CA Mirroring the Four Shields of Human Nature: The Art of Story Telling and Listening

Sep 25th, 2021 - Oct 1st, 2021
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Telling one’s own story is an ancient art. Nowadays, we have forgotten how to listen and how to tell. Yet the very survival of our species depends on our ability to communicate with each other in such ways as to be mutually enriched by the telling and the listening. If we cannot tell with expression, our life is mute. If we cannot listen like a mirror, we cannot reflect back the wholeness of the four shields -- the body, soul, mind and spirit of the teller. The best stories are about human nature -- that is, the human of us which is, after all, nature in her basic manifestations as physical, psychical, rational, and spiritual. One of the best ways to create a four shields story, if not the best, is to put people in contact with nature in the raw.

What comes forth in the story is the stuff of self-transformation. Even as we “myth” ourselves into experience, so we express ourselves into existence. Our stories about our natural selves, and our means of expressing them, lead us to courage, determination, commitment, hope, wisdom, and the will to survive, to transcend the difficulty, to go beyond ourselves. Those of us who work with people must know how to listen and respond to the stories our people tell, so that we can help them create a life that is deeper, richer, and of greater benefit to our community and the earth.

This seminar is designed to evoke and create a style of listening and storytelling that is uniquely your own, to practice reflecting what you hear with the fullness of your being (body, psyche, mind and spirit). It is also a ceremony and, like all ceremonies at the School of Lost Borders, requires a willingness to lose your borders and to go beyond what is familiar and known. To practice mirroring there must be stories. For this reason, and as part of your training, each day you will cross the threshold into ceremonial time in nature, using the four shields as your guide, and adhering to the three taboos of solitude, fasting, and exposure to the elements. You will delve into the innocence of nature of summer’s child, the rich darkness of fall’s adolescence, the stark structure of winter’s adult, and the creative imagination of spring’s erupting spirit. The four shields of human nature will be the foundation and container for our time together. There is no better way to bring the fullness of these teachings alive then to explore them in conversation, bring them forth in ceremony, and celebrate them in story.


Time and Location:  We will be camping at Baker Creek Camp ground in Big Pine, California near the foothills of the Eastern Sierras. The landscape offers many walking trails as well as beautiful areas to find solitude that are easily accessible by foot or car. We encourage people to arrive on Saturday September 25 to set up your campsite and have time to land and get acquainted with the land. We will begin at 10AM Sunday September 26th and our intention is to end by 3:30 on Friday October 1st. The campground offers vault toilets and there are picnic tables at each site with a stream that runs through the campground.

The School makes no provisions for meals and encourages you to come prepared to live self- sufficiently. There will be a simple kitchen set-up available with cooking utensils, pots and pans and drinking water. Two camp stoves and a wash station will also be in place. We will provide you with a complete equipment list once you have registered. You will need to bring shelter and suitable clothing for a full range of weather. A note to those with medical or physical limitations: all activities undertaken will be non-strenuous and our emphasis is always on “safety first.”




There is no way to re-enchant our lives in a disenchanted culture except by becoming renegades from that culture and planting the seeds for a new one.... an enchanted person believes first and then in time is surprised when the intelligence in that believe is revealed ... The enchanted person is a “mirror with a voice” giving an expression to the voice heard in nature and deep within the heart.


Thomas Moore



The School of Lost Borders has created a sliding scale for all its programs 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.

Scholarships are available.

Tuition: $650 - $1150

Deposit: $200
(Non-refundable & non-transferrable unless seminar is cancelled)

Extra Fees: Camping $60


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