Date & Time Details: March 25-29, 2024 - Start Time 8am End Time 1pm

Location: Taft Gardens, Ojai, California

What to Bring: : This is an all-camping program. Participants are responsible for bringing their own personal camping equipment, and for personal transportation to and from the program.

Meals : Participants also responsible for bringing their own dinners, and snacks. Breakfasts and lunches will be provided by our gourmet caterer.

  • $1,025.00 to $1,300.00 – Sliding Scale Price: you are free to select any price within this range
  • $1,300.00 – High End Program Price: choosing the high end amount contributes to the full cost of the program and allows us to offer a sliding scale option.

Nature and the Human Soul: An Experiential Exploration of the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel – March 2024

March 25 - 29, 2024

With Brian Stafford, MD, MPH and Gene Dilworth, M.A.

Anchored in traditional four-directions wisdom, contemporary depth and archetypal psychologies, and twenty-five years of nature-based soul guiding, the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel (SDW) is a new ecopsychology of human development and cultural transformation. It’s a blueprint showing how richly we can grow and mature when soul and nature are embraced as our wisest and most trustworthy guides. It includes an integrated set of developmental guidelines that can help every human mature into an adulthood of visionary leadership — precisely what we need in this century if we are to create a just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

A life-span model of development from infancy through authentic elderhood, the SDW presents eight distinct stages of life and shows how these stages are almost always independent of chronological age, biological development, cognitive ability, or social role. Rather, the movement from one stage to the next comes about through progress with psychological and spiritual tasks that are specific to each stage. The SDW presents an achievable vision of a contemporary way of life that holds soul-discovery and genuine contribution to the more-than-human community as its most central features and goals.

(If you are a previous Animas participant familiar with the 4-directions-based map of the Self and the sub-personalities — used on many of our programs — please note that the SDW is something quite different and complementary.)

During this intensive, we employ talks (with handouts), conversation and story telling, and experiential exercises on the land as we explore the SDW and its applications to education, parenting, rites of passage, psychotherapy, personal growth, and cultural change. You’ll discover how to use the SDW to clarify your own next steps of soul-infused development and learn a set of principles and practices by which you can align yourself with the lifelong journey of growing whole.

This is an all-camping program for those who desire to camp. Participants will be meeting at Taft Gardens each morning for the Program and camping each night at Lake Casitas Campground (a 5 minute drive from the Gardens). Price includes campground fees, however participants can arrange their own nightly lodging if desired.  

We invite participants to arrive at the Lake Casitas campground the evening before we commence (March 24th) to get settled.



taftTaft Gardens is located near the wild edge of the Pacific Ocean. The gardens include 15 acres of South African and Australian succulents giving the land a wild feel to it. The gardens open up to several hundred acres of oaks, pine, eucalypt, and a variety of grasses and ponds,  and is home to eagle, hawk, scrub jay, hummingbird, woodpecker, lizard, snake, bear, bobcat, mountain lion. It is nestled at the edge of the Los Padres National Forest and looks out upon the Topa Topa mountains.




Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
Brian Stafford is a guide to the wilderness of nature, wildness, and soul. Called out of academic medicine to serve as a guide to the depths and to serve as an agent of cultural awakening and transformation, he guides with humor, playfulness, fierceness, compassion, discernment, and a deep remembering of the fullness of what each human life can, should, and was meant to be. A native of Colorado and the former holder of an endowed chair and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, he is currently a guide, Board Member, and Training Director of the Wild Mind Training Program at Animas. He…
Learn more about Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
Gene Dilworth, M.A.
Gene Dilworth is dedicated to the project of rewilding the human spirit as an essential dimension of being fully human in these times. By nurturing meaningful relationships with the more-than-human world and facilitating deep inquiry into the mysterious depths of one’s true nature, he supports individuals to discover, re-member and live from the center of their soul-rooted sense of belonging to the world. Gene has been guiding groups and individuals in transformative nature-based experiences since 1986. He has taught ecopsychology and environmental studies at the university level, and has served as an academic administrator and other leadership roles in a…
Learn more about Gene Dilworth, M.A.