Rites of Passage Summer 2024


Dear friend,

Silence in the wilderness is such a great teacher.  On our just-completed wilderness quest we found ourselves in the presence of blessed desert silence, the kind that you eventually hear as a low humming in your ears, as if the earth is starting to sing to you. We began to notice other sounds as well: the wind’s whispering song, rock finch singing sweetly, raven’s sharp cawing.  Along our journey, we met hawks, black and striped lizards, and a dizzying panoply of wildflowers. One woman witnessed two condors flying silently across the valley towards Mt. Whitney.

In a time when just hearing the news can bring on depression, finding such joy and renewal is not a small gift. This beautiful creation has the capacity to restore us by reminding us of our place on the earth, of the natural way that healing can take place, and of our harmony with everything living and not-living–the mountains, rocks, springs, washes.  Here we can rediscover our original condition, hearts brimming with love.

Here’s what one participant wrote about her experience:
I’m an ecologist, and while the science of ecology is rooted in the senses, this experience reveals the ecology of my soul. 
She concluded:
It will yours as well.

There are still a few spaces on our upcoming programs.  We’d love to guide you on one!

–Mike Bodkin
Executive Director



Click on the links below to learn more about any program:
Men’s Wilderness Quest
Women’s Wilderness Quest
Four Directions Online WorkshopFall Wilderness Quest



What the Silence Said

Do you still believe in borders now?

Birds soar over your maps and walls,
and always have.

You might have watched how the smoke
from your own fires

travelled on wind you couldn’t see

wafting over the valley

and up and over the hills and over the
next valley and the next hill.

Did you not hear the animals howl
and sing?

Or hear the silence of the animals
no longer singing?

Now you know what it is to be afraid.

You think this is a dream? It is not

a dream. You think this is a theoretical

What do you love more than what you
imagine is your singular life?

The water grows clearer. The swans
settle and float there.

Are you willing to take your place in the
forest again?  to become loam and bark

to be a leaf falling.from a great height.
to be the worm who eats the leaf

and the bird who eats the worm?
Look at the sky: are you

willing to be the sky again?

You think this lesson is

too hard for you. You want the time-out
to end.  You want

to go to the movies as before,
to sit and eat with your friends.

It can end now, but not in the way
you imagine    You know

the mind that has been talking to you
for so long—the mind that

can explain everything?    Don’t listen.

You were once a citizen of a country
called I Don’t Know.

Remember the burning boat that brought
you there?   Climb in.

Marie Howe




Men’s Wilderness Quest
June 22-30, 2024
Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Guides: Tom Anderson &
Mike Bodkin





Are you feeling the call to quest? To discover your wild soul? To be initiated into your deepest truth as a man? If so, join us in a deep, challenging and transformative rite of passage over 9 days, including 3 full days of solo time in the wilderness.

This program is open to anyone who identifies as a man.  Rites of Passage has been guiding men on wilderness rites of passage for over 30 years. These deep transformational journeys into the heart of nature and the hearts of men have had an enormous impact on the men who found the courage to say “yes” to the inner call.




Women’s Wilderness Quest
June 29-July 7, 2024
Inyo Mountains, California
Guides: Susan Wofsy &Dashielle Vawter









A homecoming to deepest self, this sacred journey of healing and transformation honors the power and the path of the sacred feminine as experienced in nature and in our lives. It is lovingly offered to women and female-identifying people in all stages of life.

The supportive container of the Women’s Quest provides a safe, wild and beautiful way to explore authentic depths, heal old wounds, and renew your sense of purpose in order to live your most alive self. Enter sacred time and space alone to reflect and redirect. Connect with the Earth and celebrate the gifts that are uniquely yours to give. Deepen into relationship with the natural world and claim your place in the order of all life.




Fall Wilderness Quest
November 15-24, 2024
Inyo Mountains, California
Guides: Mike Bodkin & Larisa Blum
Open to all genders







A soul-nourishing retreat the week before Thanksgiving, in the beautiful Funeral Mountains of Death Valley National Park.

The Fall season brings an inward turning, time to listen to dreams and look up at the night sky.  Visitors to our site have included the resident ravens and shy bighorn sheep.  Three days of preparation, three days of solo on the earth, three days to incorporate what has been received–then return to the world full of gratitude, just in time for Thanksgiving.


This work provides earth-based guided learning and exploration designed to support you as you learn to live into your authentic, whole, vibrant self.  It will be helpful for anyone seeking to integrate a life stage transition, shift of consciousness, or an inner calling.  This approach includes listening to the inner voice of Soul, to the natural world, and to Spirit.  We’ve also begun offering remotely guided quests through the mentoring process.

Mentoring Testimonial:
Very carefully, and in a very sensitive and honest way, Mike gave me the confidence to share and talk about myself and my life. I really trust him, even not knowing him personally. I would be always be very grateful about this mentoring.
–Giovanna R., Chile

To learn more, click on the link above, or email us for more information.