2012 Schedule: A Training Proposal for the 5th World
Community, Peacebuilding, Partnership with the Earth,
Alliance with the Spirits, Creativity on Behalf of the Future
The Work of the Next Five Years: A Letter from Deena Metzger
Introduction and Invitation
Ways to the 5th World
The Formless Forms
The No Enemy Way and the Pathless Path
Sunday Training: Dare', Council, Healing and the No Enemy Way
Restoring a Dreaming Culture: Dreams, Dreamtime and Living by Dream
Writing Circle Master Class
On-Going Community Circles
Dare' - Meets the first Sunday after the new moon (See below for a fuller description)
Fire/Water Circle to Heal War (See below for a fuller description)
Music Dare' (See below for a fuller description)
Sunday Training: Dare', Council, Healing and the No Enemy Way
Restoring a Dreaming Culture: Dreams, Dreamtime and Living by Dream
Writing Circle Master Class
Writers' Intensive 2012
June 2 - June 8, 2012
Healers' Intensive 2012
June 16 - June 22, 2012
From Grief Into Vision - A Training Council
Writing the Living Matrix - A Weekend Retreat
Readings, Lectures and Workshops
Jan. 20-22, 2012 - The Healing Paths of Story in Topanga, California (Los Angeles area)
A Weekend Workshop with Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D. and Writer and Storycarrier
Deena Metzger. Friday night through Sunday night.
A Native American M.D. who follows traditional spirituality and a Spirit-trained Village
Healer working together to find the Health Paths of Story on behalf of individuals, the
community and the future.
For Information or reservations please contact: Carrie Dinow at 310-266-4050.
Enrollment, Application, Sponsorship
The Work of the Next Five Years:
A Letter From Deena Metzger
we want to change our mind, we have also to change the means through which the
change occurs. In the process of real transformation, everything changes.
I moved to Topanga on April Fool's Day, 1981. It is good to start one's real life with a bit of humor.
Many visions and ways of knowing have been pioneered here related to writing, healing, council, peacebuilding, revisioning medicine and developing true and profound spirit-based relationships with the natural world, the ancestors and non-human beings.
In 1981, I was just beginning to understand the way the stories we live can reveal the ways to meet physical and spiritual illness, and beginning to conceive the forms that led in 1999 to establishing Daré - an improvisational healing community based upon dreams, council and alliance with the Spirits. Last week several of us acknowledged this site as a Village Sanctuary for the Future. Though I could not have imagined the point that we have come to, I have always known that we must search for the forms that invite and hold the visions we are given to carry. And also that these visions need to be on behalf of all beings and the future generations.
More than ever, I am looking for the right flexible and generous forms to hold the necessary work that calls to be done in the next few years. If we are fortunate, the essential work we are called to in the next five years will be realized.
I have been devotedly following a dream since January 1, 2011. In the dream, I am to be trained to live and work as an indigenous woman, according to the old, old wisdom traditions. I am not to be trained in any particular way, but in the way that underlies all the old ways.
The seeds of the dream lie far in the past, so far back I can't identify the beginning. But as everyone likes an origin story - (it's like the Big Bang - all of life issues forth from it) - let's say, the origin was 31 years ago when I first led a re-enactment of the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece, and verifiably experienced the real presence of spiritual energy and spiritual intent outside of liturgy but deeply connected to great respect and rigorous devotion. This continues into the present, and I have based my life upon it. I carry two related and on-going question in the face of such continuous, unpredictable and radiant experiences: "What is true nature of the world in which such events occur? And how, accordingly, shall we live?"
The question of how we live is upon us as it has never been in the history of human beings. We have never been asked to entirely change our culture within our lifetime - actually, to change even more quickly. There are no formulas and culture is so complex it must be not be defined or limited. This is an impossible task and we must pursue it.
The ultimate goal is the complex vibrant restoration of the natural world in all its beauty and intelligence with the human species in right relationship to all beings. The ultimate goal is that all life thrives.
In 2010, I developed 19 ways to the 5th World. You can read them on my Blog and on my website. They are an index to the work that I will be doing in the next years. To work with me is to work in these realms in order to become adept. To work with me is to pursue the unique and mysterious ways of Council and true alliance with non-humans and humans as a primary way of restoration. To work with me as a writer, is to work with the intention of imagining and participating in a Literature of Restoration.
Emerging from a profound healing experience several weeks ago, I heard words in my mind answering a question I have been asking relentlessly: "We cannot tell you how the times will change on behalf of the restoration of the natural world and the restoration of sanity for human beings. These changes will emerge from myriad different, distinct, spontaneous activities on the part of so many human beings, they cannot possibly be predicted or articulated. But your task is to recognize the validity of your experiences over the years and so hold to the knowledge that the change will come if all of you are devoted."
I will be 75 on September 17th, 2011. I mark the day by going to Botswana in the hope of meeting The Elephant Ambassador for the fourth time. (See my website and/or my block if you do not know who he is.) I intend it as an act of reverence, deep respect and faith. After such a life as I have had the privilege of living, I make the journey gladly – an offering to the future.
Whether The Ambassador comes or not, something will occur that will reveal the purpose of this journey and the hope it carries. I am traveling with a friend who has also devoted her life to the animals and to consciousness. Things will occur that we cannot possibly predict. We yield to what comes. But she and I are thinking of ourselves, unexpectantly, as ambassadors to the future.
