Writing Your Way Back
to the Living World
Are you feeling an urgency, a restlessness, a deep longing to connect with the natural world? Are you noticing the balance in your life shifting more and more towards endless screens, physical inactivity, environmental boredom, loneliness, and disconnection?
Although we understand scientifically more about the universe than ever before, we have a less intimate connection with the universe than any people have ever had. The further distanced we are from knowing our place within the sacred continuance, the more forgotten and buried this belonging becomes.
Planetary change is not just happening around us; it is happening through us, in us and because of us. It’s time we start perceiving our impact through both the micro-and macro lenses, for we are not outside the wholeness of nature, but are intrinsically included in our awake, fascinating, pulsing, curious, living world. We are in it, of it, natives of its root system even though we may have forgotten how to speak its language or respect its innate intelligence.
Filled with writing prompts, stories, poems, and time spent outdoors, this co-creative course is about so much more than words on a page. Using the elements, the animal world, seasons, moon cycles, and the experience of our creature bodies, this is a deep dive into our intrapsychic drive to know the wilderness of our souls.
Module 1: Speak to the Earth
The living world is “like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence.” Maria Rainer Rilke
- We begin with a simple practice to listen to the voice of the earth. What does she have to tell us when really listen?
- Start with where you are. Greet the land spirits of your local environment, learn the names of the native plants, find out about the lives of the indigenous people who lived there before you.
- Practices for gratitude, reciprocity, and gestures of respect.
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Rock People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including David Abrams, Micah Mortali, and Sandra Ingerman.
Module 2: Expose Your Dominator’s Training
“Every plant is a medicine, every animal a messenger, every direction a teacher.” Pixie Lighthorse
- This module is an exploration of all of the ways we still separate ourselves from the living world through thought and speech patterns that assume our authority. If we are not plunderers, owners, exploiters, stewards even, than what are we?
- Opportunities to appreciate and write about the genius of the animal world. Just because their vital expression and way of living is different than ours it is not any less miraculous.
- If we were to write without our dominator’s training, what words or language would we use?
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Dolphin People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including Linda Hogan, Frans de Waal, and Barbara Kingsolver.
Module 3: When We Are Silent Enough
“When we are silent enough, still enough, we take a step into such mystery, the place of spirit…” Linda Hogan
- Explorations of deep listening across cultures, such as Dadirri, forest bathing, and using a sit spot.
- The living world teaches us about patience and resilience. A great grey owl looks imperious and regal stalking a vole, but his chances are ⅛ each time he tries to catch a meal.
- Writing about how sitting within this quiet mystery deeply nourishes our souls.
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Tree People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including Stephanie Kaza and Peter Wohlleben.
Module 4: Lie Down in the Dark
“The process of transformation consists mostly of decay.” Rebecca Solnit
- Sinking ourselves deep within the roiling soil, down past the noise and effects of humans, we find a vast cosmos of its own right within the depths of the earth.
- Feeling into the rich breakdown of the natural world we come to find that disintegration (through the release of old thoughts and behaviors) is a healthy and necessary process. What in you wants to be composted, broken down, transmuted in form?
- Within this nutritive compost, what vision-seeds want to germinate in the dark?
- Practices to connect with spanda or the sacred tremor of inherently creative vibration that moves through all of the universe, including the center of the earth.
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Mushroom People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including Robert MacFarlane and Bill Plotkin.
Module 5: Abundance Is Everywhere
“Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy.” Robin Kimmerer
- When we really pay attention, we find that the living world is always fiercely pushing towards life. How can we learn to step into this flow of aliveness?
- Practices for activating your senses, letting them go mad for the beauty and intensity of all of life around you.
- Confront any mental patterns around not enoughness. Recognizing abundance rather than scarcity undermines an economy that thrives by creating unmet desires. Gratitude cultivates an ethic of fullness versus the influence of our culture which encourages emptiness.
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Flying People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including Robin Kimmerer and Mary Reynolds Thompson.
Module 6: Hold the Mirror
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Chief Crazy Horse
- The mirror is being held higher now; the earth is an on-going reflection of our own psychological state. Our reticence to care for her is mirrored in our inability to lovingly care for ourselves.
- Let us feel grief, overwhelm, confusion, hope, hopelessness, anger, or excitement for the planet. Let us feel something, anything, except numbness, or a turning of a blind eye and a deaf ear away from truth. Let us feel something, unpleasant as it may be for it is better than nothingness.
- How can we mother, care for, and nourish ourselves better as small acts for all of life?
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Elephant People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including Toko-pa Turner and Clarissa Estes Pinkola.
Module 7: Hardwired For Wilderness
“Our overwhelming suffering and discontent is ultimately based in unmet longings for wilderness, mystery, and meaningful engagement with the world.” J
- Our society is constantly creating walls from listening to and knowing our inner wilderness. But when we tunnel through these barriers we find that nature and the soul not only rely on each other but long for each other.
- Practices for connecting with your soul and finding more wilderness in your everyday life.
- Meet with a local intermediary from the Wolf People and write about this transmission.
- Reading suggestions will be given including Bill Plotkin and John Muir.
Beginning March 2020
Reserve your spot now