A VISION QUEST FOR ELDERS
August 27 – September 3, 2017: Putney, VT
“When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
Indigenous cultures offer us a compelling vision of the “third chapter” of human life, where integrity, purpose, and intention cohere in a passionate embrace of what it means to be alive. As the body—and the ego—diminish, soul and spirit are embodied as master and sage, generating and gifting active wisdom and compassion to a yearning world. The struggles of a lifetime recede, and our true nature as conscious and loving beings is revealed to us.
Vision quests have often been taken as rites of passage. Passage implies a movement — the end of one thing and the beginning of something else. The endings associated with aging are stark and challenging. Elders have endured the passage of time, and time’s passage can result in loss… loss of the wonder experienced as a child… the loss of friends, power, prestige, strength, social validation, or dreams that were once so important…
A vision quest requires that the rules, roles, and routines of normal life be left behind. In simple and profound ways, we’re ushered into an unmediated encounter with life, primal reality. In so doing we can experience a resetting of our compass, a reconnection to core truths and commitments that are alive and ready to guide us now.
The cost is $1295, and to register, please send a deposit of $400 via PayPal or mail.
Upon receipt of your deposit you will be sent a packet of information including where we will meet and a list of what to bring.
Full payment is due 30 days before the program starts. Barring exceptional circumstances, deposits cannot be refunded after that time.
For more information contact:
P.O. Box 48
Putney, VT 05346
“What we call the beginning is often the end… And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” — T.S. Elliot
We will affirm the terror and wonder, the agony and ecstasy of human experience. Supporting each other in facing what’s ending — or what needs to in order to live fully — we will share processes for opening to what wants to emerge, what demands to live through us in the time we have left.
With the aid of poetry, song, dreams, ritual, and soulful community we will go to Nature – the world which created us – to find aspects of our own nature that long to be cultivated and lived in order to complete our journey without regret.
In this unique Vision Quest for Elders, we will live into the inevitable transition, finding our way of being fully alive. Traditional provisions of solitude and fasting will be individually modified to fit our capacities, but the deep intention of our gathering will be bold and uncompromising: “living as if our last.” As the wheel turns, how will we live?
As If This Were Your Last
One night as I lay in bed
I asked my heart what it wanted
thumping so wildly
about to leap free from
inside my chest.
This is a fine day to die
it said, live as if
this were your last.
So I made a pact with her —
this bloody mother of my life
and every morning this prayer
pulls up the red-soaked dawn —
Strum your bloody strings
I said, pound the sturdy pulse of my life
and I will walk fearlessly
into the dark arms of death
having lived and loved so well
fed fully these moments
all you have given me.
~ Thomas Griffin
This program will be led by Len Fleischer and Sparrow Hart. Visit the “About Us” page for guide bios.