IONS EarthRise—The Big Picture
IONS EarthRise—The Big Picture
In addition to IONS’ pioneering work in the area of human consciousness research, its campus offers facilities for workshops and retreats. EarthRise is a beautiful, semi-rural retreat center for multi-day group retreats providing sleeping accommodations for up to one hundred and twenty people in a mix of single, double, and couple rooming options. IONS purchased the Petaluma property in 2000, which included lodging and dining facilities. EarthRise at IONS is a conscious living center that provides a gathering place to explore ancient wisdom traditions, supports experiential learning, and engages in modern scientific inquiry. EarthRise at IONS has become a place where psychologists, educators, leaders, philosophers, frontier scientists, and spiritual masters conduct their work. We support intrapersonal and interpersonal consciousness work in a gorgeous natural setting.
At EarthRise guests can commune with the land and experience ecological awareness and transformational programs and practices that foster self-reflection and personal growth. The campus is a place where we integrate theory and practice, science and spirituality, as well as renewal and retreat.
EarthRise at IONS is located just 30 miles north of San Francisco. It is easily accessible from the East Bay and North Bay, as well as from San Francisco, making it one of Northern California’s premier retreat sites.
EarthRise has built a strong and growing clientele of educators and leaders, many of whom offer several programs each year. You can find their retreat information in the Events section of our website.
Connection with the land is fostered through hiking trails on our 194 acres of rolling hills, a beautiful natural oak glade used for outdoor meeting space and group ceremony, a small permaculture garden and multiple sitting areas for quiet contemplation. A beautiful meditative labyrinth made of river stones lies high on the hill overlooking the valley below.
The Mission of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
Broadening our knowledge of the nature and potentials of mind and consciousness and applying that knowledge to enhancing human well-being and the quality of life on the planet.
In service of the mission, EarthRise strives to:
- nurture transformative processes that support unfolding consciousness;
- deepen engagement with the land; and
- foster connection, collaboration and community.
The Story of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
The vision for creating the Institute of Noetic Sciences came in 1971. Nations throughout the world had galvanized around the exciting frontier of space exploration. The potential for scientific understanding of our world seemed unlimited to a naval air captain, Edgar Mitchell. He was a pragmatic young test pilot, engineer, and scientist; a mission to the moon on Apollo 14 was his "dream come true." Space exploration symbolized for Dr. Mitchell what it did for his nation as a whole—technological triumph of historical proportions, unprecedented mastery of the world in which we live, and extraordinary potentials for new discoveries.
On the trip home Dr. Mitchell sat in the window seat of the cramped cabin of the space capsule. As he saw Earth floating freely in the vastness of space, Dr. Mitchell was engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness—an epiphany. In Dr. Mitchell's own words: "The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes . . . The knowledge came to me directly."
The experience that came to Dr. Mitchell in space led him to a startling hypothesis: Perhaps reality is more complex, subtle, and inexorably mysterious than conventional science had led him to believe. Perhaps a deeper understanding of consciousness (inner space) could lead to a new and expanded view of reality in which objective and subjective, outer and inner, are understood as coequal aspects of the miracle and mystery of being.
After his safe return home, Dr. Mitchell sought out others who likewise felt the need for an expanded, more inclusive view of reality. They resolved to explore the inner world of human experience with the same rigor and critical thinking that made it possible for Apollo 14 to journey to the moon and back. In 1973, this small group of explorers founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences—derived from the Greek word nous, meaning "intuitive ways of knowing." (Dr. Mitchell's story is told in the book The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronaut's Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds.)
The mission of these noetic scientists was, and has been, to expand our understanding of human possibility by investigating aspects of reality—mind, consciousness, and spirit—that include but go beyond physical phenomena. They seek to understand the inner world as thoroughly as we understand the outer world—based on the premise that what finds expression in the world at large is a reflection of our interior landscape. Today, thirty-seven years later, the Institute carries out its mission as a worldwide research and education organization in Petaluma, California, which also operates as a retreat center.