INTRODUCING OUR NEWEST ONLINE JOURNEY EXPERIENCE
JOURNEY THROUGH THE DARK FOREST:
A HERO’S JOURNEY® FOR THE ENSEMBLE
Taking A Journey Through The Dark Forest Of Our Times:
Walking the Path of Unknowing & Mystery
“Brighten every darkness.”
How Our Online Journey Works
- Join a six-week journey that balances the inner work of being with the outer work of considered action. We balance self-reflection with informed action – this creates the conditions for each of us to go where it has not been possible for us to go before.
- For 40 days, we will alternate between a week of participation in outward-ness, being ‘active’ in online group gatherings, and the we practice one week of inward-ness, being ‘receptive’ and reflective in individualized, personal practices.
- During our ‘active’ weeks, we come together in the larger community on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, Eastern Time; and in smaller ‘meet up’ groups (days and times to be determined) to share how the journey is unfolding for us all.
- The larger community gatherings will be hosted by Michael Mervosh. These sessions are recorded and available to those unable to attend.
- The smaller, one-hour Journey Groups will be held and facilitated by various Hero’s Journey Foundation staff. (These will not be recorded.)
- During our ‘receptive’ weeks, the Journey Through the Dark Forest of Unknowing & Mystery will deepen through provided readings, guided meditations, self-reflections or journaling, In addition, you will receive invitations to consider doing personal initiatives we call ‘reaches’. You immerse yourself in whatever options speak most to you.
The ensemble hero journey is a distinct and dynamic opportunity to learn about developing a resilient and responsive sense of self during the difficult times playing out in the larger world.
This allows for the ordeal of our lives to shape us, so we can ‘break through’ by supportive connections to others, both in small groups and through community broadcasts, and to be less worn or ‘broken down’ by the more typical, isolating, and solitary nature of one’s most habitual thinking.
WEEKS 1 & 2
The Great Unraveling:
LEARNING TO PRACTICE ‘UNKNOWING’
‘Unknowing’ is a very different experience from ‘not knowing’. To enter into the sense of mystery and wonder that can be experienced in adventures into the unknown, we must transcend the duality of knowing-not knowing.
In these cases, our ways of knowing become more fixed, rigidified, and certain. We can become sanctimonious and righteous in our belief and position of knowing something in a way that cannot be questioned.
The posture of ‘unknowing’ requires humility and a certain amount of ego strength that can tolerate un-binding one’s self from fixed and rigidified beliefs, attitudes, and ways of seeing self and others.
In this high place
it is as simple as this,
leave everything you know behind.
– David Whyte
WEEKS 3 & 4
The Full Embrace:
LEARNING TO PRACTICE HOLDING ‘NONDUAL AWARENESS’
Here we enter the challenging inner territories of Complexity, Paradox, & Yielding, and work with the interplay among these three essential tools for human maturation and for cultivated non-dual awareness.
We continually practice saying YES to it all, and embrace the yin and yang of each position and circumstance. We practice knowing our tendencies and biases and do not over-identify with them.
We learn that regardless of whatever our immediate experience is to conflict or threat, there is a deeper, more complex, and paradoxical lens through which is see a person or a situation – and we must be able to yield into that as-yet-unknown perspective and awareness.
We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
– Anne Hillman
WEEKS 5 & 6
The Surrender Into Emergence:
A RE-ORIENTING TO THE ‘NEWLY ARISING POSSIBILITIES’
As a result and as a synthesis of the practice of unknowing and the holding of non-dual awareness, we have the opportunity to open ourselves to a continuous re-orientation towards was is ‘coming forth, that has not ever come forth before’.
Recognizing what we haven’t been able to see before takes an open mind and a strength of heart to move beyond stasis and stuckness.
In this phase of the journey, re-emergence is about allowing the newly possible to arise from the field of what has troubled us, from the darkness that we have been able to embrace and withstand. Re-emergence does not take place from our efforts to avoid, manage or eliminate what troubles us.
Re-emergence is something that occurs naturally and inevitably, arising from the ground of our interior lives when we are able to stand with and withstand the trouble in our lives, and also when we are active witnesses to others as they do the same with their own troubles.
Sacred contemplation and action
opens one’s whole being to unknowing,
no matter what, even in the worst situations,
when everything seems lost.
It also opens one’s whole being to the
endless, miraculous possibilities of
the “One” itself.
– Andrew Harvey
Meet Your Guide - Michael Mervosh
Through 30 years of experience in working with individuals and groups, as well as 25 years of working with people in wilderness intensives, he has offered online journeys over the past 5 years.
He has been inspired in 2022 to now provide this third iteration of the “Ensemble Hero: Navigating the Unknown” online series.
Michael brings himself, along with a seasoned, supportive staff, to provide an enlivening and supportive container to face the dark times in our world as a personal journey, while traveling alongside others in a living, dynamic group – an ‘Ensemble’.
Anyone who is paying attention to all that is taking place in our world these days has an ever-growing concern for what our future holds, individually and collectively.
We are all uneasy witnesses to increasingly dark times; it seems as if our individual and collective worlds are increasingly combative, volatile, and endangered. We appear to be unraveling as we enter a ‘tipping point’ in our evolutionary development.
Our physiological, emotional, and psychological lives do not seem equipped to handle such widespread disruption and conflict, and for many of us, our own well-being and sanity feels increasingly fraught, and we find ourselves at newly arriving ‘breaking points’.
Not surprisingly, at the same time, this is exactly how an authentic ‘hero’s journey’ seems to play itself out: Going off on an adventure into the great unknown, only for the adventure to turn into an ordeal.
We typically only hope to get through the ordeal, with ourselves still intact. With this frame of mind, there is only the relief of having survived the ordeal. We hope and pray that we will be spared the next one.
It is becoming increasingly evident that none of us are being spared the ordeals of life these days. We are being drawn in, more and more, to the realities of established ways of life being endangered on personal, local, national, and global levels.
We must learn to deepen our capacity to bear witness to what is happening in the world, to our families, and to ourselves. We have to find new ways of being in relationship with more maturity and with more capacities to bear the tensions that arise. It’s time to renew our commitment to evolve as a community of seekers and to be of service when and where we can.
What are the essential heroic tasks being required of us, under these increasingly threatening cultural conditions?
What is life asking from each of us?
How are we being challenged to change, to mature, and to respond?
These are the questions we are being faced with now. These are the quests we are being bound to, and perhaps we were born for.
This newest Ensemble Hero Journey will offer you a template for bearing and navigating the deepest and darkest currents of the unknown.
We will explore in-depth the particular stage of the journey that we refer to as ‘Entering The Dark Forest’ – which will serve as both metaphor and map for this winter’s journey.
Using The Practice of Unknowing
We will use the ‘Practice of Unknowing’ – for our compass heading for the adventure ahead. This grows the capacity to unbind ourselves from all that we already know – all that we cling to, all that helps us feel secure, and so certain about things – so that we can better see what we don’t typically see.
We will become more aware of the ways our particular ‘knowing’ cuts us off from others – those we feel a need to protect ourselves from; those who threaten our most basic sense of self; all those we view as ‘not like us’.
We will grow our appreciation for how our strivings to know not only limits us, but can contribute in confounding ways to the trouble currently at hand.
Join Us For This Journey
We start in the month of March, for six weeks of embracing the unknown – together. – $149