Grief, Loss, and Transformation


Sep 9th, 2020 - Sep 16th, 2020 | Southern Colorado-Dragonback Springs Ranch | Nancy Jane, | Living & Dying

The land around us (and within us) teaches with each passing season, and with each flood, drought, fire and storm, that out of change, crisis and a dying to what was, there appears a new story of form and adaptation. And that how we respond and integrate change into the fabric of our ongoing story colors the character of what comes next.
– Meredith Little, co-founder, School of Lost Borders – 


Death and loss are powerful agents of transformation and come in many forms. The residues of a loved one’s passing, a family member’s suicide, a life-changing health crisis, or physical or emotional trauma plunge us into the disorienting territory of profound grief that may last for years. 

 The raw vulnerability inherent in such experiences needs more than just the passage of time for us to heal. We need community and supportive relationships. In addition, deep in our ancestral memory, we know that ceremony within the context of wild nature can help us move us through such dark passages into a state of renewal and restoration. 

Who this program is for

Perhaps a major loss from years ago remains unexamined or incompletely digested. Perhaps you sense in your bones that change has been precipitated through the ordeal of loss or death and has generated in you the potential to initiate you into a new life.  

We invite you to join us if you feel ready to fully grieve and honor your losses, whatever the cause.  In doing so together, we can open the door to new strengths, gifts, grace, and even gratitude. We are able to experience transformation. 

Program Overview  

The format of the 8-day program is spacious, to allow for delicate insights to emerge. We will meet daily in sharing councils, with teachings followed by experiential reflection walks on the land, and then further councils in the evenings. The framework of the Four Shields will support and help us map out our exploration of grief and loss. Other rituals and practices will enhance our time together. On day six, participants will undertake a 24-hour solo with optional fasting. Upon return participants will share their stories and have them mirrored by the guides.

A note to people with limited wilderness experience: Although we will be camping out for the duration of the program, activities undertaken will be non-strenuous, and our emphasis will always be “safety first.”  We will provide a list of personal equipment that each participant should bring, and we will also provide some group equipment for our base camp.  Our location is private land bordered by National Forest at 9000’ in southern Colorado: Ponderosa pines, a perennial stream, vistas, rocky outcrops, and stillness.

Contact:  [email protected]


TUITION: $850 - $1,500

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


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.

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

program guides