Education

At  Sacred Mountain Sanctuary, education is participation in the living community of Earth, and the learning journey is about relationships~ with one’s self, others and the natural world. 

SMS hosts inspired programming for all ages, toddler to elder, on 90 acres of pristine land we call The Learning Village. Our many classroom structures and areas of activity function together much like a small village square, supporting meaningful work that are essential to the overall needs and wellbeing of our own, and the greater community. 

The Learning Village is part of an emergent movement called Community Supported Education. The CSE approach was inspired by Community Supported Agriculture programs, where members pay a fee for services/farm products, while providing economic and participatory support to the the farm- purchasing, picking, planting, sorting, etc.   Working within  the CSE framework,  The Learning Village and it's programs provide the learning environment, and our member-families  reciprocate by gifting their time, energy and resources to TLV.  The Learning Village currently hosts programing for Pre-k through 8th grade, and farm and forest based homeschool enrichment classes. 

The Learning Village Grades Program
 The Learning Village Grades Program combines a Steiner-inspired, full academic curriculum with enrichment classes, nature immersion, and animal stewardship in a pristine environment of fields, farm and forest.  TLV offers a seasonally thematic learning for grades 1-8, and currently hosts 4 mixed-age learning circles, grades 1-7.  Click here to learn more.

Starseed Forest Kindergarten
Starseed Forest Kindergarten is a nature-centered early childhood for ages 3-6. Starseed offers the nurturing rhythms of Steiner-inspired early childhood education, in beautiful setting of fields, farm and forest, allowing intimate observation of the seasonal cycles. Click here to learn more.

Farm and Forest Programs
Our Farm and Forest Friday program offers children ages 5-14 an experience of deep communion with the living community of Earth.  Working with the impulse of inter-being, our skilled guides provide immersive work and play experiences with horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and bees and other farm animals and wildlife. Click here to learn more.

Adult Programs
Coming soon!

Program Hosting at SMS for Nature Educators
Please call or email Rebecca Vann.

Click here to learn more about education at SMS

     Stewardship

​What belongs to us, and to what do we belong?
What belongs to the Earth, animals, children, water?
How does one tend to a resource with reverence while it is in one's care? 
How does one know what, when and how much to give?
What, when and how much should we receive?  
How does one steward a resource while enriching it's dynamic, life giving qualities- just as nature does?
​True Stewardship beckons us to listen deeply to the story-of-place, calls us to participate in nature's sacred reciprocity.  We strive to listen deeply, and carry many questions with us as we contemplate stewardship of life and resources within the ecology of the Sanctuary. 

Stewardship is an ever-evolving process which organically emerges through contemplative practices of deep listening, intimate observation, and communion with all life within the Sanctuary of Sacred Mountain.  Since 2010, we’ve been deeply listening, uncovering a ‘story-of-place’ that tells itself to us.  It is a rich mythology, revealed in different ways, but this revelatory experience always asks for our intimacy.  The story comes when we put our hands in flowing waters, cultivate gardens, harvest peaches, apples or wineberries, caress or carry a rock, walk quietly through forest pathways, smell pine needles, lay on a hillside to watch the stars, invite farm animals into our laps for a snuggle, or welcome wildlife into the Sanctuary’s safety and fellowship....what a blessed exchange!  What if sharing with one another were always that simple, that intimate, that natural?  ​Within the natural world, it is.​
Biodynamics
In 2012, after 2 years of listening and learning from the land, SMS began applying  biodynamic preparations to the soil and cultivated areas of our farm.  With reverence and anticipation, we buried the first set of horns to make BD 500 (horn manure) in the fall of 2012.  Since then we've continued to bury horns for BD 500 each year, apply the 3 Kings Offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and the BD 504 stinging nettle preparation.  We have added to our learning by continuing to cultivate many of the plants used in preparations. SMS is part of a growing family of farmers in WNC who meet regularly to learn, support and share in this important work.
Click here to learn more.

Conservation
We recognize the forests, farms, fields and waterways of the Hominy Valley as an abundant, pristine Sanctuary of Nature, and are devoted to their stewardship and preservation. SMS is working with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, as well as the farmers and landowners of the greater Hominy Valley, to facilitate conservation awareness and offer educational programs that will help others as they strive to preserve the beauty and abundance of this Sanctuary in perpetuity.  Click here to learn more.

Animals
Horses, sheep, rabbits, bees, chickens, longhorn cows, and many other animals friends claim the Sanctuary as a home. Our residents, visitors, and TLV students interact with the animals daily, tending to their needs, grooming, cleaning, feeding, and spending quiet time in deep fellowship with these animal companions that enrich and bless our lives.  Click here to learn more about animals at SMS.

Water
Coming soon

Reciprocal Economies
Coming soon

    Community

​The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.- Thomas Berry
A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.  -  Rudolph Steiner
To take up residence in a Sanctuary is to live in sacred intimacy with the land and all life that it supports- whether humans, animals, plants, rocks.  Living full or part time at SMS is akin to living in a ‘practice community’, where residents strive to reflect the values, vision and mission of SMS in practical, everyday ways.  Although our community has no specific affiliation with a single spiritual or religious tradition, residents here are deeply connected through service to something bigger than themselves, and value the ‘health of the whole’.

​The SMS Residential Community
The SMS residential community is located on 41 acres of land adjacent to The Learning Village.  Although incorporated as a separate entity,  the activities of the community are interwoven with all facets of the greater SMS vision. Many residents are teachers or staff who work at The Learning Village, have children who attend programs there, or are involved in conservation activities, biodynamic agriculture, or other SMS cottage industries.  Click here to learn more.

Service Hermitage at SMS
A Service Hermitage residency at SMS offers the opportunity to cultivate an intimate relationship with the land, one's self, and others, through service to and stewardship of the SMS project. Service Hermitage may function as a temporary/seasonal opportunity to share skills and passions, as well as learn and grow while immersed in a supportive service learning environment.  Service hermitage may also function as an introductory process for more permanent residency, employment or a participatory role in one of SMS's many arms of activity. Click here to learn more.

Community Outreach and Collaboration
coming soon

News

​​​Sacred Mountain Sanctuary Non-Profit Status

​SMS has been officially awarded our 501c3 Non Profit status, so all donations are tax deductible. This has been in the making for quite some time, and we are elated to announce this! This dates back to our inception in 2011.

​​​2016 Annual Campaign

​​Please consider a contribution in support of our sacred service to children and the natural world.  Donate by clicking the link below