If there is anything that binds us all together, it is our deep and incessant curiosity. A yearning hunger to know what kind of things we are, what we’re for, to seek meaning and purpose in our lives, and to hold and turn over that purpose, in short to 'know thyself.'
We also have a common need to be tested, both practically and philosophically, to come into and out of transitions - both of our choosing and those unexpected. It's also about knowing that we can, a knowledge forged by the crucible of circumstance, experience, and opportunity. And in so doing, we are greeted with the chance to be recognized for our gifts, the chance to be seen and heard by the communities in which we take part, to be reminded that we belong there, that we're needed. In turn, and just as importantly, we are dually reminded that we need others, as a complete and interdependent whole.
Without pervasive and cross-culturally functional rites of passage that define and demarcate the boundaries and roles of the different stages of our lives, we are left feeling ever stuck at the cusp between adolescence and adulthood, un-initiated, unsure of our roles or purpose.
One of the ways many cultures across the world achieve these milestones is through intensive and sometimes even dangerous initiatory practices, those that test the physical, mental, and emotional limits of their participants. One of the most well known is the 'hanbleceyapi' or ‘crying' for vision of the Lakota Soiux of the Midwestern Plains. This was the process of fasting in the wilderness, in the hopes of being blessed by the visitation of spirit and in so, coming into vision. There is a specific kind of dialog that happens when we are alone, if we listen, it brings forth often difficult but always-necessary questions, those whose answers can be both illusory and life-altering. To come face to face with our core selves, is to come away more firmly footed in our steps, to make more informed decisions, and from clearer vantage points.
The Make Trybe Center believes that the process of leaning into this inner dialog, and to speak its truth among both strangers and community is a tremendously effective way to shed the dysfunctional and unnecessary from one's life, to discern ones gifts, and those things that set us on fire, those that exist beyond the reach of fear, distraction, or deprecation.
So in the spirit of this practice, Make Trybe offers our own version of these journeys of self discovery, bringing a blend of Eastern and Western canonical teachings and literature into relationship with indigenous wisdom, emotional literacy, mindfulness, critical self reflection, and engaged and embodied challenges. Through five 2 hour long evening gatherings we will help you begin to map out who you are, the gifts and inner battles you possess, and a framework for moving forward with them, culminating in a guided 48 hour fast [water optional]. Finally, we will gather to assess how the changes or reflections began in your quest have translated and incorporated into your daily routine after your return.
To seek vision is to thrust oneself into the glorious and terrifying unknown, to stare the void straight in its face and lean into what we find there, ever dedicated by that Socratic maxim: ‘the unexamined life, is not worth living.’ We, at the center believe in the power and import of this work, and whatever your age, background, or belief system, invite you to come share space, truth, and story with those who wish to seek it.
Read a short article about vision quests from a seeker's perspective HERE
This quest will take you through five evening sessions, both setting the framework for transformative work in your life as well as contextualize the culminating 36 hour guided fast and a follow up meet. First you will seek out the personal and culturally informed 'paths' you're on, and then through guided coursework, group work, and various creative projects, will determine the kind of path you want to make moving forward.
The fast itself is held on 40 acres at the edge of Kansas City, KS known as 'Dogwood Forrest.' For more information see the course syllabus below, or contact us with questions.
a patchwork quilt: the seven weeks of seeking vision
Cumulatively as each of the 5 evening gatherings build towards the fast and follow up they begin to be sewn into each other, bringing seemingly disparate parts of your work and path into cohesion. Each gathering has specific intentions, guiding questions, and outcomes. These overviews will give you a broad understanding of what to expect.