Nature of Council

Wild people need council and council people need the wild.

Nature of Council is a five to eight day course (dependent on season and location) for those who want to learn council as well as share the practice with others, i.e. it’s a training, not just an experience, and people are asked to wear two hats, participant and future facilitator, guide or trainer. We come for ourselves to learn, and for our people as ambassadors, to give back to our communities.

This course focuses on the universal natural roots of council. It is a unique combination of the teachings and ways of council and nature quest, evolved over many years through The Ojai Foundation and the School of Lost Borders. At present, Gigi is working to pass on leadership to a diverse group of experienced guides and council carriers, including many Beyond Boundarians. Two courses are on offer in 2015.

Collaborating organizations include The Ojai Foundation, School of Lost Borders, Weaving Earth, and the Center for Restorative Justice.

About the Nature of Council Course

How do we remember all our relations, embrace differences, and find our own voices, all while opening to others? It seems more than ever an essential moment in our nation and in the world, to awaken this deeply relational heart/mind.

Council is an ancient way and modern practice whose roots are within the natural world, spanning diverse cultures and religions. Here we remember and learn to listen to the whole: the people and the place, earth, water, fire, air. . . the spirit in all. This practice elicits an experience of true community, recognizing that each voice has value, every person has a gift, a story to share, a piece of the whole.

Council offers a way of communicating that encourages attentive listening, as well as honest, heartfelt, compassionate expression. There is room for new insights and understandings, wisdom in decision making and healing, and of course, paradox. As a personal practice, a group process and a life-path, council is an essential ingredient of education at any age and especially important for guides, teachers, therapists, caregivers, any one whose work involves groups.

In all trainings we introduce a variety of uses and forms of council appropriate to different situations. For these seven days, participants explore what it means to live in council and work with what arises, through time spent alone and together in nature. One may leave as a carrier of council, inspired to initiate councils in every facet of life. Many will return home a little more awake to the moment, to the connectedness of all beings, to the impact and potential of our actions, our words, as well as our silence.

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