Diamond in the Rough: Wilderness and the Diamond Approach


Jun 24th, 2023 - Jul 1st, 2023 | Wild Mountain, Colorado | John Davis, Marlena deCarion

Direct and intimate contact with the natural world is an ancient and profound
doorway to being. Our ancestors knew this, and we are rediscovering it. Curiosity,
experiential inquiry, mindfulness, simple ceremony, and group council open this
door wider and deepen this contact. This retreat is a chance to step outside your
familiar life, be nourished by nature, find the support of deep listening, and
discover renewal, guidance, and inspiration. Here, wilderness provides a
welcoming, accessible, and powerful way home.

Program Overview: This retreat draws together two powerful paths.

The School of Lost Borders’ orientation and practices root our work in immersion in
the natural world. In addition, we engage ceremonial ways of relating to the land
and ourselves and a four-fold map of nature, including human nature—body, heart,
mind, and spirit. The School’s forms include vision fasts, rites of passage, and
council practice, each of which informs the Diamond in the Rough retreats.

The Diamond Approach® brings clarity and richness to the lessons of the wild. Its
practice of open and open-ended inquiry, along with its map of consciousness,
leads to the realization of our essence while helping us work through barriers to
this realization. The growing freedom that results is expressed in our authentic
presence, aliveness, fulfillment, love, and service.

Integrating these paths offers an inviting and transformative journey.

Program Questions Contact: John Davis at [email protected]


TUITION: $975 - $2,900

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


This retreat is appropriate for those who are new to the Diamond Approach and wilderness camping as well as those who have extensive experience with either. Previous wilderness experience is not necessary.

Our basecamp will be Wild Mountain near Buena Vista, Colorado, in the central Rockies, a place of open meadows, aspen groves, pine forests, high ridges, and awe-inspiring views. This basecamp affords us solitude, expanse, and beauty within easy walking distance. It is about 3 hours from Denver and Boulder. We will be able to drive to our basecamp, and you can choose how far to walk on your solos; stay near or walk far as you are called.

ADDITIONAL FEES: $70 Camping Fee will be collected at the time of 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.

Wild Mountain is land of the Tabeguache Ute people and other Indigenous tribes who traveled through this area of the Colorado Rockies. The Ute lived and hunted in this abundant land of elk, buffalo, deer, and bear before white settlers came and forced them onto reservations in southwest Colorado and Utah.

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