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

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Sep 19th, 2022 - Sep 24th, 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 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

We have a sliding scale for our programs in an effort to make them accessible. Please pay what you are able and know that your generosity supports the affordability of all our programs. If you need financial support or a payment plan check out our scholarship fund.

Pay program deposit

This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the tuition balance. This is a non-refundable, non-transferable deposit that is required for enrollment.

Submit enrollment form

Once you have paid the program deposit, please fill out and submit the enrollment form below. After your enrollment form is complete, please submit all health and liability forms.

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 Campground 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 Sunday, September 18th to set up your campsite and have time to land and get acquainted with the land. We will begin at 10AM Monday, September 19th and our intention is to end by 3:30 on Saturday, September 24th. 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.

All participants must submit the required health and liability forms.

Following enrollment, please submit the Letter of Intent. We ask that you write a letter of intent at least a month before the program, stating your reasons for enrolling and what is calling you to attend.

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.