The first law of Spiritual development is “know thyself”; you cannot climb the mountain without knowing your starting place. This ancient practice of Self-discovery has survived the millennia for one reason: it works!
You come face to face with yourself and get to know more deeply who you are, and who you are not. With all the distractions and the noise of daily life removed, and the voices of those around you silenced, you are more able to hear the whisperings of your soul reminding you why you came here in this life. Four days and four nights – just you alone with the Creator. ~ Malcolm Ringwalt
Many cultures have used the Quest as a rite of passage into adulthood, but the transformational power of questing extends well beyond that purpose. Questors are often at a “fork in the road”, seeking clarity as to which path to take next. Questing brings our bodies and minds to a place of acceptance and stillness where we can feel and know the tuggings of our Hearts and the Light within us. We receive insights into our Purpose in Life, ultimately yielding a deeper and more meaningful contribution to society.
The Quest is also a tool for facing and moving through our emotional and psychological blocks. With courage, sacrifice, and acceptance, we move past obstacles that keep in us bounded in false beliefs, judgement and self-doubt. Our life’s journey is re-enlivened with the passions of the heart and we are better able to reflect the peace, perfection, and creativity of the Universe. Mystics from all of the world’s major religions have used questing to connect with their Higher Selves and touch the wisdom of Silence. But this ancient practice is open to every Seeker and remains a powerful tool for bringing Light into the world.
The mechanism of Questing is to break away from the daily moment-to-moment distractions that keep us from looking Within. It is a sacrifice of self, a denial of all the ways we avoid encountering our deepest Truths. It is a fast from all things familiar except water*. It is a commitment to know the Truth, refusing old patterns.
Each questor remains alone in their quest circle in the purity of nature. A traditional Vision Quest lasts four days and nights, an interval that allows for robust exploration of our human experience: body, emotion, mind, and spirit. Our most pressing questions are answered and we are invariably led to a settled place of expanded awareness and stillness. This awareness is a gateway for endless possibilities of the Heart.
Facilitated questing offers guidance, protection, and support before, during, and after the solo experience. We use a communication system each day that ensures each questor’s safety and privacy. To maximize the benefits of questing, our programs include time before the Quest, for preparation, as well as afterwards for reflection and guidance on understanding the experience.
The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others. ~ Joseph Campbell
2021 date: August 15-22 (Sunday through the following Sunday); application deadline July 16; suggested donation $300-900 (deposit $150). Link to application information.
* Consult your physician before attempting the fast. Exceptions to fasting will be made when warranted by medical conditions. Fasting is an important element for questing, one with multiple benefits, but it is not *the* most important element. We would much rather compromise around the fast than deny a quest. Participants will bring a sleeping bag, warm clothing, and rain gear. Meals are provided before and after the 4-day Quest.
The ceremony we teach comes from Grandfather Stalking Wolf (Lipan), passed down to Tom Brown, Jr. The teaching was then passed to Malcolm Ringwalt, Bear Povisils, and Chuck Goewey, and in turn, onto us. Grandfather’s Vision, in part, was to find the common spiritual truths among the world’s religions and cultures. As such, this Quest is not Lipan but, rather, a distillation of the core quest experience stripped of cultural add-ons. Thus, this quest is suitable for everyone regardless of religious or cultural background.