The Practice of Living and Dying
The School of Lost Borders specializes in offering rites of passage ceremonies for modern folk. At the heart of a rite of passage, a term first coined by the Dutch-German-French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep, are the three phases he described: severance, threshold, incorporation. Or put another way: dying, in between, rebirth. You might say that a rite of passage is a “dying practice”: an opportunity to learn how to do the little deaths in life in preparation for the Big Death that awaits us all.
The Practice of Living and Dying is a special curriculum within the School that offers programs accentuating this dying-in between-rebirth process. It was started in 2003 by two of our guides: Meredith Little and Scott Eberle. Meredith, as one of the School’s co-founders, has been practicing “symbolic death midwifery” for over 40 years. Scott, working as a hospice physician, has offered “physical death midwifery” for over 30 years. Together they have created a program series that explores how a participant can move through their own “dying” process. Well after its inception, this curriculum was further expanded by other School guides drawing upon their own living and dying experiences.
The aim of a Practice of Living and Dying program is both educational and therapeutic. Educationally, this work draws upon the School’s years of symbolic death work in the desert, intertwining wisdom coming out of the modern hospice movement, the personal experiences of the guides, and the wisdom of the land. Therapeutically, time spent alone in nature exploring this living-and-dying material invites each participant to experience the wisdom of their own nature, especially their personal truths about living and dying.
These programs invite the asking of an inseparable pair of questions:
How do we live, so we may fully become our dying?
How do we accept our dying that we may fully embrace our living?
Upcoming practice of living & dying programs
Please note: The Ballcourt ceremony is considered an “advanced program” in the Practice of Living & Dying (PLD) curriculum and is the only one in the series that has a prerequisite. Read ...
Mar 13 - Mar 18, 2023 Mesquite Springs campground, Death Valley Meredith Little
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Death is the ultimate agent of transformation—be it a physical death or “the little deaths” encountered throughout life. Indigenous cultures developed rituals to aid and guide people through ...
All is a circle within me.I have gone into the earth and out again.I have gone to the edge of the sky.Now all is at peace within me.Now all has a place to come home.—Nancy WoodThroughout time and ...