It is difficult for me to express in words the impact this ceremony has had on all aspects of my life, it is easier to simply see the change in my actions.
I have been given a great gift. It is so great because I am able to share this gift with my community. In the eleven days I was training with the School of Lost Borders, my life changed. And now less than a year later, because of the opportunity I was given, up to 40 more young lives have the opportunity to be changed.
During the first ever month-long version of Incorporation, which far surpassed the typical four day meditation on how to rejoin our lives fruitfully after a Vision Quest, we were all gifted with a week’s worth of wisdom in each shield, luxuriating in the teachings, textures, games and shades of each phase, while solo fasting in places of exquisite, humbling beauty that unforgettably encapsulated each element and stage of life—from the tumbling, frothing, playful waters of Big Pine’s glacial run-off, to the sharp, crisp air of the High Sierras at 11,900 feet, to the bone dry earth that somehow nurtures the high Inyo desert sage and the ancient bristlecones. Our interaction as helpers with members of the Paiute community totally transformed the characteristic introspection of the quest experience into more outwardly directed, giving energies. It was all an inspiration worth waiting for.
Every moment of council and mirroring journeyed me through a rich web of extremes that my heart, soul and mind had to navigate, tentatively or courageously, under the focused prompts and stories of our able, well-seasoned, and often hilarious guides. I felt constantly transported between the extremely personal and the globally aware, the intensely private and the outwardly activistic, the urge to cry and the urge to laugh. The discomfort of sharing my deepest vulnerabilities was coaxed into expression by the inviolable safety of our circle container. My entire being trekked incessantly between the practical and whimsical to the sacred and profound, learning to listen more keenly to the tiniest chirps and chitterings of the smallest creatures. Alerted by the crickets, the vigilant nighthawk, the rattlesnake at the threshold circle…I’m also sure I heard the cosmic call of the Universe at times.
More of this, please! The world is crying out for more of it. And as a person who seeks to contribute to that world, I am certainly going in a more grounded direction because of it.
As a urban guy who grew up in NYC , this has been a wonderful adventure of learning to feel safe and connected in the natural world along with a very deep kind of homecoming. With your help, I have come to feel a profound sense of belonging and peace in both the wildness without and within.
Having you there as trusted and skillful guides helped me to let go and allowed nature do the rest.
I have never felt so listened to and so loved as in the mirroring upon my return from the Fast and in the extended workshop last summer. Words can not convey the sense of feeling so deeply known, of expanding what had already felt so spacious and joyous, and of bringing stunning clarity to a bunch of seemingly disconnected experiences.You were poets, magicians and shamans and through modeling, active guidance, and a clear structure, you taught me to wade into the same intuitive realm to begin to do the same for others.
The changes continue to work in my life and are benefiting my family and friends,my psychotherapy clients, and my students.
I never saw the likes of it---it was a beautifully intimate experience of authentic community.
It is truly impossible to distill the essence of the profound way in which I have been nourished, graced and forever altered by this experience.
I got a chance to look at myself and things that have happened in my life - which I thought I had dealt with but that were still sitting heavy with me.
Going to the Vision Quest training has made me stronger; made me realize that I can take this back to other people that are in the same situation as mine. I can use the Four Shields Teaching in helping them understand, and I can bring it to reality in the field of HIV/ AIDS and other programs of the organization.
On our return from the fast, we met in council to share our stories; the healings and the woundings each man described reached beyond just that one man; beyond just the empathy of the group; but rather connected to some great mysterious story that was desperately seeking to define itself through our shared commitment to explore the sacred masculine. It was hard to believe at times. In the moment of greatest personal doubt, when the energy of the group was it its peek. The blue sky turned grey. The winds became strong. The rain began to pour. I went back to the tent and I heard a baby crying. It was then, that I knew what we were participating in was an ancient way of knowing and learning. When every moment becomes a metaphor, a man stands in his true inheritance.
The blessings sometimes come in the form of a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes but most of all the blessings come as a welcomed reminder of what is important in our lives. I am reminded that all of you at Lost Borders are doing much much needed valuable work. I feel a sense of relief that those who want to experience a modern vision fast have a place to go for refuge with some of the most creative, inspring, connected, and loving people I have ever met! You truly make a difference in this world.
That tender place in my heart and mind still bring me sanity when day to day “stuff” seems overwhelming. What you do at Lost Borders is a unique and indespensible experience like no other on earth.
Vision fasts have been life-saving and life-giving for me. I return to my work with a renewed sense of all our abilities to heal ourselves and each other.
The forces behind the Fasting are very mysterious, but very in their effects very clear. Everytime, the intention I went into the fast with, came into place piece by piece in the months and years after the fast.
I am finding that taking my self back there is so expansive and moves me right back to gratitude and safety. How funny really, I was so afraid to go out, and now my place in the desert has become my safe place in my imagination. Thank you again for your brilliance and committment. My experience with you and the group and the desert has moved me into my future self with elegance, ease and beauty. I am so gratefull!
This was much more than I had hoped for. I felt I came home.
I came on this trip to get back in touch with nature. I did that and much more. I saw that it was about growing up. Now I’ve returned home as a man.
From this trip, I am taking my place as an elder. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers are behind me, and my daughters and granddaughters are out in front of me. And I am right here.
I didn’t know such deep healing was possible. I know it’s not over, but it has begun.
More gratitude than I can speak for giving me the support to have my own journey, for letting me struggle and being there for me.
Damn these mosquitoes!