Betsy Perluss, Ph.D. has been involved with the School of Lost Borders for over ten years as both a wilderness guide and director of programs. She holds a doctorate in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute where she currently teaches courses on ecopsychology and rites of passage. A gifted guide and teacher, Betsy brings much heart, intensity, and humor to her wilderness work. She is also a licensed psychotherapist and Associate Professor of Counseling at California State University, Los Angeles.
Dr. Scott Eberle is a physician specializing in end-of-life care, medical director of Hospice of Petaluma in Petaluma, California, an experienced teacher and author, and a wilderness guide. Together with Meredith Little, he co-created “The Practice of Living and Dying,” an innovative wilderness curriculum exploring the human experience of being a mortal animal. More recently Scott co-created another new kind of School program with Cazeaux Nordstrum, these ones combining time alone in nature with meditation. To learn more about this new work, read his article, “The Red Thread.” Scott also has a book out called “The Final Crossing: Learning to Die in Order to Live.” In it he writes, “So now I am a physician who specializes in supporting life transitions. I am a hospice doctor who sits with the dying in their homes, and I am a rite-of-passage guide who sits with ‘the dying’ out in the desert.
Visionary, painter, sculptor, gardener and poet, Emerald North, brings years of vital and vibrant experience to the School of Lost Borders. She teaches from the depth of a full and rich life with humor, vision and love. Emerald has been with Lost Borders since 1993 and co-directed the School with Joseph Lazenka from 2001 through 2005. Art Website: http//www.earthtonesart.com
John has been leading wilderness rites of passage retreats since 1984. As a School of Lost Borders staff member, he leads vision fasts and other wilderness-based retreats and trains rites of passage guides. As a professor at Naropa University for many years, he directed the MA programs in ecopsychology and transpersonal psychology. He currently teaches transpersonal psychology, ecopsychology, and wilderness therapy there. A teacher of the Diamond Approach since 1983, he is the author of Read more »
A vision fast guide and trainer since 1986, Joseph joined the Staff of the School in 1993 and co-directed the School with Emerald North from 2001 through 2005. Joseph brings a passionate, dramatic voice to the nurturing of individual character and calling, and a mythic empathy for people, their dreams, and the healing power of nature.
From a field biologist studying whales and dolphins, to a psychotherapist working with individual and family systems, to a teacher and naturalist leading wildlife trips worldwide, Larry came to Lost Borders to train and to guide vision fasts. Although still conducting river dolphin research in Southeast Asia, teaching and leading natural history trips around the world, Larry's passions lay in guiding vision fasters and in sharing his knowledge of the way we understand the ecosystems that support us all.
Meredith and her husband, Steven Foster, co-founded Rites of Passage Inc. in 1976 and The School of Lost Borders in 1981 – pioneering the methods and dynamics of modern pan-cultural passage rites in the wilderness, and “field eco-therapy”. The essence of their work is captured in articles, chapters, an award-winning documentary film, and books that include: The Book of the Vision Quest, The Roaring of the Sacred River, The Four Shields: The Initiatory Seasons of Human Nature,
Nancy is an educator, wilderness guide, and council facilitator. She began her study of wilderness rites of passage in 1981 and has been following this calling ever since. Nancy leads youth and adult vision fasts and has pioneered wilderness rites of passage in school settings. Her intention is to listen deeply in support of others’ connection to nature and spirit; to hold the deepest, widest container of safety and acceptance for others; and to empower them in the full expression of who they are.
An environmentalist since childhood, Pedro became an eco-entrepaneur 20 years ago and continues running a green business today. A veteran of many fasts since 1996 he has trained and assisted with several programs at the School over the last few years. Stepping into the role of guide he brings a wealth of experience and a poetic and passionate heart to this work.
A Wilderness Guide, Zen Buddhist Practitioner and mother of 3 children, Petra is dedicated to support meaningful Rites of Passage in the wilderness and in the urban jungle of our humaness. Truly taking one's place in the world has been (and continues to be) a life long inquiry and practice for her and is at the heart of her work.
An experienced wilderness guide, mentor, and therapist. Ruth has worked extensively with people of all ages in wilderness, residential, and therapeutic settings. She been a guide at the School of Lost Borders over 8 years and is deeply committed to re-introducing rites of passage into the world. This woman passionately weaves the mirror of nature through the world around her.
Silvia has been on the staff of The School of Lost Borders since 1992 as guide and teacher. She is a hospice nurse supporting end of life transitions and end of life care at the bedside and as a community educator. She is a woman of versatility, passion, depth and humor. Silvia brings to her work a nurturing insight and deep compassion inspiring people to expand beyond familiar borders towards self empowerment.
Gigi began with a series of three-day retreats at a convent school when she was twelve, fascinated and curious what Jesus was doing fasting in that desert for 40 days. In her early twenties, the seeds of that experience led her to travel--alone in the wilderness, and in other cultures--seeking pathways to spirit, integral healing, and the partnership possible between all beings. She still travels that road. For thirty years, she has worked with individuals and groups in different communities and cultures, helping to build bridges “between the worlds.” She has organized and co-led journeys to the rainforest, to the oceans, to the desert; journeys dedicated to witnessing
Will is a teacher, naturalist, wilderness guide, facilitator and a life-long student of nature. Will began by leading backpacking trips and has since been a guide both domestically and internationally with college-level field courses, wilderness expeditions, and nature-connection mentoring programs. Will trained with the School of Lost Borders in 2005 and has been guiding youth and adults through wilderness-based rites of passage there since 2007.
