Jun 13th, 2018 - Jul 15th, 2018
For more than thirty-five years the School of Lost Borders has offered a unique training for students, therapists, teachers, caregivers, and guides interested in deepening their understanding and in-depth experience in the principles of the modern day Vision Fast. Although this training has supported those who choose to creatively transform and adapt this work to a variety of professional, community and personal settings, our teachings remain rooted in the core tradition of wilderness rites of passage; namely four days and nights of fasting alone in a wilderness place, and returning with a “vision” in service to one’s community.
The month-long intensive is designed for those who seek to explore and develop their vocation as wilderness guides within the tradition of the School. Here, participants are given the opportunity and mentorship to fully immerse themselves in the ceremonial and practical aspects of modern day wilderness rites of passage that have evolved throughout our years of practice and have been passed down through the teaching of our elders. It is a beneficial training for those who plan to work with either adults or youth, and who desire to gain a solid foundation in the vision fast ceremony.
Over the years we have expanded the comprehensiveness of this training while maintaining its grounded, experiential base. Covering a wide range of relevant themes throughout the month, the essence of the teaching will emerge from our relationships with the soul and body of the land, where the eternal wisdom of pan-cultural rites of passage arises, reflecting the underlying wisdom and dynamism of all life.
The group will camp together in the heights of the Inyo Mountains, blending as a community of diverse individuals as well as respectfully entering the community of the wild beings of this place. Many afternoons will be spent in focused and ceremonial solo time, experientially exploring the themes of the day. The apprentice-trainee must play two roles: that of initiate and that of field therapist, naïve participant and knowing professional. The experiences of initiatory activity in the wilderness will inform and illumine the subject matter of the teaching.
Trainees will have the opportunity to learn from a rotating team of highly experienced guides and teachers from Lost Borders throughout the month, culminating in a four-day personal vision fast.
Topics will include but not be limited to:
· the theory and foundations of rites of passage and their pan-cultural universality
· the four shields of human nature
· self-generated ceremony and the role of threshold-crossing
· the practice of story-telling and mirroring
· the centrality of nature as mirror
· council practice
· rites of passage as dying practice
· what a guide is and is not
· the dynamics of fasting and use of “taboos”
· specific practices such as the Death Lodge, Purpose Circle, and other pan-cultural symbols and practices
· the screening and preparation of candidates
· shaping and honing of intent as a foundation for threshold experiences
· maintaining a candidate’s physical/psychological/mental/spiritual safety
· variations on traditional models of wilderness vision fasts (such as one-day formats and the use of nearby natural areas
· working with youth, elders, and special populations, and
· the all-important topic of incorporation and appropriateness of this work to the challenges of our world today.
Prerequisite: Participation in at least one guided 3 or 4 day Vision Fast.