Guide Bios

Staff

  • Meredith Little

    Meredith Little and her husband Steven Foster co-founded Rites of Passage Inc. in 1976 and The School of Lost Borders in 1981, pioneering new methods and dynamics of modern pan-cultural passage rites in the wilderness and creating innovative practices of “field eco-therapy.” She has dedicated her life to returning meaningful and culturally appropriate rites of passage ceremonies to all people in support of the natural cycles of living and dying necessary for healthy lives and a healthy world. She is also dedicated to reconnecting people with the very roots of their own nature reflected in the wisdom of the land around them. She lives a passion for the diversity of life, for the nature of human, for the voice of ceremony, and for the healing qualities of community.
    Since Steven’s death in 2003 Meredith continues both nationally and internationally to guide and train others. She has also co-founded along with Scott Eberle a new branch of Lost Borders entitled The Practice of Living and Dying, to help break the taboos and silence that pervade the subject of death and to help restore dying to its natural place in the cycles of life.
     
     
  • Betsy Perluss, PhD

    Betsy Perluss discovered the School of Lost Borders in 1995; a moment she attributes to the mysteries of synchronicity and grace. Immediately, she fell in love with the school’s earthy ways and the sage scented Owens Valley. She has since gathered over fifteen years experience as a guide and trainer of vision fasts. She has been Director of Education and Outreach and currently serves on the School's Elder’s Advisory Council. Unable to curb a longing for wild places, Betsy left her position as a university professor to live with her husband in the pine and oak forested foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada. She is a licensed psychotherapist and continues to teach ecopsychology and Jungian Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara and has a private psychotherapy practice in Grass Valley, CA. Betsy is an ardent observer of psyche and nature and has published various articles on this topic. Her dissertation: "Landscape Archetypes: Islands, Valleys, Mountains and Deserts" (2004) is about the interweaving of psyche and the land upon which we walk and live.

  • Emerald North

    Emerald North, visionary, painter, sculptor, gardener and poet, brings years of vital and vibrant experience to the School of Lost Borders. She teaches from the depth of a full and rich life with humor, vision and love. Emerald values the personal relationships that are forged through ceremony and aspires to create what a recent participant described as “the safest, softest, permeable, and transparent container that could be .” Emerald has been with Lost Borders since 1993 and co-directed the School with Joseph Lazenka from 2001 through 2005.

     Art Website: https://earthtonesart.com

  • John Davis, PhD

    John Davis has been leading wilderness rites of passage and other nature-based retreats since 1984. As a professor at Naropa University for many years, he directed the MA programs in ecopsychology and transpersonal psychology and taught wilderness therapy. A teacher of the Diamond Approach since 1983, he is the author of The Diamond Approach: An Introduction to the Teachings of A. H. Almaas (Shambhala).

  • Joseph (Angelo) Lazenka

    Joseph (Angelo) Lazenka, a vision fast guide and trainer since 1984, began working as a guide with the the School in 1993. Since then, using a variety of titles like: Guide, Teacher,Director, President , and Board Member, has offered himself to the ever evolving work of the school. Joseph brings a passionate, dramatic voice to the nurturing of individual character and calling, and a mythic empathy for people, their dreams, and the healing power of nature.

  • Larry Hobbs

    Larry Hobbs - From a field biologist studying whales and dolphins, to a psychotherapist working with individual and family systems, to a teacher and naturalist leading wildlife trips worldwide, Larry came to Lost Borders to train and to guide vision fasts. Although still conducting river dolphin research in Southeast Asia, teaching and leading natural history trips around the world, Larry's passions lay in guiding vision fasters and in sharing his knowledge of the way we understand the ecosystems that support us all.

  • Nancy Jane

    Nancy Jane is an ecopsychologist, wilderness guide, and council facilitator. She began her study of wilderness rites of passage in 1981 and has been following this calling ever since. Nancy leads youth and adult vision fasts and has pioneered wilderness rites of passage in school settings. Her intention is to listen deeply in support of others’ connection to nature and spirit; to hold the deepest, widest container of safety and acceptance for others; and to empower them in the full expression of who they are.

  • Pedro McMillan

    Pedro McMillan is an elder yet has been an environmentalist since childhood. An early eco-entrepaneur, he founded and ran a green business for 26 years until selling it in 2016 to focus on rites of passage work. A veteran of many fasts since 1996 he trained and assisted on many programs at the School of Lost Borders before stepping into the role of guide in 2010.

  • Petra Lentz-Snow

    Petra Lentz-Snow has been involved in vision fasts and wilderness rites of passage programs for more than 30 years. She is a guide, trainer and active steward of the School of Lost Borders, where she served as Executive Director for eight years and a former Netkeeper for the Wilderness Guides Council.

  • Ruth "Roo" Wharton

    Ruth "Roo" Wharton - Deeply rooted in earth, body, ceremony and a long lineage of guides from the School of Lost Borders, Ruth offers an abundance of love and fierce insight to those Ruth guides and mentors. Beginning to guide wilderness rites of passage at the age of 21, Ruth’s experience spans over 2 decades, supporting over 1000 people of all ages through initiation practices.

  • Scot Deily

    Scot Deily has been personally involved in rites of passage work for the past two decades learning from and later co-guiding in various forms, most recently training at SOLB. Scot draws from his past incarnations including his time on a wildlife sanctuary and retreat center, traveling and performing in a nomadic horse caravan, a wilderness field instructor and part-time farmer. He is a Licensed Master Social Worker serving previously as a therapist utilizing equine, sand tray, art and play therapy in rural New Mexico.

