“This training has totally changed my life! I was seen in my totality and held in a wonderful and fun community. Being on the land has given me a true purpose and helped me live life more awake, more fully, more truly.”

- Mara, 2018

For more than 40 years, the School of Lost Borders has offered trainings for students, therapists, teachers, caregivers, and guides around the world. Our trainings are for those interested in deepening their understanding of rites of passage, self-generated ceremonies, and initiatory eco-therapies. They are highly experiential and provide the skills needed to support people in transition through nature-based initiatory practices. These trainings are transformative both personally and professionally and involve a profound immersion in the natural world.



This training is specific to facilitating a wilderness rite of passage, known as a vision fast. This training focuses on council, physical and emotional preparation, intention setting, supporting self generated ceremony, mirroring, incorporation, and applying rites of passage to diverse settings.



An extensive training focused on preparing guides, therapists, and humans to provide rites of passage ceremonies in their communities. This training includes foundational topics in rites of passage, diverse populations, council, mirroring training, vision fast facilitation, and incorporation.



Our most comprehensive training which weaves together a collection of multiple trainers throughout the month. This training includes in depth foundations of rites of passage work, council, mirroring training, practice of living and dying, vision fast facilitation, and incorporation.



An experiential and interactive training that involves daily intentional walks on the land followed by community reflection. Learn how to deeply listen to and respond to peoples stories through the practice of mirroring. This practice is applicable in diverse settings.


4 shields stones

An in-depth exploration of the four seasons of human nature through daily intentional time on the land and storytelling. Exploring human nature in relationship with the earth provides a profound understanding of how to support others in deepening connections with themselves, one another, and the land.

Upcoming Training Programs


18-Month Rite of Passage Ceremonial Immersion

Dec 12 - Jul 2, 2023 Various Locations Emerald North, Scot Deily

This immersion program is full with a waitlist. To enroll in the next upcoming 18-Month Ceremonial Immersion (beginning August 2022), please visit this link. No matter our ancestry, we are all a ...

Dark Nature: Matrix of Initiatory Growth

Apr 17 - Apr 22, 2022 Eureka Valley, California Meredith Little

Of all the shields of human nature, the dark or fall shield can be at once the most compelling and the most frightening. It calls on us continually to risk everything, to let go of what has come ...

Becoming Human: The Four Shields Model of Nature-Based Therapeutics

May 16 - May 21, 2022 Big Pine, California Betsy Perluss, Angelo Joseph Lazenka

The Four Shields model offers us a compass to help us find our way back to our origins on this living planet. This wheel of human nature was handed down to Steven and Meredith in the early days of ...

CA Month-Long Training

Jun 15 - Jul 17, 2022 Inyo Mountains - Big Pine, California Betsy Perluss, Angelo Joseph Lazenka, Petra Lentz-Snow

The month-long intensive is designed for those who seek to explore and develop their vocation as wilderness guides within the tradition of the School of Lost Borders. Participants are given the ...

CO Two Week Training

Jun 20 - Jul 3, 2022 Dragonback Springs Ranch, Colorado Emerald North, Scot Deily

The two week training offers the participant an immersion into the vision fast ceremony, including the beginning skills necessary to lead it and an understanding of how the principles of the vision ...

CO Three Week Training

Jul 28 - Aug 19, 2022 Wild Mountain, Colorado Ruth “Roo” Wharton, Pedro McMillan

Wilderness Rites of Passage have been practiced in cultures around the world as a way to celebrate and transition from one phase of life to the next - to leave behind what no longer serves and step ...

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

Aug 17 - Aug 22, 2022 Dragonback Springs Ranch, Colorado Emerald North, Ray Hillis, Scot Deily

Who is this miracle speaking to me? And who is this miracle listening? What amazingness are we creating? Out of gray matter a star spark of thought leaps between synapses into the air, and ...

18-Month Rite of Passage Ceremonial Immersion

Aug 31 - Jan 20, 2024 Various Locations Emerald North, Scot Deily

No matter our ancestry, we are all a part of the lineage upon this living planet. And because of this it is in our bones to be called again and again to the land and into ceremony  to ...

CA Mirroring the Four Shields of Human Nature: The Art of Storytelling and Listening

Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2022 Big Pine, California Angelo Joseph Lazenka, Betsy Perluss

Telling one’s own story is an ancient art. Nowadays, we have forgotten how to listen and how to tell. Yet the very survival of our species depends on our ability to communicate with each other in ...

CA Two Week Training

Oct 2 - Oct 15, 2022 Big Pine & Eureka Valley, California Ruth “Roo” Wharton, Angelo Joseph Lazenka

In these times of change and uncertainty, it is crucial that we show up for our community in ways that truly serve. The world is calling us to listen in new and old ways to connect with the land and ...

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