Mirroring the Four Shields of Human Nature: The Art of Story Telling and Listening

Apr 3rd, 2018 - Apr 8th, 2018
Ruth Wharton, Pedro McMillian

Grampians National Park, Australia

Telling your story is an ancient art. These days, we have mostly forgotten how to listen and how to tell our own story, yet our very survival depends on our ability to communicate by telling and listening to stories. If we cannot tell our story with passion, our life is mute. If we cannot listen like a mirror, we cannot reflect back the wholeness of the story teller. In this program, you will learn to listen and tell from the four shields -- the body, soul, mind, and spirit. You will see that human nature is not separate from the cycles and seasons of the natural world and that there is a synchronistic dance between us and nature.

In the old days, stories came from the land itself. We will practice this ancient art by going intentionally onto the land alone. This intentional practice, and the deep listening that follows, naturally leads us to the wisdom to go beyond ourselves. Those of us who work with people must know how to listen and respond to the stories our people and the natural world tell. This way of mirroring can support us all to create a life that is deeper, richer, and that benefits our community and the earth. 

During this week you will experience deep connection to the land and find your own unique way in the art of listening and mirroring. This is a powerful individual and collective experience that will deeply and positively affect your soul and the work you bring to the world!

ENROLLMENT/QUESTIONS: Contact Ruth at ruthwharton@yahoo.com

LOGISTICS: We will meet together at Inanna, on beautiful private land completely surrounded by Grampians National Park with abundant and spectacular wildlife. The land will become our greatest mirror. Mornings will be taken up with meetings, afternoons with solitary time in the surrounding wilderness. In the evenings, we will tell, listen to, and mirror stories.

LOCATION/ ACCOMIDATIONS: Inanna is located 4 hours west of Melbourne, about 45 minutes outside of Hamilton, Australia. Camping and basic shared accommodation is available. Sleeping bags and some gear are available for hire. Please bring your own food for the program and be prepared to be self-sufficient. A basic kitchen will be available for your use.

Tuition: $800-$1300 AUD sliding scale (scholarships available)
Deposit- $300 AUD to reserve space


Ruth Wharton: An experienced wilderness guide, mentor, and professional counselor. Ruth has worked extensively with people of all ages in wilderness, residential, and therapeutic settings. She been a guide and teacher at the School of Lost Borders (schooloflostborders.org) for over 18 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.

Pedro McMillan: Pedro is the father of two grown children and has been an environmentalist since childhood. An early eco-entrepaneur, he founded and ran a green business for 26 years until selling it in 2016 to focus on rites of passage work. A veteran of many fasts since 1996 he trained and assisted with several programs at the School of Lost Borders before stepping into the role of guide in 2010. He brings a wealth of experience and a poetic and passionate heart to this work.


What will we make of the life before us?

How do we translate the gifts of solitary

beauty into the action required for true

participatory citizenship?

Terry Tempest Williams