  • Scott Eberle

    Scott Eberle has worked as a wilderness guide at the School of Lost Borders since 2003. While he guides an array of programs for the School, he has two special interests. The first is exploring how the symbolic death-and-rebirth dimension of the School’s ceremony is informed by his considerable experience sitting with people who are physically dying. To this end, he and Meredith Little co-created the School’s “Practice of Living and Dying” programs. His second interest is exploring the wonderful synergy of having your heart and mind cracked open while sitting alone in the wide expanse of the desert, or while sitting quietly on a meditation cushion. His first book, The Final Crossing: Learning to Die in Order to Live, explored the first interest. He is presently writing a second book, The Red Thread of Story, which weaves together both of these interests, while he seeks to understand why it is we humans tell stories.
  • Silvia Talavera

    Silvia Talavera has been a guide with The School of Lost Borders since 1993. She is a woman of versatility, passion, and humor, inspiring people towards self- empowerment. She brings to her work a nurturing insight, a deep compassion, a love of nature and teaches from the experience of a full life. Silvia is committed to supporting people in transitions using nature based teachings in a wilderness setting as well as midwifing those who are in there final stage of life through Hospice.

  • Siri Gunnarson

    Siri Gunnarson was first called to Ceremony with the School in 2009 and was deeply moved by the sense of belonging and wholeness accessible through stripping down and coming into direct contact with the world. Siri apprenticed with Gigi Coyle and others, focusing on the youth programs and Nature of Council.

  • Virginia 'Gigi' Coyle

    Virginia "Gigi" Coyle has served as a community activist wherever she is, a council trainer wherever called, and a rites-of-passage guide and trainer with many individuals and organizations. She is learning to be a mentor and an elder, and serving on such councils, for the School of Lost Borders, the Ojai Foundation, Youth Passageways, European Council Network, and Weaving Earth...

  • Will Scott

    Will Scott is a teacher, naturalist, wilderness guide, facilitator and a life-long student of the human-nature relationship. Will began by leading backpacking trips and has since been a guide both domestically and internationally with college-level field courses, wilderness expeditions, and nature-connection mentoring programs. Will has been guiding youth and adult programs at Lost Borders since 2007, and has recently begun working as trainer as well. Will received his masters in holistic and experiential education from Prescott College, where he focused his studies on the essential components of an “education for our times.” He went on to co-found the Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education in Sonoma County, CA.

    Email: [email protected]

  • Win Phelps

    Win Phelps has been a truck driver, a private eye, a Chinese Mandarin translator, a single parent of two, an Emmy-nominated TV director and a quest guide and trainer of guides for the School of Lost Borders. He is a carrier of council, a pilgrim Beyond Boundaries, married to the Earth--and to Gigi Coyle--and a long-time devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

     

Guest Guides

  • Anna Coffman

    Anna Coffman, retired hospice nurse, leads a variety of programs in the areas of nature based rites of passage, listening skills, grief work, council and ancestral / collective trauma.

  • Collin Brown

     Collin Brown is a seeker, healer, teacher, guide who has delved deeply into the mysteries of eros, love, death, and embodiment. His path has taught him to value and trust the wisdom and insight that come from experiential learning whether it’s in a classroom or out in the boundless beauty of nature. As the director of the Body Electric school for fifteen years he developed curriculum and continues to teach courses that awaken others to the mysteries and grace of being fully alive in their erotic bodies.

  • Cynthia Morrow

    Cynthia Eisho Morrow is a life-long apprentice navigating wild landscapes, inner and outer.  She discovered the School of Lost Borders in 2003. Having grown up with grandparents who lived in the Owen’s Valley, the School and earth-based ceremony were a natural fit. Cynthia has been shaped by a lifetime of exploring the vast territory stretching between the Eastern Sierras and the ancient deserts in and around Death Valley. Her inspirations as a guide are rooted in eastern and indigenous wisdom traditions, and the courageous resiliency of the human spirit.

  • Marlena deCarion

    Marlena is a Professional Certified Coach, Faculty at the Co-Active Training Institute and a teacher of Mindfulness. Marlena’s passion for wilderness began as a child while backpacking with her father in the Sierras. As a former Outward Bound instructor and experiential educator, Marlena loves to create transformational learning experiences that bring people closer to the natural world, their soul and their human potential. Marlena spent many years in deep Buddhist practice and has also studied shamanism, trauma healing, non-dual spirituality.

  • Ray Hillis

    Ray has led and assisted fasts with the School of Lost Borders for the past few years. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in 1968, recently retired from a lifelong career of teaching human development and counseling, and has had a psychotherapy practice (presently in Santa Fe, New Mexico) with a special interest in Jungian analytic dreamwork since the 1970s.

  • Sara Harris

    Sara Harris is a retired psychotherapist who now serves as a passionate guide and mentor. In 2003, she co-founded EarthWays LLC, a collective of guides in Sebastopol CA. Sara was deeply honored to serve the School of Lost Borders by being on the founding Board from 2007 to 2014. As a result of her own heart surgery journey, she loves offering consultations for other cardiac patients and offering support for how these health issues can offer a true opening of the heart through deep listening to the heart’s intelligence.

  • Yamin Chehin

    Yamin Chehin is a Council trainer, facilitator, and doctor of Chinese Medicine, with intimate experience of nature-based practices that inform her work with clients and groups, and help to integrate the healing potential implicit in our stories and our bodies. She facilitates councils in English and Spanish (her native language) for women, teen-age girls, and youth-at-risk, as well as with non-profits and community organizations. She and her husband co-lead monthly couple’s circles and practice Council at home with each other and their family.