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Beyond Transcendence: Eco-Awakening and the Descent to Soul

  • Pulse Studios 1 Pitt St Brunswick, Vic Australia (map)

Beyond Transcendence:

Eco-Awakening and the Descent to Soul

A conversation with Brian Stafford MD

In conversation with Claire Dunn, Brian Stafford will discuss what is missing from most cultural, psychotherapeutic, and spiritual conversations and practices.

Based on the work of Bill Plotkin and the Animas Valley Institute where he is a guide and trainer, Brian he will discuss the two necessary developmental stages in moving from a state of patho-adolescence development to healthy adolescent development, and, eventually, to a soul-centric adult.

What awaits beyond healthy adolescence is the descent to soul, a stage where an individual with a relatively mature and eco-centric ego is called by Mystery and says ‘Yes!” to the call to adventure. The descent to soul is a journey into the deepest wildness of our psyches, a place where we risk attachment to everything to encounter our soul image, name, powers, and destiny.  This journey is necessary in order to find the unique psycho-spiritual purpose and destiny of our lives, our deepest place of service and belonging. To be an adult requires the following identity shifts: to experience oneself primarily as a member of the earth community, have a mystical experience of one’s unique place in the world, and to live and serve the world from that place and identity.  

Intrigued? Come join us for some mythic adventures, poetic discussion, and an exploration of the most suppressed aspects of the spiritual journey.

Listen to the conversation recording from a link on the Facebook event.



Brian and Claire will also be offering a day long workshop - Rewilding the Psyche - Saturday September 9. More information here.

Brian Stafford, MD, MPH is a depth psychiatrist, wilderness guide, poet, essayist, and agent of human and cultural transformation. Previously, he was an academic pediatrician, and an adult,  adolescent, child, perinatal and infant psychiatrist with numerous clinical, research, and educational publications as well as many institutional, state, and national awards.  He began asking the most important questions that the poet David Whyte states “can make or unmake a life.”  He began to realize that Western culture has little wisdom to save itself and contributes to the continuation of what Dr. Bill Plotkin calls “Patho-Adolescent” Culture. He also saw that his own profession, academic psychiatry and medicine, has little or nothing to say about the top 10 problems facing the planet. He continued to become aware that the pervasive psychiatric worldview of what it means to be human was limited and limiting.  After a period of wandering and his own vision fast, he retrained as an eco-therapist, depth psychotherapist, wilderness guide, and retreat facilitator and now guides individuals and groups in wild locales around the globe to the place they most long and fear to go – the numinous depths of their inner wilderness – their soul – the place of deepest medicine for themselves, their profession, and the Earth.  He guides and teaches with humor, playfulness, compassion, discernment, and a deep remembering of the fullness of what each human life can, should and was meant to be.

Claire Dunn is a writer, educator, Rewilding facilitator and barefoot explorer . Claire worked for many years as an environmental campaigner, before studying deep ecology with Joanna Macy, eco-psychology, and wilderness survival skills. In 2010, Claire embarked on a year of bush retreat. Her recent book My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in search of the Wild is the best-selling memoir of that journey, Claire is currently working on another memoir, this time exploring wildness in the urban landscape. Claire is a passionate advocate for ‘rewilding’ our inner and outer landscapes. She facilitates nature-based reconnection retreats, contemporary wilderness rites of passage and offers individual mentoring.

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