Trekking retreat 2.–9.8.2024 in Pöyrisjärvi wilderness area, Sápmi: Noon Baldwin and Frances Hearnden

In his teachings, the Buddha encouraged his disciples again and again to go out into the forests and wilderness to practise. This trekking retreat in the beauty of Sápmi in Northern Finland offers us the rare opportunity to explore mindfulness, Dharma practice and living simply in nature.

We will be walking in a range of landscapes, including both forests and alpine tundra, in a peaceful wilderness area where other people are seldom met. Much of our time together will be spent in silence, and there will also be meditation instructions, regular periods of formal meditation and dharma teachings, space for sharing together and time for solitude. The retreat is taught in English.

On this retreat we will practise Insight meditation, also known as vipassana. The word vipassana means seeing things just as they are. This meditation practice is over 2500 years old and draws from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. However, taking part in the retreat does not require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith.

What will happen on the retreat? Who can join?

We will be trekking in a remote wilderness area, with varying, pathless terrain and sleeping in shared tents. Hiking retreat combines the meditative presence with ourselves and each other in the surrounding nature. We hope this will be a supporting, nourishing and magical experience for us all.

You can join the retreat if you have previous experience of both meditation and trekking. Additionally, good health and physical fitness is needed to attend this retreat. Please also note that what is being offered is primarily a meditation retreat, not just any trek.

We will trek in the Pöyrisjärvi wilderness area (Pöyrisjärven erämaa-alue), in Enontekiö, Sápmi. We will walk approximately 5–10 kilometers a day, carrying all our camping equipment and food in our backpacks. The day trips are mostly not very long, but silent meditative trekking with the heavy load brings its challenges.

Who are the teachers?

Noon Baldwin enjoys how the traditional monastic and open spirituality practices meet as one in his heart. Noon’s varied life experience brings a listening with vibrancy, an alive practice he loves to share. Connecting with curiosity and energy, with a sense of embodying spiritual practice through in-depth body grounding meditations are some of Noon’s fields of exploration. He is transgendered… a two spirit person all in one.

Noon Baldwin is an ex circus artist and street performer who retired from the circus in 2004 

to dedicate his life to spiritual practice, living in dharma centers (France and South Africa) and Amaravati monastery, (UK). Noon co-created Ekuthuleni rustic retreat place with Sumedha Bagshaw in 2012. Ekuthuleni is an off-grid ecological meditation center in the foothills of the French Pyrenees. The emphasis is on buddhist teachings, meditation and ecological awareness, and how we integrate these. 

Noon’s main influence is the buddhist tradition of Ajahn Chah, with an interest in all spiritualities, (also following retreats, courses and mentoring from Jaya Ashmore from Open Dharma since 2008). He participated in a two-year course at London Focusing Institute, ”Eugene Gendlin’s Way” from 2020 to 2022 and received a ”Focusing Professionals Certification” in 2023. 

Noon Baldwin about meditation and focusing: ”Focusing brings meditation into expression and the listening, enhanced by the presence of the other, transforms our meditative experience.”

Frances Hearnden loves to connect and come alive through yoga, creativity, embodied meditation and movement practices. She has served and retreated in settings of open spirituality as well as in Buddhist and other traditions.  Having taught yoga and meditation for over a decade, trained as a Somatic Movement Educator with the school of Body-mind Centring, and also as a massage therapist, she has spent the last few years serving dharma, most recently supporting retreatants at a remote Tibetan Buddhist centre in the Pyrenees

Mountains of France. Here she came in touch with practices of Vajrayana in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions.

Frances loves to grow food and flowers and has worked as a gardener in all seasons, mostly in the UK where she grew up. She has a background in Art History, teaching in college for many years, and very much enjoys being in a flow of painting, writing, dancing and singing.  As well as a thirty-year yoga practice, and explorations into ecology, song and various styles of meditation, Frances has received teachings from Jaya Ashmore of Open Dharma since 2014 and weaves deep rest meditation into her practice.

How much does it cost? How can I sign up?

The base price of the retreat is 290 € (includes 24 % VAT). It is also possible to pay more or less than this. More information about the price, signing up and other details can be found here.


Elli Alasaari (, +358 440 427 077)

Marianne (Nella) Woodbury (registrations), phone (only Whatsapp, Telegram & iMessage): +1 470 641 7056