Diamond in the Rough: Wilderness and the Diamond Approach


Jun 22nd, 2024 - Jun 29th, 2024 | Wild Mountain, Colorado | John Davis, Marlena deCarion, Ken Crocker

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 - $2,925

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. Before you pay the deposit, please read deposit section below, all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. 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


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: $105 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. 

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.