Going Solo in Nature
The great teachers, mystics, saints, and shamans of old went to nature because they knew that the only way to recharge was to connect with something more powerful than they. What better way to recharge than to sit on a mountaintop or under a tree for a few days and nights. They knew that some of that natural power could be gathered and stored using special techniques and applied later to their active endeavors. There is no reason why any individual cannot learn and apply similar techniques to recharge, gather, store, and apply the renewed vitality gained from solo time. They also used this time in nature to incubate dreams connecting them to the infinite wisdom of the Spirit World
What is the difference between back packing, camping, and vacationing outdoors and a bona fide solo?
In a true solo there are no outer distractions, nothing to leak or help discharge the power of the experience. Prior to and during the solo there is an all-important declared intent, a riveting focus to break through to gather power and clarity. This focus, this intent, makes all the difference in the world and distinguishes time alone from an ordinary vacation. In fact, a solo is anything but a vacation and therefore should be considered as part of a working strategy. While an intent and solo time in a natural environment are actually sufficient to accomplish a great deal, there are other important additions to a solo that enhance its effectiveness enormously. First of all, during a solo a participant can engage in a series of powerful ancient practices designed specifically to break through old patterns, gather and store vitality, and enhance visioning. Secondly, there is great power in doing a solo under the guidance of a master or experienced solo guide who supervises the experience of several people doing solos in the vicinity. This brings a measure of safety to the experience as well as a sense of community even though the time is spent in solitary. After the solo the group can gather, share, and integrate their experiences, thus providing much greater overall insight and learning.
The good thing about nature solos is that they can be tailored to a vast number of varying needs and requirements. A solo can be planned with simple but adequate food, water, clothing, a sleeping bag and pad, and even a tent, if conditions warrant. A person may elect to take a tent or not, a flashlight or no light and so on. There are no hard and fast rules as there are in a traditional Native American vision quest.
In general, during a solo the participant is encouraged to stay within a circle with a radius of eighty feet in a designated location. Cell phones, pagers, radios, CD and tape players, books, and all such distractions are left behind.
Is it safe for single women?
We have had hundreds of single women out on solo and none have ever been assaulted by humans or other animals. We have a system where we check daily on the safety of each person through tied yarn strings plus each person is given a whistle to alert other people on solo in the area if there is a problem. There never has been one.
Does boredom come up?
Yes, of course boredom does come up for some people and we have suggestions to handle boredom if it does occur. Boredom can be quite informative, educational, and even helpful if a person does not resist it or fight with it. The key is to allow it to be there and it won’t last overly long. There are also many exercises and processes that one can do on solo that are quite productive.
If I am on a special diet can I eat on solo?
Yes, a solo is not the same as a hard core vision quest where one fasts with no water, no food, and no sleep for a number of days. On a solo you can eat small amounts of food if you are hypoglycemic or have other conditions that require some medication or substance.
What if there are insects or bad weather when I am on solo?
You are allowed to take a small tent with a rain fly or a tarp, and or a poncho or rain suit for wet or inclement weather. Many people report that the change of weather conditions makes for a more interesting solo and was their favorite part of it. Mosquitos, gnats, and flies are a part of nature and may be present at times. You may bring repellent if you need to or use a chemical free insect fog to keep then at bay. Others just make friends with them as best they can. Believe it or not insects may be powerful teachers while out on solo.
What if I have nightmares, fear, or difficult memories come up during my solo?
This is not unusual especially if you are choosing to fast. Detoxing the body will often bring up hidden grumpiness and negativity to deal with. This can be a valuable part of your solo. It is not always a rose garden or a trouble free experience but these challenges can be very productive and even enlightening in many cases. We do not discourage people from having tests and initiations while they are out on solo. Many people report breakthroughs as a result of facing some of their demons. Fear can be replaced by courage or an open heart.
What is the long term value of a solo?
While we can never guarantee certain results most people report months or even years later that their solo was an extremely beneficial experience and helped them gain clarity, become more grounded and focused, overcome fearfulness, and a variety of benefits. This is why many people repeat the solo experience year after year.
How long is a typical nature solo?
Usually solos last between 24-72 hours, but oftentimes they can last as long as 4 days.
- “I was skeptical and a bit scared, but also more than a little curious what all the fuss was. After two brutal days wrestling with my head, I found and touched a peaceful anchor in myself that I never knew about — and it has deepened my spiritual practice and made me calmer and more patient in my day to day life.” Scott- Austin TX
- “There are countless pressures that we all face in our daily lives. Most of us experience expectations to perform, make money and ultimately participate in the paces of commerce, community, politics and endless responsibilities. While important in many ways, these constructs are not a true reflection of the rhythm of life itself. Spending several days with myself, in nature sounded both romantic and intimidating leading up to my first solo, but what I ultimately found is something more meaningful and profound. It is more than a spiritual initiation, it truly connects me to myself, ridding my psyche of old stories, patterns, fear and confusion about what is true. Through nature solos, I’m able to connect to the heartbeat of nature, an appreciation for my body and life, dance with the interaction between the micro and macro and most important of all – I’m able to synchronize with all of it and restore divine balance between mind, body and spirit.” -Adam S.
- “Being silent pulled out emotions I had put away, and I was able to befriend them as a process of self-healing. My imagination became more alive in silence which guided my curiosity for what was happening in my mind, body, and surroundings. The Power Path practitioners are loving guides on this beautiful retreat and I highly recommend it to anyone who is searching for self awareness and peace on this journey called life.” Pauline-Bantam, CT
- “Nature took me back to some of the fundamental roots of my humanness and helped me to heal some pervasive patterns. I thought that I would be struggling with boredom, but that never happened. every moment had some sort of magic to it and I was able to fully take advantage of the opportunities for learning, growth and healing. I came back feeling radiant and blessed.” Vlaiko-Chicago IL
- “The folks at the Power Path create a container for a safe, adventurous and transformative solo experience. At Eagle Bear I truly experience being nurtured, supported and loved by the land. I have come away from both of my solos feeling feeling restored, empowered and inspired!” Marion-Asheville, NC,