Rites of Passage

The foundation of all the programs offered by Dharma Wild is the conviction that every person is born into this world with a unique destiny.  A destiny that is a purpose, a calling based on what Plato and the Greeks called “daimon”, the Romans “genius”, the Christians “guardian angel”. Today  we might refer to this experience of our unique calling as  “heart”, “spirit”, or “soul”.

Essential to our wholeness, well-being, and sense of purpose is discovering and living into our unique destiny.  This process of discovery and fulfilling our purpose is facilitated by and grounded in our relationship with wild nature.  We come from wild nature and wild nature experienced externally mirrors our wild nature experienced internally.   As we are able to get more deeply in touch with and enter into this reciprocal relationship with the more-than-human-world, our ability to discern and find encouragement and empowerment in realizing our true calling deepens. Depression, addiction, and anxiety  so prevalent in our modern culture are symptoms of our losing our innate relationship and direct experiences with wild nature.

Rites of Passage have been central to most cultures until modern times.  They were seen as the necessary pathways for ensuring the growth and development of individuals as well as the continued harmony and health of the tribe or community.  The most well known rite of passage is that marking the transition from adolescence to adulthood.  It is crucial to recover this experience for our youth today who go looking for substitutes for an authentic rite and fall into destructive and harmful simulations of the true experience.

Rites of passage are critical, especially in the modern western world, for other transitions as well,as especially, those experiences of significant changes in identity and life.  Some examples are: a marriage or divorce, loss or change of a job or career, an unexpected medical diagnosis, or entering into elder-hood.  Each of these transitions deeply affect and influence our fundamental life’s purpose; either enhancing and furthering our sense of meaning and vitality, or derailing and confusing our feelings of identity and life energy.  The difference between the two often being a ceremony of a rite of passage.

Whether it be a vision quest, a week-end medicine wheel walk to explore the meaning of our lives within the four directions, a five day Dharma Wild backpacking trip to explore mindfulness and wild nature, a week -end discovering your artistic soul in nature, or ceremonies of marriage and the passing from this life, Dharma Wild will be your guide and companion in wild nature – our true teacher.

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