The Nature of Council
“There is a world behind the world we see that is the same world but more open, more transparent, without blocks. Like inside a big mind, the animals and humans all can talk, and those who pass through here get power to heal and to help. They learn how to behave, and how not to give offense. To touch this world no matter how briefly is a help in life.”
~ Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
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 beings. 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.
Overview: The eight-day arc of this training gives us time to explore different forms, formats, exercises and ways of sharing council in intimate relationships, families, schools and communities. There will be both solo-time and group-time, in order to open to the teachings offered by the natural world. We will offer group exercises, weaving in self-generated ceremonies, inviting the mystery into our personal journeys. We will explore the facilitation challenges of working solo, with a partner, and with the whole circle.
We will use the universal map of the 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. Ultimately, it is the questions you are living and the experiences you bring with you that 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.
Who is this offering for: This extended training is intended for leaders and change-agents, caregivers and caretakers, and those longing for and creating community. It is intended to support and inform those working with young people and elders, as well as guides using Council with rites-of-passage. It offers guidance for Council Carriers introducing the Council practice into other cultures and challenging places.
Venue: In the circle of our days together, Payahuunadu, “The place where water flows” (Owen’s Valley in the Eastern Sierra) will be our home. Our base will be Baker Creek, a campground nestled below the southernmost glacier in North America just west of Big Pine, CA.
For program enquires please contact Sam DeBoskey [email protected]
Additional course details & Materials
Our base will be Baker Creek, a campground nestled below the southern most glacier in North America just west of Big Pine, CA. Additional camping fees of $50-$70 are payable.
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.
We will gather in the eastern mountains of Payahuunadü (also known as the Inyo Mountains) east of Big Pine, California. These are the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Nüümü and Newe people.
To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.