Heart Songs

Writings from participants.



Rites of Passage (ROP) provided us with a nurturing mirror—a mirror where our human voices were allowed to be transformed into the whispers of our souls.  As I witness Man's invention--time--pass, I realize that the teachings from Death Valley have no boundaries, no expiration date.  They have become life.

Manuel Montero, MD
November, 2009 Vision Quest






DavidThis work is alive!  It's not dead preaching.... I appreciate people who know how to work with that live fire.

David Owens
November 2009 Vision Quest








Melissa (Sangita)

sangita.jpgMy vision-quest with Mike Bodkin and Linda Sartor this April was phenomenal. I loved Mike's clarity, openness, honesty, deep insight and masterful quality of guiding our group. Linda's wisdom and caring was also wonderful.  I appreciated the teachings of the medicine wheel with the four directions and how they relate to a balanced integration of all our parts into the Wholeness that we really are.

The introduction of having a ‘council' in a circle where everyone is encouraged to speak their story from the heart and listen to everyone's story with the same attention and appreciativeness allows for compassion and growth and eliminates the idea of ‘a better than' or ‘not as good as' in a natural way. I will certainly make use of a ‘council' in my family as well as in my work as a satsang teacher.

Thank you Mike and Linda for the wonderful work. Keep up with it.

Lots of love,
Sangita (April 2008 Vision Quest)



I undertook this vision quest seeking to ground myself - as a leader and an elder - more fully in both meaningful purpose and joyful expression. I found the experience to be a powerful process for clarifying my intentions and identifying what really holds heart for me. It was also a journey rich with unexpected gifts of insight and unfiltered experiences of truth and beauty. The high desert became an active and powerful palette for the quest, and my fellow co-questers became a vital community of support and mirrors for my own experience. The guidance was masterful - with just the right combination of experienced wisdom, open invitation, loving support, and gentle challenge.

Ed Claassen; VP & Director - Product Development
The Grove Consultants International




steven_curtisI wanted to send you this email to let you know the profound and wonderful experience that the Vision Quest has provided me with. The time spent in Death Valley California has left me with an inner calm that has provided a clear understand of my professional, personal and spiritual self. Since my wife also participated at the same time, I had the additional pleasure of spending uninterrupted time with her and our marriage has never been stronger. Since returning back to my Director of Sales position in Toronto, I have achieved unprecedented results while also creating a more supportive atmosphere for my peers and colleagues. The greatest part of all, I know 11 new friends who I’ve stayed in touch with and are there for support, advice or a place to stay when I visit the United States.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing such a wonderful space for me to grow exponentially and share my experiences with you and the rest of the group. As I’ve told you numerous times, I’d recommend Rites of Passage to anyone who asks, and have been to many who don’t. Our Vision Quest is not something I’ll ever forget, and I’ll carry the learnings with me for the rest of my life.

Thanks very much Mike, and the entire Desert Fox Clan,
Steven Curtis



 It has been 10 days since our return from the Vision Quest, and I am pleasantly surprised with the differences I continue to find at work and at home. I am aware that the circumstances of my life have not changed, but my perspective is radically different. There have always been opportunities for improvement in my life, areas that weren’t quite working to their full potential. Something about the program gave me not only the gift of awareness, but the tools on how let go of what was previously holding me back. Many limiting beliefs I held on my life, my marriage, and my career, were left in the desert at the end of our journey.

The solo portion of the program has left me with an incredible sense of peace and patience. I have been able to walk into situations that I previously would have found intimidating, and am noticing that the fear is no longer present. When it arises, as it did in the desert, I now know where it comes from and how to navigate my way beyond it. This experiential portion of the program is now embedded in my very core, and oddly enough can be felt by all those around me. I would like to thank you for the incredibly comfortable and open space you created for us as a group. It gave me a sense of security to explore my own identity in a way I had not previously done. It gave my husband and me the gift of improved communication, and a deeper sense of love and respect for one another. For all these reasons and more, I would recommend this program with great confidence. Thank you for guiding us all through this incredibly important process!

Christina Thom
Sales Trainer/Professional Coach


Tony chose to come on a Vision Quest to deepen his heart connection to the world and to seek guidance for his life.


My vision quest experience gave me a deeper connection to my inner being and brought me closer to nature as a great teacher.  Our Rites of Passage guides, Mike and Linda, were both gentle and firm as they expertly facilitated our diverse group through the various stages of the experience.  The deep sense of transformation, gratitude and openness I felt right after my vision quest sustains me as I integrate the teachings into my ever unfolding passage through life.  I highly recommend a vision quest to anyone who is seeking to bring more meaning and purpose into their lives or feel called to recognize a life passage or transition.
Anthony Blake, Environmental Scientist, Petaluma



vivVivian went on a Spring trip to Death Valley.  She has put her Vision Quest pictures and story on her own web site, which you can go to with this link: Vivian's Web Site

"Why was I here? To learn that I could survive alone and not just to survive but to learn how to be happy with my aloneness.I was here to see what being alone might teach me.I was also here to face my other fears--the ending of my relationship, the endings of things and events in general,and the ultimate ending...death." 




Tina, who arrived from the Midwest, thought of leaving base camp the first day and flying home.  Instead, she completed the quest and received the blessings of her determination. 

From her email:

I wanted to say I am SO happy that I went on the quest this past summer.  I think it was an important part of my own journey and it served to bring me to this point....The quest helped me more than you can imagine.   [My partner] and I spent a week in Utah...Bryce Canyon and Zion...and because of the quest and other things that I have learned about myself, I can truly say that the experience in Bryce was as much spiritual as anything else, and I was able to share that part of me with her for the first time.

I often refer people to your site and I highly recommend quests to my friends who are in a place where they may benefit from such an adventure.

Keep up the good work!

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