Vision Quest in Poland
4th – 12th May 2021.
What is Vision Quest?
The journey into the wilderness: to seek vision, wisdom and self-knowledge is as old as human civilisation itself. In all cultures and societies it has existed in one form or another and all great spiritual leaders, from Jesus and Buddha to Knights of the Middle Ages and modern day Medicine men and women, have tested themselves and sought enlightenment in this way, bringing back what they have learned to their people, so that they may all benefit from the experience.
Every earth-based culture has had a tradition of enacting formal rites of passage of one kind or another, such as the Celts, Siberians, Africans, Tibetans and Native Americans. The most effective way of moving from one life stage to another, is by ‘marking’ that transition with ritual and ceremony. One of the most effective and simple ways of doing this is to allow ourselves to really feel, deeply feel, our connection to the land and allow the land to move us.
The hero’s journey consists of 3 stages – severance, threshold and incorporation. Choosing to embark on this journey is a sign that you are ready to letting go of the old life which no longer satisfies, into the unknown dark mystery to find the sparks of life you have been craving and gently bring them into your life. It is a transition between stages of existence, often referred to as “the dark night of the soul”, and must be passed through to discover the next level of being.
This stage begins when you make the decision to undertake a Vision Quest. It’s time to look at your life until this point and describe the key events in an autobiography of your life.
Before you even step foot on the land the ceremony has begun and it will become more and more difficult to keep holding onto those things which are no longer serving your life. Change is about to happen, you are about to enter into a powerful ceremony and fear is going to be a natural part of that process.
You stand on the edge of a new land – all the preparation has lead you to this point. Now is the time to step off the cliff that was separating you from the comfortable and familiar into the unknown. The process of facing yourself has started.
Everything that happens here is loaded with significance, because this time alone in nature is time in the “spirit world”, your own inner landscapes. There are childhood toys, words from a forgotten argument, an old injury lying on the ground around you – they all carry a story and now is the time to listen and let go, as you do so you’ll the voice of your soul lies waiting underneath.
You will feel alive and invincible – but the real “work” has just begun. The revelations and insights will fade away and not count for anything until you bring the medicine of the quest back into your life and your community. They have been visitors to you and now you need to integrate them and allow them to gently guide the changes that will ripple out from your quest.
Keep your story inside for one year and watch it grow into your life – now is the time to incorporate what you have learned.
During this course you will be held by 2 experienced Vision Quest Guides.
Vision Quest Guide
James’s passion is to help call forth our human potential and our soul. He embarked on his first Vision Quest in 2010 and underwent training with both David Wendleberry in the UK and the School of Lost Borders in California to become a vision Quest guide.
His weave brings together more than 22 years experience in techniques, practices and information from the cutting edge of Neuroscience, Tantra, Biodanza, Shamanic & Energy Work, Integral theory and Taoist practices to create a spirituality that is rooted in the body. His evolutionary approach is to work on all lines, levels, states and parts of ourselves in bringing forth our fullest potential. He has been dancing Biodanza since 2003 and now works as a teacher and a didactic teacher (qualified to teach other teachers in Biodanza Schools). www.jamesstevenson.life
Vision Quest Guide
Riya is an artist. Known as a singer, activist but also awakening & sex coach, tantrica, vision quest guide. Trained by Amazonian Medicines, she is very connected to earth medicines and ceremonial spaces as well as to Tantra in the integrated version- initiated by Kaula Heart of All, and influenced by the Baul Mystics but mostly her Beloved James and their relationship.
She travels around the world, using her voice for singing and speaking, sharing her gifts with groups. She is dedicated to spirituality as much as she is to her “down to earth” life, contributing to the evolution that is happening now and as part of it she wants to bring balance and harmony in all the aspects of hers and others lives. www.riyasokol.com
What does it look like?
Before you arrive
Your journey starts as soon as you pay your deposit. You will be sent a 60 page guidebook, with instructions Now you must write 10 page autobiography of your life to send to the guides. In addition you will be asked to go on a medicine walk before the training starts.
At Base Camp
At basecap you will undergo basic training about the wilderness both inside and out. With the larger group you will be given an inner map called the Teachings of the 4 Shields that will help guide you on your quest, as well as “earth medicine” tools that you can use to work with your soul. Certain ceremonies will be performed and you will understand the significance of your actions.
The guides will also work with you individually helping to find clarity about your life story and to make sure you are prepared and safe.
On the land
Alone in Nature.
Aside from a tarp to keep you dry (not a tent!), a sleeping bag and carry mat – you are alone and exposed to nature. Without the distractions of the modern world you will quite quickly discover you are actually part of nature and will find a deeper way to commune with that.
For 4 days you will be fasting from food. You can drink water and take this out with you. If you have diabetes or hypoglyciemia then we have ways to manage that. The fasting helps one connect to the “spirit world”, and creates an altered state where we are able to access deeper parts of the subconscious.
Write it all down
Everything that happens is significant, your psychology spills out of your head and pours into the objects and events surrounding you. Nature starts to mirror your unconsious mind and even if you don’t understand it all you write down what happens – it will become part of your story later on.
On your Return
After a good meal, showers and some celebration for actually doing it! You will have the chance to tell your story to the larger circle. The guides will mirror your story back to you in order to help understand what has happened and how to move forward to incorporate the medicine into your life.
On going home you will not tell your story to anyone outside of the group circle for 1 year. During this time it will still be working on you as you find a way to integrate the experience – Every 3 months of this year you will pass into a new direction and different phase of integration. Your guides and larger group will check-in together and offer each other support.
The Vision Quest itself happens in the wilderness of the Kampinos Forest near Warsaw in Poland. You will spend 4 days and nights here alone in nature.
In this area you could be visited by animals living in the forest: hares, foxes, wild boars, elks, deer, badgers, beavers, and even a lynx! You can also see many species of birds including the black stork. The temperature at this time of year should be mild and pleasant but you prepare for all weather types.
The days before and after the journey will be at Stable Mandra located in the buffer zone of the Kampinos Forest, away from neighbors and directly adjacent to the borders of the forest. This is called base-camp, and where we start and return to in our journey. The guides are stationed here during your time on the land and hold space while you are out there. Around the house and the immediate surroundings there are old, over a century old trees, in particular giant oaks and lindens.
At Base-camp, you will have the choice of an inside bed in a dorm – or you can set up a tent on the land. There are hot showers and a communal space where we will cook, tell stories and get ready for your adventure!
Practical Information & Booking
Dates: 4th-12th May 2021
Location: Kampinos Forrest, near Warsaw, Poland
Training Cost: £820
This includes food & accommodation for 5 nights at basecamp and access to the land during the quest.
A deposit of only £250 is required to book start your journey with the rest being payable in cash on arrival at basecamp.
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