A doorway into the Kincentric Leadership Programme
Are you excited to join a pioneering international learning community addressing the polycrisis and dedicated to conscious collaboration with the more than human world? The Kincentric Leadership Programme is an integral part of our mission to establish a new paradigm of leadership grounded in Kincentric thought and practice - and this retreat is a doorway into it.
During 2023, four retreats will each welcome 20 fully funded participants to the programme. Supported by teachers, wisdom holders, facilitators and mentors from many backgrounds, these 80 people will journey together for 18 months, researching kincentric leadership, applying it in their fields, and testing tools and approaches for sharing it further in the future.
The week at Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center is one such opportunity to join us in pioneering the field of Kincentric Leadership.
About the retreat
Come join us at the stunningly pristine and healing Rocky Mountain Ecodharma retreat center (RMERC) for a retreat designed to facilitate deeper understanding of the multifaceted and diverse intelligence, agency, and intentionality of the more than human world. Through daily periods of silent contemplation, including mindful eating and walking, silent hikes, group reflection, movement/dance, improvisation/play and discussion, and spending much of the day outside to connect with the living world, we will develop the ability to articulate what kincentrism is, why it is relevant, and how it relates to and can inform our own field of expertise. We will blend facilitated sessions, guest presentations and more emergent group-led wisdom to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the polycrisis and the role of kincentrism in transforming its root causes, based in both indigenous and scientific ways of understanding nature.
Kincentric awareness is natural and intrinsic to each one of us and systems of oppression, stress/trauma, and consumerism get in the way of kincentric knowing. The retreat is a chance to more fully experience other species’ aliveness, and therefore our own, so that we can bring this wisdom into our daily life to support the systems and structures we are a part of to shift towards interdependence and deep respect for the more than human world.
Each participant will also spend a full day (10 hours) in solo, silent kin-centric practice on the land. There will be no cell coverage or wifi access at the retreat center and this container will support all participants to engage fully in a mindful inquiry and quieting of the heart-mind, with significant periods of the day in silence or self-reflection to support kin-centric ways of knowing.
This program is a river with various streams flowing into it: indigenous wisdom, Afro-futurism, Buddhism, spirituality, nature, community, earth system science, Western psychology, decolonization, various anti-oppression movements, The Work that Reconnects, and improvisational somatic embodiment.
Deeper understanding of the multifaceted and diverse intelligence, agency, and intentionality of the more than human world
Insight into both indigenous and scientific ways of understanding nature
The ability to articulate what kincentrism is, why it is relevant, and how it relates to your own field
A more nuanced understanding of the polycrisis and the role of kincentrism in transforming root causes
Lived experience of yourself as an inherent and inseparable part of the wider web of life
Tools and practices for nurturing such experiences in yourself and others
A refined sense of your own unique way of being in direct relationship with the more than human world
Insight and practical ideas from inspiring examples of kincentric leadership in practice
A creative and supportive environment in which to explore what kincentric leadership could look like in your context
This retreat is for you if you are...
A leader, individual or collective, in any field, actively engaged in responding to the polycrisis
Committed to cocreating solutions and life-ways that replace systemic violence and totalitarianism towards other life-forms and people with a kincentric approach
Interested in expanding your strategy, activities and ways of working to include the wider web of life
Keen to deepen your relationship with the more than human world
Open to exploring multiple paradigms and ways of understanding, approaching and relating to the more than human world
Excited about joining an 18 month kincentric leadership programme with people from around the world, and able to commit to the whole programme
Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center
“For me in this dark time, Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center is a shining beacon. It offers what we most need: the inspired leadership of committed teachers, a wild mountain setting to awaken our own power and beauty, the ripening of a Sangha to grow a guiding vision for our people, and the strength to make it real.” — Joanna Macy
Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center is located on 180 acres of private river, meadow and woodland at an altitude of 8500 feet adjacent to National Forest and just a few miles from the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The land is set aside as a nature preserve and home to an abundance of wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, bear and beaver.
Ecodharma uses the healing powers of meditation in nature to transform activism into a spiritual path of service to the earth and all beings. At the heart, RMERC's is about bringing Buddhism and Dharma back into the natural world where they originated to regain the connection and energy necessary to effectively address ecological and related social crises.
