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The Ecology of Awakening
Oct 30 2013
A Yearlong Journey of
remembering and living our essential nature
Guided by Kerry Brady and James Stark
With guest teacher Brock Dolman
Begins October, 2013
The Ecology of Awakening is an invitation to re-story ourselves back into the living Earth community in order to awaken our unique gifts and more fully participate in the extraordinary cultural and planetary transformation of our time. The aim of the program is to support a shift in consciousness away from what is conditioned and separate, into what is ever-evolving and connected to all Life. By remembering our place within the unfolding fabric, we become more adept at listening and responding to the way Life continuously evokes us forward.
Our underlying premise for this program is that Life is self-organizing and knows what it’s doing. As Cosmologist Brian Swimme says, “Take hydrogen and leave it alone for 13.7 billion years
and it turns into rosebushes, giraffes and humans.” By aligning with this emergent creative force, we unlock our waiting potential and support our individual and collective ability to live in a more conscious and mutually enhancing way with all Life.
For thousands of years, our ancestors lived wholly immersed in the wonder of a living universe, intuitively guided and held by their nature-based cultures. Now amidst the pressure and pace of the modern industrial agenda, we have become alienated not only from the natural world but from our own deepest nature. As a result, we have lost contact with our instinctive knowing and deeper sense of belonging. However, people in all walks of life are waking to the fact that we are not simply skin-encapsulated egos separate from nature, but rather beings in process, intricately woven into the ever-evolving, vibrant web of life.
Understanding, and most importantly living from this knowing, requires a profound shift in our perception of the larger web as well as a recognition of our deepest identity as an intrinsic part of the cosmic unfolding that brought us forth. Such a perceptual shift takes time and does not simply emerge from a one-time experience that is meant to carry us through our lives. The year-long format is designed to offer sufficient time to develop more consistent and embodied inner guidance, allowing for a new way of being in our lives and communities.
A Seasonal Journey
Through the strong container of an intimate village (maximum of 15), set within a variety of spectacular California ecosystems – including rolling coastal hills, rugged canyons, oak woodlands, redwood groves and desert landscapes – we will create a vibrant ecology that inspires and enhances both individual and group emergence. Weaving group process and deep nature immersion, each experience will inform and guide the next, supporting us in staying attuned to the unique movement that seeks to express through each of us.
We will meet seasonally for three five-day sessions and a seven-day journey that includes three solitary days and nights in the vast and mysterious landscape of the Mojave Desert. Through mutually reflective encounters with the larger Earth community, with our own rich interiors and with each other, we will begin to dissolve our borders and discover our deepest belonging, both to ourselves and to the larger whole. Throughout the year we will utilize deep nature connection, dreamwork, sit spots, bird language, council, listening mediation and other time-tested processes that usher us towards the inner and outer mystery that beckons.
Fall We begin in the fall at Ocean Song, in the rolling coastal hills outside of Occidental that reach toward the visible and beckoning ocean five miles away. With the help of biologist and naturalist Brock Dolman, we will begin to re-story ourselves into the wild. By orienting and attuning to the earth and our senses, we will move beyond our mechanistic mindset and build the context for what it is to re-inhabit and re-enchant the wild. As we clarify our individual intentions, we will establish uniquely tailored practices that will guide us through the year.
Winter Our five-day winter session will take place on a stunning 9,500 acre private reserve between the San Joaquin Valley and the coastal range. The west coast’s largest non-profit preserve, the land stands in a richly bio-diverse region where five unique ecosystems converge. Here we will deepen further into nature and sensory-based practices, and prepare for the Mojave vision fast with a daylong solo. Drawing from biologically based somatic work, we will provide you with practical tools to support the edges you will likely face as you are ushered beyond the safe shores of the familiar into something more vibrant, authentic and life sustaining.
