Ongoing Trainings

Health, Empowerment, and Resiliency Training (HEART) Starting 3-1-13

Imagine a vibrant and resilient community where people feel deeply connected to each other, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to live vital, purposeful lives.  Everyone takes such good care of themselves, and others, that hospital care is rarely necessary. Imagine a community where people are strong, connected and empowered enough to tackle problems that once seemed impossible whether personal, local or global in scale. This training is designed to make this vision a reality.

Health, Empowerment and Resiliency Training (HEART) is a dynamic course designed to build a core group of leaders with the skills, resources and support to bring permanent, transformative change in the health and resiliency of their local communities.

We have designed the HEART course in response to two interrelated concerns:  First, we know that most modern illnesses are easily preventable, when people are given the tools and support they need for self care.  Second, we know that community leaders and caregivers (like nurses, teachers, social change leaders, and civil servants) are the very people that are best situated to lead by example and transform the well-being of their communities yet they often neglect their personal health and relationships in their efforts to serve. Our goal is to give participants the skills needed to be effective and vibrant leaders who cultivate health in their communities and circle of relations. The first level of training is devoted to self-care and building a base of mutual support.  This forms the foundation towards becoming leaders who can teach and model effective self-care to others from a place of experience and wisdom.

Participants in this initial HEART training will learn a whole-systems approach to personal and community health and resiliency including:

  • Skills for building a network of support for a greater sense of connection and more effective leadership
  • Understanding the role of traditional diets as a foundation for strength, metabolic balance, and immunity
  • Practices that use our relationship with nature as a powerful tool for health
  • Understanding the body’s energetic system and how to use it to maintain vitality and focus
  • Scientific and traditional understandings of the benefits of meditation and contemplative practices, and support in developing a daily practice
  • Principles of exercise that are simple, efficient, and greatly increase physical strength, balance, and resistance to injury and chronic pain
  • Tools for understanding and overcoming addictions (chemical and otherwise) in order to move from a sense of helplessness to empowered action.
  • Tapping into the power of the heart as a source of courageous action and unconditional love, and encouraging each other to use these forces to transform our relationships

Participants in this first level of the HEART training will have the opportunity to take levels two and three, which will go into greater depth in community leadership, deep emotional healing for self and community, advanced self-care and preventive practices, as well as many simple, low-tech, affordable and highly effective treatment methods for both acute and chronic conditions. Those graduating from all three levels will be well-prepared to lead and teach this material to others. This will create an ever-growing network of vibrant community leaders who live well supported, healthy lives and inspire others through their example.

HEART training will include a weekend long intensive March 1-3, 2013, followed by 10 half-day sessions, once a week, with a culminating day-long final class.  This training will be facilitated by Didi Pershouse of the Center for Sustainable Medicine (, and Mark Kutolowski of New Creation Wilderness Programs ( Between them, Mark and Didi have over 35 years of experience teaching and treating patients with holistic health care methods including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, qi gong, counseling, meditation, wilderness medicine, and dietary consultation.

Cost: $500 – $1500, sliding scale. Scholarships and work-exchange may be available. For more information, please contact Mark at, 802-333-3950, or Didi at, 802-785-2503.


Location : Thetford, VT

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