Belonging to Each Other: Falling in Love with Mother Earth Together

Boundless in Motion is a 501(c)3 non-profit and a trauma-informed meditation community based in Boulder (Colorado). We are building a spiritually rooted movement towards climate action, racial equity and respect for all life on our planet. We host retreats that are at the interface of inner healing (through meditation and grief/rage sharing circles) and outer strategic actions for climate and social justice. This retreat for people of color “Belonging to Each Other: Falling in Love with Mother Earth Together” will be hosted by Kritee Kanko and Imtiaz Rangwala (the two co-founders of Boundless in Motion sangha who are also Zen Buddhist teachers and climate scientists) in deep collaboration with our dear friend and mindfulness teacher Kaira Jewel.

Do you self-identify as a person of color and work within the climate and/or racial justice movement? Does your life get affected by structural racism on a regular basis? 

— Do you feel burnt out and/or overwhelmed and need to recharge in an0emotionally safe space where we gently witness and honor each other’s experience? 

— Can we build a climate 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 silence, meditation, movement/dance, and 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, educator, activist, artist, scientist, journalist, lawyer, author or storyteller working for climate and justice. Through silent hikes, silent meditation, movement/dance, guided peer-to-peer dialogue, grief/rage rituals, small affinity group work, and dharma talks by the teachers we will explore how we can deepen our love for each other and mother Earth and embrace activism as a spiritual practice. We will 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.

Vaccination is not required. Appropriate COVID testing is required to be to participate in this retreat. Most people will share a room. Camping/Glamping options available. 

Venue & Date
August 28 – September 3, 2023 
Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center

With
Kritee (Kanko), Climate scientist, Zen teacher, Grief-ritual leader, Co-founder of Ecodharma Center & Boundless in Motion sangha
Kaira Jewel Lingo, Mindfulness meditation teacher and Author of “We are Made for these times”
Ramon Parish Naropa Faculty and Ecstatic Dance leader (for a weekend session)
Imtiaz Rangwala (as chef)
Asia Whitlock (as retreat manager) and other guest facilitators

Schedule
Each day will include silent seated and walking meditation, yoga and relational practices in small groups or dyads and dharma 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 a first draft of our schedule here

Testimonials

— The grief ritual 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)

— 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)

—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)

— 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)

Is this retreat really right for you?

This might be for you if:
— You’ve become disenchanted with traditional forms of activism but you deeply trust that racial and climate justice are related and that we need inner trauma healing to build our collective power. 
— 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 are not looking for completely silent retreat and you are willing to give silence and meditation a try.  Silence and meditation is not always comfortable but you know that spiritual practice is not about being comfortable. 
— 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 ready to look at how climate crisis is related to racial injustice and inner trauma healing.
— Your life experience means that your life is not affected by structural racism. We recognize that racism inflicts chronic trauma on people of color which can lead to negative physical and mental health outcomes. We aim to provide trauma informed, safe(r) space for BIPOC to access nourishing silence and get access to inner creativity and courage. Safe(r) space means that this POC retreat is exclusive to people who have lived experiences as people of color.If you are a white passing, we ask that you consider your lived experience and let us know what work you have done to center experiences of BIPOC friends who continue to face ongoing stresses due to racism. We understand that this is an issue that can bring up a lot of questions, discomfort, and debate. We also have a number of offerings that are open to all people. Please check events calendar for details.
— 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’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 $900 per person. However, we like to offer registration on a sliding scale to ensure economic diversity.

— $150 (intended for those living paycheck-to-paycheck, especially on hourly wages, or in significant debt. This covers majority of the cost of food. This is also the minimum non refundable deposit required by the center)
— $550 (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)
— $900 (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)
— $1150, $1350 or $1550 (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.

Cancellation and refunds

  • Non refundable registration deposit is $150. This secures your spot at the retreat.
  • Final payments (retreat cost of your choice less the non refundable deposit) will be due and processed 30 days prior to the retreat. Cancellations received 30-7 days prior will get a refund of half of the final payment.  For cancellations inside of 7 days there will be no refunds.
  • For people getting “full” scholarships (less the registration deposit) the cancellation policy is slightly different: they will only pay half the registration deposit ($75) when registering, and the second half 30 days before the retreat. If they cancel, the amount of the deposit paid to date is not refunded.

Apply 
Please fill this web based form.  Please save/print the form as PDF before hitting submit because some browsers have an issue sending the form across. We have heard of some problems with the submission of application forms. If after submitting your form, you only see a message that says “processing” and you don’t get a message saying your form has been submitted, please email us the saved PDF form to pocretreats AT gmail DOT com and get access to detailed instructions!

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.