RIVER OF VISION
14th Living/ Learning Adventure in the Grand Canyon
with Alton Wasson
August 26 – September 4, 2020
*due to health risk related to COVID-19 this trip has been rescheduled for 2021*
Join Alton for a journey of self-discovery in community while rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
Context and Purpose
In this workshop Alton, our river guide, an assistant, and up to 14 participants will journey by raft down the Colorado River, which runs through the entire Grand Canyon. The beauty of the river and the constantly changing, elemental immensity of the Canyon create the context for genuine life-changing experiences. This is not your ordinary river trip. It is designed to generate a deep sense of community, to develop mindful awareness of inner and outer conditions, and to enhance the transformations that arise naturally and inevitably in this extraordinary place.
As we flow for eight days with the power of the river, we explore our individual experiences in the Canyon and our collective experience as a learning community. We invite the insights that are forged in this context and consider how they reflect and inform the challenges in our lives. By developing daily rituals and practices, by sharing powerful personal and communal moments, we aim to develop balance, respect, humility, imagination and courage on this inner and outer journey.
Some of the questions we will explore together include:
What is the inner work of transformation that can sustain us in our outer responsibilities?
What nourishment of mind, body and spirit is essential to help us create balance in our lives?
What unique gifts does each of us bring to personal, social and organizational change and healing?
How does seeing ourselves as co-creators of some of our problems enable us to co-create the needed response?
What lessons from the natural world can inspire our work and our personal transformation?
The days include floating quietly down the river, running rapids, and walking or climbing into beautiful side canyons. The flow of each day on the river will be gently structured. There will be time in the early morning before breakfast and in the late afternoon after we make camp to explore and process our experience of ourselves and the canyon. We will use various forms of group sharing and Active Imagination practices. There will be time for engaging with each other, journaling, solo time, hiking, music and movement, as well as helping with loading and unloading the boats, cooking and clean up. We will run over 240 miles of wild-river, visit archeological ruins, and learn about the unique desert ecology of the canyon and its 1.9 billion years of geologic history.
Our outfitter for this trip will provide everything we need for the perfect combination of comfort, thrills, safety, and delicious food. They provide all necessary camping and river running equipment. Our guide is knowledgeable in the history, geology and biology of the Canyon as well as being a superb rapid runner. You need no previous camping or boating experience to come with us, but you should have a level of physical fitness that will allow you to enjoy the wonderful hikes possible in the Canyon.
Plan to fly into Las Vegas on August 26 to meet the group that evening and to spend the night there. We leave on the bus to the river very early the next morning. We return to Las Vegas from the river on September 3 and will have dinner together and spend the night there. You may leave the next morning, September 4, or stay longer if you would like. We will provide you with additional information on lodging and a list of personal items once you have registered for the trip.
To Sign Up For the Trip
Space for this experience on the river is limited so please contact Alton Wasson (firstname.lastname@example.org
, 413-268-3294) as soon as possible to discuss your interest in participating and request an application form.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The cost for this experience: $3500. Cost includes the workshop and everything you will need on the river, as well as a hotel room in Las Vegas on August 26 and September 3 (info in details letter following application). Additional costs will include your round-trip airfare to Las Vegas, meals in Las Vegas, and tips for the crew.
$3500 – Payment in full with application. Apply by February 1, 2020!
$1750 – Deposit with application due before February 1, 2020.
$1750 – Final payment due by April 1, 2020.
Applications welcome after February 1. Please contact Alton to find out if space is still available!
Depending on advice from your tax accountant, a major portion of this cost could be deductible as education.
About Alton Wasson
Alton co-founded the River of Vision Workshops with Gary Howard, a leader in education and diversity. Benjie Howard, his son, followed in this tradition for several years. Alton has been down the Grand Canyon more than 20 times; he has been on private trips, natural history research trips, psychological/spiritual transformation workshops, and the River of Vision.
Alton began his institutional and personal transformation work over 40 years ago as a chaplain at Yale University and as the Director of Dwight Hall, the Yale center for social action and spiritual growth. His training in T-groups, Gestalt Therapy, Active Imagination, group process, and diversity work has continued through the years at the National Training Laboratory, REACH Center, Elsie Y. Cross Associates, Esalen Institute, and The Center for Depth Psychology and Jungian Studies. Alton began his exploration of mindfulness in 1971 in Bodh Gaya, India and has woven it into his work and practice ever since. He has completed advanced trainings in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy.
Alton has been a consultant to corporate, government and not-for-profit organizations. He worked for many years as part of a team of diversity consultants at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), with Elsie Y. Cross Associates, with Ose Consultancy, as senior staff of Cross Cultural Consulting, with Global Strategies, and independently consulted with The Claremont Graduate School on issues of diversity.
Alton did his graduate work at Yale University Divinity School (M.Div., S.T.M.). As professor of religion and humanistic psychology at Prescott College in Arizona, he served as chairman of the Center for the Person and of the Human Development Program and was the Chairman of Academic Programs. Alton has served as a core faculty of the Center for Depth Psychology and Jungian Studies and co-directs the Contemplative Dance Workshops and the Year-Long Training Program in Contemplative Dance for professionals. He has consulted with educational institutions on issues of self-directed learning and creativity, leads transformational workshops at centers and private venues in the U.S. and Europe, including Naropa, Interface, Omega, The Open Center, Common Boundary, and Jung Societies. He has a private counseling practice in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
Websites: www.altonwasson.com // www.contemplativedance.org
Alton with our river guide Den McCormick in 2018. Photo by Mark Shprintz.
Comments from Past River of Vision Participants:
“The journey really was more of a spiritual adventure than I had imagined.”
“My birthday celebration on the river was one of the most memorable of my life.”
“All the words of caring and love will be remembered for a long time.”
“Many people I am working with tell me how much they get from the way I share my experiences of the trip.”
“I can’t imagine that any group could be better or more diverse or more special. The combination of physical, spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic experience made it perfect.”
“How naturally issues of leadership arose, and how directly the experience addressed them, both in actions and discussions.”
“If you bring any question to the Grand Canyon, it’s answered in profound and unexpected ways.”
“This journey reinforced for me the paradoxical nature of organizational change.”
“The river teaches us that we must sit in the uncertainty of where we are, and create the future from there.”
“It’s been nearly a month since my return from the River of Vision, and I’m still smiling, remembering all those who were with us on this one-of-a-kind, life-dream experience.”
Top Photo: NPS photo by Mark Lellouch.
Header photo of Red Wall Canyon by Darell Shaffer.