Consciousness & Spirituality, Activism & Leadership, Story-Telling & Narrative

The Climate Crisis: Me, You & the ‘More-Than-Human’ - a Retreat

Retreat with Bayo Akomolafe, Pat McCabe

Often the ways we think about times of crisis become part of the crisis itself. At these times, a much deeper type of response is needed.

Friday 27th March to Sunday 29th March, 2020 The Quadrangle, Kent

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Bayo Akomolafe & Pat McCabe

The great remaking, the great surrender. The great Mystery. When we come to the end of our own resource, and fall against the door of the mystery, sometimes it swings open, and gives a view that remakes you. Remakes reality. Shows you another way of being that is already here, usually. But has gone unnoticed, the tools to perceive had not yet been given. But only, only, when you have absolutely nothing, no-thing, no knowing left. Your understanding has met its end. Then comes the teachers of the Great Mystery. Yes.
- Pat McCabe

In this retreat, over 2 immersive and participatory days, Pat McCabe and Bayo Akomolafe will share their wisdom on role of the sacred and the ‘more-than-human’ within our relationships with ourselves, our communities and the world around us.

We will explore how we respond to crisis, and how by re-weaving our relationships with everything that is not ‘us’, we can de-colonialise our ways of thinking and being, re-navigate where we go from here, and refine how we cope with demise and change.

Each day we will share nourishing food, go on walks in the woods and forage in the surrounding gardens, swim, and practice yoga and meditation. The retreat is hosted by Advaya co-founders Ruby and Christabel, who will make sure you are always well looked after and relaxed.

Various types of accommodation are provided at the spectacular location of the Quadrangle, which is a short walk from Shoreham station, just 45 minutes by train from London.

Sessions will take place inside and outdoors. Arrivals are from 5pm on Friday and we will have dinner together at 6.30pm. Pat and Bayo will teach on Saturday and Sunday, and the final session will end at 4pm on Sunday.

The human era has been defined by mastery of the natural world, technological innovation, competition and growth, with such a singular vision that we have caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and permanently altered the atmosphere. As we enter the geological era of the Anthropocene, our human story is characterised by one of separation, and it is this same story that lies at the root of the ecological crisis we are facing today.

Yet it is not just an environmental crisis we are facing, but a spiritual one too, as human psychology and wellbeing bears the brunt of a lifestyle and narrative antithetical to the natural order we are part of. We struggle to cope with emotions like grief, fear and loneliness, status anxiety and threat perception, the loss of old stories without new ones to replace them. Our system seems to sit in a self-perpetuating cycle, where our outer and inner worlds collide.

If this means that we are suffering from a crisis of relationship, how can we heal the rifts that separate us from the natural world, each other, and ourselves?

By looking at our behaviour patterns, psychology and attitudes, we can reestablish compassionate and harmonious relationships. We can re-localise and re-attune ourselves, creating a systemic shift in the ways we live and interact at the political level too.

Traditional societies tend to be built around community, spirituality, and the cycles of nature and time. Until relatively recently, an individual’s sense of self was formed in direct relationship to these natural structures, and psychological identity was supported by a matrix where boundaries were more fluid and interdependent. In an urbanised and consumer environment these connections are cut; we live by a new narrative of individuality that is defined by growth - accumulated wealth and social status - more than our relationships and interdependence with other beings and lifeforms. Sacred spaces have been replaced with the cult of the commodity. A nuclear family replaces the support networks of intergenerational living.

It is clear that our system is destroying the health of people and planet, and this disconnection could be a root cause of our cultural inability to consider the long term impact of our systems on nature, on a world where 1 in 5 individuals suffer with their mental health.

If the above is true, to what extent could working with the sacred and the ‘more-than-human’, at the interface of our inner and outer worlds, of the collective and the individual, the material and the spiritual, help us to reweave broken bonds, reinstate the fabric of community, and reestablish harmony in our relationships with ourselves, one another, and the natural world? Would this method allow us to avoid replicating oppressive systems? How would such a journey positively impact our lives and our environments?

This retreat will:
* Foster personal, ecological and spiritual resilience and renewal at the level of the individual and community;
* Equip a group of individuals to step into leadership based on the principles of natural systems and compassionate relationships.

Camping: £100
Shared Room: £200
Shared Twin Room: £300 per person
Shared Double Room: £300 per person
Private Double Room: £500

The Quadrangle
Shoreham Road
Kent, TN14 7RP

Train Stations: Shoreham in Kent, Otford, Sevenoaks.
10 minutes walk from Shoreham train station.

Friday 27th March to Sunday 29th March, 2020 The Quadrangle, Kent

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Bayo Akomolafe #

Bayo Akomolafe (PhD) is Chief Curator and Executive Director of The Emergence Network.

Read Bayo Akomolafe’s profile

Pat McCabe #

Woman Stands Shining (Pat McCabe), a northern New Mexico-based mother of five.

Read Pat McCabe’s profile