Awakening The Wild
Embodiment Immersion for Men
11-14th of August 2023
Brecon Beacons/ Bannau Brycheiniog
Raising awareness and funds for Men’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
Supporting - mensmindsmatter.org
A deep dive into our wild nature and the vitality of embodiment.
Join us as we explore being in our bodies, being in our hearts, being in nature and being in community - rooted in soul and open to spirit.
INCARNATION literally means ‘spirit embodied in flesh or taking on flesh’.
7 Golden Keys for MENtal Health to nourish and resource our somatic beings in the heart of community.
communion, wanderings, meditations
SOMATIC EMBODIMENT & PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Movement Medicine, Dance, Yoga, Playful Combat
meditation, trauma release, deep relaxation
belonging, connection, inclusion, collaboration,
RITUAL & CEREMONY
cabana-sweat lodge / ice bath / shamanic dynamics
CREATIVE EXPRESSION & PLAY
drumming, singing, art, writing
mostly organic vegan meals crafted by our culinary alchemist
STRICTLY LIMITED PLACES SO EARLY BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
Timings - Friday 12.00 to Monday 14.00 .
Late or early arrival and departure time by prior arrangement.
Possibility to hang out for longer or to stay an additional night.
It is possible, if absolutely necessary to leave Sunday after 1900, but we strongly encourage you to create space in your life to stay until Monday afternoon to allow time to breathe and integrate. There is limited space for those who wish to arrive Thursday night.
Please contact Keef directly to arrange this - 07834703127
Earlybird: £22O until 01/07/23
Food and 3 nights dormitory accommodation in Farmhouse is an additional cost of £80
+ £80 food/accommodation
A great way to pay it forward and support the wider community. By paying the higher price, you will be supporting those who are otherwise not able to participate due to financial constraints.
15% of the ticket profits goes directly to mensmindsmatter.org
Scholarship: is by application and is funded by the generosity of those souls who feel grateful for their abundance and are willing and able to offer support. The 'scholarships' are not a 'free ticket', but rather a hand on the shoulders of one another as we each take our next steps on the path of integrity, power and responsibility. The baseline is commitment and communication.
NO ONE EXCLUDED BECAUSE OF FINANCES. PLEASE COMMUNICATE.
If you want to discuss payment plans, please do not hesitate.
More information and booking: email@example.com
cost includes a 15-30 min preparation consultation, via zoom, before the event and a 30 min integration session, via zoom 1-1 session
We work with the ‘arc of integrity’: preparation - process - integration in order to maximise the safety and efficacy of our journeys.
This is a unique opportunity to explore being in community with a strong circle of brothers and to experience the medicine of nature-based spirituality, various somatic-embodiment practices, singing, dancing, working, playing, eating and praying together. Over 4 days in the heart of summer we will explore the shamanic circles, cycles and spirals of ‘soul-centricity' and discover ways in which the ego can be a delivery system for soulful living. We will spend deep imaginal time together in community and dream life affirming visions into being and hopefully have a lot of fun in meeting ourselves, each other and the other than human beings of nature.
The ground will be Belonging, Encouragement, Love, Respect and Gratitude
The intention will be Healing, Wholeness and Creativity
The medicine will be Nature, Embodiment, Shamanism and Community.
This will be a profoundly nourishing immersion into nature, nurture and ultimately our own true natures. It will invite a maturing evolution, a love revolution, in which we gather the tools and resources to embrace our wholeness and retrieve and alchemise our golden gifts that are hidden in the shadows and the wounds of our life stories. It will be an opportunity to disconnect from technology and the business of our lives and to reconnect with our own somatic, soul-centric beings.
As a circle of sons, brothers, fathers we choose to shine the light of our wisdom and presence with loving kindness and fierce compassion, with the intention of being by one another's sides as we each walk our own path with dignity, integrity and authentic expression. Ultimately we see all of life as sacred and we choose to make choices in our thoughts, words and actions that honour children, our elders, our ancestors and all of life.
Let’s dive deep into embodied brotherhood. Let’s gather together around the sacred fire, rooted in soul and inspired by the wild elemental beauty of The Brecon Beacons in South Wales. Let’s commune with the medicines of movement, collaboration, ceremony and sharing.
