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Against the Stream: Ancient Paths, Timeless Songs

  • Mendocino Woodlands Camp Mendocino, CA 95460 USA (map)
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Amidst all the troubles, uncertainties and growing threats to both nature and culture, the soul still seeks to find and live its inner design and core purpose in life. Genuine transformation has always been the secret aim of the tensions and troubles we encounter on the road of life. Despite and because of all the growing fears and anxieties, our primary task is to find again the great imagination and deep reverence for life that dwells in each soul.

The great religions and the artful practices of diverse cultures have invented many ways to seek the treasury of the soul at the center of life. Each spiritual and traditional practice can lead to the center where the divine waits to be revealed again. Yet, the venerable traditions can only be helpful up to a point. Each person must immerse in the river of change and go against mainstream ideas and common expectations.

The human soul has always been connected to water; as such, it tends to be resilient and buoyant. Yet, we may have to hit rock bottom or reach an existential impasse before the innate buoyancy of the soul can be found and release the imagination and energy trying to arise within us. We must fall apart and repeatedly dissolve in order to re-collect essential parts of ourselves that we could not manage to hold during the abandonments experienced early in life.

As in myths and stories, it usually requires a profound struggle or pain for the psyche to open to the great energies of the soul. Always a sacrifice is required to make a breakthrough and inevitably, finding the soul’s genuine path leads to puzzling obstacles and awakens our inner demons.

At critical junctures we are called to choose between the path of complacency or adventure. We either accept the life that has been given to us or enter the unique adventure the soul would have us undertake. We are here to decipher the patterns of our souls, in doing that we become secures in ourselves and most valuable to others and to the world.

Join us on this path of discovery with a diverse faculty who will present ideas and elements of initiation from tribal traditions, spiritual practices and psychological perspectives. Through stories, poems and the compelling speech of the soul; through chanting and meditation; through the suddenness of ideas and the surprise of ritual; we will approach the borders of our knowing and seek to touch the edge of what our souls came to live and to learn. This event will benefit those involved in mentoring and community building, teaching and counseling, environmental activism and social justice.



LOCATION:  The Mendocino Woodlands Camp is nestled within a beautiful, rare redwood forest. It is approximately four hours north of the Bay Area. After registering, you will receive a confirmation letter including directions and other pertinent information.

DONATIONS:  Your donation beyond the conference fee will support scholarships for those who would otherwise be unable to attend.

ACCOMMODATIONS:  The Mendocino Woodlands Camps are like rustic villages nestled within a rare Redwood forest. The camps seem to escape time and open areas that are timeless and eternal. Please settle your communications before you arrive, as there is no cell phone reception anywhere in camp.

COST:  $795 includes rustic cabins, healthy food and all events. A deposit of $395 will hold your place. Final payment is due July 31st, 2018. Proceeds from this retreat support Mosaic's work with at-risk youth and the Genius Project.

As Michael Meade states in the above video, “This is a radical form of community building that occurs by stepping away from the community, by getting in touch with nature, and then getting deeply in touch with each person’s human nature. At the core is the idea that everybody, regardless of skin color or economic background, regardless of what they have done in life, has come to this world with gifts to give. This kind of creative mentoring helps each person find and give their gifts in a way that is fulfilling to them and beneficial to their community.”

Join us on this path of discovery with a diverse faculty who will present ideas and elements from tribal traditions, spiritual practices, psychological perspectives, and a rich array of personal experiences. 

MICHAEL MEADE  is a renowned storyteller, author, scholar of mythology and ritual. He has the ability to synthesize this material and connect it to the stories we are living today. Michael is the founder of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, author of The Genius Myth, Fate and Destiny, Why the World Doesn't End, and The Water of Life. His latest CD recordings are The Soul of Change, Inner Wisdom, and Finding Genius in Your Life.

LUIS RODRIGUEZ  has won prestigious awards for both poetry and non-fiction. He is the author of It Calls You Back, Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times, Always Running- La Vida Loca: Gang Days in LA, My Nature Is Hunger, and other books. As a community activist he works with prisoners and at-risk youth. He is the founder of Tia Chucha Press and Café Cultural.

DUNCAN ALLARD  will teach songs and dances from the musical traditions of the Shona people of Zimbabwe and will perform the haunting music of the mbira. 

Later Event: September 13
Paths to the Center