Let Go into the Mystery: The East Shield of Living and Dying

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Oct 28th, 2023 - Nov 5th, 2023 | Death Valley, California | Scott Eberle, Cynthia Morrow

All is a circle within me.
I have gone into the earth and out again.
I have gone to the edge of the sky.
Now all is at peace within me.
Now all has a place to come home.
—Nancy Wood

Throughout time and cultures, people have crossed borders of their ordinary lives seeking contact with the Mystery. An experience of Oneness, it is beyond any fixed identity. Called by many names, known in a myriad of ways, yet it is ungraspable. In the wide-open view of this Mystery, living and dying are fundamentally interdependent. So too is our recognition of being wholly and completely interconnected with it all.

In this age, we are born and shaped within a world that is ego-centered and ego-driven. There is enormous suffering in believing in the myth of our separate selves. When we hold tightly to an identity focused on self-preservation, we find only more fear, aggression, over-consumption, over-work, confusion and deep loneliness. The spiritual opening of the East Shield offers an expansiveness that allows us to relax within this interwoven matrix of reality.

What might it mean for you to explore this East Shield? To “Let Go into the Mystery”?

This 9-day program, in the vast and ancient landscape of Death Valley, is a ceremony in the East Shield of the School’s Practice of Living and Dying. This is an invitation to explore and honor the individual stories of our spiritual unfolding through life, and to let go into the Great Mystery that holds us beyond birth and death.

To support the busy mind to settle, each day will include periods of sitting meditation. We will gather in council daily, holding space for the sharing and witnessing of stories. Afternoons will include time for walking in the expansive desert to explore each of the four directions of Mystery, culminating with a day in the East: a 24-hour solo. When we reconvene, we’ll then spend several days hearing stories from this solo time. Enrollment is limited to 10.

Program Questions Contact: Scott Eberle at [email protected]

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TUITION: $1,150 - $3,400
DEPOSIT: $300

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 rendezvous on Saturday, October 28th, at 10 a.m. in Furnace Creek, the biggest town in Death Valley, moving from there to our basecamp in the nearby backcountry. We anticipate camping together the entire week, finishing by mid-morning on Sunday, November 5th. We will provide dinner the first night and the break-fast after the solo time. Otherwise we ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently, which means bringing your own camping equipment and food for the week. More detailed logistical information will be sent out prior to the program’s start. Of note: we will be flexing current COVID risk reduction plans according to where we are in the pandemic at the time of the program. Camping fee of $50 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.

Tüpippüh (also known as Death Valley) is home of the Timbisha people and is the name of their ancestral and contemporary homeland. Miners came to this area in 1849 and the Timbisha’s land was stolen to create Death Valley National Monument in 1933. The Timbisha were allotted a 40 acre reservation in the park and also forced onto other reservations and into towns in the area. To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.

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