— Do you self-identify as a person of color and are a changemaker?
— Do you feel burnt out and/or overwhelmed and need to recharge in an emotionally safe space where we gently witness and honor each other’s experience?
— Can we build a movement that is rooted in our deepest spiritual values and emotional truths? Can we engage in advocacy such that it is an integral part of our spiritual and emotional growth?
— Do you feel yoga, meditation, and trusting, empathetic emotional connection with others can help release internalized white supremacy and other stresses lodged in our bodies?
If yes, come join us at the stunningly pristine and healing Rocky Mountain Ecodharma retreat center (RMERC) for a retreat designed for empowering self-identifying people of color involved in change-making work. You could be a community organizer, healer or healing arts practitioner, educator, activist, artist, mom, scientist, journalist, lawyer, author or storyteller working for peace and justice. Through silent hikes, meditation, yoga, guided peer-to-peer dialogue in a strong container of emotional safety and trust, gratitude/grief/rage rituals and other group-work, and talks by the teachers we will explore how we can deepen activism as a spiritual path, learn to honor and transform our emotions through empathy and connection, face the root cause of our suffering, act with deep compassion & courage in these difficult times.
Appropriate COVID testing is required to be to participate in this retreat. Camping options available. Vaccination is NOT required as of April 21, 2022.
Venue & Date
June 30 – July 3, 2022
(See here for a similar but longer retreat Aug 30- Sep 4)
Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center
Kritee (Kanko): Climate scientist, Zen teacher, Co-founder of RMERC & BIM
Lakshmi Nair: Yoga teacher, Denver Satya Yoga Co-op Founder
Biance Acosta: Indigenous Latina farmer & permaculture teacher, Curanderismo and ancestral/traditional healer in training
Ramon Parish: Naropa Faculty, contemplative dance & ritual leader
Imtiaz Rangwala: Climate scientist serving as chef and head cook
Each day will include silent seated and walking meditation, yoga and relational practices in small groups or dyads and talks by the teachers. These sessions will discuss how our bodies store and remember stresses, how can we express and release these stresses through movement, meditation, rituals, group-work. We will also use some of The Work That Reconnects spiral practices that tap into our gratitude, our spiritual ground of being, express grief/anger/despair/fear and inspire actions. Please see our draft schedule here.
— The grief circle (Truth Mandala) felt like a vital component of the entire retreat to me. If I were to choose only one thing to keep, it would be the grief circle because it felt so revolutionary and I feel I was able to witness cycles and generations of trauma breaking right in front of me……All of the music, dance, and movement practices were wonderful in that they allowed me to freely play in a way that I haven’t in many years… (Daniela Silva, Texas, 2021 POC retreat)
— Most transformational aspect of the retreat was grief circle, the increased feelings of connection, camaraderie and compassion that followed. Ramon’s movement and dance session, being outdoors, restfulness, bathing in the river and FOOD! (Erica Lee, Colorado, 2021 POC retreat)
—Most transformational aspect of this retreat would have to be the grief circle. Hearing so many other people’s stories created so much space for me to be vulnerable, understanding and allowed me to practice empathy and compassion. After the grief circle was over I felt completely raw and brand new. I was no longer burdened by my story because I was now carrying the group’s story. To honor the group, it was my duty to hear it, feel it and then ultimately wash it away. That way we could be born again and start anew. I think a tangible transformation occurred through the aspect of sharing, crying, feeling and listening. (A.W., North Carolina, 2021 POC retreat)
— Most transformational aspects of the retreat were: Building a solid container of trust and safety, the elaborate and heartfelt rituals and ceremonies (especially the grief ceremony), the kind and thoughtful attention to somatic and metta (loving kindness) practices, amazing food and PLAY TIME (From Dr. Karthik Kashinath, California, 2021 POC retreat)
Is this retreat really right for you?
This might be for you if:
— You’ve become disenchanted with traditional forms of activism.
— You’ve begun to encounter the direct relationship between your individual wellness and efficacy of your work.
— You’re ready to explore what is possible through deep relating and vulnerability.
— You want to face and transform your grief, fear and anger but not be controlled by them.
— You will be okay with silent meals and some silent meditation time but are not looking for completely silent retreat.
— You are comfortable with being tested and following COVID protocols. You are also okay with silence and being away from internet and phone connection.
This might not be for you if:
— You are not up for the discomfort and vulnerability of sharing some of your truth with others. Our goal is emotional safety and trust, but also emotional connection, and that takes a little bit of courage and willingness to be open and honest about your feelings.
— You tend to get extremely overwhelmed, spaced out, or destabilized in groups, or are currently struggling with intense traumatic stress. Most of us experience these to some degree, and it’s important to know that that’s ok, and a very understandable response to the world we’re living in. But if it’s so intense that you would feel completely “out of control” or lose the ability to keep coming back to the present moment, then this may not be a space that meets your needs.
— You’re looking for a completely silent retreat or a primarily “solo” experience.
— You have a heart-lung condition such that you will have difficulty at high altitude. The retreat center is at ~8500 feet.
— You need wheelchair access.
— You will be unconcomfortable by being out of contact with the world. (The staff will have the ability to make and receive emergency calls or emails on your behalf, but phone and internet are not available for personal use).
Cost, scholarships and dana
The actual cost of putting this retreat together is $775 per person. However, we like to offer registration on a sliding scale to ensure economic diversity.
— $120 (intended for those living paycheck-to-paycheck, especially on hourly wages, or in significant debt. This covers the cost of food during the retreat. This is also the minimum non refundable deposit required by the center)
— $300 (intended for those with access to some income but struggling to build savings and move away from debt. This covers only food and a part of retreat center rental costs. It does not cover all expense categories)
— $500 (intended for those that are able to pay for “wants” and generally able to secure necessities for your household. This covers food, full rental cost, and other costs including a modest honorarium for guest teachers)
— $700, $900 or $1100 (If you are able to pay more than the cost of the retreat, please do: it will help us offer the retreat to those not able to afford the full cost of this retreat. We really want to make this retreat available for everyone, so please help if you can. All amounts over $775 are tax deductible).
The teachers are offering their time and energy at no set fee, so as to make the teachings available to all regardless of finances. In considering your dana (generosity) for teachers that will be invited at the end, please give what feels generous to you, given your finances.
Payment and cancellation policy is explained on RMERC website and will be made available once your application is accepted.
Application period is now CLOSED. You can apply for the longer retreat at the end of August 2022.
We can have a maximum of 26 attendees. All applicants must self-identify as person of color (POC). Within POC, we are aiming for a diversity of age, geographical, racial and organizational backgrounds. Once your application is accepted, you will receive ways to register and pay for the retreat.