Using tried and tested approached, the weekend programme is all about harnessing the power of the wilderness to raise and control our Fire.
Imagine arriving at night. Here your sight will adjust as you trek through the forest with no torches. You will breathe clean air but this will be overshadowed by a sense of vulnerability as you try to find your shelter for the night – the base of a tree. Your experience has started.
With the sky as your ceiling and North, South, East, and West as your walls, you will experience ‘solitude’, which is a night alone for you in deep silence in discussion with yourself and the trees. Here, you will begin your internal journey through the night to your authentic Self, and discover powerful emotions that you must manage – all in perfect silence.
At daybreak your programme continues by building shelter, igniting and maintaining the campfire and participating in various activities and exercises. Here you learn Fire and Tree meditation techniques, discover wonderful things about the forest and there are periods for empowering discussions around the fire.
Your body is tested not just by the exercises but also by the diet. The nourishment for the weekend is water and fruit – your diet for the duration of your stay.
The wilderness environment serves as a dramatic backdrop for rites of passage. By handling the challenges of the outdoors, you can confront self-limiting beliefs and long-standing negative behavior patterns.
The ‘wilderness’ serves as a metaphor for the challenges of the world.
From Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October ’09, the most recent group of ORIGIN Graduates took to the woods for Forest Retreat. Up to this point they had heard all sorts of stories from the other Graduates about the weekend, some of these were highly exaggerated at times, others were not!
In the weeks that lead up to this trip, the young men tried to workout fact from fiction. They were unaware of what the Facilitators had in store for them. This would be their first trip to this mysterious place and hopefully not their last.
Just like previous groups, they journey to this sacred place
with two pieces of tarpaulin and a ball of string
The Keeper of the Fire steps-up (there is always someone who wants to maintain the fire)
Young Brothers cultivate their SWISH energy (their favourite warm-up game)
to continue their training
that includes contemplation in deep silence,
listening to each other,
and sharing future plans
We pledge to keep our fire burning
and draw strength from the trees
The Circle – even stronger.