Into The Bone: Body & Soul

June 8 – 12, 2023

Spirit Hollow is delighted to once again welcome the Animas Valley Institute!

Guides:  Doug Van Houten and Laura Blakeman

Once, in the redwood forest, I heard a beat, something like a drum or a heart coming from the ground and trees and wind. That underground current stirred a kind of knowing inside me, a kinship and longing, a dream barely remembered that disappeared back to the body…” – Linda Hogan

Coming to know our soul shape is a natural, instinctive, and fundamentally fleshy affair. There is no thought, image, dream, or word — no experience, that happens independently of the body. Whether we are conscious of their missives or not, our bodies, in all their diversity of shapes, and colors, and capacities are the ground from which all our life experience unfolds. Listening to the body is one way we can come to know our particular way of being alive.

Shaped by our journey on Earth, our bodies are an amalgamation of many life processes, forms, and currents that are not static, but constantly in fluid exchange with the world around and within. They cannot be separated from the soul, nor can they be separated from our evolutionary and ancestral histories. Our blood, bones, and breath can reveal threads of our mythopoetic identity.

Over millennia we’ve slowly emerged from the primordial past to situate ourselves as a highly individuated species with an affinity for consciousness. Yet, so many of the challenges we face are a direct result of our dissociation from the ecological ground that birthed us. The mechanistic worldview of modernity has left us dangerously isolated, cut-off from our body and soul, our ground of action, and the earth itself. And yet many of us instinctively feel the pull toward a more embodied wholeness.

In our 5 days together at Spirit Hollow, we’re going to invite you to move and to feel. Feel the world that we live in with its wild diversity of life. Feel the sensations that move through you as you breathe and listen, wander, and dance. Dive into the bone – into the muscles, tissues, fluids, and structures of your body and the body of Earth. Through Soulcraft practices, embodied dreamwork and deep imagery, authentic movement, body art, dance and drumming, somatic practice, and play, we will marry the conscious mind with the instinctual foundation from which everything arises. With ample time to wander in the fields, forest, and streams, we will surrender to the body’s intelligence to seek, and then to inhabit, the call of the soul.

Hold to the truth you make
every day with your own body,
don’t turn your face away. — David Whyte 

“The body is the vehicle in which transformation takes place.” – James Hillman

Registration for this program is through the Animas Valley Institute.  Click here.


Guides

Doug Van Houten
Doug draws on the wisdom of the natural world, depth-psychology, eco-psychology, dreams, somatic knowing, poetry, and many pan-cultural, soul furthering practices that includes: The Way of Council, vision fasting, shadow work, symbolic artwork, trance dancing and conversations with the more than human world. Doug’s true calling in life is to support others as they uncover their own unique gifts and in so doing, transform their lives in service to what Thomas Berry called ”The Great Work” of our times. Doug is also an ardent beekeeper, a visual artist, a wily wanderer, a dream tracker, an emergent ceremonialist, a heart-centered activist, and a dancer interested in new forms of somatic practice.

Laura Blakeman
Laura Blakeman is a catalyst for cultural change who draws from her unique trans-disciplinary background in the performing arts to craft whole-person, contextually-informed learning experiences across the corporate and cultural sectors. She has spent decades working as a somatic educator and experience designer, producing dance events, live art immersions, and experiential programs that center marginalized ways of knowing, doing, and being. She is currently researching and writing extensively on the relationship between complexity, uncertainty, and beauty, and is a co-founder and creative partner at the Wolf Willow Institute. When she is not guiding, she can be found at home amongst the red rock bone canyons of the desert southwest.


DATE & TIME DETAILS: June 8-12, 2023 – Start Time 1pm End Time 1pm

LOCATION: Spirit Hollow, Vermont

CONTACT:
soulcraft@animas.org

WHAT TO BRING: This is an all-camping program. Participants are responsible for bringing their own personal camping equipment, and for personal transportation to and from the program.

MEALS : Participants are responsible for bringing their own breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Dinners will be provided by our gourmet caterer.

COVID-19: To protect the health of you, your fellow participants, and our guides, please review our COVID-19 POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS. We also ask participants to be especially vigilant in the weeks leading up to the program to avoid exposure to the virus.

SLIDING SCALE PRICE: $1,050 – $1,350

Registration for this program is through the Animas Valley Institute.  Click here.