The Elder's Journey: Four Shields of Eldering for Women

Sep 25th, 2021 - Oct 1st, 2021
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“A blessing of these years is the freedom to reach out to others, to do everything we can with everything in life that we have managed to develop all theses years in both soul and mind for the sake of the rest of the human race.”

- Joan Chittister -

Throughout the ages, elder women have enjoyed sitting in circle to weave the rich tapestries of their stories, stories that continued to warm and inspire people across time and culture.

What about us, now, in our time? As women in all stages of growing into our greater years, there is a growing passion and a commitment to tell our own stories and to create a new myth to help us to grow into the most positive women elders possible. We have children, or we are childless, we are single or we are partnered, working or retired, healthy or feeling the struggles of the body. Whatever stage of elderhood we find ourselves navigating it is imperative that we find our way, with humor, grace and dignity. Death awaits us all, and how we move through these years is of utmost importance.

Elderhood is a cyclical experience that can be a ripening of our strengths rather than the dulling of our minds through an unlived life. From the words of social activist Maggie Kuhn, “Old age is not a disease. It is a strength in survivor ship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illness.” This speaks to aging as an extraordinary achievement. It is an opportunity to re-awaken the imagination towards new possibilities and a renewed spirit inspired by the wisdom of living we have acquired.

As women ripen into the various stages of elderhood, it may be time to re-map the landscape to make room for the emerging new perspectives of what it means to be an elder. Through honoring the years of a life lived and awaken to another level of life. The interior life and search for the sacred. Creating new meaning and imparting our gifts in service, we move towards transformation and into a renewed vitality, creativity, and vision. This program is an invitation to open to what is needed to welcome the elders we are becoming.

Program Overview: During our time together we will explore ways to deepen into a more conscious approach to how we can live as elder women in the world today. We will recall our personal stories, life experiences and collected knowledge and discover ways to transform them into our wisdom and our medicine. We will explore an ancient means of looking into the mirror of nature (the Four Shields) that will reflect and support the wisdom of the elders as a natural point for introspection and meaning and help us to reconnect to the aspects of ourselves mirrored in nature that includes the physical, pscyhe, mind and spirit. These teachings and the earth itself will help to bring what is needed to your own particular stage of this rich new frontier.

Our days will be filled with a morning circle that will include a check-in and teachings. In the afternoon a mission will be suggested and there will be time alone on the land. There will be late afternoon story councils for listening and reflection.

A day medicine walk to a special location with optional fasting and a 24-hour period of contemplative silence will take place on one of the days towards the end of the week.

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 no later than Saturday, September 25th at 1:00 PM to allow time to set up your camp. Our first meeting will begin at 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 25th, and we will complete our ceremony on Friday, October 1st at noon.

Practical Preparation: Though we will be camping out the entire time, no camping experience is necessary. There will be guides and assistants to help with unloading vehicles and setting up tents. For those who do not wish to camp there are motels very nearby. 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.”

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.”

- Emily Dickinson -

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: $750 - $1325

Deposit: $300
(Non-refundable & non-transferrable unless seminar is cancelled)

Extra Fees: Camping Fees TBD


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