“This is our way of it
Our story fires are lighted · Our community circle is strong · and full of medicine
This is our Heroï¿½s song · That we are singing for you · This is our Journey song · It takes us all to the edge
We sweat from rock medicine · Feel moving trees · Hear singing winds
A Spirit dances within you.
This is our way of it. · We flow like a river · We chant until we are one.
Ours is a journey story · It is what happened long ago; · It is what has been forgotten. · It is what we remember once again.
We follow a tradition, the way of the hero; · The way it was always done · By people of the earth.
It is a feeling of warmth · The sound of heartfelt voices
It is life · dancing inside of you.”
— Michael Mervosh
“How terrible to think of not being the hero of one's own life.
This is the role for which each of us is cast, no matter how unsuccessfully we play it.
And if the part seems too big, if we picture the hero as being ‘more than life-sized’, it is because our daily life has dwindled, become less than real, and only small proportions seem natural to us...
Human existence is significant, life essentially makes sense in spite of our confusions.
Man is not here on earth by accident but for a purpose, and that whatever that purpose may be, it demands from him the discovery of his own meaning, his own totality and identity.
A human being is born to set out on this quest, his quest, like a Knight of Arthur's court.”
— D. M. Dooling
“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.
When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.
People say that what we're seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
— Joseph Campbell
The Hero's Journey Foundation is inspired by teachings gathered from Joseph Campbell, an American professor, writer, scholar and orator in the fields of mythology and comparative religion. Here you will find a variety of programs, events, writings, and experiences that offer a mythical sense of adventure, satisfy a certain spiritual longing, and help to bring forth a more harmonious and vital exchange with the life within and around you. We invite you to live your own life as a hero's journey.
We believe that it takes a hero's journey to revitalize one's self within the context of our 21st century culture and immediate life circumstances — and facing them as they currently are, not as we wish them to be. We are the ones who are to bring meaning to our own lives, creating purpose and passion as we make our way along own our unique hero's path. In this way, following our bliss is not self indulgent, but essential for living into our experience of life with courage, authenticity, and presence. As we do, we inspire others by becoming a living embodiment of a radiance that comes from within us, and is transmitted to the world at large.
Please take a journey around our site. Enjoy the poetry, read an article of interest, consider some of the life renewing seasonal programs we offer, get details on an upcoming event, participate in an ongoing forum discussion, read our current blog, sign up for our eNewsletter, or correspond with our Web Editor, and perhaps bookmark our site for future visits. Just for today, follow your bliss, be open to going somewhere you haven’t gone before, and experience what new life comes your way.
Welcome to base camp! So you've come to our site - you must have a seeker's heart, and an awakened Call To Adventure. Whatever brought you here must want to take you somewhere you haven't gone before. Only enter into this section of our site if you are neither hurried nor rushed, and can step into a time outside of time for a while...
Okay, slow down your pace, even more. Take some deep breaths. Then let them go. Now let gravity root your body down into the earth; allow your feet and seat rest into the ground underneath you. Just as if you had come across a strange and curious entranceway into unfamiliar territory.
Now let your mind sink like a stone, as it drops softly, steadily to the bottom of the sea. Let you mind gradually clear. (Still too busy to slow down? Then you may need to go back to the basic welcome, and come back here when you can be more ready to enter the mythic way of adventure.) All that matters right now is that you are arriving here; taking your time, paying closer attention, until you have fully arrived into the here and now. That's it, set aside time, take off your watch, set down your mental baggage. We are heading for the eternity of the present moment; beyond any linear sense of time…there is only the NOW point, here!
An axiom we use for our way of it here, is the following:
"Expect nothing; be ready for anything."
So far, so good? If so, let's go forward...
Alright, it's time to Cross The Threshold and enter one of the inner forest of our site. Step off the well-traveled and pre-paved road now. No path in front of you. No where particular to go, nothing particular you have to know. Open attention to what is waiting to be discovered inside of us.
We journey now into the deeps woods of the heart: we are searchers; longing, yearning for something meaningful, for inspiration, for insight, for vitality, for deep compassion and love. Into these woods we go, and as we do, we begin to face the inevitable - the unknown, uncertainties, temporary disorientation or 'lostness', even insecurity or doubt. On any worthwhile journey, one has to be 'lost' first, before one can then be 'found' once again.
Not being sure of the way, the way now begins to unfold itself to us, moment to moment. When there is no path laid out in front of us, we have to pay close attention. Explore the terrain of our site. Look around. As you soon begin to wander in this mindful way about our site, notice how you will feel drawn to certain areas. Don't think about it, just follow it. Everything you come across has been thoughtfully given its own place; notice where you are drawn, and what is being said or revealed to you…so pay attention. You may read something, or see something, or feel something that might speak only to you, and awaken you to something about yourself, in a way you may have never quite been ready for, or allowed ever before. That is the spirit of adventure one can encounter on a journey site like ours.
In our Hero's Journey way of it, our mentors and guides often will encourage us to Take Up A Challenge. Challenges, adventures, ordeals, are all considered as growth potential by those who journey. They are created and brought before our own unfolding path so as to strengthen us, embolden us, humble us, soften us, open us - ultimately, to evolve and expand us spiritually - they can bring us into harmony with our own nature, and the nature of others around us, as well as with mother nature herself. It is important to remember, in our way of it, that challenges are neither blessings nor curses, simply challenges.
We can recognize a hero's challenge as it comes before us as a particular circumstance that seems daunting, unsolvable, uncontrollable, mysterious, awe-evoking, profound, and ultimately, the outcome being unknown to us thus far. They tend to elicit an excitement/fear inside of us, a certain inner tension. As you go about our site, you may read something that takes you to such a place inside of yourself. If so, explore what area is attracting or repelling you, and explore it with deeper inquiry, examine it further.
