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

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Sep 25th, 2021 - Sep 30th, 2021 | Big Pine, California | Betsy Perluss, Angelo Joseph Lazenka | Vision Fast

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 such ways as to be mutually enriched by the telling and the listening. If we cannot tell with expression, our life is mute. If we cannot listen like a mirror, we cannot reflect back the wholeness of the four shields — the body, soul, mind and spirit of the teller. The best stories are about human nature — that is, the human of us which is, after all, nature in her basic manifestations as physical, psychical, rational, and spiritual.

One of the best ways to create a four shields story, if not the best, is to put people in contact with nature in the raw. What comes forth in the story is the stuff of self-transformation. Even as we “myth” ourselves into experience, so we express ourselves into existence. Our stories about our natural selves, and our means of expressing them, lead us to courage, determination, commitment, hope, wisdom, and the will to survive, to transcend the difficulty, to go beyond ourselves. Those of us who work with people must know how to listen and respond to the stories our people tell, so that we can help them create a life that is deeper, richer, and of greater benefit to our community and the earth.

Program Overview: This seminar is designed to evoke and create a style of listening and storytelling that is uniquely your own, to practice reflecting what you hear with the fullness of your being (body, psyche, mind and spirit). It is also a ceremony and, like all ceremonies at the School of Lost Borders, requires a willingness to lose your borders and to go beyond what is familiar and known. Our time together will be a weaving of teaching circles, solo time in nature, and story council. 

Program Questions Contact: Angelo Joseph Lazenka at  [email protected]

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TUITION: $650-$1,150
DEPOSIT: $200

Sliding Scale: To honor the vast difference of financial resources among us, all of our program tuition is based on a sliding scale. We set forth no criteria and ask that you pay what is appropriate for your circumstances and access to financial resources. You can see recommendations on using the sliding scale here. If the low end of the sliding scale is still too much, scholarship assistance is available , please reach out to the office for more info.

Cancellations: Cancellations are hard on the participant, the School, and the guides. We respect the unpredictability of life, and we are diligent about running an organization sustainably.

-If you cancel 60 or more days prior to the start date of your program, you will receive a full refund of any tuition paid, minus any deposits.

-If you cancel 59 days or less prior to the start date of your program, and we can fill your spot, then you will receive a full refund of any tuition paid, minus any deposits.

-If we cannot fill your spot, and you cancel within 59 days of the start of your program, then we hold you accountable for paying the tuition at the lowest end of the sliding scale.

Submit enrollment form

 Please fill out and submit the enrollment form and then pay the program deposit below. After your enrollment form is complete, please submit all health and liability forms.

Pay program deposit

Deposits: This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the tuition balance. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. They cover the work of the specific course you signed up for, including all communication involved as well as the fee that guides pay to the school administration for the course accounting. 

Additional Deposit: Some programs require a second deposit to help us affirm commitments. Last minute cancellations make it hard to fill openings and incur a loss of income to the School and the guides.

Tuition Balance: Balance of tuition can be paid before or upon arrival. Simply deduct any deposits made from the amount you’ve chosen on the sliding scale.

Submit Waitlist form

This program is full; however, you may add your name to the Waitlist by clicking the Waitlist button below.

Additional course details & Materials

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We will be camping at Baker Creek Camp ground in Big Pine, California near the foothills of the Eastern Sierras. The landscape offers many walking trails as well as beautiful areas to find solitude that are easily accessible by foot or car. We encourage people to arrive on Friday September 24th to set up your campsite and have time to land and get acquainted with the land. We will begin at 10AM Saturday September 25th and our intention is to end by 3:30 on Thursday September 30th. The campground offers vault toilets and there are picnic tables at each site with a stream that runs through the campground.

ADDITIONAL FEES: A $60 fee for Baker Creek Campground will be collected for each participant at the program.

You will be responsible for bringing your own food and equipment, though we can provide some gear if needed. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather. 

To address safety concerns during the pandemic, please contact us regarding our current Coronavirus protocols as well as any current travel restrictions. These protocols may affect how you are able to travel to the program. Please note: As of November 2021, unvaccinated international travelers are not currently permitted entry to the USA as per current CDC Guidelines.

All participants must submit the required health questionnaire and liability form.

If you have questions about the enrollment process contact us at [email protected] or call 760-938-3333.

There is no required reading for this program.

Big Pine is located in what is known today as the Owens Valley of California, but it’s true name is Payahuunadü meaning “Land of the Flowing Water”. This valley is the ancestral and contemporary land of the Nüümü and Newe people.

To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.