Tending the Sacred Hearth
What is a Wilderness Quest?
A quest is a journey that a person undertakes to find or discover something of meaning. The practice of going into the wilderness to seek guidance has been called by many names, practiced and taught by many different people in many different places and cultures. Ultimately, it is about leaving behind your comfort zone, and spending time in wild nature to discover something of yourself and your life. It changes you.
My purpose as a guide is to prepare, support, and bring people into contact with the wisdom and challenges of nature, and to help them integrate their insights in a way that is transformative for their lives.
If you're curious, you can read more here:
Please get in touch if you are curious about what it means to go on a Quest!
Yoga Wilderness Quest
August 1-9, 2019
with Spencer Nielson and Anna Swisher
Steeping ourselves in the medicine of both ancient traditions and modern practices, we turn to the natural world to guide and support us in finding greater balance, harmony, health, and happiness. Through deep nature connection, yoga practice, Ayurveda, ceremony, community, and intentional solitude, we will seek the medicine that we each need right now, and explore how to bring it more fully into our lives and communities.
We’ll walk together into the spaciousness of the wilderness, and spend six days camping and living together on the land. We will spend time as a group, engage daily practices, nourish our bodies, engage our minds and also let our minds rest, breathe deeply, come together in ceremony, learn ways of connecting with the land, and explore our needs, desires, challenges and fears. We will prepare to go out as individuals for a 24-hour solo quest in the middle of the week, and will come back together to share our stories, harvest insights and integrate our experiences. We will support you in carrying the gifts and medicine you have received back into your life in a meaningful way, continuing to engage these practices in a way that helps you refine and clarify your own way of walking, doing, and being in the world.
DEEP NATURE CONNECTION
The core of this program is immersion in wildness, expanding our awareness and deepening our relationship with wild plants and animals, as well as our own unique wild nature. Whether it’s tracking a deer or the moon, watching an osprey or our breath, listening to the wind or our own heartbeat, we will support a sense of connection with Life. We will engage practices from many earth-based wisdom traditions as well as contemporary eco-psychological perspectives that address the challenges of the modern psyche.
YOGA IN THE WILD
We will have daily yoga practice, bringing our body-mind-spirit into alignment with the land, our unique divine self, and each other. Through yoga, we examine patterns of moving, acting and thinking, of balance and imbalance. As we practice coming into our bodies in nature, the elements support us in discovering our capacity for aliveness, ground us in the truth of the present moment, and teach us what we need for skillful action and healthy change. To bring more peace, spaciousness, compassion and clarity to our bodies, is to bring more peace, spaciousness, compassion and clarity to our lives.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND HERBS
Ayurveda is India’s ancient medical science, often called the “sister science of Yoga,” which works elementally to support balance in our bodies and lives. Throughout this trip, our meals will be designed to be Ayurvedically appropriate for the season, with options for individual constitutions. Using diet and herbs we will be cleansing our systems in preparation for our 24-hour fast, as well as nourishing ourselves upon return. We will support everyone in gaining conceptual and experiential understanding by offering simple guiding principles for finding greater harmony in our bodies and lives.
CEREMONY IN COMMUNITY
Most days will include some form of ceremony together – be it chanting at sunrise or making offerings to fire. Ceremony is a grounded way of creating transformative experiences that deepens our relationship to the sacred, whatever that means to you. During our time together, we will specifically engage ceremony to support preparation for your solo time on the land, as well as for integration of your experiences afterward.
Our time together is intentionally designed around supporting each individual in spending 24 hours in solitude on the land; a time for you to be with the inner and outer wilderness, to deepen into the most precious inquiries that are alive for you. We will support you in all preparation, including finding your own way of engaging with this time. Questing is an age-old practice that recognizes and honors our need to seek truth and guidance, for ourselves, and to bring it back to our communities.
There are many different ways to quest, stemming from traditions all over the world. The model we are informed by holds three phases of the quest as essential, which will guide our time together on the land:
Preparation/Severance: This is a time to become acquainted with your guides and fellow questers as we arrive to a new landscape and explore our own inner landscape. It is a time for deepening presence and clarifying your intentions for being here, and for teaching and exploration of various practices and ceremonies which ready you for your solo time.
Threshold: On the morning of the fourth day we will support you as you find your place of solitude on the land, in which you will spend 24 hours alone without contact with other people. If you choose to accept the invitation to fast (as most people do), this will begin after dinner on the evening before you cross over the sacred threshold, making the duration of the fasting time about 36 hours.
Incorporation: After your solo time, you will return to base camp to be greeted by your guides and fellow questers. We will work together to help you make meaning of your alone time in the wilderness, and to integrate the insights and experience into your life in a good way.
PLEASE NOTE: Participants need to be able to walk for about 5 miles with a backpack (30-40lbs.), including up and down hills.
What to Bring: We’ll send you a list after you enroll.
Fee: $1197. Early Early Bird (Before Jan. 31) $897. Early Bird (Before March 21): $997. (Some payment plans & financial aid available. Contact Us for more information.)
Please visit https://www.wildernessreflections.com/registration-form/ for registration.
Or Register by mail: Download a Registration Form, complete it, and send it, along with your deposit or full payment to: Wilderness Reflections, P.O. Box 311, Fairfax, CA 94978.
For more information contact Anna (Swishie76@gmail.com) or Spencer (email@example.com).