If you are curious as to the types of people who make of their own life a Hero's Journey, wander through the woods of our About Us section. There you will find the kinds of kindred spirits, or Allies, that are worth knowing about or communicating with. Those who have posted an email address can share with you some of how the Hero's Journey adventures they have participated in have enriched and revitalized the meaning vitality within their lives. Or head to the Interviews section in our Community page, and read about interesting leaders and dynamic teachers have undertaken their own Hero's Journeys, and share their insights and rewards.
If you are truly ready for a living experience that carries a certain magnitude, look into the Men's or Women's Intensives that we offer annually during summer's fullness; these can be found in the Programs section. These are extraordinary and unique communal wilderness adventures; they incorporate ancient rites and traditions in these postmodern times, are life-changing and conscious raising Initiations into a way of being that you very likely have not experienced before in your present lifetime.
Another threshold into this mythic way of it is through the doorway of some of our favored and highly valued literature.
As you explore our readings, poetry, articles, essays, books, forums, blogs or interviews, you may also find yourself feeling like you have come across a buried treasure, what Joseph Campbell called Celebrating The Boon. As a result of going somewhere you have not gone before, and opening up your mind, your heart, or your spirit, an invigorating or revitalizing presence can begin to upwell from within you, in a seemingly spontaneous and serendipitous way. You will feel more alive, ready for anything, wanting more mystery in your life, feeling more connection to the Divine, and to your own true nature within you. This is the purpose of our site, and it is the ultimate goal of the Hero's Journey. To discover that jewel point in the center of your being, where your authentic humanity and essential divinity dwell together in a wedded bliss.
The deepest challenge and most satisfying reward for the hero, is to then take this inner awakening, this new discovery, and integrate it back into the world from which you departed. And share it with others. The Return Home often requires the most courage from us, as it is not enough to simply have these insights and awakenings for ourselves.
The heroic realm asks of us to use our discovered bliss to take action in the world, doing worthwhile service to life, making love happen and life happen in new ways, for and with those who happen across our path. If you have a pleasant journey on our site today, we ask you to pay it forward by doing a small but significant and conscious gesture of compassion towards one other person in your life. Do it today. Or share with someone our website.
There is something incredibly compelling about heroes. Who among us has not been captured by this idyllic notion of a larger-than-life figure - who is able to bring light into the darkest of circumstances, who makes right that which has gone terribly wrong, who risks his or her personal well-being for the well-being of another who is in peril or great need?
What does it mean to be a "hero”? How do we create them in today’s culture? What must we do to be considered a hero? Is there a certain test or challenge to be undertaken before we can identify with the hero role? Can only certain people be heroes? Why would we want to be one, anyway? What happens to those who don't become heroes? Or is every person a hero-in-the-making, including you and I?
Perhaps the truth is indeed that each and every one of us is a potential hero waiting to happen, and that the world around us is the training ground for those of us who choose to explore this role for ourselves. Why become a hero? If for no other reason, this world is in desperate need of authentic heroism today. We need individuals willing and able to cast beams of light towards the shore for those of us who are adrift in confusion, doubt and despair. We need worthy guides and role models in these times of chaos, confusion, fragmentation and disintegration. But for me, Dorothy Dooling speaks to the heart of the matter: "We are not here on earth by accident but for a purpose...A human being is born to set out on this quest, one's own quest, like a knight of Arthur's court... how terrible to think of not being the hero of one's own life; this is the role for which each of us is cast, no matter how unsuccessfully we play it."
The hero's journey model provides us with a rich and useful roadmap, an ancient, mythic tale of personal trials that can lead to transformation, an "old time story" that appears to have lost its luster and meaning in the busy-ness of modern life. This journey is the story of a spiritual quest - the quest to discover one’s true self, the treasure of who you really are. This is the Holy Grail that remains buried deep within the unconscious of the self, waiting to be unearthed. What is required of anyone seeking the Grail is a commitment to a path of transformation through the timeless cycle of going out and returning: a leave taking, fulfillment, homecoming process. Joseph Campbell wrote extensively of this process over fifty years ago in his book "Hero of a Thousand Faces." He speaks of the basic motif of the universal hero's journey - leaving one’s current conditions, and finding the source of life that brings you forth into a richer or more mature inner condition, regardless of one’s circumstances.
In reference to "the journey," I believe that we as human beings are all on this universal journey, regardless of whether we are conscious of this fact or not. A failure to recognize this basic premise can often result in the perception that life is endlessly "doing it to us". Through awakening, we see that the journey plays itself on various micro levels of our life, in addition to the overall thematic macro level. Roselle Angwin speaks to this in her book Riding the Dragon: "On a minor level, many of us repeat this journey at different times in our lives in different circumstances with cycles of varying intensity and importance. Others may only be able to identify one major call to adventure and return, a decisive once and for all journey, perhaps taken at adolescence, perhaps at mid-life. It is also possible that several cycles run simultaneously in one's life in different areas."
The Hero's Journey Foundation Mission Statement:
It is our belief that every individual on this planet earth deserves the opportunity to explore the ever-growing realization that radiant divinity is the ultimate treasure to be discovered and experienced within the matter of our own humanity.
Towards this aim, we at HJF have devoted ourselves to offering adventures, experiences and products that launch us on a journey into the vitality of the human body, into the expansive consciousness of the human mind, into the depths of the human heart, and into the infinite energies of the human spirit.
Our website exists: