Easton Mountain is a community, retreat centre and sanctuary created by gay men as a ‘gift to the world’. It provides a number of workshops, programs, and events that aim to to celebrate, heal, transform, and integrate body, mind, and spirit.
Easton Mountain is a volunteer-run organisation. 100% of the revenue they raise is used to support the upkeep of their sanctuary and for making their programs accessible to all. Many visitors become monthly contributors, which supplements revenue from the programs. This allows Easton Mountain to help those in the LGBTQ community who most need the gay community’s support, by providing youth programs and recovery weekends for instance.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Wil Fisher from Easton Mountain.
Here’s what we chatted about:
Who comes to Easton Mountain, and what are some of their reasons for coming?
People from the LGBT community who want to experience nature, play, and comradeship; people looking for opportunities to grow personally and spiritually; people seeking peace and healing; people seeking play, celebration and new connections. The groups that come to Easton often vary depending on the retreat that is being offered- but there is a retreat for everyone, and all are welcome.
There is a spiritual component to Easton Mountain. Do people need to be spiritually inclined in order to get something out of their visit?
People who come to Easton define spirituality in many different ways, and Easton does not subscribe to one definition. With that in mind, guests who come specifically to connect with spirit may get just as much out of a visit as someone who doesn’t have spiritually in mind when they plan their visit.
Do you believe that being gay gives us a unique perspective on things such as mindfulness, connection and other aspects of spirituality?
Being gay offers us an opportunity to think outside of the box more easily. We have been outsiders for centuries, and one of the results of that is we can create our own paradigms that do not follow the hetero-normative models. Easton is a prime example of that opportunity manifesting something unique and special. In terms of mindfulness, and connection, I think everyone has access to those aspects of spirituality, but the difference is we have opportunities to nurture those parts of ourselves with like-minded community members at extraordinary places like Easton Mountain.
What do you personally love most about Easton Mountain and why?
Personally, I love the community that comes together during retreats at Easton. There is a trusting energy that has been cultivated here that helps people quickly let down their guards and find closeness and connection with each other that you don’t see happen in big cities, or even small towns anymore. When that supportive and close-knit community is built, people become unafraid of sharing their gifts with each other, and the world. It’s beautiful to witness and celebrate when that occurs.
Are there any plans to create more places like Easton Mountain either in the USA, or around the world?
There are no immediate plans to build more Easton Mountains, per se, but we certainly hope to expand the facilities we currently have so that we can welcome more people here. Also, as the Easton Mountain community continues to grow, so does the possibility for new spaces like Easton being created around the world by people who have experienced the magic here.