Our Story

The Land and History of EarthRise

Retreat Center Grounds

Photo ©2009 Steve Uzzell. All Rights Reserved.

There is abundant archaeological evidence that the powerful Miwok tribe lived in the area for generations in peace and ecological harmony on the land that is now home to the Institute of Noetic Sciences. The sacred, spiritual energy of their long stewardship can be felt as you gaze out over rolling hills and soaring vistas, or while strolling along paths winding through glens and valleys. It is palpable as you pause to listen to the mating songs of wild turkeys; observe foraging deer; or meditate in one of several fragrant, natural cathedrals canopied by live oaks, buckeye, and bay trees on this ancient coast.

More recently, the campus was part of the Spanish land grants that transformed once-wild California into vineyards and picturesque cattle and sheep.

Since 2000, this sacred land has been the home of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a worthy heir to the legacy of the land. In recent years, EarthRise has hosted thousands of mind-body explorers who come to study with internationally acclaimed educators, scientists, philosophers, health practitioners, life and business coaches, artists, and spiritual masters.

EarthRise at IONS has expanded to host its own Conscious Living Workshops featuring holistic and alternative healing practices for professionals. These educational programs provide a broad focus on science, health, personal growth, and transformation. Registration is managed directly by EarthRise staff; website links and information are provided at EarthRiseatIONS.org.

EarthRise is also an essential site nationally and internationally for events in science, spirituality, art, social activism, transformation, environmentalism, health, and business. Its desirable location, just thirty-five minutes north of San Francisco, makes it one of Northern California’s premier retreat sites.

Why the Retreat Center is Named EarthRise

The vision for creating the Institute of Noetic Sciences came in 1971 when IONS’ founder Dr. Edgar Mitchell landed on the moon as one of the Apollo 14 astronauts. 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; and as he saw Earth floating freely in the vastness of space, Dr. Mitchell was engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness. He stated, “On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious. My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity. We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.”

In honor of IONS’ founder Edgar Mitchell, his historic trip to the moon, his viewing rising Earth from the moon, and his epiphany about the interconnectedness of the universe while returning to Earth, the Retreat Center is named EarthRise.

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