Join us in California for Vision Quest this spring.
Dates : April 7 - 16, 2023
If you are interested in a vision quest, please email me to set up a one on one call where we can discuss if this is the right fit for you.
Click the link below to email me and set up a call
What if our whole life, someone told us that there were only chocolate or vanilla milkshakes?
We would become patterned to believe that those were the only options. Then one day, this crazy person with rainbow feathers in their hair, bare feet dancing and, if it was possible, smelling like what you would imagine compassion or love smells like, comes by and whispers in your ear…. strawberry milkshakes!!
Your whole body trembles. First with anger for someone even suggesting that there is something other than chocolate or vanilla. I mean, how could there be? Your whole life has been either chocolate or vanilla.
Then your body shakes with excitement!
The bold idea of strawberry now seems so tantalizing, you HAVE to taste it, but you’ve never seen one. What would it look like? What would it taste like? Can you feel it in your hand? Can you imagine something you’ve never seen or heard of right there in front of you for the very first time! There is no book on strawberry milkshakes. No one will talk to you about it. You see your friends gathering around you, and you sense they may be ready to have an intervention.
Clearly you must have something really wrong with you for this notion to be in your head. You know it is not some mad aspiration. You know it’s real. You know that life with strawberry milkshakes will change your life and you will pursue it at all costs…..
Ok, you get the idea..
A vision quest is a bit like strawberry milkshakes. Our culture only gives us fixed ways of living, being successful, of being in relationship, of protesting, of birthing and dying. If we question this notion of what the template of life is that we have been handed, we need to do some digging to find out a few things. Who made up the rules? Who enforces them? When did the rules get made up? How was I taught to follow them?
Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Vision Quest is about initiation, and in my world it has three pieces. Discipline, Vulnerability, and Responsibility; moving us from one level of consciousness to another.
Discipline: We have to understand how we think and feel from a place of consciousness. We have to be awake and aware of how our thoughts and feelings inform us and impact us. We learn how apply rigor to this process
Vulnerability: Imagine the prow of a huge ship cutting through the water. The prow of the boat has the thickest, sturdiest part of the hull. This is where we approach vulnerability from. We learn to lead our lives from this place of vulnerability
Responsibility: It takes great courage to live a life of radical responsibility. To be successful in a vision quest, we must learn the true gift in being responsible for all aspects of our lives.
When we live from these three virtues, we can let go of that which no longer serves us and picking up the true gifts of our life that have been waiting for us since birth.
Life has a way of taking us through initiation, but most of the time our understanding of what life offers us is ungrounded, and incomplete. Certainly, we gain wisdom, we accumulate reflective experience, but there is no guarantee that we have plumbed the depths of who we are, come back with the jewel, or have the success of our experience to stand on. We need a more structured environment. Something that gives our river some banks to flow with purpose and meaning.
A quest is something that needs to be guided. It is very important to have someone to help hold the ceremony with you. When you go out into nature for a quest, there needs to be someone who holds the threads of existence together for you so you can find your way back. That person or persons needs to be able to hold the vision of what new world awaits you on your return. A guide helps with translating the lessons that life has initiated us with. They really help you make sure you’ve set a powerful intention, and when you return from the quest, to help you see your story of a flick of a bird’s wing is a big giant story connected to your ancestors, the land, and your own mythology.
A vision quest is a ceremony that has its roots in timelessness and ubiquity. The name “vision quest”, was coined by 19th-century anthropologists to describe the rite-of-passage ceremonies of certain Native American cultures. It is not a traditional word but it is a traditional concept.
Every life is de-marked by passages from one way of being to another. The male energy has rites of passage that are external in nature, and have to be earned: the first hunt, becoming a “man”, being a warrior. The female energy has rites of passage that are internal: the beginning of fertility, birthing, nurturing, change. The Vision Quest is a ceremony that welcomes and has space for both the masculine and the feminine. In our modern times, our ceremonies are evolving to meet us where we are today. The masculine and the feminine both can benefit greatly from the power of the Vision Quest. A vision quest is a time away from all we know, in nature, to allow that new way of being infuse into us. The quester may spend up to 4 days and nights alone in nature with only water with the hope and prayer that instead of us dreaming the earth, perhaps the earth will dream us. We will come back with our own vision, but be warned, carrying a vision comes with a price tag. Going on a vision quest is to get absolutely reforged in the natural world. There cannot be any expectation of going out with the idea of becoming what you think you should be. Most of the time how we think about ourselves and our lives is too small for the Vision and Destiny given to us at birth. You go out to get struck by lightning.
