You begin with an idea; in this case an entire workshop held outdoors, in the vivid landscape of the English Lake District. It’s vast and wild… and you have no control over the weather, not even in May.
The goal is for those attending to experience themselves in a new way. In these dramatic surroundings, and in the midst of warm companionship, we can become inspired and intrigued by a new kind of physical and emotional quest.
The inner goal, experienced by many on these weekends in the past, is to SEE differently. We consider that we see, accurately, all the time. But the brain is subtle in its power to replace the real act of seeing with ‘recognition’ of what it has already viewed and processed. Situations that are ‘different’ provide a split-second of potential to break through this. It is the intention of our workshops to enable amplified moments that have this ‘magical’ quality.
The content needs to be fascinating. People will join for many reasons:
- You’ve run workshops before, and that joyous bunch of people who support the Silent Eye team know you will, once again, put your heart and soul into making it special.
- They trust you to make ‘outdoors’ work. No-one wants to spend the day sodden, so you need to have thought through what it’s like to be in their minds on hour three of a rainstorm…
- But providence has seemed to move when you’ve done this before, so you trust…and have that Plan B tucked in your pocket.
The lakes, hills, and rivers of the Lake District are your best friends. People would come just to see a well-organised visit to them – but if you can add some additional and real magic into this experience, they will never forget it. But you are not in the comfort and ease of a village hall or retreat in the Peak District… It’s just you, the landscape, the people… and the plan.
That magic is already in that landscape – especially for an event beginning and ending at Castlerigg Stone Circle. The skill is in how you bring it out of the ‘ground’ and into the hearts of the players in this dramatic setting.
There needs to be a central theme to the whole event, one that faithfully follows – and to some degree dictates – the participant’s experience. This time, the theme is ‘The Journey of the Hero’, and is based upon the work of Joseph Campbell, whose book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces proposed that all myths followed a similar pattern. Campbell extracted this pattern into a standard form, which he called ‘The Monomyth’.
The ‘Monomyth’ describes a number of key stages in the hero’s journey:
1. The hero’s adventure begins in the ordinary world.
2. He/she must leave the ordinary world when they receive a call to adventure.
3. With the help of a mentor, the hero will cross a guarded threshold, leading them to a supernatural world, where familiar laws and order do not apply.
4. There, the hero will embark on a road of trials.
5. Other-worldly allies sometimes assist.
6. As the hero faces the ordeal, they encounter the greatest challenge of the journey.
7. Upon rising to this challenge, the hero receives a reward or boon.
8. They return to the ordinary world, empowered to act in a higher way.
It’s a potent formula which invites us all to pay careful attention, particularly when the word ‘ordeal’ is noticed. This has to be real. It won’t be life-threatening, but it will demand a kind of sacrifice… In return, what is found at the destination will be both unexpected and greater than the expended effort.
By gesture, the landscape will be asked to serve the heroes, as they travel from unknowing to knowing; each new location adding to their intimate knowledge of an inner process that belongs only to them….
The final element is something new: gesture. Being an outdoor event, we are limited in how we express the inherent truths of ‘being’, personality and self-development. Everyone attending will be shown a new set of gestures at each site.
By the end of the weekend, each will possess a compact but comprehensive vocabulary of gestures by which they can review and describe their own hero’s journey. We can confidently predict that each person will have experienced at least one extraordinary experience.
Waterproofs and sturdy, walking boots are strongly recommended. Regular walkers will be used to such things, but these events are also for the casual walker.
Our meeting at Castlerigg Stone Circle on Friday, 6th May will be an introduction to the weekend, and local to the site. Saturday 7th May will see the most active day, about which we can reveal no details. Dinner is booked in the early evening at a country pub local to our final walking destination. Sunday will see us walking locally to Keswick, followed by our closing gathering once again at Castlerigg Circle.
The Journey of the Hero, May 6-8th, 2022. A few places are available.
Contact us for details:
©Stephen Tanham 2022
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.