Summary: how Wisdom, Insight Quest, Awareness Training in Nature helps give rise to increased creativity, leadership skills, and Dialogue for team performance – for both individuals and organizations.
One of the most important contributions of this integrated Awareness Training combined with a contemporary Solo Quest in Nature is the capacity to access deep levels of creative insight. Both organizations and individuals have experienced great benefits from this process. Spending some solo time in Nature, combined with effective training tools to vividly deepen the experience, has proven to be an exceptionally successful means for opening innovative views.
The life-transforming effect of doing a Nature Retreat was described in the book, “Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future,” by Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers, and C. Otto Scharmer. Each of these authors is a major leader in developing means for positive organizational and cultural transformation. In their book, some of the impacts of doing a Nature Retreat was summed up in several quotes from John P. Milton, a well-known meditation master, internal energy teacher, and wilderness quest guide. Several years ago, as Joseph Jaworski was doing a powerful 14-Day Sacred Passage Awareness Training in Baja with John, he asked if humanity could avert the impending ecological catastrophes now facing the Earth.
John responded that “he’s become convinced that political, legal, and economic approaches don’t go deep enough. By themselves, they won’t bring about the penetrating changes in human culture that we need for people to live in true harmony and balance with one another and the earth. He told me that he is convinced that the next great opening of an ecological worldview will have to be an internal one, and then he said, ‘I believe the experience (the Sacred Passage Solo) you’ll have over the next few days will deepen your understanding of what this means.” After his solo, Joseph wrote: “I saw something there that changed my life and changed what I’m going to do with the rest of it, as far as I can see now. The experience was profoundly affirming…I discovered that what keeps this awareness from developing on a larger scale is our profound sense of separation. I experienced boundaries breaking down that I didn’t even know existed.”
Internally, one honors all of Nature, the mystery of Source and the gift of Life. John recently described the start of the internal journey as follows: “Pay attention and stay alert,” he said. “Be open to the importance of seemingly trivial occurrences. Trust the value of what you notice. Don’t be guided by your categorical, rational thinking processes. Let your perception open in new, intuitive ways.”
In a modern context, this advice helps to open the door to direct experience of what Otto Scharmer describes as the profound levels of creativity that can be accessed by the U-Theory process. Otto’s recent book on the U-Theory emphasizes the importance of touching into one’s deepest inner Source nature to truly open the doors to fresh, creative insight. Specific meditation practices and Awareness Training designed to access Source nature, as well as guided solo experiences in Nature, have been found to be two of the most powerful, and rapid, ways to make contact with this creative Source. The Way of Nature’s Sacred Passage process integrates both of these approaches in its work with individuals and organizations.
When this process is utilized in a whole team of people working together within an organization, significant additional benefits often arise. Group teamwork skills are often dramatically enhanced and natural leadership capacities are supported. Also, those who have gone through the wilderness solo and Awareness Training process usually report major improvements in the ability of a team or individual to handle complexity and stress. In summary, John and the Way of Nature and Goran Nature Academy Learning Lab have designed a unique, comprehensive series of Awareness Training practices that support: Improving teamwork, Developing natural leadership skills, Significantly opening creative insight, Learning powerful stress reduction and relaxation skills, and Refining proficiency in developing ecologically sustainable products, practices and organizational processes.