Queer Men in the Life Lodge: Forgiveness, Apology & Reconciliation

Date: 
Sep 27th, 2020 - Oct 4th, 2020
Location: 
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 his own heart?

—Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Imagine you, as a queer man, living in a community that has its own “Death Lodge,” a place where a dying person 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.

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 woundings, angers, 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 folk. Growing up queer in mostly mainstream families 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 in adolescence (regardless of age); living proudly as a queer adult; and embracing 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 men spending time together in the Life Lodge.

Program information:  Enrollment is limited to 12. This program will be held within the greater Bay Area. We will start early afternoon on the first day, a Sunday, and finish by noon of the last day. We will be camping together the entire week, likely with a simple toilet set-up and no showers. More detailed logistical information will be sent out a few months before the course begins.

Meals: A plan will be created to share breakfast and dinner preparation among the entire group, with each person on their own for lunches. This plan would have a pair of people preparing each meal, with any one team likely doing a single breakfast and a single dinner. If you would prefer to opt out of this meal sharing, be sure to let us know in advance.

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.

Sliding-scale Tuition: $800-$1400 Camping/parking fee: $80

Deposit: $300 The deposit is considered both a sign of a person’s commitment as well as financial support for the School for the considerable work done in enrolling a course. The deposit is non-refundable unless the program is cancelled. The balance of the fee is due at start of the course.

For more information or to enroll contact Scott. Send deposit to The School of Lost Borders, P.O. Box 796, Big Pine, CA 93513, or use the Paypal link to the right. You will also receive liability and health forms that can be returned to this same address or emailed to Scott.

Dr. Scott Eberle is a physician specializing in end-of-life care, an experienced teacher and author, and medical director of Hospice of Petaluma in Petaluma, California.  Having first learned the science of medicine at U.C. San Francisco medical school, he then learned the art of medicine from countless people living and dying with AIDS. He survived this difficult time by regularly seeking sanctuary, either in monasteries or in the natural world, completing more than a hundred retreats during a fifteen-year period. Scott recently ended his 16-career as an AIDS specialist so he could focus his medical practice on end-of-life care. In one of Scott’s book, “The Final Crossing: Learning to Die in Order to Live”, 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.”

Collin Brown is a seeker, healer, teacher, guide who has delved deeply into the mysteries of eros, love, death, and embodiment. His path has taught him to value and trust the wisdom and insight that come from experiential learning whether it’s in a classroom or out in the boundless beauty of nature. As the director of the Body Electric school for fifteen years he developed curriculum and continues to teach courses that awaken others to the mysteries and grace of being fully alive in their erotic bodies. He has explored the healing potential of entheogens (plant medicine) for 23 years, and continues to find depth and spiritual aliveness in those explorations. At home in nature since childhood, he values the deep initiatory learning that wilderness quests provide. As an elder, he is drawn to the work of initiation as a life-long process that allows us to be fully expressed at all stages of our living and dying.
 

 

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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You can pay the full balance for your program online using PayPal with the button below. Please note, a $25.00 handling fee will be added to your total.