“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.



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.

Ceremonial Immersion

Cerimonial Immersion

A community-based plunge into what it means to be wholly alive human beings.  Across 2 years of land-based and zoom gatherings, we create a rare kind of human container that both nourishes the communal ceremonial spirit in each of us and feeds the Ceremony itself. We sit with holy earth and listen to the whisperings of the wild world around us.

Upcoming Training Programs


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

May 15 - May 20, 2023 Big Pine, California Betsy Perluss, Katie Teague

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 14 - Jul 16, 2023 Inyo Mountains - Big Pine, California Betsy Perluss, Angelo Joseph Lazenka, Petra Lentz-Snow, Meredith Little, Kim Belair

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

Aug 23 - Aug 27, 2023 Dragonback Springs Ranch, Colorado Emerald North, 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 ...

CO Two Week Training

Sep 2 - Sep 17, 2023 Wild Mountain, Colorado Ruth “Roo” Wharton, Pedro McMillan

This training gives students an immersion in a rite of passage ceremony, including the skills involved in leading the vision fast and an understanding of how the principles of rites of passage can ...

The Four Shields of Wholeness for Women

Sep 17 - Sep 23, 2023 Big Pine and Eureka Valley Petra Lentz-Snow, Gretchen (Grae) Gerlach

Patrilinear hierarchical systems have pushed life on earth to the raw edge of social and ecological sustainability. Many of us feel the global crisis reverberating acutely in our own bodies, in the ...

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

Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2023 Mendocino, CA Siri Gunnarson, 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 ...

Nature of Council

Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2023 Jug Handle Creek Farm, Mendocino County, California Siri Gunnarson, Yamin Chehin

 Join us on Pomo lands on the Mendocino Coast where Jug Handle Creek meets the Pacific Ocean, a unique coastal terrace ecology with a rare pygmy forest. We offer this training in the spirit of ...

Page 1 of 1