Primal Foundations

Becoming More Fully human

In the three-month Primal Foundations initiation process, you will open to the aliveness, meaning, and energy of your journey of being alive, however it is unfolding.

You will deepen your presence, joy, and immersion in life – not by overcoming your flawed humanity or transforming yourself into something more, but by becoming more fully human. 


Primal Foundations is a portal from the Western way of being, into the more natural and awakened Primal way of being:

Western way of being

  • We are separate from the world around us
  • We are not good enough unless we improve
  • The most valuable things in life are outside of us

Primal way of being

  • We are already intimately connected to the world around us
  • By fully being as we are, we live our deepest desires
  • The most valuable thing in our life is the journey of being alive, however it unfolds for us

In the Primal way of being, we come alive with natural passion and a sense of meaning. We inhabit, for the rest of our lives, the real and profound journey of Being Alive, in all its mystery.

We develop empathy for ourselves, our family, and our civilization, enabling us to connect more authentically to our deeper selves and to others. 

We unblock our courage to face life’s challenges and sufferings without disembodiment or despair. Through this, we open the ever-deepening joys of embodiment and immerse fully in the rich flow of our experience.

We bring enchantment and energy to our lives as they are, resisting the forces pushing meaning away from our daily lives. We transcend a self-denying obsession with constant improvement, discovering harmony within ourselves and with the world around us.

We improve our lives and those of others from an already complete foundation, and our contributions emerge from a deep well of intimacy with our life force.

In short, the Primal way of being is the freedom to be fully alive, by being fully human.

And Primal Foundations is the portal.

Next cohort starts:

March 25th, 2023

What makes Primal Foundations unique?

1. Transform the foundations of your way of being

The Western way of being is self-reinforcing. Without a thorough initiation process into a different way of being, it eventually re-establishes dominance.

Even worse, just like an incomplete dose of antibiotics strengthens an infection’s immunity, an incomplete process can strengthen it. For example, a journey of healing can become a journey of self-purging, repressing yourself in new ways.

By thoroughly transforming the foundation of your entire way of being, Primal Foundations is a true portal out of the Western way and into the Primal way, for life. The journey starts here.

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2. Shift into a collaborative relationship with the powerful forces in and around you

We are always in an active relationship with powerful forces in and around us, including nature, civilization, our unconscious, our body, our family, and technology.

The Western way of being’s power is in these relationships, which all strongly inhibit presence, aliveness, and a sense of meaning. Because they are constant and widely shared, we hardly notice how powerful their effects are – until we try to shift them.

Primal Foundations transforms all of these relationships so that they support presence, aliveness, and a sense of meaning. This is the only way to truly enter the Primal way of being: by transforming the power of the Western way at its roots.

3. Already integrated into your day-to-day life

The Primal way of being can only be lived sustainably if it is integrated into our day-to-day existence. Otherwise it is only a peak experience that fades as the Western way creeps back in.

Primal Foundations is centered in interventions which are compatible with and enhance day-to-day life. 

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That belief is a symptom of the Western way of being – if we want to improve something, we automatically identify a state of perfection towards which we aim. To perfectly inhabit the Primal way of being is an impossible illusion that keeps us trapped in the Western way, chasing perfection in vain forever.

We only need to shift enough from the Western into the Primal way of being for it to become our primary and habitual way of being, so that we live sustainably in its energy, aliveness, and sense of meaning, and can live our journey of Being Alive authentically.

Yes, it does! Well spotted. Like Buddhism, Primal Foundations is about deepening our presence to the ongoing moment by releasing attachments to cognitive illusions.

However, the methods are totally different. Why?

In a nutshell, because Buddhism is a foreign religion to us, and its methods cannot be separated from the societies in which they developed without losing their intended effect. For example, the idea that meditation is a universal tool which will enhance presence for anyone who follows a Western Buddhist path is a dangerous lie, because meditation as we know it only works in the monastery system, with a mentor to personally guide you and many rituals besides the meditation itself.

When we are within the Western way of being, using contemporary Buddhist methods in the wrong context can actually backfire badly. Because our automatic habit is to repress ourselves towards reaching a ‘purer’ state, meditation can lead us to marginalize and ignore most of our experience while we become more present only to a small part of it – becoming ‘purified’ of our thoughts and emotions instead of more present to them.
I call this the “zombie phenomenon”, which is clearly visible when you compare the limited emotional expression of almost every Western meditation guru to the Dalai Lama’s smiling eyes and radiant glow.

Instead, we need home-grown, native initiation processes for sustainably deepening our presence to the ongoing moment.

Primal Foundations is one such initiation process.

For a more detailed explanation, check out this podcast episode.

The word Primal might evoke images of hunter-gatherer tribes, predator energy, dangerous instincts that must be controlled, mosh pits, dancing with abandon. It certainly is not associated with going to art museums, reading poetry, connecting to our ancestry, and mastering a finely honed skill (each a part of the Primal Foundations program).

In these common images of the Primal way of being, it is far away from our everyday lives, inaccessible except maybe through radical lifestyles. It may also be perceived as toxic, dangerous, and/or socially off-limits.
The problem is that these images we have of the word Primal are an illusion. Reread this sentence: one of the main repressions of the Primal way of being is the false image of what the Primal way of being is.

This is the secret at the core of Primal Foundations.
In its essence, the Primal way of being is about the freedom to experience life and immerse fully in the world, without the weight of civilization disembodying us and our civilized minds numbing us.
The Primal way of being is not at all a lifestyle. It is a way of being, compatible with many different lifestyles. It is an inner state and a set of relationships with the forces within and around us. The only place to cultivate it is not somewhere else or later, but right here, right now, in the reality of our lives, in the reality of who we already are.

Remember that one of the main pillars of the Western way of being is, “We are not good enough unless we improve.” There can be a lot of shame around allowing ourselves to simply enjoy our unfolding experience without doing something to “deserve” it. That shame can get us stuck on a treadmill of constant healing and self-improvement, never reaching the moment that we are “ready” to awaken to the joy of the journey of life.

You don’t have to accept that! The intrinsic aliveness, meaning, and energy of simply being alive are your birthright.

Healing and inner work do improve our lives. But you do not need them to already enjoy the experience of being alive, complete with all its challenges and its sufferings, with your mistakes, your traumas, and your imperfections, with everything in it as it is now! What enables that is shifting from the Western to the Primal way of being. 

That said, Primal Foundations is not suitable for those suffering from PTSD, schizophrenia, severe depression, or similarly debilitating conditions which significantly impair day-to-day functioning and require specialized treatment.

No. The contrast between “working on my goals” and “relaxing and enjoying life, but becoming lazy” is an illusion of the Western way of being.

In the Primal way of being, working on your goals is part of the joy of the present moment. However, instead of pursuing them mechanically, they become an organic and intimate aspect of your present-moment experience.

‘Fake goals’ that you don’t really believe in may dissolve. Other goals may transform into a deeper version of themselves. You will care more than ever about those goals which are authentic to you.

Or, take a deep dive into the Western and Primal ways of being: