Entering a Queer Life Lodge: Forgiveness, Apology & Reconciliation

Sep 16th, 2018 - Sep 23rd, 2018
Bay Area

If only there were evil people somewhere else insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were simply necessary to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart?

—Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Imagine you, as a queer person* (LGBTQIA+) living in a community that has its own “Death Lodge,” a place where you can die to the old and transform into what has been waiting for you. A place where you can truly forgive and leave behind the divisions that no longer serve you, where you can rest and receive the visitors who come to say goodbye. This is the natural place of “making it good” with your people so you can cleanly move on, and they can let you go in the fullness of completion. An old hospice teaching says that to complete a relationship five things must be said: “I forgive you”; “you forgive me”; “thank you”; “I love you”; and “goodbye.” This is the sacred work of the Death Lodge— needed in the queer community more deeply than ever – as individuals and as a collective.

One of the great challenges we all face in life is to do this work now, when it is most needed, rather than waiting until the last days of our dying. Call this the work of “the Life Lodge.” If we don’t step into this lodge, if we don’t keep our relationships current, we risk being weighed down by a lifetime of wounding, anger, shame, and regrets that make it more difficult to surrender to our death, or to the fullness of our life.

The call to do this Life Lodge work may be especially strong for queer community, which has its share of divisions. Growing up queer in our families and communities may have left us with complicated ongoing relationships and plenty of unfinished business, even while it may have freed some of us to create new ways of defining and being in relationship.

In this gathering, we will move through “the four shields” of Life Lodge work: being a queer child; coming out or transitioning in adolescence (regardless of age); living proudly as a queer adult giving back to the community; and embracing our Queer Spirit. We will ask: While growing up, where in relationships have you gotten stuck? When might you have forgiven too soon, or apologized too shallowly? Jewels to be found in the Life Lodge are god-like qualities: mercy, compassion, self-respect, and maybe even the grace to forgive “the unforgiveable.” If you listen deeply, you can tune into the value and healing potential of a circle of queer folk spending time together in the Life Lodge finding forgivness, apology, and reconciliation.

* We recognize and honor that the word “queer” has been used in the past as a derogatory term and is still very hurtful for some in the LGBTQIA+ community. Many LGBTQIA+ organizations and communities have reclaimed the word “queer” and this has been both empowering and uniting of the multiple complex identities within the community. We use the word here as an inclusive term and shortcut for the LGBTQIA+ lettering.

Program information:  Enrollment is limited to 10.  This 8-day program will be held at a campsite in the North Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We will start early afternoon on the first day, a Sunday, and finish by noon of the last day, also a Sunday. Our site is a two-mile hike in, though we’re allowed a single vehicle with trailer to bring in most of our gear (and anyone unable to do the walk). Because of this, it will be important to arrive on time the first day – exact meeting time and further details to follow. We will be camping together the entire week. The site does have a pit toilet and a water tower nearby, but no showers or regular bathroom. More detailed logistical information will be sent out a few months before the course begins.

A note to people with limited wilderness experience: Though we will be camping out for the entire week, activities undertaken will be non-strenuous and our emphasis will always be “safety first.” We will provide a list of personal equipment that each participant should bring and we will also provide some group equipment for our base-camp. We may be able to loan limited personal equipment as needed and if we are unable, we can provide advice about what to purchase or rent.


The School of Lost Borders has created a sliding scale for all its fast and trainings in an effort to keep our courses affordable to a wide range of people. We set forth no criteria and trust that each individual will pay what they feel is appropriate.

Tuition: $800 - $1400

Deposit: $300
(Non-refundable & non-transferrable unless seminar is cancelled)

Extra Fees: Camping/parking fee: $80


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