, you will understand yourself and your place in the world from a more soul-oriented perspective, be clearer about the gifts you were born to bring to the world, and have new skills to enrich your life and to defend the health of the more-than-human world.


The Soulcraft Intensives are held on the edge of wilderness at exceptional retreat centers throughout the United States and Europe.





Len Fleischer, Ed.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and a professor of education and counseling. A longtime practitioner of the “crazy wisdom” tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism as well as the stalking of the wild embodied in Soulcraft, he is actively engaged with the confluence of awakening, mindfulness, compassion, and action, a place where soul, spirituality, and social justice can be on intimate terms. Len guides adolescents and adults to the transformative truth of their authentic identity and beloved community. He believes the natural world mirrors our potential for sacred balance as well as the challenges of storm, struggle, passion, and love.





Lauren Chambliss, M.A. is a vision quest guide, mentor and writer. Her deepest commitment is to help people dive into the wild, mystical undercurrent of soul and spiritual connection, to bring grief back into life, and old ways back to new. She has first-hand experience with the power of dreams to enrich, challenge and inspire a fully-lived life. Her early experiences in Africa and Northern Europe birthed a lifelong interest in other cultures’ unity with the natural and spiritual worlds. She is the mother of three vibrant children and steward of 200 acres of verdant land at Rune Hill Retreat Center, in Spencer, NY.




The total cost for this intensive 5-day retreat is $1170. To register, visit the Animas Valley Institute website.