A signpost that the quester passes on the way to the site where they will sit for 4 days that may be seen and even read but mostly doesn’t get understood, is the paradox of the quest. You are doing this for the life of your own soul, out of desperation to live. You are willing to give up everything to infuse yourself with power, vision, focus…. a dream. Yet paradoxically you are not doing it for yourself at all. The only reason someone should go on a vision quest is with the prayer for the thriving continuance of what they truly love - the Holy, Nature, Family, Community and lastly the self.
This paradox is the difference between modernity and the more ancient way of being. Most people approach the vision quest as a thing they devour, but the ancient terror and wonderment of the quest is to go out and be devoured by the holy. To be eaten and feasted upon in the most magnificent way, with no thought other than to be the offering. To be dreamed by something greater than ourselves. When we enter into this meadow of beauty, we must resist the desire to “do something” in response to being dreamed. How do we know that our “doing something” isn’t part of the status quo? How do we really know what changes the world, and where do we source that knowledge from? We must source our knowledge from spirit, and from the earth herself. Not from any redefined righteousness that comes from what we “think”. Stay in the moment! Let the timelessness of that moment be your guide for where inspiration will come from.
To ask the right question is far more important than receiving the answer. The solution of the problem lies in the understanding of the problem. The answer is not outside the problem; it is the problem. - Krishnamurti
Upcoming Vision Quest
April 7 - 16, 2023
Tim Corcoran is the founder of Purpose Mountain, (Purposemountain.com) where he serves as a Vision Quest Guide and certified Nature Based Purpose Guide to support people who hear the call from wild nature to discover their purpose, those with a burning desire to live their vision and a willingness to work with resistance and fears through the Ecology of Self and Voice Dialogue.
Tim also serves as co-Director of Twin Eagles Wilderness School, an organization he co-founded with his wife, Jeannine Tidwell, in Sandpoint, Idaho in 2005 dedicated to facilitating deep nature connection mentoring, cultural restoration, and inner tracking.
Tim is a leader of men’s groups and holistic rites of passage for males, guiding and initiating men and boys into the new paradigm of the mature masculine.
Since 1999, Tim has dedicated his life towards consciously furthering this vision of living in balance with the Earth, community, family, self, spirit and soul.
Healing the cultural rift between the mainstream and indigenous cultures, transformational consciousness work, the spiritual journey, ancestral work, deep nature connection, family and holistic health are all deep commitments in his life.
Tim is a heart centered father of two brilliant boys and husband to a magnificent wife, and lives in pristine Sandpoint, Idaho.
Mark Tollefson has been teaching nature-based connection and facilitating transformation for 30 years. Born in the wilds of northern Canada and from a young age mentored by people intimately connected to their lineage and nature-based roots he brings rich life experience and wisdom to his work.
Mark has been a survival skills instructor at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School, the executive director of Wilderness Youth Project and the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens in Santa Barbara. He has owned a pub and restaurant, worked as a roughneck in the oil fields, helped open an international high school in New Zealand, and founded his own non-profit working to promote sustainable farming with the Maya of southern Belize.
He has participated in and started many men’s groups and has sat in circle with men for many years.
He has guided hundreds of people through rites of passage into holistic living and thinking, helping those he works with to step into a new paradigm of being that is based on Thriving Life, connected to our true purpose for being alive at this time.
Mark works one-on-one and in groups with people who wish to live from their essence and uncover the blocks that keep them from living a Thriving Life. His process of using myth and story-telling helps create a map unique to each person that will uncover true vision and purpose.
Mark has many passions including playing music, poetry, carpentry, and cooking delicious food. He is the father of two amazing children and lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Mark Tollefson ~ Living a Thriving Life
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