Mindful Unplug: The Joy Of Presence

Event Highlights

  • This is a come-as-you-are retreat. No experience is needed with any of the modalities we explore and practice during our time together. We always have a lot of good old-fashioned fun during the Mindful Unplug! Our week together includes opportunities for: mindful movement and sensory practice; forest bathing, participatory sound, rhythm awareness, and voice practices (including an introduction to West African hand drumming); accessible meditation; and ample unstructured time for you to move at your own pace. For this fifth running of ‘the Unplug,’ we’re incorporating dedicated time for inquiry —guided by informed wisdom and deep expertise— into how to coexist with ubiquitous technology in a more conscious and mindful way.
  • — Joining us for the first time at The Mindful Unplug is Liza Kindred, the founder of Mindful Technology, an agency that helps companies to build technology that values humans more than machines. An entrepreneur, author, minister, meditator, and all-around effervescent force of nature, Liza’s offering spotlights not just the value and wisdom of periodically unplugging, but offers practical, hands-on-hearts-open techniques for plugging back in mindfully. Liza is skilled at sharing practices and encouraging inquiry focused on reclaiming agency over technology in ways that align with our individual values.
  • Mindful Unplug - Mindfulness Retreat— Longtime Ranch friend Matthew Marsolek of Drum Brothers is returning to The Unplug in 2020 to share his popular participatory sound, rhythm awareness, and voice practices, including an introduction to West African hand drumming. Simple, guided exercises to open and free the voice will be a prelude to a song circle, featuring chants and songs gathered from Matthew’s travels abroad and studies in World Music.
  • — Mindful Unplug emcee Anne Jablonski of Yoga Set Free will serve as your daily yoga, mindful movement and accessible meditation practice guide. Anne’s mission is to return you home with skills to plug back in consciously so you can step back into the world of noise and technology equipped to nourish and safeguard your own health — and apply your consciousness for good of all.
  • — Our sensory awareness guide, renowned photographer Zane Williams, returns to The Mindful Unplug to encourage exploration into “forest bathing” (also known as shinrin-yoku) and to assist us in experiencing the vast sensory gifts that the Ranch environs offer. Over the course of our week, we’ll move toward feeling and experiencing nature less as a separate entity “out there,” and more as an overarching fabric in our everyday lives.


The daily schedule for individual workshops is customized by the teacher(s), but a typical day often looks like this:

8 am – Breakfast
9:00-12:00 noon – Morning class
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch
1:30-4:00 pm – Leisure time
4:00-6:00 pm – Afternoon class
6:30 pm – Dinner and optional evening program, time to soak in the hot tub, indulge in a sauna, and relax as you gaze at our spectacular Rocky Mountain sunsets.

About This Event

The Mindful Unplug has never been an ordinary mindfulness retreat. It is a full sensory experience that recognizes that the Ranch itself is a profound teacher and offers extraordinary opportunities to reconnect with nature, our inner landscapes, and the joy of community. We do this by redirecting our individual and collective awareness through mindful movement, contemplative practices, sensory awareness, and shared inquiry.

Then, there is the Ranch. Those who have experienced the Feathered Pipe Ranch know of its beauty and its power to heal and teach. It is spacious and it is sacred. Mother Nature’s presence is truly felt here — mountains one can touch, woods and forests we will hike, our own spring-fed lake, and open spaces in which to find true solitude or connection. We will nourish ourselves, find grounding, and gently rebuild our resilience. There will be yoga and mindful movement, sensory practice, forest immersion, music and sound, accessible meditation, and time for everyone to experience solitude and community. Throughout, there will be camaraderie, fun, and unexpected moments of joy and inspiration.

This is a chance to replenish and renew. Our goal is to facilitate a model environment for how a small group of like-minded people can come together and further each other’s healing during a time of challenge.  Our guide team feels privileged to accompany all of you in this experience.

— Longtime Ranch friend Matthew Marsolek of Drum Brothers is returning to The Unplug in 2021 to share sessions built around participatory sound, rhythm practices, and voice awareness.  Simple, guided exercises to open and free the voice will be a prelude to a song circle, utilizing chants and songs gathered from Matthew’s travels abroad and studies in World Music.

— Mindful Unplug emcee Anne Jablonski of Yoga Set Free will serve as your guide for daily yoga, mindful movement and accessible meditation practices.  Anne’s mission is to have you return home with new awareness and tools to reset mindfully into the changed reality currently a part of our lives.

— Our sensory awareness guide, renowned photographer Zane Williams, returns to the Unplug to encourage reconnection to our Original Teacher.  He will assist all in experiencing the vast sensory gifts that the Ranch environs offer.  There will be exploration into “forest bathing” (also known as shinrin-yoku) and night sky meditation.  Over the course of our week, we’ll move toward feeling and experiencing nature less as an entity “out there,” and more as the overarching fabric of our everyday lives.