Win Phelps is a Finder, a Namer, a Witness, a mentor, a wilderness rites-of-passage guide and trainer, and a carrier of Council. He has been a Chinese Mandarin translator for Army Intelligence, an award-winning TV director in Hollywood, a biodynamic gardener, a single mom/dad and a thirty-year student of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo. The Tao, Nature, is his most profound teacher--along with relationship to his beloved, Gigi Coyle.
Ron Pevny recognized his calling as a wilderness rite of passage guide in 1979 after training with Steven Foster and Meredith Little, and ever since has been dedicated to assisting people in creating lives of purpose and passion. He co-created Choosing Conscious Elderhood in 2002, and in 2010 founded the Center for Conscious Eldering as well as becoming a Certified Sage-ing® Leader. His life coaching practice is focused on individuals over 50 who are committed to aging consciously. He also developed and co-leads “Meeting Ancient Wisdom” pilgrimages to experience the indigenous wisdom of Tarahumara (Raramuri) elders in Copper Canyon, Mexico. He is author of a forthcoming book based upon the Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats, to be published by Beyond Words/ Simon and Schuster.
A world traveler and cross-cultural nomad since childhood, Praveen came from an upbringing in Asia and the Middle East before calling America home. A life’s passion for guiding wilderness rites of passage was preceded by educationally wide-ranging stints in the military, academia, the corporate/finance world and narrative art photography before the ceremony came calling. He is committed to bridging the timeless wisdom of the greater natural world with the sensibilities and challenges of our contemporary times and finding one’s own courage, passion and guidance distilled from within it.
Ray has led and assisted fasts with the School of Lost Borders for the past few years. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in 1968, recently retired from a lifelong career of teaching human development and counseling, and has had a psychotherapy practice (presently in Santa Fe, New Mexico) with a special interest in Jungian analytic dreamwork since the 1970s.
Ann has spent years exploring the spiritual and healing traditions of cultures around the world. As a professor with a doctorate in medical science who now specializes in international public health and education, she has extensive experience leading and guiding educational journeys to Asia, South Asia, Central America, and South America. As a wilderness guide, she has years of training in the ways of the wilderness. Ann has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2000 and a student in the Diamond Approach’s seminary teacher training program since 2006.
is a licensed psychotherapist, consultant and educator. Her Bay Area based practice focuses on adults in mid-life and older life, and the meaning of life in its second half. During the last 30 years she has taught cross-cultural and inter-generational programs on the topics of aging, grief/loss, caregiving, forgiveness, and depression/anxiety at the university level throughout the Bay Area, and in Japan. Her background in anthropology, transpersonal psychology, and indigenous cultures—along with her personal connection to nature—have
Kinde Nebeker is a designer, teacher, artist, climber, lover of world travel and passionate new wilderness rites of passage guide. Kinde is committed to supporting people to awaken to their highest calling so they may serve powerfully in the world and in so doing, shift culture to a more evolved and sustainable level. She is the creator of New Moon Rites of Passage, offering trips, workshops, ecopsychology presentations, mentoring and other assistance to those who seek initiation and vision through deep connection with nature. www.newmoonritesofpassage.com.
Margaret lives in service to the wilderness that seeks expression in every aspect of being. As a coach, mentor, guide, companion, and student she supports persons emerging into full expression of the extraordinary capacities and possibilities of human being unfolding and fully integrated with Nature and Spirit. Her work is in creating and facilitating experiences to evoke the innate wisdom that resides within.
Siri is a global pilgrim, youth leader, guide, carrier of Council and student of community. Interested in both new and ancient forms of education and learning, she has worked with LEAPNOW: Transforming Education to support, create and lead inner and outer journeys and rites of passage for youth.
Susan Prince is a certified Life Coach and has created and led several workshops designed for women in their later years. Susan has enjoyed the unique opportunity of participating in the indigenous model of community where the elders have a pivotal role: sharing their experiences and insights, thus helping foster a healthy and vibrant culture. She also has a background in environmental education with the emphasis on nature awareness. And Susan is a long time Hospice volunteer specializing in grief support.
Maddisen has been engaged in vision quest and wilderness rites of passage trainings with the School of Lost Borders since 1998. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature/Writing from UMass, Amherst, and holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Between deep exhales and inhales of the wilderness, Maddisen serves as a life coach & counselor, and writes & performs stories for the stage and film.
Sara Harris, MFT, has been a Psychotherapist in private practice in Sonoma County, California for over 25 years. In 1998 she began the first Northern California chapter of Bread for the Journey, a national non-profit dedicated to neighborhood philanthropy. She did Vision Quest guide training at the School of Lost Borders and also with Wilderness Rites, and is the co-founder of EarthWays (www.earthways.info), a collective in Sebastopol, Ca, dedicated to Rites of Passage and other earth-based programs. She has been an exuberant educator, guide and mentor in a variety of settings.