My husband Michael Ortiz Hill and I just spent a week in Canyon de Chelly and were graced by the Presence once again. A Story, as I have come to know Story in these years, manifested in such a way that I speak of it with the last lines of a poem I wrote at the Arctic Circle in Norway in 1996 when I was 60:
Rainbow as covenant
And Beauty has won.
In the light of such events, aware of the preciousness of time, I am trying to determine - by deep listening - the exactness of my work as a thinker, teacher and writer for the next five years.
As a teacher my focus will be on training and mentoring. This will occur, for the most part, between Sunday Daré and the next Sunday's Training for the 5th World.
These nine days provide an opportunity for people to come to Topanga and engage intensely with me and with each other in the work of truly understanding, integrating and inhabiting the Ways to the 5th World.
These days will accommodate those who live in the area and work with me regularly and those who wish to come to Topanga for one or more short periods of time. It can include private work, classes, councils, solitude, and/or time on the land. We can meet in person and also by telephone and via Skype. There is a yurt that people can share, when appropriate, and there are hotels near by. Much of what you experience will come from your interactions with the members of the Daré community. I am looking for informal ways of meeting rather than creating inflexible structures. This flexibility allows us to meet the emerging work with the rigor and commitment required.
The Saturdays before Darés and before the Sunday Trainings will be designated for various focused councils and in-depth explorations in the hope of encouraging heartstorming and visionary, collaborative thinking by gathering those odd, unexpected and necessary companions to imagine and institute the future. There is an ancient symbol called the Flower of Life. It consists of a single form composed of 19 interlocking circles. I am hoping that the infinitely fertile communication possible from such interlocking councils will also be seeded here.
I will devote two weeks of each month to writing and some limited travel. That leaves a little time for improvisation and surprise.
I am trying to step out of a formal teaching or conference schedule into something more organic, compelling, profound, unexpected, conscious, and indigenous - as the dream directs.
When I first started living by council, I would speak of the tradition that so many, if not all peoples, had of gathering those necessary to meet a crisis. We are in extreme crisis. We have to gather, we have to learn, we have to transform. Such gatherings mimic, in the best ways, the dynamic complexities of ecotones and small niches of natural beauty. Let us bear with each other as we extract ourselves from and discard the limiting institutional ways and devotion to material things and violent solutions that have developed in the last years in order to find new forms for new lives.
We will be working in this manner beginning Dare' week, Oct. 2, 2011. To make appointments, apply, or to explore possibilities that may not be articulated in this letter, please email or call Danelia Wild at 310-815-1060. Please understand that we do not have a full-time staff person and are yet deeply committed to meeting what Spirit is asking of us, both individually and as a community.
Peace and Blessings,
The changes we are called to make so that the earth and all beings might survive are extensive and extreme. They require comprehensive and global shifts of consciousness and activity. No one is exempt from such a challenge. As extreme at this time, as are the dangers to all, are the signs of possibility we witness and experience each day.
These are 19 ways that have been communicated to me over the years. They are certainly not the only ways but it seems that each one is essential. They represent a significant change in consciousness from seeking development or vision for oneself to seeking out the precise offering one is being asked to make on behalf of the future. It could take a lifetime to apprentice oneself to even one such way of transformation.
We are called to meet each one of them -- and perhaps more. We may be called to commit ourselves to recognizing and understanding the nature of each of of these, as best as we can, by 12/20/2012. Each day we have less time to enter these sacred ways. As they indicate, these are Ways that can best be realized in community, that is, with each other. Basic to entering and securing a 5th World are alliances with all beings and following the teachings of Spirit.
Ways to the 5th World include:
Recognizing that Community is an essential vessel and means of transformation.
Honoring and adhering to the ways Council. When one honors the wisdom and necessity of Community, then one invites, enters and trusts the ways of Council. One yields to the wisdom that emerges from others, from the others. This is a long process. Dare' means Council in the Shona language. When we meet in Dare' we are in an extended experience of receiving wisdom from each other and from the spirits and from non-human beings. We use the term Mandlovu mind to describe the extreme of natural intelligence and cooperation that we have seen among untraumatized elephants and other animals, including whales and wolves. The particular animals happen also to be singers.
Understanding the Way of Story as a sacred pattern and a living event. Story can reveal a spiritual path and or the way to healing. Stories become the foundation of health, peacebuilding and vision. Learning to listen, to recognize, to understand and attend the teachings and revelations of the Stories we have been given to life guides us toward the 5th world. Our individual stories, when carefully attended, can reveal each person's particular path of healing and transformation. Even illness is a story that can lead us to our own and to community healing. Learning to recognize the Story that we or another is living can be a worthy life work.
Recognizing and affirming the existence of Spirit and acknowledging Its presence in the world and in our lives. Learning and recognizing the language that Spirit speaks to each of us and entering into a dialogue with the Divine.
