The Quest gave room and space for me to visit difficult places in my soul. The guidance you gave and the room and the space I could not have done without.
From start to end the whole experience felt genuine and heartfelt. With a lifetime of knowledge and open hearts Mike and Renee made what seemed daunting and sometimes impossible an amazing life learning moment of growth and exploration.
I thought the whole thing was pretty much perfect – preparation, location, structure, depth, size of group. It was just completely off the scales. The guides insight, generosity and stamina is amazing
This program is so special, so unique, and so powerful. My experience was nothing like I thought it would be. I was able to grieve in a deep way that my heart really needed. I felt so much stronger and clear on the other end. Absolutely unforgettable.
This Quest had a profoundly positive impact on my life and soul journey in the most subtle and beautiful way. It allowed me to open more to my heart’s longing and an intimacy with self and nature. I was finally able to put to rest over 15 years of restlessness and deep pain. The space was held so safely, gracefully and with such wisdom by Mike and Renee. I am eternally grateful for their presence, their work and the journey we all took. I am changed for the better.
Felt contained and safe while exploring new territory. Support felt nurturing, intentional and present. The leadership was exceptional. What a powerful experience.
This has been a wonderful week in Ireland I won't easily forget. The vision quest was one of the best personal growth experiences I've ever done. To be alone with myself in the wilderness allowed me to really go deep and access hidden feelings that needed to emerge. Being in Ireland was added plus as the unique beauty and Celtic history of the land added to the power of the quest. I highly recommend this adventure to all.
I came with no expectations and actually wasn’t quite sure what I was walking into. Immediately upon arrival I felt welcomed, safe, guided and held which allowed me to let go and be. I slowly shed layers allowing clarity to shine more brightly. I am so grateful for all I received.
A journey of self-discovery, community, connection and heart. Rich and full of depth. I appreciate the presence and transparency provided by the guides.
I was supported and challenged by this Quest in ways that I didn’t expect, and ways that are different to my own long established practices. As was said the wilderness was my primary teacher. I feel clear in body, open of heart and hopeful.
My experience showed me how capable I can be. The program gave me a structured approach of how to look into myself.
I came into the Quest a stranger who felt broken and lost. What I found in the forest was my true self again. I am lighter. There are no words I can use to express my gratitude. I’ve gained so much
The experience was moving, powerful and life changing. Pushing boundaries, awakening connections and providing the idea avenue for growth, healing and self-affirmation. Incredible, guidance, support and overall experience.
It would be hard for me to imagine someone going on this program without experiencing significant spiritual, psychological and emotional growth. On this one program I discovered critical life changing insights about my life and I feel poised and prepared for a new era of significant growth in my life.
This really was a rite of passage for me. I feel re-born and know who I am. My intention for this Quest was to gain clarity – which I did – along with so much more.
It (the Wilderness Quest) will change your life for the better in ways you’ll never imagine.
I have gone on a Wilderness Quest three times in my life, at age forty four, three years later with my son as he turned thirteen and two years ago as I turned 65, with Mike and Renee from Rites of Passage. Reflecting on the power, the richness, the depth of this experience, how much I have realized my intentions for going to the desert, how much my life has changed in beautiful ways.
It wasn't an easy journey, I had to give up a lot, but the teachings of the desert live for me as guideposts to follow. When I did my first Quest I was given a spirit name. Twenty three years later I feel I am fully living into my name.
I absolutely recommend this to others. I had a profound experience, a reinforcing catalyst in support of my journey on the path to living an authentic life.
One of the most unique and precious experiences of my life…This program reveals the depth of who you are, and gifts that take you into your life.
It’s hard to imagine that I would now feel so at home in the wilderness and that such profound experiences of spiritual connection would bless my path. What a unique opportunity to be fully disconnected from all modern distraction and to reconnect to the roots of what it is to be a human being.
I have no words, which is a huge statement about the depth and breadth of my experiences with soul, community and nature.
This Wilderness Quest experience is life enriching beyond any retreat, conference or seminar I’ve attended. It is a transformation on many levels. What a healthy way to tackle and embrace growth and healing on such a significant level.
As a female combat veteran I had much untapped and this journey allowed me to be in relationship with my experience in Iraq in a way that I cannot put into words. I have clarity and purpose to bring back to the world. We need programs like this. I am changed. I am whole.
I have done a lot of “self-development” programs, both spiritual and on the leadership/talent development side. But I received more from this program than from any other.