We’ve seen how tending to qualities of mindfulness and inner ease at the Ranch helps people become beacons of compassion and goodness for their families, workplaces, and communities. Our attendees tell us that the Mindful Unplug week is a potent catalyst for recovering equanimity and embracing the bounty of the present moment. If the experience of past participants is any guide, you’re likely to discover that your contentment and peace can exist free of the external chaos around us.

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"I will be forever grateful for this week and I pray that I will be able to carry the lessons I have learned with this week with me for all my days on this earth."

What's Included

  • Your workshop will include:
  • — Indoor or outdoor accommodations (your choice)
  • — Nourishing yoga practice twice daily
  • — Delicious and lovingly prepared international cuisine
  • — Shuttle service from/to Helena Regional Airport on arrival/departure day
  • — Full access to the extensive and nurturing Feathered Pipe grounds (including the hot tub and sauna)

What's Not Included

Not included:

— Airfare
— Optional additional excursion off the Ranch
— Bodywork & Massage
— Staff gratuities
— Laundry

Venue Highlights

Located outside of Helena, Montana, the Feathered Pipe Ranch is nestled in the pristine Northern Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,000 feet. We are surrounded by the Helena National Forest – almost a million acres of mountainous wilderness. The Ranch provides a spacious but still intimate setting for wandering, bird watching, aspen-tree gazing, swimming and canoeing on our pretty spring-fed lake, and seeing all manner of wildlife.

Deer freely roam the ranch, with beaver, muskrat, mallard ducks and trout populating the lake. Moose and bear occasionally visit, though largely keeping their distance and wishing to be simply let alone. Large herds of elk roam the high alpine grasslands with rare sightings of wolves and mountain lions in the surrounding wilderness areas. At night, owls and Whip-poor-wills softly usher you to sleep. And in the morning, a chorus of birds make the forest a cathedral urging the sun to rise welcoming in the new day.


Our lodging options offer the finest in rustic comfort. Indoor and outdoor choices include a variety of private or shared accommodations ranging from chalet-style rooms and cabins to tents, tipis and yurts nestled in the forest.

After retreat registration, Feathered Pipe office staff will contact you to confirm your lodging preference. Accommodations include all meals and use of all amenities – our bathhouse, sauna, hot tub, as well as all the Feathered Pipe Ranch facilities and grounds.

Accommodations exclude massage and bodywork. Our massage and bodywork staff will greet and introduce themselves at orientation, right after dinner on arrival night. You may sign up for appointments then as their schedules for the week typically fill up quickly. After that, you can saunter off to the sauna or the hot tub to relax and snuggle in to your lodging for the night knowing you have begun one of the most beautiful weeks possible.


  • Free Wifi
  • Spa
  • Sauna
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Hot Tub
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


If the spirit of the ranch is captured anywhere, it’s most definitely in the kitchen that’s attached to the Main Lodge. Our specialty is wholesome, natural food using recipes from all over the globe. We strive to use whole, organic ingredients prepared with a commitment to health and well-being. Whenever possible, we use locally grown and raised organic food sources to support a sustainable, healthy community.

The Feathered Pipe staff pours great love and care into the preparation of every one of our guest meals. If you have any special dietary needs or restrictions, simply let us know when you fill out the guest information form before your arrival. We’ll make sure you have all the healthy, delicious fare you need for every meal.


To which airport should I fly?
We recommend the Helena Regional Airport for those coming to retreats and programs at the Feathered Pipe Ranch. Direct flights into Helena currently originate in Salt Lake City, UT (Delta Airlines), Denver, CO (United Airlines), Minneapolis (Delta Airlines), and Seattle (Alaska Airlines).

We strongly suggest that you book your flight to arrive on Friday (a day early) and enjoy a night in beautiful downtown Helena, as unfortunately it is not uncommon for the major airlines, particularly out of Salt Lake City and Denver to overbook flights to Helena. That being said, travel insurance is recommended.

Airlines fly in from all parts of the country on a regular basis, with Delta serving those flying from the East Coast, Midwest, Mountain and West Coast via their Minneapolis and Salt Lake City hub, United Airlines serving passengers from all over via the Denver hub, and Alaskan Airlines serving West Coast flyers via their Seattle hub.

Missoula International Airport and Bozeman International Airport are also feasible points of arrival but will require a two-hour commute via bus or auto that you will need to arrange yourself. For those interested in art and cultural events, Missoula is a great place to spend a few extra days. If you are planning to go to Glacier National Park consider Great Falls, and Bozeman if you wish to spend some extra time in Yellowstone National Park.

How do I get from the airport to the Ranch?
The Ranch is located about eight miles west of central Helena off of Highway 12. Turn south at the sign for Colorado Gulch. We are at the very end of this road, about 5 miles in. You’ll see rolling lawns, a small lake, and the main lodge on your right. Pull into the parking lot and walk down to the lodge.

If you are using a GPS to get to the Ranch, the address is 2409 Bear Creek Rd., Helena, Montana.

Cancellation Policy

All deposits are non-refundable.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
The remaining balance is non-refundable once paid.
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