Bearing witness to the horror and corruption of these times, scrutinizing our lives, and consciously ceasing our involvement. We are living in a time of increasing and unprecedented cruelty, violence, and madness. We are called to recognize it. It has developed over the centuries and now it threatens all life. Each one of us colludes with this. Social scrutiny and self-scrutiny are essential. Then we are called to the on-going difficult but essential process of detaching, disentangling, and living in entirely different ways. These ways may be appropriate old, old ways or they may be new ways for the future. They must have an ethical foundation that insists upon viable futures for all beings. No one is exempt from this call. No one. Recognizing the harm done, we are called to make amends equal to the injury one has imposed on others and the injury to one's own soul by our participation or failure to intercede. Committing ourselves to healing war and to our transformation from war-traumatized people to peacemakers and visionaries. This means removing the reflexes of war and violence, from our thoughts, responses, activities -- as individuals and as citizens. No exceptions. We do not know how to do this and we must learn. It will require devotion. To be a peacemaker is also to respond peaceably to all provocations. Peace within ourselves. Peace within our communities. Peace in the world. Peace on behalf of all beings, not only humans. Like each of the other steps, a comprehensive activity.
Imagining, learning, studying, coming to understand, work with and incorporate what we are calling the No Enemy Way: ceremony, path and practice. The No Enemy Way is as powerful a spiritual path as is All My Relations. We do not know the way yet. It is ours to learn it.
Aligning ourselves and learning to trust the power and possibility of what we call ReVisioned Medicine. The first attribute is that it is a medicine that does no harm to individuals, communities, non-humans, and the earth. It does not preference the living over the unborn. The second attribute is that it accedes to a No Enemy Way philosophy. ReVisioned Medicine does not make war on .... Thirdly, ReVisioned Medicine works as a council that values the combined wisdom of medical people and medicine people. It is collaborative medicine. It values the inner wisdom of the patient. It does not sacrifice healing for profit. It is not in the pay of or under the influence and hegemony of any of the powers that have corrupted medicine for profit.
Making alliances with indigenous wisdom traditions. The attack of Western and imperial thought on the indigenous wisdom traditions, the various and on-going inquisitions, are causative of our spiritual, social, political, cultural and environmental degeneration. Living by Dream and Story. Restoring dreaming cultures. Restoring deep respect for the old ones, our ancestors, the wisdom traditions, and then living accordingly is essential to our survival. Restoration of the old ways. Restoration of indigenous ways. Restoration.
Creating true and respectful partnerships and allinaces with Creation, with the earth, all beings and the elementals. Recognizing that animals and other non-human beings are intelligent, intentional and spiritually aligned. Our survival as a planet is dependent upon restoring right relationship and true respect and concern for the earth and all her beings. Earth centered, nature centered ways of life are essential. How do we live each day and moment accordingly? How do we become Guardians for the earth? How shall we restore the wild, the earth, the environment?
Living according to All Our Relations, Mitakye Oyasin. What does all our relations really mena? How do we understand this, make decisions, take action and live accordingly?
Attuning to, developing and being faithful to a spiritual practice on the pathless path. Spirit speaks to each of us, but we have to learn to listen and then commit ourselves to maintaining the rituals and ceremonies that keep us attentive, aware and aligned.
Committing one's life to reading the signs, following divinations, listening to dreams, yielding to initiation, and living accordingly. Learning the language of dreams and dreaming and honoring their teachings for self and community. Learning to really listen and understand the language of Spirit before the ways and assumptions of others, our culture, our inner desires, is a life-long work.
Honoring beauty, creativity, intuition, prayer, ritual, ceremony, loving kindness and compassion as essential forms. Living accordingly.
Valuing silence, solitude, formless forms and not knowing. Not ego or dominationor will, but yielding. How to reach this state and live accordingly.
Fostering dynamic relationships with other groups and organizations working in parallel heartways. Another aspect of community and Council.
Stepping through the portal to live faithfully according to the laws of
the 5th World, in accord with the above, allowing all beings to live
their own lives, to thrive , to be fulfilled, to live lives that serve Spirit and the on-going future.
This is envisioned as a three-year training for the community designed to meet the call to consciousness of 2012. It culminates three weeks before Dec. 20, 2012. It is predicated upon commitment.
There are many different ways to participate: formal and informal mentoring, mentoring pods, improvisational healing connections as needed, classes, circles, brief retreats, residencies, silent quests, the intensives, healing circles, and private work. Each person has the opportunity to design his or her participation so as to be able to meet the work they are called to do in the world.
Over the three years mentees, as individuals or as members of a pod, will have the opportunity to attend one or two of the monthly sessions in the year, attend the Intensives and engage in private appointments in person or by telephone. Enrollment is limited for mentoring and for the various classes offered. One can enroll a year at a time and participants can be added to the program whenever there is a space. By application or invitation. Fee.
Never in history has there been such a critical need for personal and planetary transformation in order to restore and protect the wild and secure a viable future for all beings.
The forms through which learning, healing, mentoring and transformation take place are as essential as the content. They are increasingly dependent on living by one's word and covenant, lived and practiced alliances with spirit, the primacy of soul work, the exacting practice of opening the heart, and one's faithful and primary commitment to all beings, including those of the future. We will scrutinize our lives and ways of life to allow what must fall away, what must transform, what must begin. Together in conversation and in solitude we will listen to spirit, read the sings, wrestle with the ethical dilemmas to follow the rigorous paths that open when we yield to the call and mandate of these times.
