The Center for Knowing Home

The Center for Knowing Home

Center for Knowing Home

Fall Equinox 2021

Essay and program by Whidbey Institute founders Fritz and Vivienne Hull


Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The protection of Earths vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature.

—Earth Charter

Read More →

November 24, 2021

Forest Listening Project

Photo from Forest Listening, by Russell Horning.

The Forest Listening Project is a program of Center For Knowing Home, launched in Legacy Forest by Whidbey Institute founders Fritz & Vivienne Hull.

You are invited into the forest — to listen!

We understand—the earth’s atmosphere is warming with alarming seriousness. Global warming is definitely here. At the same time, is it possible that this period could be a time of a powerful cultural renewal and regeneration as some are now suggesting? What is needed to make this possible?

Read More →

November 24, 2021

The Year of the Donor: 2020 Gratitude Report

Click [ ] in lower right corner to expand to full screen view.

October 1, 2021

The Wellspring

The Wellspring: Reflections from Sarah Goettsch

I recently connected with our friend and community member Sarah Goettsch, who’s been in relationship with the Whidbey Institute from a number of perspectives: as a program participant, a program leader, a volunteer, a substitute caretaker, a donor, and more.  Here are some excerpts from our conversation. —Marnie Jackson


Marnie: Thanks for being open to sharing your story in our Gratitude Report! 

Sarah: You’re welcome! In preparing to have this conversation, I kept coming back to gratitude—gratitude for the wellspring of the ecosystem of the Whidbey Institute. I’ve had all these different connections and experiences. Each one is another instance of showing up, as we are, in any particular moment, in one of the vast variety of ways of being human. That’s one of the things that’s really been a treasure for me. 

Read More →

September 30, 2021

Working From the Heart

by Marta Mulholland

I am consistently humbled by the generosity of energy and spirit that people bring to volunteer work.

This was evidenced in full when I received a call in July from Jeanne Jackson (JJ) McMinds, a Whidbey Institute friend and advisor for our Forest Stewardship Plan. She had been on the land a few days earlier and had helped work on a process called Shou Sugi Ban (or Yakisugi), “an ancient Japanese exterior siding technique that preserves wood by charring it with fire. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with a natural oil.” ( Read More →

September 22, 2021

The World Needs Good Leaders: Matt McSweyn on Powers of Leadership

Matt McSweyn and I were both members of the 2014-2015 Powers of Leadership cohort. Together with over a dozen fellow leaders and learners, and with program faculty Christie Lynk and Craig Fleck, we gathered quarterly to develop as adaptive leaders, capable of addressing those questions for which there are no easy answers. This month, I reconnected with Matt (pictured) to understand how the work still resonates with him seven years later. Read on for my reflections on that conversation. 

—Marnie Jackson
Read More →

August 20, 2021

Connecting to What Matters: An interview with Greg Flynn and Shannon Patterson

Last week, I was able to talk with program leaders Gregory Flynn and Shannon Patterson about their upcoming program, Renewal: Connecting to What Matters. I had the pleasure of interviewing them together, which allowed me to watch the exchange of ideas between them—I’m sharing highlights of that conversation here. I hope you’ll join Greg and Shannon at the Whidbey Institute, October 1 through 3.  —Marnie Jackson


Read More →

August 18, 2021

Walking a Path | July 2021 Newsletter

This month’s newsletter features an interview with Nancy Neudecker, opportunities for guided labyrinth walks and forest hikes, community announcements, and more. Click here to read the issue!


July 28, 2021

Daring to Love Fiercely

Late in 2019 had an opportunity to connect with program leaders Plácida Gallegos, Akasha Saunders, Steve Schapiro and Carol Wishcamper (pictured above, left to right). Their program, Dare to Connect WE-LAB, provides a space to explore and support participants’ capacity to embrace differences and to connect with one another across those differences with curiosity and love. The program was rescheduled from March 2020 due to COVID. Dare to Connect WE-LAB is coming to the Whidbey Institute in August 2021 and registration is open to all!

During our conversation, I not only got a feeling for the facilitators (a fantastic team) and the program (a wonderful offering) but I also became convinced that there is little the world needs more than work like this. Supporting people across diverse social identities and circumstances in creating brave, vulnerable, and authentic connections can help us begin to heal the rifts of racism, sexism and other oppressive systems in our bodies, hearts, communities, and societies. Read More →

June 1, 2021

2019-2020 Gratitude Report Now Available

This isn’t your typical annual report.

But then, this isn’t your typical year. 

We usually publish a comprehensive Gratitude Report in late April, sharing stories of what you nurtured, supported, and inspired with your donations during the previous calendar year. This late winter and early spring, however, the world was just beginning to grapple with the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, our calendar—usually filled with transformational learning programs—was suddenly wiped clean. In late March through May, much of our team was furloughed and it didn’t feel like the right time to invest in producing a retrospective of 2019. Staffing is currently at about 35% of pre-COVID levels—including our furloughed kitchen team—and we couldn’t be here without you. We are so grateful to our community of donors, without whom our ongoing care of this vital place and our operational core would not be possible.  Read More →

December 3, 2020