The Nature of Council

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May 3rd, 2024 - May 10th, 2024 | Big Pine, California | Sam DeBoskey, Yamin Chehin

“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]

EnrollButton

TUITION: $800-$2400
DEPOSIT: $300

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

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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.

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.

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.