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why encounter wilderness for rites of passage?

Why Wilderness Rites of Passage?

“Your body is as ancient as the clay of the universe from which it is made; and your feet on the ground are a constant connection with Earth. Your feet bring your private clay body in touch with the ancient, mother clay from which it first emerged” - John O'Donahue      


The engagement with the Earth through our human bodies is perhaps the primal gateway into and through the threshold in which we initiate embodied conversation (the act of being in harmony) with the land through sensory and intuitive perception. In this way, a wilderness rite of passage is a returning to our most ancient connection to wildness.   


Author, professor, and researcher, Peter Kahn PhD. (2009), addressed this in his research on bridging the human-nature dynamic. Kahn's (2009) research suggested that the architecture of the human body and psyche is that of wildness. This common thread of wildness, the natural unbounded energy, can be accessed through embodiment.


I (Colleen) consider the clear-eyed stillness in which I return with as I cross the threshold -- an animal-knowing and an initiation into the family of life-force, of Earth, the Cosmos, a Great Mysteriousing. I experience my eyes so clear in such a way that the one who is looking through my eyes is present, awakened in the moment -- which includes inhabiting my body and Earth-body and perceiving an intersubjective permeable. The energy of wildness -- natural, unbounded flow--permeates the field of my awareness, and my senses are attuned to the rhythms and vibrancy of pure life-force and the Earth, from which I first emerged.    


To live in a way that honors and attunes with the natural currents and rhythms of Earth and drop into feeling a subtle reverberation of light through our chest and belly, pulsing with the planet itself, is perhaps the guided-ally to our most sacred belonging. Embarking on a journey to embody and be guided by the passageway of this light is in our bones. To feel this inner yes, the unbounded presence, and follow the pulse of initiated, embodied wildness is to live in total reciprocal, loving presence with all life forms on Earth. 



written by Colleen Bishop



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