Walking Into That Good Night: Exploring Our Relationship With Dying & Death

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Feb 23rd, 2025 - Mar 1st, 2025 | Death Valley, CA | Katie Teague, Betsy Perluss

“To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
To love what is mortal,
To hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it,
And when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.”
— Mary Oliver


“Awareness of death is the very bedrock of the path. Until you have developed this 
awareness, all other practices are useless.”
-the Dalai Lama

Physical death is the ultimate rite of passage that we are preparing for on some level throughout our entire life. Sometimes this “preparing” looks like denial; sometimes sudden illness or life-threats surprise us into looking squarely at the inevitable truth. The more consciously we can turn our attention to our mortality, the more able we are to turn our life’s focus toward that which truly matters to us during this one precious lifetime.

In today’s world we carry the challenge and opportunity of making important health decisions with modern medical advances. This changes what our “dying” may look like, and necessitates significant conversations with our loved ones, as well as soul searching within ourselves. Some of the questions that arise may be: how do these decisions affect my loved ones? what are my biggest fears?, my greatest hopes?, what is my relationship with chosen death or suicide at a certain point in my dying process?, how much am I in control?, and how does the certainty of my own mortality inform my living and even infuse my life with meaning and beauty?

There is no final answer to these and many more fertile questions, rather an opportunity to deepen our organic, creative relationship with death that matures as we do. We will come together and be in conversation with the land, each other, and ourselves about our mortality, expectations and fears, relationship with mystery and the unknown. We will individually discover what arises from the tension of being life-filled, while inevitably walking toward our death.

Night walks under the Death Valley sky will be the solo time each day, culminating in an overnight solo. During this time you will explore and cultivate your own personal tools for walking in the darkness.

Program enquiries:to Katie Teague: [email protected]

EnrollButton

TUITION: $900-$2700
DEPOSIT: $350

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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PROGRAM LOGISTICS:

"We will meet at 2:00 pm on Monday, March 31 at our basecamp at Mesquite Campground in Death Valley where we will camp together for the week. Each day we will meet to listen to the stories brought back from the night walk solos, and we will sit in council to explore our relationship with death/life. A more detailed logistical letter will be sent out a few months before we meet. We will finish by noon on Sunday, April 6.

ADDITIONAL FEES: Each car must purchase a Death Valley entrance fee ticket. We will split the cost of the campsites that we reserve. Camping fees to be determined.
Maximum group size: 10 people

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.


Recommended reading: The Final Crossing, by Scott Eberle and The Trail to the Sacred Mountain Handbook.

All publications are available at Lost Borders Press.

Tüpippüh (also known as Death Valley) is home of the Timbisha people and is 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.