Post by Zac Koop:

Your life is calling.

Your myth awaits.

For too long man has lived without myth, and his sense of meaning and purpose is diminished because of it. We are living in the wake of a new world, where out-dated myths no longer satisfy the modern man’s search for meaning. Though they impart deep wisdom which we would be wise not to forget, we must rewrite our story as individuals and as a collective. This is the hero’s journey, and this is your story.

The hero’s journey is a popular story structure derived from Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth from his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces and adapted by Christopher Vogler is the Twelve Stage Hero’s Journey. This is essentially a more detailed Character Arc for a story’s hero which is overlayed onto the more traditional three-act structure of beginning, middle, and end. Joseph’s cross-cultural studies of comparative mythology found that behind the diverse stories across multiple societies there was a common structure, an archetypal form behind the story. Not only is this structure universal in collective mythologies, but also in our personal myths. the hero’s journey is a road any man or woman can walk. It is this call to adventure that awakens us to our true purpose. For myths take into account the entire cosmos and your place in it.

A Hero’s Journey, the men’s retreat has this focus in mind.

As individuals we must all answer our call to our higher purpose. Thus and therefore we come to the wilderness for healing and guidance in our journey. The wilderness presents the perfect container for spirit to work in our lives. As individuals come to the forest for breathe circles, yoga, qi gong, meditation, free movement, wisdom teachings, hot springs, and sweat lodges they will open themselves up to be a vessel for spirit. As you align yourself with spirit, it works through you to heal and guide your journey. this is your chance, your opportunity to receive the call.

What is the Call To Adventure?

The Hero’s adventure begins when he receives a call to action, such as a direct threat to his safety, his family, his way of life or to the peace of the community in which he lives. It may not be as dramatic as a gunshot, but simply a phone call or conversation but whatever the call is, and however it manifests itself, it ultimately disrupts the comfort of the Hero’s Ordinary World and presents a challenge or quest that must be undertaken.

Though the call may be something specific to the individual, there is collective call for boys to become men in our community and lead humanity forward. There is a direct and real threat to all our families as our way of life hangs in the balance. If we do not change our relationship with nature and the earth herself, then this whole planet will suffer. We must protect our waters, our rivers, and our trees for they do not speak, yet they hold universal wisdom; we must speak for the animals, the insect, and all earth’s creatures that walk, crawl, swim and fly. We must stand up for our humanity, for our human brothers and sisters, and our humanness. To become fully human means to see yourself in the face of every stranger. The call is yours, to be the hero of your story, or to live a role given to you. Have a plan, or be a part of someone else’s.

We are not separate from nature

Many people realize on an intellectual level that we are one with nature and cannot survive without her. From this intellectual realization we must feel it in our bones and live it in our actions. We have chased spirit out of our cities, nature no longer flourishes alongside humans, the animals no longer gather in great numbers, for they are dying off in the 6th great extinction that this world has known.

Without millions of years of interstellar explosions creating the basic elements the very structure of your body could not be, it is in this realization that we find that it takes the entire universe to create and support you. The entire universe sustains and has created you. The universe, or God has not created you randomly, but for a unique and meaningful purpose, that purpose is to be found in the deep of your bones, as you look within yourself, no one can show you the way to your own heart.

Nature, being the perfect balance of chaos and order, yin and yang, and the perfect blending of the 4 elements, the same four elements that your body is made has a tremendous ability to bring your body into harmony. It is out of this harmony and union of man and his environment that he fades away, by he I mean the limited self-construct or ego with its limited view of reality that we usually walk around in. When we get out of our own way, we allow for the universe to speak through us. For nature is the greatest teacher.

It was in nature I first learned to truly meditate. For many people try to meditate in their home and find themselves restless and stuck in their minds. But nature has a brilliant way of teaching meditation without words, simply walk till one tires and sit next to a stream, no action is necessary to find calm, to find that place of peace and connection and expanded awareness.

It was out in nature that man evolved.

It was through a close and personal relationship with the land that every original culture learnt its ways of being, its songs, its methods of healing, hunting, and loving. Nature is the giver and sustainer of life, without this relationship there is disease and destruction. It is through the close study of nature that man finds eternal knowledge. For when we walk out into the deep of nature, we find ourselves walking into a place beyond time. For everywhere we look in a city we are continually reminded what year it is, our place in history, and our role in the story we are telling ourselves. Yet when we go out into the woods, far from any signs of man we find it easy to be timeless, for a forest can appear the same for thousands of years. The forest is a place of fantasy and myth, a place where authentic freedom can exist in the expression of self, beyond the constraints of culture it is in nature we find that we are eternal.

Nature teaches us how to live.

It teaches us the way things work when they are sustainable. for example, many aboriginal cultures view the hunt as sacred ceremony, the animal is to be respected and honoured as it gives its life to be apart of our life. These myths inform a sustainable and respectful way of treating nature.

The rite of passage

One of the traditions that we have lost since developing our nations is a men’s rite of passage. In most traditional cultures men would undergo a ceremony to lift them up into the responsibility of becoming a man. Women naturally have their own ceremony as they begin to menstruate and become women, whereas a man must be initiated. Yet our culture has lost this tradition and many men have not risen to their role as protector and server of their community and tribe. Therefore, this wilderness retreat can be just that, a ceremony wherein you rise to become the man this world needs. We seek healing within ourselves so that we can heal our communities. We seek our highest self, and we are brave, for we act not for ourselves, but as the expression and guardian of our entire universe. You have but one life to live, to stand honourably and offer your life for the life you have been given, such is repentance for the gift you have received. To live, to breathe, to nourish your soul and spirit as a human is a precious gift, one that must be respected. Your life is calling, nature is calling you back to her, to remember who you are, and to teach you how to be, to love, and to give.

A Hero’s Journey: Men’s Retreat can be a way of you to connect to your personal myth. To find brotherhood and community to support and guide you in your journey. Through the practices and guidance you will receive you will have an opportunity to heal and connect with the parts of yourself that need attention.