In the next years, the focus will be on the following:
The No Enemy Way : All My Relations
Living from the heart. Acting on behalf of all our relations. How will we live when we recognize that all beings and the elementals are our most precious relations on whose behalf we are called to devote our lives? How shall we chelate the toxic elements of conflict, adversity, fear, defensiveness, weaponry, battle, distrust, aggressiveness and war that we have all internalized and that, while often symptomless, are systemic.
The Pathless Path
The relationship between our lives and spirit's call is a pathless path. We have to learn to listen, to read the signs and to learn and respect the indigenous ways that have been maps for eons. We are called and so we yield to the call and to the mandate to serve all beings and the earth.
I no longer can work in the conventional ways. I am looking for the new ways that suit the earth and the hearts and minds of the village. Forms of rigorous but intimate connections, without academic formality -- true village forms that are no less rigorous but perhaps more so. I am hoping that we can find ways to connect that reflect the great longing and need for true relationships in community with each other, the spirits and the earth.
Enrollment in the classes is not dependent on seeking mentorship. Enrollment is by application or invitation.
Sunday Training: Dare', Council, Healing and the No Enemy Way; based on Ways to the 5th World. (See below under Class Descriptions.) (Fee.)
Restoring a Dreaming
Culture: Dreams, Dreamtime and Living by Dream.
(See below under Class Descriptions.) (Fee.)
Writing Circle - Master Class (See below under Class Descriptions.) (Fee.)
Dare' meets the first Sunday after the new moon. Open to the Community. 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Pot-luck with healthy food and non-alcoholic drink, organic when possible. Dare' has been in existence since April 1999. Click here to go to the Dare' page for details and schedules. (No fee.)
2012 Dates: Jan. 29, Feb. 26, March 25, April 22, May 20, June 24,
July 22, Aug. 19, Sept. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 16
Fire/Water Circle to Heal War
A community offering to meet the needs of war-affected people. It is for veterans and war-traumatized people. It is anchored in the question: What are the ways to peace that soldiers, veterans, war-affected and war-traumatized people know together? Usually on the second Wednesday after Dare' 7:30 to 10 p.m. (No fee; donations accepted.)
(please call to inquire about scheduling)
Music Dare' - Recipients and participants by invitation only. (No fee.)
Private appointment opportunities
include spiritual and creative counseling and healing guidance for
individuals and small groups.
Please inquire for details and availability. Fee.
Individual and community consultations are available to people suffering serious illness or war trauma who wish to enter and be guided onto their healing paths.
The goals are:
The transformation of physical and emotional disease into sacred illness for the sake of vision.
The transformation of war-traumatized individuals into peacebuilders, transforming anguish into wisdom and injury to healing.
Fees by arrangement.
Dare' weeks occur immediately following the monthly Dare' gatherings. Two weeks a month for nine months each year (January through June and September through November) will be set aside for Dare' events, mentoring, teaching, Councils, seminars, etc.
Special related seminars, circles and
councils may be offered during these months.
Daré Immersion Weeks
Spring 2012 Dates: Weeks of Jan. 30, Feb. 27, March 26, April 23, May 21, June 25
Fall 2012 Dates: Weeks of Oct. 22, Nov. 19, Dec. 17
Other dates possible by special arrangement.
Location: Topanga, California
Please call Danelia Wild to inquire about availability.
Sunday Daré – Open to the Community
Monday day through Thursday night and/or Friday morning.
Daré Immersion week provides a focus on individual work within a context of group support and dream telling. Classes, Training and Initiation through private appointments, individual and group sessions, meetings with Deena and / or members of the Daré community who carry a variety of skills including healing, music healing, dreaming, dream healing, dreaming for the world, shamanic practices, energy and body work, community building, ritual work, ceremony, divination and augury. All our work is rooted in the integrity between healing the self and healing the kin and community network of humans, non-humans and the earth. Participation, when appropriate, in Deena’s on-going classes and trainings. Thursday evening Music Daré (by invitation). Limited enrollment. For a complete list of Dare' dates click here. Fee by arrangement.
Mentoring can include committing to a course of study and soul exploration that calls for individual work, solitude, dream work, visioning, questing, informed ritual and ceremony, among the formless forms. This work focuses on the means of aligning with Spirit and the soul's mandate, particularly alliance with the earth, all beings and the spirits. It focuses on identifying the path mandated, the visions given and living accordingly.
Mentoring pod work combines individual work with work within a self-selected pod of three to five people devoted to particular issues. The pods will meet at least twice a year in Topanga, combining individual work and solitude with group work. Mentoring implies the exploration of new forms, listening for the mandate, hands on training and supervision in healing, peacebuilding, community building, restoration and visioning. The pods will work alongside Deena to meet those who are seeking healing and those seeking relief from war traumas as everyone steps onto the paths of becoming healers and peacebuilders in the broadest sense.
The pod will attend either the writers' or healers' intensives together.
Regular appointments with Deena, either in person or by phone.
Between meetings, members of the pod will meet with each other regularly through conference calls, telephone and whatever means they devise to continue, deepen the work and to sustain each other. They will learn with each other the deep practice of alliance and attunement and the wisdom that comes to each individual and the world from such alignment with each other, All Our Relations and Spirit.
No matter what the particular focus, individuals seeking mentoring will devote themselves to becoming adepts in the Ways of Entering the 5th World so that they can guide and inspire others for the sake of the future.
By application and/or invitation. Fees by arrangement.
This class focuses on on Dare' mind and the Ways to the 5th World.
