Let Go into the Mystery: The East Shield of Living and Dying
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”?
Program Overview: 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.
Program Questions Contact: Scott Eberle at [email protected]
Additional course details & Materials
We will rendezvous on Saturday, October 2nd, at 10 a.m. in Big Pine, California, moving from there to our basecamp in the backcountry east of town in the Eureka Valley. We anticipate camping together the entire week, finishing by mid-morning on Sunday, October 10th. If the pandemic requires us to limit enrollment to a smaller group, we may finish a day early. We will provide dinner the first night and the break-fast after the solo time. More detailed logistical information will be sent out prior to the program’s start.
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 May 2023 there are no longer any vaccination requirements for international travellers seeking entry to the USA.
There is no required reading for this program.
We will be camping in the remote Eureka Valley an hour east from Big Pine. This valley is land of the Nüümü Tümpisattsi who were forced by white settlers and the US government onto reservations in the area. Bordering Death Valley, this desert valley is wide open and surrounded by the Inyo and Last Chance Mountains, with sand dunes at the south end that are the highest west of the Mississippi.
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