Spencer Nielsen

Spencer Nielsen is a guide to Nature inside and out, in the wild lands, gardens, and consciousness.  He is a permaculture designer and educator based in Fairfax, California.  He has studied Ecology, Environmental Education, Eco-Social Design, and Permaculture, as well as Yoga, Qigong, Ayurveda, and Planetary Herbalism.  With over a decade of experience farming, landscaping, and gardening, Spencer currently teaches permaculture at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas and Sivananda Yoga Farm.  He is a perennial student of herbalism and Ayurveda, a graduate of the East-West School of Herbology and student with the American Institute of Vedic Studies.  Spencer has worked on international projects helping to design farms and gardens in India, Myanmar, and Indonesia.  Yoga is foundational to his life path which includes guiding nature connection, ancestral skills, wilderness rites of passage, and sharing yoga and qigong along with Vedic and Daoist herbal wisdom.  A lover of life, Spencer maximizes his time at his half-acre homestead, where he tends his garden and enjoys drinking tea and playing music.

Workshops & Presentations

  • Elemental Permaculture: Lessons Learned from Homesteading on a Hillside

    60 min | Altar of Earth

    We will explore a multi-layered approach to site assessment, design, and implementation, all through the lens of the elements. As guiding forces and ecological indicators, the elements have guided ancient ways of design (Feng Shui, Vastu, and more) and still remain a tangible approach to reading the landscape and designing gardens with the forces of nature. I’ll share my process as a designer with various gardens and various scales - from 1000 square feet to dozens of acres. Participants will gain insight into how to utilize elemental fractals to create abundance in form and function: balancing various elemental systems such as agroforestry, soil, earthworks and water retention, energy and fire - each as a fusion of all the elements.

  • Elemental Qigong

    60 min | Altar of Spirit

    This practice will take participants on a journey through Taoist cosmology, bringing philosophy into practice. From the oneness of the Tao to the multiplicity of expressions of Qi, we will focus on an elemental form of qigong known as Taoist Five Yin Organ Qigong. From purification to tonification, practices leading up to and following this set will provide a whole body tune up, loosening muscles and joints to allow maximum qi flow. We will start the practice with a dose of Chinese tonic herbs and allow them to support our practice of movement and stillness. Standing meditation that nourishes the energy centers of the body will weave a deeper layer of elemental energy cultivation. Balancing between Earth and Sky, this standing practice will prepare humans to embrace their fullness and express their life force with radiance.

Festival Locations:

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