Dare' is an original, complex form, based on deep attunement and alignment with the spirits and the ways of the natural world. Some form of Dare' or Council is present in all indigenous cultures. It requires the individual to yield to the hope for the future and the wisdom that comes when the boundaries between self, other, the beings of the natural world and Spirit are truly erased.
To live this way is a rigorous practice that affects every interaction and relationship of our lives. It is the training for living in the 5th World, the world that has a future for all beings. It is a form that is based on beauty, compassion, loving kindness and devotion to the Divine.
This circle seeks to explore the depths of Dare', Council, Mandlovu Mind so that we might become carriers of this way. It restores the old ways of living in alignment and attunements. It predicates community and alliances of all sorts.
Healing, so different from cure, is also a way of life. It is deeply connected to the mysteries and rigorous process of transformation connected to the No Enemy Way. Healing is based on alignment with Spirit, reading the signs, willingness to make the offering and step onto the mandated path.
Healing war implies removing fear, separation, suspicion, wariness, superiority, ego, protectiveness, territoriality, and conflict from the center of our consciousness. It requires deep self-scrutiny, making amends, yielding to the wisdom of the other. It implies establishing the reflexes of respect, recognition and alliances.
All these goals involve deep listening to Story and recognizing the paths it reveals for the sake of the community, the earth and all beings. They involve sustaining each other as we step out of the 4th world's brutalities toward a new beauty.
It is hoped that the participants in this circle will ultimately become the circle of Topanga Dare' conveners, will establish and carry Dare' in other communities and will establish and participate in circles of elders and healers ready to meet individual and community crises. It is also hoped that members of this group will eventually become part of establishing healing circles in every neighborhood.
This community training circle will meet once a month, nine months a year, through 2012, January through June and September through November on the Sunday following Dare' Sunday. The first session will be January 24th.
Fee. Some exchanges possible. Joining the circle, one commits to the nine sessions each year. A core number of committed participants is necessary.
Regular participants are expected to attend Dare' and will be encouraged to meet in pods or on the phone or through conference calls between sessions.
Enrollment limited, by invitation and application.
Restoring a Dreaming Culture:
Dreams, Dreamtime and Living by Dream
This circle seeks to restore the deep ethics and spiritual development present in all dream cultures. Together we will re-enter the dreamtime, explore the dreams sent to us for the sake of community and the future according to the old, old ways and new vision. In the past, dreams served to reveal the soul's path, to protect individuals and communities, to alert people to future events, to teach people how to live in the heart, to link people and communities over time and space, and to reveal the true nature of reality.
We hope to be able to revive such dreaming skills and use them to both cohere community and gather communities together. Finally, we will learn what it means to live by dream as individuals and as a community. Deeply attending our own dreams and holding each other's dreams in a sacred manner is the essential call.
Participants are encouraged to consult with each other regarding their dreams during the month.
This dream circle meets once a month, nine months a year, January through June and October through December. Dates to be determined. Please inquire.
Fee. Joining the circle, one commits to the nine sessions each year.
Enrollment is limited and is by application and/or invitation.
For accomplished writers working on a project or committed to regular writing. The goal continues to be to ally with the creative spirits and contribute to a literature that invokes a viable future for all beings. Fiction, creative non-fiction, story, memoir, poetry, theater, film narrative and story architecture.
Some members of this class have been meeting with Deena since 1981 or even earlier. Through their affiliation with and devotion to the possibilities of literature and the word, they have become deep companions in the work. Anyone entering the Circle should be happy to enter such alliances.
This circle calls us to meet writing with rigor, discipline, discernment and dedication. It is a call to serve Beauty and enter the joy and challenge of meeting the unknown.
The Writing Circle will meet once a month, nine months a year through 2012, January through June and October through December on the first Wednesday after Dare'.
Participants are encouraged to consult with each other regarding their writing during the month.
Fee. Joining the circle, one commits to the nine sessions each year.
Enrollment is limited and is by application and/or invitation.
Retreats and Workshops
Intensive - By application
June 3 - June 8, 2012
Topanga, California [Los Angeles area.]
[For information on fees or to apply please contact Danelia Wild at 310-815-1060 or e-mail email@example.com.]
This workshop is for a small group of people who will gather to devote themselves to their work, that is to the work. The structure of the week will resemble other workshops offered by Deena — directed writing, reading to each other, dream telling, meditation, silence, solitude, teaching, questioning, daring, ritual, ceremony....
The state of our world and what is being asked to meet it requires all of us to consider our assumptions and understandings about who we are as writers, peacemakers, and members of a community of beings. For this reason, Deena has been meditating deeply on the purpose of our coming together at this time, seeking to understand the true calling of Spirit in regard to this Intensive. As a result of this contemplation, our time together will be a council, guided by Spirit, the ancestors, animals, elementals, inviting and embracing the voices of both the visible and invisible presences. Using the tools of writing, story telling, dreaming, prayer, silence, and divination, we will seek to move more fully into the writing paths that each of us have been called to on behalf of the planet and the restoration of creation. We will address our personal healing if and when it is necessary to remove the obstacles to fully embracing those paths, though the emphasis will be on global, rather than personal, healing. For these reasons, this will be the first Writers Intensive offered that welcomes both women and men.
