A ONE-OF-A-KIND ADVENTURE ON A WILD ISLAND.
Recharge in primordial nature; a unique immersion in an exotic land being created before your eyes.
Hosted by TreeSpirit’s founder, Jack Gescheidt.
Do you have a daring, thrill-seeking streak? Would you love to not just play tourist, but merge into a tropical island jungle in an exciting, original way?
Escape the super-busy-ness of your regular life in a small, supportive group of people who have the same heart’s desire. Do all this on The Big Island of Hawaii, away from throngs of tourists in developed areas. (But still enjoy comfortable accommodations and good food at our retreat center.)
Merge with tree spirits on an island with an active volcano spirit. With respect and caution, we will visit areas where this largest of the Hawaiian islands, “The Big Island,” is literally still growing. People whose homes have been consumed by molten rock have spoken wrenchingly of Pele, Hawaii’s goddess of her volcanoes and elements of fire, lightning, and wind. She wields incredible power, and the ability to destroy houses, roads and other human developments — and yet simultaneously create new land upon which we humans may choose to build homes again.
Thank you for the amazing experience to commune
with the elements in their most primal and raw state.
It was so healing.
The [TreeSpirit] photographs say it all.
THE HAWAIIAN TREESPIRITS retreat is 3 full, unforgettable days and nights with Jack, his support team, and a small group of fellow tree and forest lovers. You’ll soak up the energy of tropical forests on the Big Island’s less touristed, lusher, east side. It gets more rain and showers than the west Kona side of this largest of Hawaiian islands. The constantly changing weather creates varied light and lusher vegetation for better TreeSpirit photo opportunties.
And, as changing conditions of the CURRENTLY ACTIVE Kilauea VOLCANO allow, we will safely explore the edges of the activity and watch as the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele actively creates new land, new Earth. Witnessing this incredible event is alone worth a trip across an ocean. (Some people choose to extend their travel and explore even more of this giant island, or other islands in the Hawaiian chain.)
WHAT YOU’LL EXPERIENCE:
1. FEEL FULLY ALIVE, JOYOUS AND PLAYFUL in tropical jungles on this ancient volcanic landscape and largest of Hawaiian islands. Be whisked away to private locations, far from the noise and activity of shopping tourists.
2. ENJOY ADVENTURERS WITH YOUR FRIENDS & MAKE NEW ONES TreeSpirit retreats attract unique people who are respectful of nature and want to be gentle on the land and respectful of the local culture, and unique flora and fauna.
3. GO AT YOUR OWN PACE – Each trip is custom-tailored to each unique group. Which is why groups are kept small and manageable (about 10-12 people). You may want to jump into every group, or relax and participate as you feel moved by the paradise around you, warming up to each day’s unique opportunities.
4. STAR IN YOUR OWN, ORIGINAL TreeSpirit PHOTOGRAPHS by Project founder Jack Gescheidt. In your expanded, relaxed state, be photographed solo, or with your beloved, or in optional group photographs — over the 3 days of photographic adventures. Be immortalized in these original artworks commemorating this adventure. You’ll treasure them forever. (See the gallery of Jack’s TreeSpirit photographs).
TRIP INCLUDES A 30″ PRINT of your favorite photograph. Display it back home to keep the memories fresh and long-lasting. Upon seeing it, your friends will exclaim, “Wow, that’s beautiful…” and maybe, “Where was THAT taken?” (Pause, and then…) “…oh my goodness…is that YOU?…”
2019 Hawaiian TreeSpirits” retreat: February 7-10
The Hawaiian TreeSpirits retreat is 3 full, unforgettable days and nights with Jack, his support team, and a small group of fellow tree fans in the privacy of secluded Hawaiian forests. Somatic and sharing exercises designed to deepen your experience are tailored to each unique group.
ARTWORK: Included is a 30″ print of your favorite photograph made during the trip, starring you in Hawaiian trees and the landscape, so you’ll remember and cherish the experience forever.
MEALS: Breakfasts and dinners are enjoyed in our retreat center’s open-air dining area. Lunches are picnics brought to each day’s different location. Alternately we may decide as a group to eat lunch in a nearby town restaurant.
Lunches are picnics in jungle, on beaches, on lava fields during each day’s outings. When we gather in the evenings, we’ll share each day’s experiences in a respectful, heartfelt group setting. You can spend nights with our group, or wander beneath the quiet, star-filled sky, or relax in your room and rest up for the next day’s adventure.
VARIETY and COMERADERIE: Each long, full day includes time to savor the company of new friends who love the outdoors as much as you do. Each day’s locations are unique, most of them miles from developed hotels and typical tourist bustle. In fact, there are more places to visit and make TreeSpirit photos at than we have time for in our three full days. There are so many locations to choose from it’s a wonderful “problem” to have.
QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? If part of you longs for this adventure, and you want to learn more, email Jack. He has gently escorted many hundreds of people into nature, some at the edges of their comfort zones — all to have the time of their lives!
READ TESTIMONIALS. READ FREQUENTLY ASKED TRIP QUESTIONS BELOW.
$1495 trip fee includes 30″ print of your favorite new TreeSpirit photo made during the trip.
BOOK NOW for best accommodation choice. Rooms fill months in advance.
What people say about TreeSpirit retreats:
For me, it was truly magical to commune so deeply with Mother Nature… (with such sweet souls)…the Tree Spirit experience truly soared to the cream at the top of my life’s Bucket List…! I feel humbly grateful. Thank you all so much…! I can’t wait to see & share the amazing photos that Jack and our Tree Spirit team created.
…the most dedicated and wonderfully spiritual guides imaginable. And our small group of sojourners bonded quickly, especially after stripping together, in our first photo shoot in the buff…!!
– WARMEST Hugs, Jan C.
Jack, you give me so much more than a heightened appreciation for trees.
The [TreeSpirit] experience creates a special bond with all the participants when we share our own personal feelings at the end of each day. You bring people closer to nature, and also facilitate them to connect to each other and their inner selves. This heartfelt sharing we do is my highlight of the trip.
Thank you for the experience, the memories and the fantastic photos as a result.
Love, Tom S.
Jack, I was truly honored and flattered to see the photo of me emerging from the trunk of the the charred Sequoia featured in your newsletter as “Prometheus” (unbound no less, by clothing of course!). It’s looks as though I was delivering a direct, in his face, affront to Zeus, having obviously already shared fire with humankind. Thanks for taking me up on my desire to be included in your gallery. This particular photo is on our “finalists list”. It is so difficult to decide [which to have as my large print].
I am particularly, and unexpectedly, impressed with some of the black and white photos. They can seem so dramatic. But the colors of the Sequoias bark is also compelling. Sooooo difficult to choose.
Thanks again for sharing the Sequoias Experience with Barb and me. – Tom R.
BOOK NOW for best accommodations choice. Rooms fill months in advance.
DON’T KNOW JACK? Meet him in this video by photography reviewers Fstoppers.com.
*FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
• Do I have to be naked in the photographs? No. It’s a common question, but TreeSpirit’s mission is to bring people to trees and the natural world so they feel a re-connection to nature. Jack knows this can be accomplished with or without clothes. But beyond the aesthetics of the photographs (people have been nude in artworks since the dawn of humankind), there are emotional and psychological advantages to being naked. For one, most people are used to being clothed and removing them makes them feel daring, more alive, more present in the moment. All this heightens the experience—and shows in the photographs. Read Testimonials. But the choice is yours. You may want a lovely portrait of you clothed, or change your mind at any time to enjoy feeling freer and make art free of the cultural and temporal cues of clothing.
• Do I have to be able to climb trees? No. You can keep your feet on the ground. Each TreeSpirit photograph is tailored to your individual ability, desires, and longings. You may simply touch or immerse yourself in the tropical vegetation. Or, you may unexpectedly be filled with the urge to (try to) climb a climbable tree trunk or branch. Have the adventure of a lifetime and you can choose to be photographed while doing so!
• Shouldn’t I first get into shape? Lose a few pounds? Another common question. Again, the answer is no. This issue arises for many people making TreeSpirit (or any) photographs. Our culture conditions us to never be satisfied with our bodies, no matter what we do, now matter how hard we work out to make our bodies thinner or harder. Have you ever been completely happy with your body, even if you’re an athlete, yogi, or bodybuilder? Do you know many people who are? Accepting — even loving — our bodies as they are, as WE are, is ultimately a state of mind, a state of being. This is where patient, loving Mother Nature and her trees work her timeless magic. Relax in an ancient forest and see where your heart and quieted mind lead you—and your beautiful body—just as it is. People of all ages, shapes, sizes and physical abilities are welcome.
A) Do I HAVE to be naked the whole time? Is this a naturist (nudist) activity? Nope. Naturist, nudists and naturalists are all welcome, but nudity is not a requirement. The key requirement is that you feel love for being in nature.
B) CAN I be naked the whole time? Is this a naturist (nudist) activity? Our lodge on the Big Island is not a naturist resort, but has pools that are clothing-optional (like Esalen and Harbin Hot Springs in California), so we are only clothing-free at the trees, away from tourist crowds.
• What kind of physical condition do I need to be in? How much hiking is involved? Each trip, each group, each day’s outing varies depending upon many variable factors, including weather, participant’s physical conditions, and each group’s preferences. A good rule of thumb is being able to walk six trail miles in a day, at any pace. This trip is NOT wheelchair accessible like many TreeSpirit events are. Contact Jack if you have specific questions, or special needs or concerns.
TreeSpirit’s other, “giant trees” retreat:
2018 Giant Sequoias Experience: Sept. 6-9