Spring The threshold of the year is our weeklong journey in the spring, which centers on a three-day solo immersion in the Joshua tree forests and mesa tops of the Mojave National Preserve. Historically, the wilderness has been a place for initiating humans into their authentic being. Leaving our everyday context and immersing ourselves in the rhythms and cycles of the natural world draws us beyond the confines of our usual definitions. It is then that we stand at the doorway of our deepest identity – that which is vast, ever changing and intimately connected with all Life. Through a four-day fast (which can include anything from fasting with only water to lightly eating for those with health concerns), we go with open hearts and only the necessary gear to discover what is most essential.
Summer Our final five days take place in the summer in a picturesque landscape on a private ecological preserve marked by serpentine soils, Redwoods and rugged cliffs in Occidental. This gathering is a time to harvest what has been sown over the year and to joyfully celebrate our unfoldings as we prepare to re-weave ourselves back into modern culture with our whole hearts intact. We will spend ample time supporting you in how to best return to your life and community at home. Our focus will be less on holding onto whatever vision you might have received during the year, and more on how to fully embody and abide in the shift from “trying to move through the world” to “allowing the world to move through you”!
Throughout the year between meetings you will be invited to ground and deepen all that is unfolding by creating and working with core routines and practices, as well as through regular check-ins with a buddy and group mentoring calls.
Individual mentoring is also available and encouraged both during and after the program.
(Personal mentoring is not included in the program fee.)
Dates and Locations:
October 30 - November 3, 2013:
Earthways at Ocean Song, Occidental, CA
January 23-27, 2014:
Ecological Preserve, Maricopa, CA
April 25-May 2, 2014:
Mojave National Preserve, CA
July 2-6, 2014:
Ecological Preserve, Occidental, CA
Total tuition is $3,950. This includes basic tent camping and permit fees and all meals during the initial retreat in October. On subsequent retreats we will share in meal preparation as a way to nourish one another and deepen our village communion. Participants will pair up and be responsible for purchasing and preparing breakfasts and dinners for the group. Each participant will bring their own lunches, snacks and tea.
Please note that the spring session is a seven-day journey into the remote desert. While we will not be backpacking, you will be expected to carry all you need for your solo time a distance of your choosing. Previous backpacking and/or camping experience are not required. We will fully prepare you for your time in the wilderness, physically and otherwise, before your solo. Once you have registered for the course, we will help you figure out all you need.
How Do I Apply and Register for the Programs?
How to Apply
This program is not intended as healing or therapy. It is for those who have developed a “healthy enough” sense of self, and are ready to open to the vaster mystery that seeks to unfold within them. In order to help you to decide if the program is a fit for you, we’ve developed an application process that includes an interview once we’ve received your application. We do this to ensure you will not be pushed beyond what you are ready for, as moving beyond our basic habits and need for security can be challenging even for those who know it’s time!
The first step is to fill out the online application form.
We recommend applying early, as program enrollment is limited. Applications will be accepted through October 14, 2013. Once we receive your form, you will be contacted for an interview.
How to Register
Once you have been approved for the program, a registration form must be completed by October 16th, including full payment of the program fee. However, we encourage you to secure your enrollment prior to the 16th with a $500 non-refundable deposit so we can send you the welcome package with program preparation information.
Course Cancellation Policy
Cancellation policy is outlined in the Financial Agreement document included in the online registration form.
The Ecology of Awakening is a deep dive into uncovering and stepping into your own personal medicine – a profound rite of passage in a deeply held container to bring transformation into your life, community and world. ~ J.M., San Geronimo, CA
If you are questing to walk your gifts and path more fully, Ecology of Awakening is the place to strengthen your journey, open your heart and find initiation into the wild beauty of this world. What a glorious experience – life enriching, life changing! ~ M.M., Los Osos, CA
I was so unprepared for what a powerful, relevant experience this was. I am forever changed, forever more than I was. This program provides the support, connection, space and reflection that is so lacking in our culture. This work is in service to self and all of creation. ~ J.W., San Luis Obispo, CA
Just what I’d been waiting for forty years – a safe and accepting circle to share my deepest despairs and hopes for the world, together with ways of moving through to the other side towards acceptance and gratitude, cultivating the stillness to discern the true voice of right action. All with a “hit me right where I was” while being immersed in the beauty of nature! ~ K.W., Ashland, OR