Writing is a sacred act of conscience because the writer has been given the gift — stories, insight, vision, images and words — on behalf of the community. In accepting and using these gifts, the writer has profound responsibilities to herself, community, and Spirit; she must proceed with consciousness and ethical reflection because writing creates culture. Words are sacred: what we say, how we say it, to whom we speak, these are urgent considerations. We cannot be innocent or shy about our gifts and wisdom and must step forward to meet the urgencies of this time if we are to help create the kind of world we truly wish to live in, if we are to imagine a Story with a future.
Through the experience of living in a field of interlocking stories and alliances that may at first appear random but are deeply connected and dynamic, we will enter into a web of dreams, stories and voices, human and non-human, visible and invisible, to find and explore new cultural forms and language aligned with Spirit for the sake of healing, community, peacemaking, the natural world, and visions for the future. To enter into such a dialog is to enter into a Council. It is the discourse between the writer's self and this council that invites knowledge and vision. In this Intensive we will examine what happens when this wisdom comes alive on the page. Toward this, the ideas explored in Deena's new book, From Grief into Vision: A Council will be at the very core of our work together.
Deena is inviting approximately 20 people to meet with her in Topanga, California in order to engage, alone and in community, in the rigorous work of writing and creativity. Working as we do in her groups, a map will come forth and we will follow it, each in our own way, into the world of language, imagination, concern, ideas, beauty, history, myth and story.
Living together cooperatively for a week, addressing the issues that must be addressed, we will explore our lives, souls, minds, and creative work through formal and informal teaching, directed writing, dream and story telling, meditation, silence, solitude, music, improvisation, council, visioning, ritual, and ceremony.
This is a retreat for serious and experienced writers. The work is difficult, arduous, often risky, engaging, beautiful and thrilling. Though you will be guided, it is expected that you are also self-motivated and will come prepared to devote yourself to what concerns and fascinates you, to what is calling to be written, particularly in these times. We will work in prose, but the workshop lends itself to writing in any form, fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry.
The description, above, is only a possibility. This Intensive
is intended to gather together those individuals who are willing to heed the
call and direction of spirit in such times and, accordingly, to devote
themselves to developing the gifts, skills and visions given to them for the
sake of restoring creation. We trust that Spirit will gather those who need to
be gathered and that, individually and in concert, we will engage in the
training and work to become who we are being asked to become and to participate
in the visioning that is being offered to and asked of us in these times.
Healers' Intensive: Vision, Training and Initiation – By application
June 16 - June 22, 2012
Topanga, California. [Los Angeles area.]
[For information on fees or to apply please contact Danelia Wild at 310-815-1060 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Writing, council, contemplation, addressing healing, spiritual and creative concerns. Individual and group work.
The state of our world and what is being asked to meet it requires all of us to consider our assumptions and understandings about who we are as healers, peacemakers, and members of a community of beings. For this reason, Deena has been meditating deeply on the purpose of our coming together at this time, seeking to understand the true calling of Spirit in regard to this Intensive. As a result of this contemplation, our time together will be a council, guided by Spirit, the ancestors, animals, elementals, inviting and embracing the voices of both the visible and invisible presences. Using the tools of story telling, dreaming, prayer, silence, divination, and writing, we will seek to move more fully into the paths that each of us have been called to on behalf of the planet and the restoration of creation. We will address our personal healing when and how it is necessary to remove the obstacles to fully embracing those paths, though the emphasis will be on global, rather than personal, healing. For these reasons, this will be the first Healers' Intensive offered that welcomes both women and men.
There is an essential relationship between creativity, healing and peacemaking, as there is between personal, community and global healing. Given the current political, historic and environmental situation, we will devote ourselves to exploring these relationships and developing our capacities to meet these times on behalf of all beings. Healing refers to easing pain, disease, and distress but it also means bringing wholeness, harmony, and well-being to individuals and community. Healing can be personal but it is also spiritual, cultural, political and environmental. It concerns every aspect of our lives, including our alignment with the natural world, with all our visible and invisible relations. To be a healer, to bring healing to the community, to carry "healing spirits," are activities of profound responsibility to oneself, community and the world. We must proceed with consciousness and ethical reflection because at this time more than any other in history, healing means finding the forms that will ensure the coherence and restoration of a viable culture that promises a future and the flourishing of the natural world and all of creation.
To be called to initiation is to be called to one's true life, the life that accords with Spirit, the life that participates in the survival of the planet. An initiated person is conscious in every aspect of her or his life and acts according to the deepest understanding of his or her soul. We cannot be innocent or shy about our gifts and wisdom nor can we hold back from the call to come forth to meet these challenging times. This is a call for vision.
This Intensive is based upon the recognition and revelation of Story as a map and a guide. Stories are given to us by Spirit as profound and exact instructions for living our lives. Spirit speaks to us in Story, engaging our lives in ways that are creative and awesome, laying out events, circumstances, and synchronicities with an artistry that far exceeds the greatest human abilities. When conventional paths are not sufficient for our lives or for these times, it is a wondrous gift and surprise that our own life stories, the circumstances of each day, even of this week together, may be the most profound and detailed instructions on how to live with integrity.
Toward this, we will consider the following questions:
How do you read the signs?
What story are you in — really?
What is a healing story and how do you recognize it for yourself, for others, for the earth?
What might Spirit want — really?
