Nature of Council


Oct 2nd, 2021 - Oct 9th, 2021 | Big Pine, California | Siri Gunnarson, Yamin Chehin

Council is an ancient way and modern practice whose roots are deep within the natural world, spanning diverse cultures and spiritual traditions. Sitting in circle we remember and learn to listen to the whole: the people, the place and all living things. This practice elicits an experience of deep community, recognizing that each voice has value, every person has a gift, a story to share, a piece of the puzzle.

The eight-day arc of this training gives us time to explore the circles of our days and the seasons of our heart. We will use a universal map of Four Directions as our compass to guide our way through the wilderness within and without. We will be asked to cross threshold after threshold into the wholeness of our lives. The questions you are living and the experiences you bring with you will shape our time together, as will the shadows following you here.

With vulnerability and a little grace, we hope to meet the moment where serving self, serving others, and serving Creation, are spoken in one voice.


“For the western mind to allow for spirit, mystery, the natural truth and order of things to unfold it often has to un-train and let go of what it thinks it knows, in order to discover what’s really there. Through the practice of deep listening, presence and heart awareness, we may all find a powerful way to collaborate, make decisions, and use our perceptions with greater wisdom and compassion”

– Gigi Coyle, Nature of Council Guide and Founder


Program Overview: This training is intended to support and inform those working in ways of council with any and all ages, in different educational programs, and rites of passage journeys as well as those curious to learn more about the practice. We will learn different forms, formats, exercises and ways of sharing council in intimate relationships, families, schools, businesses and communities. Each day there will be an opportunity for solo exploration with the four directions and nature as our guide, returning from each ‘exercise’ with stories to share while practicing diverse council forms, taking time to debrief and discuss application.

Program Questions Contact: Siri Gunnarson at [email protected]


TUITION: $800 - $1,500

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


Please plan to arrive in the late afternoon/evening of October 1st, we will begin together the morning of October 2nd. We will complete our ceremony the afternoon of October 9. In the circle of our days together, we will live simply on the land in a camp we establish and care for collectively (tents, outdoor kitchen, etc.). There will be both solo and group-time, time with the land and water for all of us to open to the teachings offered within the natural world.

Scholarships are available for those who apply, money should not be an obstacle for those who hear the call to participate.

ADDITIONAL FEES: Camping Fee of approximately $50 to be collected at or before the time of the program.

Prerequisites: Completion of at least one Council training, and/or equivalent experience working with Council in different arenas.

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.

All participants must submit the required health and liability forms.

Following enrollment, please submit the Letter of Intent. We ask that you write a letter of intent at least a month before the program, stating your reasons for enrolling and what is calling you to attend.

If you have questions about the enrollment process contact us at [email protected] or call 760-938-3333.

The Way of Council by Virginia Coyle and Jack Zimmerman, available through Lost Borders Press.

Visit the Ways of Council website.

Big Pine is located in what is known today as the Owens Valley of California, but it’s true name is Payahuunadü meaning “Land of the Flowing Water”. This valley is the ancestral and contemporary land of the Nüümü and Newe people.

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