What is a solo?
The “solo,” rite of passage or quest time of your Sacred Passage or NatureQuest program is that portion where you are alone (All One) in your chosen site. As part of the Awareness Training, your guide will lead short excursions to preview the sites found in that location. You will choose your site to insure a deep resonant connection with the Earth. This solo time is your golden opportunity to practice the extensive exercises and methods acquired through our comprehensive Awareness Training. There is no danger of not having plenty to do. Boredom is highly unlikely. However, if you choose to simply relax and be present with the extraordinary beauty within and without, you can do so. It is your time to commune intimately with Nature in any way that is personally appropriate.
“We take everything away from the most successful people we know. They thank us for this.”
The Way of Nature Fellowship solo programs employ a “buddy check system” as a primary safety measure. Most solo and vision quest sites are within a half-mile of each other, but out of sight and sound to assure a deep solo experience. This relative closeness adds another level of safety to your process. Your guide will instruct you in all safety protocols, as well as any camping procedures that you may need help with. Another factor assuring little outside interference from others, is that many of our solo sites are on privately protected land. In a number of Way of Nature Fellowship locations, the Awareness Training, base camps and solo sites are within a privately dedicated Sacred Land Trust area. In most cases (except for Baja), the guide’s base camp during your solo is not far from the solo sites. You will stay within the boundaries of your site to help the guides provide for your safety and privacy. Although the idea of solo time during your wilderness journey might at first seem intimidating, by working with our skilled guides you can have a deeply transformative experience that in many ways is safer than an average day-hike and is both fulfilling and rejuvenating. We hope you take advantage of this unique wilderness adventure.
What is a typical day during the Sacred Passage Awareness Training?
A typical day of Awareness Training includes instruction in the following areas:
What do I eat?
Food Packing List - more info
What do I pack?
Gear Packing List - more info
What can I do to prepare for my Sacred Passage?
First of all, many people do a Sacred Passage and solo quest with us who have never camped before. The guides and apprentices with our program are trained to support you with instruction in whatever camping skills you might need. Also, because there is no need for fires or fancy cooking, the camping skills required are very easy to learn.
Before participating in a Sacred Passage program there are some simple things you can do to prepare yourself for the experience:
We highly recommend you order John P. Milton’s audio tape/CD series, Sky Above Earth Below. This series will soon be available from The Way of Nature office at: www.wayofnatureproductions.com. A longer description of this series is also available at: www.wayofnatureproductions.com. These tapes cover teachings on the principles and practices used during a Sacred Passage solo, as well as guided practice sessions. Working with these CDs is an excellent way to prepare for a Sacred Passage program.
We have found that taking these CDs or tapes and a small battery operated player on your solo can be a great support during the solo time. This is especially recommended for those who have never done a Sacred Passage before.
We also highly recommend purchasing John's book published in 2006 by Sentient Publications, entitled: "Sky Above, Earth Below: Spiritual Practice in Nature." This book covers all of the teachings covered in John's CD set series by the same name, plus a lot of original new material: new teachings, new personal stories that illustrate his 12 Principles for Natural Liberation and many new practices that help the reader cultivate these Sacred Principles to a very deep level. Many people have gained great benefit by taking this book out into solo with them, along with the CDs. The CDs are wonderful to practice with to dynamically learn the various meditation and energy cultivation practices he shares. The book helps students expand on this by introducing many additional practices and deepening their understanding of the 12 Principles. The book can also be purchased directly from The Way of Nature at: www.wayofnatureproductions.com. (note: all the proceeds from sales of books and CDs from The Way of Nature go directly to either preserve sacred lands or produce additional teaching materials for the Way of Nature Community). The book and CDs are the only audio and reading materials that we recommend be taken out on your solo.
You might choose to read some selected books from our recommended reading list to learn about some of the topics that will be taught during the Awareness Training. Reading list more info
We also have an extensive recommended list of movies with relevant themes. Movie list more info
If you have limited camping experience, you might want to become familiar with the gear you will be bringing with you to Sacred Passage. Make sure you know how to set up your tent and adjust your backpack for a proper fit before you come. Breaking-in new hiking boots and shoes beforehand is always a good idea. If you need to discuss equipment needs or use with any of our qualified office staff, we will be glad to help.
Spend a little time outdoors in a natural environment each day before your Sacred Passage. Bring the book and CDs with you to start practicing with them. If possible, begin doing this preparation weeks before you begin your Passage; however, if you cannot prepare in this way beforehand, don't worry. The Awareness Training prior to your solo quest time is quite comprehensive and will prepare you - not only for the Passage solo - but also for continuing with these principles and practices for the rest of your life - if you wish. In any case, following all or some of the recommendations shared above will help you start the process of connecting with your inner and outer Nature - the best preparation of all.