Faculty asked us to pass along the letter below which contains information on how to prepare for the course.
Dear Visionaries, World Lovers, and Artisans of Cultural Transformation,
I’m delighted you'll be joining us for the September 2013 program at Omega, Experiencing & Exploring the Wild Mind: A Soulcraft Immersion. The dates of the program are Sunday, September 15th, to Friday, September 20th.
Start and finish times: Our first formal meeting as a group is at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, September 16th. Our final meeting will end at noon on Friday, Sept 20th.
For preparation, you might practice offering your deep and reverent attention to the wildish world -- which might be as close as what you encounter in a backyard garden or neighborhood park – and, while doing so, notice what stirs in you emotionally or in bodily sensation; offer your attention, also, to what rises on the edge of your awareness, or in memory or imagination. I encourage you to keep journal notes during this practice of your wild attention. I also encourage you to record your dreams in a journal, every morning if you can, between now and when we gather at Omega (and beyond!). If you're having trouble remembering your dreams, be sure to have your pen and journal ready at your bedside. Before you turn off the light, write the next morning's date and the words Dream Report at the top of a fresh journal page. After turning out the light, start a long conversation with yourself about the precise reasons why you’re interested in recalling your dreams. Review and explore as many of your genuine reasons as you can, "store" each reason in a different body part so you can remember them all, and keep up this review until you fall asleep. As soon as you wake up, don’t move an inch until after you’ve replayed your dream in your imagination. Perhaps give your dream a title before you move. Then reach for your journal. Transcribe your dream in the present tense as if you’re recording actions and experiences that are occurring as you write them. Include all emotions. It's best not to ask anyone, including yourself, what your dream "means." Better is to spend as much of the day as you can "living within" the dream, submitting yourself to its images and feelings, so that the dream can do its work on you rather than you doing your work on the dream.
If you'd like to do some preparatory reading or viewing, consider these:
- Bill Plotkin, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche
- Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche
- Bill Plotkin, Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World
- Thomas Berry’s The Dream of the Earth
- Theodore Roszak’s The Voice of the Earth
And, as a reminder, here is our intention for our time together:
Experiencing & Exploring the Wild Mind: A Soulcraft Immersion
Just as there are landscapes all around us, so too there are landscapes within us. And just as we can use maps of the world to get where we want to go, so too we can use maps of the mind to show us how to become who we were meant to be.
Join depth psychologist and wilderness guide, Bill Plotkin, in this experiential immersion of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature. By exploring the landscape of the mind through creative expression, focused time alone in nature, group work, movement, journaling, and other soulcraft practices, we:
- Find out how to recognize and consciously cultivate the four facets of the Self
- Learn how to identify behaviors that supported us in childhood and adolescence but are now barriers to our full and authentic humanity
- Discover practices and guidelines for self-actualization
- Learn how each facet of the Self provides essential resources for the radical transformation of personal identity
Best wishes for safe travels, imaginative adventures, and challenging, serpentine, seductive dreams filled with improbable creatures and fantastic landscapes.