After wandering for 9 months in a 1963 Jewel traveling gypsy wagon, Niles and Annie found the place of their dreams in the Bicknell Bottoms of Utah. An extravagantly beautiful landscape with the colorful domes and cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park to the east, Boulder Mountain with its endless folds and pockets and tucked away lakes rising up in our southern backyard, the vast Awapa Plateau with its mysterious disappearing borders and dozens of springs percolating into these Bottoms to the west, and the sparkling aspen rimmed, flowing spring creeks of Fish Lake and 1000 Lake Mountains in the north. We knew it as the place that had been calling to us in our dreams for 3 years ~ Buffalo Dreaming Lodge ~ a dream sanctuary akin to the ancient Asklepian dream centers in ancient Greece, where people can descend into the dream chambers of the unconscious with a ‘soul attendant’ waiting in the morning to assist in bringing the mystery-infused images that are needed soul nourishment into the body of the day. A place where there is safety to return to the womb of our wounds in a landscape that is nature’s cocoon and emerge from dreamtime with wings of renewal that comes from a deep, cathartic, and insightful understanding of those wounds. A place where those suffering in disease can fully immerse in the story of their illness and petition for a healing dream. A place with a central hearth for gathering around to tell our stories and weave the personal with the mythological and bring to life the sleeping giants inside of us ~ the big stories that intertwine our personal dreaming with the dreaming of the earth.
Astrologically, we are on a tremendous threshold of cultural evolution and our dreams are the trysting grounds where our unconscious rendez-vouses with the gods of the otherworld with the potential for conceiving new relationships within us of vital creativity.
And essentially, we wish to offer a place where all types of nourishment are offered, not least of which is the good food consisting of locally raised animals and lovingly prepared and cooked vegetables from our garden. We infuse this daily sustenance with prayers of gratitude and praise for these beings that give us our life.
Buffalo Dreaming Lodge is an invitation to a deep dream retreat where your deepest inquiries can be incubated and hatched through one of the many inroads into dreaming in these ways:
Dream Incubation and Tending your Night Dreams
Your retreat time will be one of focused dream incubation. We will be your soul attendants to assist in bringing up from the deeps the oftentimes surprising and always soulfully hitting the mark messages that are embedded in your dream images and characters. To attend to the dream is to bring it alive into your body so that something that has been sleeping is awakened into consciousness. Ways that information we cannot possibly attain through our rationale or strategems is gifted to us from the mystery of dreamtime.
Engaging the Wisdom of the Body with Hands-on Somatic Inquiry
Our body is the house of our soul, and whatever is happening to us somatically is a direct conduit into what is attempting to emerge into soulful consciousness. With Annie’s gentle hands-on directing of your attention towards what is residing within your cells and sinew you will experience a vault of hidden information waiting to be unlocked. Annie’s original training in massage therapy evolved over 35 years into knowing the dream of our life dwells in the organs, the cells, the bloodstream of our body, and with soulful inquiry we come to know- in David Whyte’s wise words “the truth at the center of the image you were born with”.
Dream Wandering in the Wilds
To enter into a dynamic and lively relationship with what is emerging in your night dreams and from somatic inquiries, we will provide reflection and offer tasks for you to wander out into this inspiring landscape with, to assist you in further engagement with your dream characters and images and the pressing question(s) you are currently carrying.
Entering the Ancestral Dreamtime in the Pan-cultural Sweat Ceremony
We have built a traditional sweatlodge with prayers and ceremony for our ancestors. This earthen womb with warm, enfolding arms of willow cradles us as grandfather rocks of basalt are brought from the fire into the lodge, and with water sizzling into steam as it is poured onto them, we are cooked in the dark fertile womb of our imagination with prayers, intentions, and invocations. The lodge also serves as the abaton(earthen chamber) to dreamtime, with the invitation to sleep in this earth womb to invoke the chthonic deities with what lies deepest in your heart and soul.
Vision Fast / Dream Quest
If enacting a fast in the wilderness is calling to you, we will help you to thoroughly prepare yourself on all levels for an Encounter with the Numinous in theDreaming Lodge of the World. You can choose however many days of fasting and solo time you would like – from 1 day to 7 days. There is all kinds of room for creative imagining into a form that will facilitate slipping through the membrane between the everyday world and the potentized dreaming world.
Artistic Expression with Micaceous Clay or Paints on Canvas
With the marvelously malleable red earth clay that has been mined at ancestral sites in New Mexico, you can bring your dreams into beautiful form. With paper or canvas and paint you can discover through imaginal expression the images that dwell in your psyche. Provocatively facilitated by Niles, who has been painting his own interior since he was a boy and ever curious and delighted with hands-on sculpting and the sensuous application of paint, he will listen with elder’s ears to the movement towards your dharma and guide you in the visual emergence of what lies within.
Personal, Couples and Group Retreats:
We can accommodate one, two, or a small group of people on retreat.
You will have your own private guest bedroom and bath while at Buffalo Dreaming Lodge, with nourishing meals cooked with food from our own gardens and locally raised animals.
Fees and work-trades can be negotiated in our co-creation of a retreat for you here on this vibrant land we now call home.
Buffalo Dreaming Lodge is ringed by the wild and offers you a personally crafted time of deep and wild dreaming. We would revel in putting our hearts together with you to design a period of retreat time that carries you in the canoe of your longing down a river of a replenished and refined vision for yourself and our world.