NATURE WANDERS & IMAGINAL JOURNEYS
The land that will hold us in Llaneglwys, near Brecon in Wales is absolutely stunning, with acres
of woodland, a river flowing through, rolling hills and breath taking views of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains in the surrounding areas. The elements are alive and vital here and there will be plenty of time to immerse in them and to listen and learn from these primal ancestors.
CABANA SWEAT LODGE
The Purification Lodge is a sacred place where we clean our bodies, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical and release anything that is ready to be released that is no longer serving us. It is a place for dreaming new visions and re-programming ourselves, reclaiming original imprints of ourselves, blessing and healing hearts, bodies and minds. This is an ancient ritual that taps into the ancestral wisdom of our grandparents, the human ones and the elements: fire, earth, water, air. We enter the womb of the Great Mother to be re-born again. In that sense it is both womb and tomb, and symbolises the cycles of life, death and rebirth.
The Cabana is also referred to as Grandmother Spider, who works on the web of healing, weaving the threads of our destiny. She is very generous to those who are open to receiving and going through the portal of possibilities that she opens for us in our bodies, hearts, minds and souls.
Keef is an initiate of the Brazilian shaman and psychologist XamAM - Alba Maria from Terra Mirim, Brazil. The cabana is therefore deeply aligned with this lineage and is part of the path of the Mother Goddess and the 4 Elements.
CHAMBERS OF THE HEART
-MOVEMENT & COUNCIL/SHARING CIRCLES
Keef Wesolowski Miles
Throughout our time together we will work with the Movement Medicine ‘Animal Intelligence and the Chambers of the Heart’ map. We will engage with this as a model for our sharing circles to feel what needs to be felt and express what needs to be expressed in a safe, non-judgemental space, where we can witness and be witnessed in the emergent emotional landscapes of our heart. We will dive deeper into these contemplations in our wanderings on the land, in the Cabana -sweat lodge and ritualised movement practices.
Chamber of Awakening / Fear
Chamber of Surrender / Sorrow
Chamber of Integrity / Anger
Chamber of Gratitude / Joy
Chamber of Grace / Compassion
Keef Wesolowski Miles
Through heart centred sharing and embodied listening we will build bridges between the fragmented parts of ourselves, between the ‘world’ of ‘me’ and the ‘worlds’ of other men, between the masculine world and feminine world, between the rational and the mystical, between inner and outer worlds, physical and spiritual worlds, between our personal and professional worlds and between our courage and vulnerability.
A BREATH WORK JOURNEY - Jez Grattan-Kane
RECONNECT TO DIVINE SOURCE - Josh Swords
Breath is essential for life, it is absolutely fundamental to our health and well being. It is a golden key to living a happy and fulfilled life. Over our time together we are blessed to have two fantastic breathwork facilitators who will be sharing their wisdom, skills and heart centred guidance.
“ The Breath is an animating thread at the heart of our experience. It is a bridge between the unconscious and conscious. It can be both listened to, deepening into our experience, enlivening the senses or softening the mind and it can be shaped to support our response-ability. Whether forging resilience to stress or cultivating states of rest. We’ll be orienting to the Breath as an everyday resource, present in the ground of our body. Then preparing for the deeper journey - Conscious Connected Breathing and Breath-holds. The breath can be simple in the complexity of life, potentially profound, or gently nourishing. It’s a relationship you already have ready to animate.” Jez
“Journey deep into your subconscious through a weaving of somatic trauma practice, breathwork and ceremony. Releasing energies that are blocking you from your power and truth you will be guided back to the core of your being” Josh
YOGA FLOW & MOVE, PLAY and BREATHE
Connecting with the emotions & energy of the body we will move through a modified version of the ashtanga sequence, adapted to all abilities. Focusing on the alignment of the body & the rhythm of the breath we will seek authentic embodied empowerment in the present moment. We will illuminate our strengths & weaknesses with this session of self discovery. In the Move, Play, Breathe segment we will dive a little deeper with a variety of techniques to playfully move with awareness of the breath.
PLAYFUL SACRED COMBAT
Ross Walton and Josh Swords
Dive deep into an embodied journey designed to illuminate what mental, emotional and physical conflict can teach you. Whether conflict is showing up internally or externally on our journey, learning to navigate these energies brings a greater depth of presence and strength into our lives, allowing us to be grounded in our heart's truth. Experience an interweaving of heart sharing circles, playful practice and fundamental striking and grappling teachings culminating with the ancient dance of ritual combat. Through the mirror of a fellow brother, face the essence of what conflict brings up for you.