My wilderness quest with Mike Bodkin and Linda Sartor this April was phenomenal. I loved Mike's clarity, openness, honesty, deep insight and masterful quality of guiding our group. Linda's wisdom and caring was also wonderful. I appreciated the teachings of the medicine wheel with the four directions and how they relate to a balanced integration of all our parts into the Wholeness that we really are.
The introduction of having a ‘council' in a circle where everyone is encouraged to speak their story from the heart and listen to everyone's story with the same attention and appreciativeness allows for compassion and growth and eliminates the idea of ‘a better than' or ‘not as good as' in a natural way. I will certainly make use of a ‘council' in my family as well as in my work as a satsang teacher.
Thank you Mike and Linda for the wonderful work. Keep up with it.
Rites of Passage provided us with a nurturing mirror—a mirror where our human voices were allowed to be transformed into the whispers of our souls. As I witness Man's time pass, I realize that the teachings from Death Valley have no boundaries, no expiration date. They have become life.
It is rare for me to feel safe enough to open deeply with a group. Under Mike and Dana’s facilitation it was almost effortless. It was such a profound honor to be held and witnessed by and with such wisdom, clarity, honesty, humility, ferocity and love. I feel new in my bones.
What I got from this Quest reached out far beyond my expectations. Thanks to the great leadership of Mike and Dana, I have been able to work out important issues in my life. Some of them I didn’t even know I had to go through in order to move forward in my life. I feel now much more grounded, regained confidence and built a strong motivation for my future projects. The group experience was also amazing. It was stunning to see such deep connections form in such a short time.
The consistently masterful framing of the process and of our experiences throughout the Quest facilitated a quick and deep dive into a tradition with enormous power to evoke what needed to arise for each of us.
I understand prayer now and a new and what feels like, right way. It is more of a song. Singing that I am part of the universe, part of the life force moving through. I cannot express my gratitude. Truly I have been moved at a level beyond language.
This work is alive! It's not dead preaching.... I appreciate people who know how to work with that live fire.
I undertook this wilderness quest seeking to ground myself—as a leader and an elder—more fully in both meaningful purpose and joyful expression. I found the experience to be a powerful process for clarifying my intentions and identifying what really holds heart for me. It was also a journey rich with unexpected gifts of insight and unfiltered experiences of truth and beauty. The high desert became an active and powerful palette for the quest, and my fellow co-questers became a vital community of support and mirrors for my own experience. The guidance was masterful—with just the right combination of experienced wisdom, open invitation, loving support, and gentle challenge.
My wilderness quest experience gave me a deeper connection to my inner being and brought me closer to nature as a great teacher. Our Rites of Passage guides, Mike and Linda, were both gentle and firm as they expertly facilitated our diverse group through the various stages of the experience. The deep sense of transformation, gratitude and openness I felt right after my vision quest sustains me as I integrate the teachings into my ever unfolding passage through life. I highly recommend a vision quest to anyone who is seeking to bring more meaning and purpose into their lives or feel called to recognize a life passage or transition.
Why was I here? To learn that I could survive alone and not just to survive but to learn how to be happy with my aloneness. I was here to see what being alone might teach me. I was also here to face my other fears—the ending of my relationship, the endings of things and events in general, and the ultimate ending...death.
The Wilderness Quest experience has allowed me to access a deeper understanding of myself and how I am able to contribute to my own growth as a person and to the growth of those close to me. The time spent in the bush allowed me to connect with the earth and through that connection take me to a higher level of consciousness. The experience will have a lasting imprint on my being. Thank you to Mike and Rob for their insight and wisdom.
I was feeling a bit lost in my life. Even with all the activity such as work, family, friends and community interests. Something just wasn't quite right. After the quest, I feel settled within myself, my self-confidence has been restored and my love of life has been reaffirmed in a way that really means something to me. I highly recommend the experience to anyone who feels the call.
This program was a wonderful hugely transformative journey that I enjoyed very much. I thoroughly recommend it for those seeking self-knowledge, acceptance and clarifying the way ahead.
It has been 10 days since our return from the Wilderness Quest, and I am pleasantly surprised with the differences I continue to find at work and at home. I am aware that the circumstances of my life have not changed, but my perspective is radically different. There have always been opportunities for improvement in my life, areas that weren’t quite working to their full potential. Something about the program gave me not only the gift of awareness, but the tools on how let go of what was previously holding me back. Many limiting beliefs I held on my life, my marriage, and my career, were left in the desert at the end of our journey.
