Some of our most important work at Narrow Ridge is done through our Earth literacy programs. To be Earth literate is to understand the relationship of self with the rest of the natural world. It is to understand your place within the larger context of a rich and diverse Earth community – a community which humans share with other animals, trees, plants, mountains, prairies, oceans and stones. Earth offers countless ways of deepening our understanding of ourselves and our sacred relationship with nature. If we are observant, Earth will teach us how to live in harmony with the rest of the natural world.
In our Earth literacy programs participants are given the opportunity to experience sustainable living first hand, to immerse themselves in the natural world where they experience themselves as part of the community of Earth rather than as outside observers, to participate in organic gardening, to delve into environmental issues of mountaintop removal, conscious consumerism, bioregionalism, and sustainable agriculture and diet. We believe our Earth literacy programs are making a difference by creating an awareness of the current state of the planet and the responsibility that each individual holds to self and all the others that make up Earth now and in the future.
Types of Earth Literacy Programs/Experiences:
Participants in this program will experience two and a half days of preparation and training, three days and three nights of fasting alone on a mountain near Narrow Ridge Center, and two and a half days of processing including a sweat lodge ceremony. Past participants have reported significant increases in clarity about life directions, decisions, and purpose, in addition to finding the experience profoundly restorative in terms of feelings of health and well-being. Vision Fasts have been part of the rites of passage of many different cultures since time immemorial.
Principle VF leaders will be Bill Nickle and Mitzi Wood-Von Mizener. Bill Nickle is founder of Narrow Ridge and 13-year vision fast guide. Mitzi is Director of Narrow Ridge and has served as VF guide since 2006. She trained under Bill’s mentoring and has received additional training through the School of Lost Borders (SLB). SLB pioneered non-Native American led vision fasts in the United States.
During and after the VF, participants will stay at Strawbale Lodge on the grounds of Narrow Ridge, an eco-friendly facility constructed of sustainable building materials and utilizing solar power, composting toilets, and an on-demand water heater. Vegetarian and organic food is provided in a supportive group living and learning environment.
Individuals and couples are invited to apply. Cost is $600 per person or $1080 per couple. Need-based scholarship assistance may be available. Previous camping experience is not required. Participants must submit a statement of personal intent explaining her/his interest in experiencing a VF. Those accepted must file a medical statement certifying they are in sufficiently good health given the physical demands of mountain hiking with a heavy pack, camping, and fasting; and be willing to sign a liability waiver accepting the inherent safety risks of a VF including spending time alone in a wilderness setting. Participants should prepare for the VF over the weeks preceding the experience by following a suggested regime of reading, journaling, short-term fasting, and walking.
To apply or for more information, contact Mitzi Wood-Von Mizener at 865-497-3603 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for registration is March 30. A $50 deposit is required to reserve your place in the Vision Fast.Balance of tuition is due by the registration deadline and is fully refundable up until this date. Cancellations thereafter will result in 1/2 tuition reimbursement. If you are interested in applying after the above deadlines, please contact us to see if there are available spaces. Don’t let anything hold you back from participating! Ask about our loan and scholarship programs.