This journey will be guided by Ross and Josh, both coming from experienced backgrounds in martial arts and combat sports. They have a dedication to deep spiritual practice and personal growth, allowing them to hold a safe, strong and direct container.
‘Movement Medicine is a shamanic medicine for our times. It gives us direct, embodied experience of the dance of life that’s going on inside us and all around us. As a species, we face enormous challenges right now that we see as arising from the story of separation; separation between body and spirit, between individuals and nations, between the human world and the web of life we are part of and depend upon. Simply put, Movement Medicine reconnects us, deepening our capacity for empathy and compassionate being and action. Since prehistory, dance, song and ritual-making have played an important role in the human community. Movement Medicine is a contemporary expression of this inheritance. It marries ancient and modern wisdom, and supports you to experience the transformative power of your own potential in a co-creative community.' Susannah & Ya'acov Darling Kahn - Co-Founders of The School of Movement Medicine
Keef is a senior Movement Medicine Teacher.
COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLE
"In the moment" musical journeys created in collaboration with all participants to achieve the highest potential of the group. Express your rhythmic self whilst learning about tonality, technique and orchestration. Benefits include a deepening connection with self and community, relaxation, energisation and a chance to shake off stress and anxiety. Physiological benefits include: left/right hemisphere alignment, improved hand/eye coordination and exercise. It may also be possible to engage with brainwave states more associated with dreaming and altered consciousness.
With decades of experience Alex is well equipped to guide and empower an alchemical celebration of life and community. His circles are always wild and playful adventures through the universe of rhythm and interactive play.
When coming face to face with cold water exposure you will be met with resistance & self doubt. Your ego will want you to pull away & protect you but we want to control our monkey mind, we want to push pass this self limitation & take control. By stepping in we build resilience & self belief as well as a whole host of physiological benefits. You will once again be connected to your body & your breath in the present moment. There is no set time in this discipline, it's a completely individual experience even though we will enter as a group. You & you alone will have to commit to enter & stay, if you do I guarantee you will have a sense a self accomplishment & elevated mood from entering.
MEDICINE SONGS & SACRED PLANTS
- Rapé and Sananga Ceremony
Ross Walton and Keef Wesolowski-Miles
Rapé is a sacred shamanic medicine snuff. It has been used by tribes of the Amazon basin for thousands of years and is an essential part of their tribal culture and history.
It is administered (blown) into the nostrils with a special blowpipe called a "Tepi".
It is traditionally prepared by ceremonial pounding of Tabaco (N. rustica) with tree ashes. South American shamans use tobacco as a sacred, wholesome medicine and there exists a very close connection between tobacco use and shamanism that has little in common with our western way of tobacco use. The intense blow immediately focuses the mind, stops the chattering, and opens the entire freed mindspace for your intentions. Furthermore, this helps release emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses and eases negativity and confusion, enabling a thorough grounding of the mind. Moreover, Rapé stimulates the mind with its nicotinic content that in turn releases a.o. epinephrine, acetylcholine, and dopamine, supporting an increased focus, presence, and intuition.
Sananga is an intense and powerful medicine which is applied to the eye in the form of eye drops. It comes from the bark and root of a shrub from the family Apocynaceae in the Amazon rainforests and is used as a sacred eye medicine to relieve the energetic system of ‘Panema’ - negative energy/cellular laziness - especially around the head area. It is said to improve sight, colour and sense perception for hunting, as well as clearing energetic mucous around the head which can cause colds, flu, headaches and migraines. It can loosen and dissolve energetic mucus all around the body and its use can help with all kinds of energetic stagnation related to a lack of concentration or insight, or neuroses.
Both Ross and Keef have journey deeply over many years with sacred plant medicines and have been initiated through various lineages including the Yawanawa and Huni Kuin of the Brazilian Amazon.
- optional session -
The Ceremony will take place on the Monday morning at the end of the weekend.
There are strictly limited spaces, so early booking to avoid disappointment is highly recommended.
Contribution - £50
Facilitator -Ed Dawson
Kambo is a secretion taken from the Amazonian Giant Monkey Tree Frog. It has been utilised within the tribes there for both spiritual and physical ailments for generations. Now Kambo has made its way into western culture, many participants come to the ceremony to work through feelings of depression, anxiety as well as other deep seated traumas. Kambo is further used to cleanse the body from many of the toxins found in our modern diet, environment and through substance misuse. Recent anecdotal success stories have also shown Kambo to be a useful aid in the treatment of many mainstream health conditions.
