Stories

Desert Flowering

Arriving in the sacred Inyo Mountains I am greeted by an unexpected profusion of wildflowers.  A sea of purle, pink, yellow and red, scattered beneath the pinion pine and junipers.  A testament to the hidden ferticility held deeply in this dry place.

As we come togther in community of people and land, I dig into the dry places whin my soul.  The flowers guides me, I follow their lead.  Some days I draw one, determined to learn its name and the bones of shape, colour, form.  Mountain larkspur, wild heliotrope, segolily - my companions.

The Ballcourt Fast: Learning Reflections on a Field Trip By Eve-lynn Civerolo

By- Eve-lynn Civerolo

I have been studying with the SOLB for many years now, both as a participant and as an assistant/facilitator for those programs that I had already been involved in.

Having done the ‘Practice of Living and Dying’ plus the ‘Mirroring the Four Shield of Human Nature: The Art of Story Telling and Listening’, I wanted to do a Vision Fast, mainly ‘The BallCourt’. Loving nature as I do, I felt it would help me to get back in touch with my natural transition, moving me from one stage to another, at this time in my life.

LAMENTING FOR A VISION: by Dr Kabir Bavikatte- 2014 Men's Vision Fast

1930- Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota: On a barren hill, under a shelter of pine boughs sits an old Oglala Sioux medicine man. His name is Black Elk and he seems to be expecting the stranger hiking up to meet him. The stranger is John Neihardt, a poet from Nebraska. The meeting between the grizzled warrior healer and the poet is historic. Neihardt goes on to transcribe Black Elk’s story and visions in what becomes the Native American spiritual classic - Black Elk Speaks.

2014 Queer Quest tribute

I have just returned home from the Queer Fast and on my drive home last night I promised myself that the first thing I did when I turned on my computer the next day would be to send you an email. 

Death Manifesto from Eureka Valley ~ Heather Heintz

I found a long piece of wood in the desert during my time with the school of lost borders (which if you get a chance do go be with them... holy hanuman GO).  I wrote this on April 22 with a ball point pen on that long piece of wood of which I hand carved a spear with my knife.  There is a certain sharpness that I own.  I have added a couple of sentences... since one thing time does offer is a bringing us closer to our own death in all of the forms that takes.

Praveen - on the 2009 Men's Vision Fast

The men's gathering and fast in the Inyo mountains was for me a watershed event. Looking back at it months later, I’m shaking my head in wonder and smiling in gratitude. I’m still incorporating the lessons from it into my daily life.

It was my second fast with the School of Lost Borders and I went with some foregone assumptions. For one, I was sure it would be a pretty placid experience. After all, I had already faced most of my inner demons the first time around. It would probably be less rewarding, there was just no way it could match the incredibly raw primacy of my first awakening. Diversity would no doubt suffer given only one side of the gender coin would be present.

Wrong on all counts.

Testimonials: The Practice of Living & Dying

John, USA
During the last two months I have written letters of Thanks, Forgiveness, Asked for Forgiveness and said I love you. The process continues...

Penelope, USA
My journey through the dark night made me come out with it: I love the people I love, and I can't wait to be sure they will love me back.

Hannah, USA
My old defenses are gone, and I don't expect them to return. I'm learning to practice compassion and forgiveness every day, toward everyone... including myself."
 

Testimonials: Vision Fasts & Training

Suzie
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.

Karen M

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.

Ira
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.

Who are my People? Brian 2011 Men's Fast

We are here to witness the creation
and to abet it. . . 
We are here to bring to consciousness the
beauty and power that are around us and
to praise the people who are here with us.

Annie Dillard