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


Oct 7th, 2023 - Oct 15th, 2023 | Eureka 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 Eureka 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.

Please note that the dates and location for this program were recently changed. If you have questions, contact Scott (email below).

Program Questions Contact: Scott Eberle at [email protected]


TUITION: $1,150 - $3,400

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


We will rendezvous on Saturday, October 7th, at 10 a.m. in Big Pine, moving from there to our basecamp in the backcountry an hour away.. We anticipate camping together the entire week, finishing by morning on Sunday, October 15th. 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. 

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.

Our basecamp in Eureka Valley is at the northern edge of Tüpippüh (also known as Death Valley), which is home of the Timbisha people and 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.