Contributors & Facilitators
Kaira Jewel Lingo
Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher with a lifelong interest in spirituality, ecology and social justice. Her work continues the Engaged Buddhism developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, and includes the interweaving of nature, ecology, embodied mindfulness practice, art and play. She has extensive experience offering nature-based retreats with environmental and climate activists, and mindful hiking retreats. She draws inspiration from her parents’ lives of service and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King, Jr. After living as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community, Kaira Jewel now teaches internationally in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, as well as in secular mindfulness, at the intersection of racial, climate and social justice with a focus on activists, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. Based in New York, she offers spiritual mentoring to groups and is author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption.
Kritee (dharma name Kanko) is a Buddhist Zen Priest, Climate Scientist and Educator & Founding Spiritual Teacher of Boundless in Motion, a non-profit based in Colorado. She is an ordained teacher in the Rinzai Zen lineage of Cold Mountain, a co-founder of Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center and faculty for many organizations for courses at the intersection of Ecology, Justice and Spirituality. She has served as a Scientist in the Climate Smart Agriculture program at Environmental Defense Fund for over 11 years. Her experience is that identifying and releasing our personal and ecological grief in the presence of a loving community is necessary; and helps us unlock our gifts to serve our communities. She has led multi day silent Zen (meditation) retreats as well as Ecodharma retreats for people of color for many years and finds herself committed to be in relationship with young adults, permaculture communities, LGBTQIA+, black, indigenous and other people of color. You can access the talks, interviews and articles that were born of her body-mind here.
Lyla June Johnson
Lyla June Johnston is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her messages focus on Indigenous rights, supporting youth, and traditional land stewardship practices. Her PhD focused on how pre-colonial Indi-genous Nations produced abundant food systems for humans and non-humans.
Ramon is committed to the revival of rites of passage, community regene-ration, and imaginal renaissance. A Naropa University faculty member, he synthesizes ceremony, mindfulness, embodiment and social justice to address intercultural understanding, ecological awareness, personal trans-fomation and community develop-ment.
Bianca is from Zacatecas and lives in Colorado. Her life’s prayer is to be an active co-creator of a more beautiful world by being in synergetic relationships with Mother Earth, the diverse communities she is part of and embracing the multi-dimensionality of their being. She is a teacher, permaculture practitioner, and involved in a 4 year immersive program in curanderismo and ancestral/traditional healing.
Justine's core passion is working with others to awaken humanity to a deeper understanding of our kinship with all life. As CEO of St Ethelburga's Centre for over 18 years, she ran programmes on spiritual ecology, radical resilience and communion with the wild. She has a PhD in psychology, belongs to a Sufi tradition and is the author of "Generation Y, Spirituality & Social Change".
RMERC offeres mainly shared accommodation, unless you are willing to camp out. There are many camping/glamping options available but you will need to bring your own gear to be able to camp at 8500 feet with temperatures going below freezing in May. If you have a clear medical need and cannot share a room, please add details around your needs to the application. All meals are provided and will be vegetarian with vegan/gluten-free options.
Please plan to arrive after 2 and no later than 4 pm on May 22nd and, to depart the retreat center no earlier than 1:30 pm on 28th May.
Accommodation, facilities, food
Things to Keep in Mind:
Prepare for cold temperatures and high altitude as we will be at 8500 feet.
We will be in close quarters in a simple retreat center facility that cannot accommodate many kinds of special requests.
We will spend good portions of each day in silence.
Vaccination is not required, but at this time testing is. Please see the RMERC Covid policy for more details.
Participation, fees, room and board for all participants are generously covered by support from our funder. As a participant, you will still be required to cover all other costs, such as travel to and from the venue, covid testing, etc. If these costs are a barrier to your participation let us know in your application. We have limited travel scholarships and will be able to offer support to a few participants.
"No matter how much our own species preoccupies us, life is a far wider system. Life is an incredibly complex interdependence of matter and energy among millions of species beyond (and within) our own skin. These Earth aliens are our relatives, our ancestors, and part of us."
- Lynn Margulis
How to apply
We can have a maximum of 20 attendees. We are aiming for a diversity of perspectices and lived experiences as well as age, racial, cultural and organizational backgrounds, and will select participants with this balance in mind.
By applying to join this retreat, you are also applying to the full Kincentric Leadership programme, and we ask that you have the interest, time and ability to commit to pursuing it.
Once your application is accepted, you will receive ways to register for the retreat, as well as more practical information.