Away from the bustle of cities
No cars, no houses, no cell phone service
Where "time" and "space" lose their meanings and perhaps gain new ones
When you think you are alone but find yourself surrounded by life
When you become still
What is the land saying to you?
Do secrets lie here?
Can you hear the voice of your heart?
Heartland offers profound encounters with nature - both the outer world and our own inner nature. We visit the forests, deserts, and coastlands of the Pacific Northwest, inviting intimate and spiritual connection with the land and our hearts.
Intentional time in nature is potent medicine available for anyone who seeks it. This medicine has the power to connect us ourselves and our innate inner wisdom. Relationship with the natural world is a doorway to healing and thriving - both in our personal lives and for our planet as a whole. Heartland strives to introduce and cultivate this relationship.
My name is Michael Silverstein-Bode and I’m the creator and lead guide of Heartland. I have spent my whole life exploring the Oregon outdoors, walking, sitting, and sleeping outside as often as I can. As an adult, wild lands have become my most revered sanctuaries and serve as my wisest teachers.
My twenties were oriented around meditation, yoga, and non-dual contemplative practices. After transitioning out of a career in engineering, I worked for 8 years as a meditation instructor for teens and educators through Peace in Schools. Also during this time I organized groups for men to practice authentic connection and explore dismantling internalized white supremacy and patriarchy. On weekends and school breaks I would retreat to the wilderness to reconnect and recharge.
The Vision Fast
In 2021 my life changed forever when I answered the call of my heart to join a 9-day vision fast in the Oregon desert. The first three days we camped as a group, refining our intentions for the ceremony and preparing to be alone on the land. On the fourth day the ceremony began and we each found our own place to be alone and fast. The following 3 days and nights I was alone with the land, no food or shelter, in ceremony with the spirit of the desert. On the 7th day at dawn we rejoined the group and our last days together we shared our stories and prepared to re-enter the world. What emerged from this experience is a long story, but the personal and spiritual growth was astounding and changed the trajectory of my life.
In Fall 2021 I stepped away from my job as a mindfulness teacher and created Heartland. This project is an expression of my heart's deepest desire to heal and change the world through intimacy with nature. As I vision and develop this business and its offerings, every step of the way I am including the voice with my heart and the wisdom of the lands we would be visiting.
Heartland - A collaboration between heart and land.
Learning from Indigenous Voices
The places we visit on Heartland Journeys are all ancestral homelands of various Indigenous groups who have lived on and been deeply connected to these lands for millennia.
Building relationship with these places includes connecting with the history of lands and the people who have called it home and hold it sacred. Here in Oregon, there are currently 9 "Federally Recognized" Native American Tribes, and many other Indigenous groups that are not currently "recognized".
Anyone who is interested in Heartland is highly encouraged to learn from indigenous voices about the history of these lands, peoples, and about being in sacred community with the Earth:
Websites of Oregon's 9 Federally Recognized Tribes:
Interactive map of native lands - Native Land Digital
Learn about and support The Chinook Indian Nation's fight to be federally recognized: chinooknation.org
Robin Wall Kimmerer - Author of Braiding Sweetgrass
miguelruiz.com - Author of The Four Agreements