Our supply of Kambo is sourced ethically through the IAKP, who with agreements with the tribes, ensure the frogs are not harmed during the extraction process.
If you need further information before booking,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All information including preparation, guidance information and health questionnaire will be sent to you following booking.
In the unlikely situation that it becomes apparent that a Kambo treatment isn’t advisable for you right now, we will of course offer a full refund.
Raising awareness and funds for Men’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
Supporting - mensmindsmatter.org
According to Men's Minds Matter suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 50. Suicide accounts for more deaths than are accounted for by coronary heart disease, accidental poisoning or diseases of the liver. Globally there are 800,000 deaths per year to suicide which places it near the top ten leading causes of death.
This is more than is accounted for by war and homicide combined.
Rates of suicide increase during times of economic recession. 42% of UK men have considered suicide. Suicide is one of the least understood of the leading causes of deaths and it has traditionally received very little attention.
Every suicide is a tragedy which has a profound impact on families and loved ones.
Three times as many men as women die by suicide.
Men aged 40 to 49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK
Men report lower levels of life satisfaction than women, according to the Government’s national well-being survey
Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women: only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men
In addition, men are far more likely than women to go missing, sleep rough, become dependent on alcohol and use drugs frequently.
Some research also suggests that men who can’t speak openly about their emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and less likely to reach out for support. Men may also be more likely to use potentially harmful coping methods such as drugs or alcohol and less likely to talk to family or friends about their mental health.
According to the www.priorygroup.com 77% of men polled have suffered with common mental health symptoms like anxiety, stress or depression, 40% of men have never spoken to anyone about their mental health, 29% of those who haven't done so say they are "too embarrassed" to speak about it, while 20% say there is a "negative stigma" on the issue. The biggest cause of mental health issues in men’s lives are work (32%), their finances (31%) and their health (23%). 40% of men polled said it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help
Following receipt of your 'booking confirmation' you will receive a separate email from Keef with the following material. It is essential that you respond within 5 days of receiving this email.
A welcome letter.
A disclaimer statement, T&C and health questionnaire to sign
A basic ‘experience’ questionnaire
Awakening The Wild ‘culture’ docs
An invitation to book your preparation call and integration call
A preparation enquiry and suggested preparation reading and practices
A full what to bring list
In the unlikely event that the disclaimer, health questionnaire or preparation call leads us to realise in conversation with you that this is not an appropriate time for you to participate, you will be offered a choice of either a full refund or an alternative programme, such as 1-1 mentoring.
We accept cancellations by 21st July 2023 and offer 50% of refund. After this date we can not offer a refund.
IMPORTANT: all participants must read thoroughly and agree to the Awakening The Wild - general disclaimer for the work offer
FOOD - Our amazing culinary alchemist Laurie French will be providing two nourishing vegan meals per day -brunch and dinner.
Vegan/ Mostly gluten free
* Please inform us of any critical allergies
*Please bring any extra food that you feel that you may need outside of the two shared meals. We tried to minimise the costs and simplify.
*Important, please bring your own bowl, cup and cutlery
The primary accommodation will be in Brecon Forest Farmhouse next to the land.
It is basic dormitory accommodation in bunk beds with toilets, showers, kitchen, big garden and a large communal area with a log fire. The Kings Langley School (KLS) Outdoor Education Centre Trust owns and runs the 'Brecon Forest Farmhouse'. It is a converted late seventeenth century farmhouse with an attached barn which was added in the mid eighteenth century.
* Please, bring all your own bedding.
Forest Farm House
£80 for 3 nights in dormitories, including 2 meals per day (except Friday- just dinner and Monday- just lunch)
1 Single Room:
£120 for 3 nights, including meals- first come first served. Contact Keef directly: email@example.com
IMPORTANT - if you really don't want to share dormitory accommodation and want to rent an Airbnb locally that is fine. However, you will still need to contribute £80 as we need to cover the cost of the accommodation plus additional cost for use of the premises for kitchen, dining and workshop space. Our intention is communal living, it is rough around the edges and we will all go a little feral for a few days but the opportunity to dive deep together is priceless. Obviously for various reasons, this may not be appropriate for you and we understand that. Our primary aim for this event is to keep costs low and accessible and to raise funds for Men's Minds Matter.
1 twin room for two people and a Shepperd's Hut. These are slightly more luxurious options - again, first come first served. Contact Keef directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Keef - 07834703127
The land that will hold us in Llaneglwys, near Brecon in Wales is absolutely stunning, with acres of woodland, a river flowing through, rolling hills and breath taking views of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains in the surrounding areas.
Note: there is very limited space for camping, as we are in a hilly forested valley and we want to minimise the impact on the land. The workshop leaders and core crew will likely be camping on the land, but most participants will need to be in the Farmhouse.
"Over the weekend we danced, screamed, cried, shared, meditated, hugged, and laughed together as brothers. It’s a level of authentic connection that can’t adequately be described - it has to be experienced. What I love about this work is that it doesn’t bypass the dark and sticky. In fact, we’re actively encouraged to dive deep into ourselves, and practise fierce compassion, where we offer our own authentic reflections back to the other brothers. We might not always like what we see, but the more loving reflections we receive, the clearer we can see ourselves. I’ve found that the more I courageously explore my shadow, the greater capacity I have for the light - the peace, compassion, and joy. Indeed, wholeness requires both a diving down and a reaching up: we need deep roots for our branches to soar to the highest heights.
It’s also very embodied work. The mind is a wonderful thing, but we also hold so much information in the body. I’m always amazed at what bubbles up when I drop down into my body, move, and listen.
And it’s so powerful to witness others and be witnessed oneself. We can hold so much guilt, shame, and doubt. So when I share something and the other brothers don’t recoil or look away, it becomes corrective. When they see me, and raise their hands to say “me as well”, I feel less alone. Similarly, when I hear the sharings of others, I see myself in every single one of them.
It’s been utterly heartwarming and reaffirming to connect with other men who are trying their very best to be the best men, partners, and fathers they can be. Men who are showing up in service of themselves and everyone around them.
"Yowww! This was my very first experience of a weekend such as this, and it was spectacular! Deeply profound, provocative and powerful. I accessed parts of my being that I’ve been unable to touch in the last 30 years of conventional talking therapy. Keef was an exceptional facilitator, and the space that he created and held, felt both extremely safe and sacred at all times, enabling me to open up and welcome in whatever feelings, both physical and emotional, arose in me. This feels like deeply important, life-changing work and I will return again. Step up brothers!"
“Keef led our men’s retreat and sweat lodge cabana in a way that all men would benefit from; it was sincere in that your pain was heard and recognised, but fun and light hearted at the same time so no one felt drowned in discomfort. The medecine from the cabana was all the more powerful as he’d helped us all open up through movement medecine and sharing circles. There was a lot of love shared, & so much care and attention that had gone into planning the weekend - and I left feeling full to the brim.
Being in nature with men is a life affirming process when you all share in your common joys and pains. Life is wondrous, and I felt it all the more strongly during that weekend. Highly recommended to anyone who needs a boost through the hard times. We’re brothers in arms and we’re here to support each other.”
"Keef created and held a space where a group of men could connect with each other through our hearts. It was an honour to be part of a workshop where everyone - us men of all ages and stories - radiated through our joint commitment to care for each other and remain open to potentially profound change. Several weeks later, I still feel a deep sense of calm and greater clarity of purpose thanks to feeling seen and held in the group. The beauty of experiencing men all consciously travelling the harder paths will always stay with me."
"The weekend spent down in South Wales was a reminder for me to be myself and to be honest with myself and what my needs are.
I went into the weekend with some scepticism, only a small amount but some scepticism non the less, about what might appear for me or how such practices such as dance, sweat lodges and share circles could produce such powerful and somewhat life-changing effects. Yes I have danced before, yes I have shared things with people and yes I have been in a sauna but this was different, this was done in a way far beyond what it looked like on paper or what words could describe it to be (my words at least). I can truly say that my sceptic mind albeit small was put to rest after the first day.
The space that was given to all the men by Keef was nothing short of perfect. It allowed me to express myself in a totally safe and warm environment and learn more about myself through the movement of dance but also through talking and sharing with the other men and listening to their stories. For me being part of a weekend where men can let go of their egos, be open to total strangers and be vulnerable was a special and profoundly moving experience. I am already taking what I have learned in myself and witnessed in other men that weekend into my day-to-day life and have felt the growth around me, not only in myself but in the people, my friends and family who I interact with. The experience has allowed me to become more open and thus allowing people around me to do the same."