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Living Medicine: The Five Elements as a Way of Life

Earth-based wisdom for a lifelong path of growth and transformation.

Qi Gong, Meditation, and Tea Immersive Retreat


Before I discovered this way, I was constantly searching.

I spent years bouncing among many different traditions, learning from teacher after teacher, believing that there was a "best," most effective path to living with wisdom.

Among so many contradictory man-made systems, I knew I had to return to the Source: to the Earth. Years of studying Indigenous and Earth-based wisdom traditions led me to the Five Elements, and a lightbulb turned on. This profound understanding of the cycles of the life came directly from Nature, and it reconnected me with what's most essential in who I am. This became my life's work: now nearly two decades of study and practice of our Earth's living medicine.

Maybe you are experiencing the same thing I was: searching everywhere, consumed with a feeling that there's more out there to discover. This is what happens when we are disconnected from our Source.

This is your invitation. I want to help you reconnect to the Earth, to yourself, and to others through this ancient wisdom. It's given me my purpose and direction in life, and helped me to impact thousands of lives through my work with Living Tea.

And the best part? The growth and transformation never end. Each season and each day unfold incredible new insights and possibilities.

Welcome to this life-changing path.

Colin Hudon
Founder, Living Tea

Are you hearing the call?

  • You're feeling somewhat aimless or uninspired. You're ready for a full mind-body-spirit rejuvenation.
  • Your practice is feeling a bit stale. Intuition is inviting you to go deeper and you're looking for a grounded, accessible framework to reinvigorate your meditation, movement, Tea or healing journey.
  • You've always found healing and comfort in Nature, and you're looking to connect with the Earth in a new way.
  • You know of the Five Elements and are curious about how they apply practically in your life. Maybe you've studied them before, but their wisdom hasn't really "stuck."
  • You work in Chinese Medicine or another healing modality, and you want to offer your clients transformative, Earth-based wisdom practices.
  • You are craving the nourishment of like-minded community who support you on this path.

The answer is ready and waiting for you.
Let's walk this path together.

The Five Elements are an ancient Taoist framework that teaches us how the Earth expresses itself: in the cycles of the seasons; through life, death, and rebirth; and through the medium of humanity – a microcosm of all of Nature, the one breath which gives life to all things.

The Five Elements offer us profound yet practical entrypoints for rediscovering and realigning with our essential nature.

When we live in alignment with our Natural design:

  • We regain access our original state of ease, effortlessly flowing through life's seasons and challenges.
  • We tap the infinitely renewable medicine of the Earth's wisdom, which is always available to us.
  • We gain clarity on the path forward, learning to trust life and allow possibilities to unfold before us.
  • We feel secure, nurtured within a guiding framework for continual growth and evolution.
  • We become transformational guides and role models for all the lives we touch, bringing this ancient medicine to life.

Enter an Infinite Well of Healing and Discovery

This seven-day immersive retreat is an embodied, experiential discovery of the Five Elements through the many practices that this timeless philosophy gives rise to today: Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong, Tea as meditation and plant medicine, and seasonal nutrition, to name a few.

Each day centers one of the Five Elements, guiding participants through the creative cycle from Wood to Water. Experience each Element through the lenses of their physical expressions in Nature and the body, psycho-emotional manifestation in human life, spiritual contemplations in meditation, and tea and food as ceremonial plant medicine. This is a deep dive into how each Element is already at work in your life.

Together we explore what it means to be truly vital and healthy in mind, body, and spirit, by returning to the ultimate Source of life: our precious Earth. The breathtaking landscape of Telluride, Colorado, serves as backdrop for exploring the Elements in their native environment, powerfully marrying the outer and inner expression of this universal wisdom.

What's Included:

  • Daily tea ceremonies, meditations, and Qi Gong classes facilitated by practitioners with decades of experience
  • Talks, lectures, and explorations of the many facets of each Element, and how to apply this wisdom to your life and practice
  • Daily breakfasts and dinners aligned with the day’s Element – a direct experiential learning and embodied practice of seasonal eating
  • Hikes* through the extraordinary landscape of Telluride and visits to powerful natural landmarks
  • 7 nights shared lodging at a historic inn within walking distance (or book private accommodations on your own)
  • Nourishing community with fellow practitioners and seekers, building lifelong friendships

* Hikes are designed to accommodate most fitness levels, and are generally 1.5 miles or fewer in length. However, please expect inclines, uneven terrain, and the challenges of physical activity at high elevation. (Telluride is 8,750 feet above sea level.) We take it slow and never leave anyone behind! Reach out directly with any concerns about accessibility.

About The Retreat


  • Dates: Saturday, April 8 (retreat check-in 12-2pm) through Friday, April 14 (ending 2pm. Shared lodging at the Victorian Inn includes Friday night's stay so that you can plan your return flight for any time on Saturday, April 15.
  • Location: Telluride, Colorado, based out of Mountain Gate Teahouse and Art Gallery
  • Food: Breakfast and dinner provided daily based on Five Element seasonal cooking, food as medicine, local harvesting, sustainability, and herbalism
  • Safety: All participants are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to arrival in Telluride. This precaution gives all participants the peace of mind to be safely in community.


Nestled in the heart of Telluride, the Victorian Inn offers everything you need for a comfortable stay during the retreat. The Inn has a 10-person hot tub, outdoor grills, complementary breakfast, oxygen tanks for sale (to help with altitude adjustment), and 20% off coupons for bike rentals. Just a two-block walk from Mountain Gate Teahouse, the Inn serves as a perfect "base-camp."

Book a shared room through Living Tea, or make arrangements for a private room directly with the Victorian Inn or another local hotel of your choice.

Getting to Telluride

Two airports serve the Telluride Area. Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), located about a 1.5 hour drive from Telluride, has the most flight options. We'll assist you in booking transportation from Montrose to Telluride, since you won't need a car in Telluride.

Telluride Airport (TEX) is right in town, but flights are extremely limited. If you are able to find a suitable flight to TEX, we will pick you up from

A final option is Denver International Airport (DEN), about a 6.5 hour drive from Telluride. As stated above, you will not need a car in Telluride, but this is a viable option if you are traveling with a group, or if we can help facilitate a carpool with other retreatants from the Denver area.

Meet Your Guides

Yamin Chehin, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.

Senior Instructor, Eight Treasures Qi Gong

Healing Cycles Acupuncture

Colin Hudon, L.Ac.

Physician of Taoist Medicine

Founder of Living Tea

Rachel E. Maley

Meditation Guide and Spiritual Coach

Leader of Living Tea

"This was one of the best retreats I've ever been to.

It was very profound, the teachers were all amazing, the setting was gorgeous, and the food was incredibly delicious and nourishing.... The instructors were so present and heart-centered, which I really valued. And it was so great to gather with beautiful, like-minded people. It was a deeply nourishing retreat, where I was able to disconnect from my phone and just be present, and I learned so much that I've incorporated into my life.

I would say without hesitation, go for it."

- Alex, May 2022 retreatant

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