How might creation be restored and what is your role in this?
Deena is inviting approximately 20 people to meet with her in Topanga, California in order to engage, alone and in community, in the rigorous work of visioning, peacemaking, and initiation. Living together cooperatively for a week, addressing the issues that must be addressed, we will explore our lives, souls, minds, and creative work through formal and informal teaching, council, directed writing, dream telling, story telling, meditation, silence, solitude, music, improvisation, energy work, divination, journeying, visioning, ritual, and ceremony. We will use council as an essential mode of self-discovery and development in service of greater vision on behalf of the community and all creation.
This is a retreat for serious and committed people. The work is difficult, arduous, risky, engaging, beautiful and thrilling. Our hope is to create an environment where we dare to enter the world of the imagination and engage the spirits in order to call forth our authentic selves and our abilities to heal ourselves, others, and the world. Though you will be guided, it is expected that you will be self-motivated and will come prepared to devote yourself to your own work as it reveals itself.
The description, above, is only a possibility. This Intensive is intended to gather together those individuals who are willing to heed the call and direction of spirit in such times and, accordingly, to devote themselves to developing the gifts, skills and visions given to them for the sake of restoring creation. We trust that Spirit will gather those who need to be gathered and that, individually and in concert, we will engage in the training and work to become who we are being asked to become and to participate in the visioning that is being offered to and asked of us in these times.
A Weekend Workshop - Thursday night through Sunday night
2012 Dates and Locations TBA
Fee: please contact Danelia Wild for details
This series of training councils addresses the critical need for personal and planetary transformation. The goal is to discover who we must become, what we must walk away from and how to live and act accordingly.
As the future requires,
we will rigorously address and act upon these questions through personal
exploration, and in community, relying on Council, meditation, story telling,
dream telling, divination, ritual, ceremony, ancestor collaboration, solitude,
time on the earth, group work, as well as teachings and guidance, to see what we
are being called to, individually and together, and to act on it. Each council
has the possibility of invoking a small, wise community that can continue to
support, sustain and inform the individuals and the work
We are working from a basic assumption: If we begin to transform ourselves and our different communities, now, into such people as will be manifest in viable futures for all beings, we will know how to meet whatever confronts us with new wisdom.
Here is another way of thinking about it: The Hopi have an image of a Sipapu, a corridor between the worlds. Passing through the Sipapu, one is entirely altered and becomes a being of a new world. We are being asked to enter the rigorous process of moving through the Sipapu, to transform in advance, so that we can act on this side with the wisdom that is still beyond us.
Over the past years, many of us have experienced the beginning of 'a change of mind.' Increasingly, we live by dream and, further, we are beginning to recognize dynamic fields of dreams that form as our individual dreams interconnect. These dreams are no longer personal, but speak to us directly of the gravity of these times and of the ways of peacemaking, community and healing, of our relationship to the earth and what might be possible for the future. The dreams and fields of dreams are calling us into impromptu council discussions and new and surprising alliances from which consciousness and guidance emerge. We are living, as best as we can, according to spirit, trying to discern how we are being guided through dreams, divinations and visions that are verified by personal and community experience, and that can be judged by the standard "All my relations" or that which serves all beings and the planet: We are trying to direct our lives according to generosity, compassion, and a concern for community, now and in the future, that is composed of humans and non-humans, of the ancestors and the elementals. We are looking to indigenous and traditional wisdom ways, as well as to new vision, to imagine viable, diverse cultures that will, together, insure the future. We hope these Training Councils will be vehicles for such transformation.
We will address the following questions:
What are the forms, assumptions and values inherent in our personal and cultural lives that have brought us to, and fortify, these tragic circumstances? What are the forms, assumptions, skills, teachings and values that can lead us to ways of living that insure and sustain true futures for all beings?
In this circle/training/council, we will engage in rigorous examinations and activities for extricating ourselves from the mental and cultural patterns that hold us in thrall in order to enter the beautiful possibilities that are life-giving for all beings. The essential concerns of this gathering are council and council mind, peacemaking, guardianship, healing and environmental restoration.
Deena wrote the following recently to convene another council. The concerns expressed then are informing this call as well:
"These times are critical. It is very clear that no governments and no institutions are meeting the gravity of the global situation that, as it exists, cannot be fixed; it must be changed. It is all in our hands and we cannot postpone the change of consciousness required, nor postpone engaging in the life and the activities that may lead to personal and global transformation. We are being asked to make a profound commitment to the future. All beings including the future beings are asking this of us.
"Spirit is calling together small, interlocking, circles of deep souls to enter into as yet unimagined territory and directions. We are among those who are called to respond to the difficulties and possibilities of this time. Our task is to make ourselves available to spirit and to commit ourselves to the earth and to the future beings in order to find the ways, individually and together, to change the trajectory that is endangering all beings. In doing this we are being asked to carry and live radical hope.
"This is a time of listening deeply to spirit in all the ways spirit speaks to us, listening to each other to see what happens when "I" becomes "we", working in the imagination, heart and soul on behalf of the future. This is a time when we will help each other, offer everything we have, and hold nothing back. Accordingly, this is also a time to offer everything we know up to the great mystery so that we might be transformed.