The solo portion of the program has left me with an incredible sense of peace and patience. I have been able to walk into situations that I previously would have found intimidating, and am noticing that the fear is no longer present. When it arises, as it did in the desert, I now know where it comes from and how to navigate my way beyond it. This experiential portion of the program is now embedded in my very core, and oddly enough can be felt by all those around me. I would like to thank you for the incredibly comfortable and open space you created for us as a group. It gave me a sense of security to explore my own identity in a way I had not previously done. It gave my husband and me the gift of improved communication, and a deeper sense of love and respect for one another. For all these reasons and more, I would recommend this program with great confidence. Thank you for guiding us all through this incredibly important process!
I wanted to send you this email to let you know the profound and wonderful experience that the Wilderness Quest has provided me with. The time spent in Death Valley California has left me with an inner calm that has provided a clear understanding of my professional, personal and spiritual self. Since my wife also participated at the same time, I had the additional pleasure of spending uninterrupted time with her and our marriage has never been stronger. Since returning back to my Director of Sales position in Toronto, I have achieved unprecedented results while also creating a more supportive atmosphere for my peers and colleagues. The greatest part of all, I know 11 new friends who I’ve stayed in touch with and are there for support, advice or a place to stay when I visit the United States.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing such a wonderful space for me to grow exponentially and share my experiences with you and the rest of the group. As I’ve told you numerous times, I’d recommend Rites of Passage to anyone who asks, and have been to many who don’t. Our Wilderness Quest is not something I’ll ever forget, and I’ll carry the learnings with me for the rest of my life.
Youth Wilderness Quests
Through this experience, I have found more inside of myself than I ever thought could possibly exist—so much appreciation, so much beauty, so much truth, so much love. I discovered both the darkness of myself and the darkness of the earth. And when the sun rose the next morning, I saw both myself and the world we all live in in a new light.
Just go. It is an experience you cannot get any other way. Everyone should be able to see life in this way. This is a place you can never come back from but would never dream of wanting to. I know it may seem unbelievable but this entire experience has raised every aspect of my life to a new level. It happens to everyone; it brings out what you always had needed to let out but never did. It shows you yourself beyond the purest form you can imagine. Take the plunge for yourself and the world, and go.
I have been scared, in the best way. This experience has allowed me to see myself with new eyes. I found what I was searching for, because it was there all along. There are no words to describe what happened on my wilderness quest… but if you really want to know, look into my eyes. See the way I hold myself with confidence and strength. Look at anyone of the questers and see how they have grown…how a light radiates from their body. With the support and guidance of our adoptive elders (guides), I have had the opportunity to grow and truly move into adulthood.
This program and experience changed my life. As a friend once said, I now find that the glass is always going to feel half full. I had no expectations for this program, and it exceeded everything I thought it could. I love the comfort and growth it has brought me, and showed inside me. It illuminated a large part of the inside of me that I know will serve me forever.
This has been one of the best experiences of my life. It’s given me a fresh, new perspective on things and a new appreciation for everything and everyone around me. I’m not a religious person by any means, but I imagine that this is the feeling a born-again Christian experiences... I feel so full of vitality and love. Thank you.
Wilderness Quest is for everyone, especially those that don’t think they need it. I’ve felt things I haven’t felt since I was young, things I thought were buried or lost. I faced them, reincorporated them back into my life. Vision Quest is so many words: clarity and purity and peace, love. It’s so much more personal and so much more spiritual and cultural—tying in all the things in the world and nature that are already there, but that we need to see more clearly so we can see ourselves more clearly. Vision Quest is about connection and synchronicity to all other life. Helping people find themselves and their support so that they can go on helping and supporting other life. Vision Quest has meant gaining Harmony for myself and for others who may not have it yet. Thank you!
There’s nothing like silence, or the time alone that was given. It drives you crazy and sometimes you have trouble understanding, but the guides are wonderful, and the answers are out there. You just have to listen. I would not be the woman I am today without this quest. This is not a lesson one could learn at home or in school. This is a lesson of the heart and of the hearth. Take the time, and let the land teach you.
Originally a skeptic, Wilderness Quest gave me the opportunity to reflect and gain an understanding about myself and how I want to be in the world.
This has been one of the best experiences of my life. It’s given me a fresh, new perspective on things and a new appreciation for everything and everyone around me... I feel so full of vitality and love. Thank you.
This program and experience changed my life... I love the comfort and growth it has brought me, and showed inside me. It illuminated a large part of the inside of me that I know will serve me forever.