The Dark Passage: Grief, Loss and Illness

Sep 9th, 2018 - Sep 16th, 2018
Western Colorado

The land around us (and within us) teaches with each passing season, and with each flood, drought, fire and storm, that out of change, crisis and a dying to what was, there appears a new story of form and adaptation. And that how we respond and integrate change into the fabric of our ongoing story colors the character of what comes next.

Meredith Little, co-founder, School of Lost Borders

Death and loss are powerful agents of transformation. Whenever we have been touched by death or shattered by a major loss, we are plunged into the disorienting territory of profound grief. The passing of a loved one, facing a life-threatening illness, receiving a diagnosis of cancer, or experiencing physical or emotional trauma can blister our spirit and peel back our sense of self to raw vulnerability.

For eons, ceremony in the natural world has guided people through these dark passages into renewal. If we are willing to fully grieve and honor our losses, we can open the door to new strengths, gifts, and grace – even gratitude.

Deep in our ancestral memory, we know that this place of painful loss and wounding carries within it our transformation. Perhaps you sense this already in your bones: surrendering to what has been torn away permits the unfolding of new possibilities.
We find it everywhere in the history of those who have gone before us. From indigenous cultures across the world to Greek myths to modern times, the blueprint is always the same: Change is precipitated through an ordeal, which has the potential to be an initiation into a new life. Here, old grief can find release and a new life phase or stage can be consciously marked.

Who this program is for
A significant loss comes in many forms in our lives. Perhaps you have lost a beloved or are dancing with a life threatening or chronic, debilitating illness. Perhaps a major loss from years ago remains unexamined or incompletely digested. We invite those who are ready to be present to their deep grief and loss, whatever the cause, to join us.

Program Overview  
We will hold base camp among the pinyon and juniper tree landscape of a small canyon system in western Colorado. Our first group meeting will take place at 6:00pm on Sunday, September 9. We will meet at 3:00pm in DeBeque, CO in order to carpool along the dirt road to our site. We will complete our week together by noon on Sunday, September 16.

Our mornings are spent in circle, sharing stories and exploring an ancient means of looking into the mirror of nature (the Four Shields). In the afternoons contemplative walks and time alone on the earth will inform our process. A 24-hour solo with fasting (optional) begins on the morning of day 6. During your time of fasting and aloneness, your guides will maintain a safe perimeter around the area, and another person will be nearby. Individual modifications to the solo can be made based on medical and personal needs.

A note to people with limited wilderness experience: Although we will be camping out for the duration of the program, activities undertaken will be non-strenuous, and our emphasis will always be “safety first.”  In general, please feel free to ask for what you need. We will provide a list of personal equipment that each participant should bring, and we will also provide some group equipment for our base camp.


The School of Lost Borders has created a sliding scale for all its fast and trainings in an effort to keep our courses affordable to a wide range of people. We set forth no criteria and trust that each individual will pay what they feel is appropriate.

Tuition: $850 - $1450

Deposit: $250
(Non-refundable & non-transferrable unless seminar is cancelled)


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