"This is a time of listening deeply to spirit in all the ways spirit speaks to us, listening to each other to see what happens when "I" becomes "we", working in the imagination, heart and soul on behalf of the future. This is a time when we will help each other, offer everything we have, and hold nothing back. Accordingly, this is also a time to offer everything we know up to the great mystery so that we might be transformed."
These are some of the questions that inspire this training:
ˇ How can the traumatized, brutalized, and so increasingly terrified, terrorized and so, often brutal, global population, heal [in time]?
ˇ Why do oppressed people become oppressors? How to intervene in this dynamic?
ˇ How can the human and the wild truly be co-existent and co-extensive?
ˇ What forms of healing are truly coherent with the goals of healing?
ˇ How do we rigorously and faithfully serve beauty?
ˇ How do we meet the current crisis where medicine is dangerous, government is treacherous, literature and journalism deceive, security is violent and freedom vanishes, when food lacks vitality and the earth itself is abused?
ˇ How can we receive, guide, accompany, ally with and train [when necessary] the increasing numbers of those who are reaching out as they become aware, consciously or not, of true mandates from spirit and the unconventional calls and activities that are implicit in the call?
ˇ How can we, as the spirits have suggested, individually and collectively, imagine the particular internal changes and the consequent unexpected and formerly unimagined activities that will foster transformation, sanctuary, guardianship, council mind and restoration?
ˇ What does it mean to be a guardian?
ˇ How can we help consciousness, peace and healing go systemic?
ˇ How can we live, realistically, in alliance with the earth and all beings, according to “All my relations”?
ˇ How can a nation and a world [truly] heal from war and brutality?
ˇ How can we receive the particular guidance of spirit?
reading: From Grief into Vision: A Council
and Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice
Writing the Living Matrix
A Weekend Retreat – By application
A Weekend Workshop - Friday through Sunday
2012 Dates and Locations TBA
Fee: please contact Danelia Wild for details.
This writing experience comes out of the intrigue of imagining a literature that looks to a planetary future that is vibrant, beautiful, and alive, a future that is healthy and sustainable for all beings. Our focus will be the exploration of a literature that incorporates the nature of council, of the circle, of the intelligence of dreams and of the multiplicity of visions and voices and the multidimensionality of consciousness when we are truly awake and aligned with Spirit.
This retreat will gather us into a field of interlocking stories and alliances that may at first appear random but are deeply connected the dynamic. Through this matrix we will enter into a web of dreams, stories and voices, human and non-human, visible and invisible, to find and explore new cultural forms and language aligned with Spirit for the sake of healing, community, peacemaking, the natural world, and visions for the future.
To enter into such a dialogue is to enter into a Council. It is the discourse between the writer's self and this council that invites knowledge and vision. During our time together we will examine what happens when this wisdom comes alive on the page. Toward this, the ideas explored in Deena's new book, From Grief into Vision: A Council, will be at the very core of our work together.
READINGS, LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS
Jan. 20-22, 2012 - The Healing Paths of Story
Friday night through Sunday night
Location: Topanga, California (Los Angeles area)
For information or reservations contact Carrie Dinow at 310-266-4050.
A Weekend Workshop with Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D. and Writer and Storycarrier
Deena Metzger. A Native American M.D. who follows traditional spirituality and a
Spirit-trained Village Healer working together to find the Health Paths of Story on behalf
of individuals, the community and the future.
A healthy system cannot thrive within a destructive world. Restoring culture, blessing the
earth, living in right relationship to each other, to all human and non-human beings form the
basis for health and survival. Lewis Mehl-Madrona (coyote) and Deena Metzger (elephant)
bring distinct and resonant gifts together to articulate and invoke the alignment between
the great wisdom of traditional cultures and the insights of contemporary knowledge -- looking
to call participants into the emerging medicine that asks us to heal beyond ourselves.
What moves us towards healing?
How can Story guide us? What wisdom is contained in our
illnesses and afflictions? What transformation lies within the mystery of our lives? How may
the stories constellated by illness and affliction teach us how to live? What offerings are we
each called to make so that all the beings flourish? How can we live as healing presences?
How can medical people and medicine people carry the new paradigm in effective ways?
When we gather with such intentions we enter the particulars of the stories we are living,
engage in healing activities, invoke the power of ritual and ceremony, the influence of
and prayer of community, the deep knowing of the land and the call of the future.
Many common threads weave
through the work of Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Deena Metzger,
including their recognition of Story as central to healing, and of each person as a storyteller,
their commitment to incorporating indigenous wisdom traditions and ritual practice into contemporary
life, and the shared vision of community healing circles.
Lewis Mehl-Madrona's latest
book is Healing the Mind Through the Power of Story: The Promise
of Narrative Psychiatry. His other books include: Coyote Medicine, Coyote Wisdom: The Power of
Story in Healing, Coyote Healing, and Narrative Medicine.
Deena Metzger's books include:
Tree: Essays and Pieces, which includes her journal of surviving
breast cancer; Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing;
From Grief Into Vision: A Council; the anthology Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women
and Animals, and the novels La Negra y Blanca and Feral.
For information or reservations please contact: Carrie Dinow at 310-266-4050.
Enrollment, Application, Sponsorship
If you wish to enroll, make an application, work with Deena individually or sponsor a workshop in your area, please contact Danelia Wild via email at email@example.com or call her at 310-815-1060. She also responds to messages left at 310-455-1089.