We are excited to welcome Dan McKee and the Warrior Monk Retreats back to the Whidbey Institute! In anticipation of his upcoming program, November 1-5, 2023, I took the opportunity to learn more about his work and his approach to holding Warrior Monk retreats, particularly at the Whidbey Institute.
I know you and your programs have been associated with the Whidbey Institute for a long time. When was the last time you held a retreat here and was that a Warrior Monk Retreat?
Yes, it was another Warrior Monk Retreat in early 2020, not too long before the pandemic-induced hiatus.
We’ve been holding this retreat almost yearly – sometimes twice a year – at the Whidbey Institute since the early 2000’s so it’s wonderful to be coming back.
Can you describe the Warrior Monk retreat, perhaps for someone who has never attended or has little to no background on your work?
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The second weekend of April, people gathered in Thomas Berry Hall to convene the Whidbey Spring Gathering, our first community program of this kind since the 2020 Winter Gathering. There were both returning and new faces; curious, excited, anticipatory, and in some cases wary, uncomfortable, not knowing what to expect, but drawn to the land for various reasons.
Special thanks to my co-facilitators Victoria Santos, Diana Sandoval, and Gayle Karen Young. It was an honor to partner with them in this inaugural event. Over the course of three days, they convened, held, and honored our time together with skill, finesse, and grace. Participants were invited to explore and embody questions that are essential for our times: How do we want to live our lives going forward? What might be possible for ourselves and for our communities? What will sustain us and the future we dream of? How do we tend to ourselves and to the collective?
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This past February, as the Whidbey Institute’s Communication Manager, I had the good fortune to go for a walk in the Legacy Forest with Jessica Larson from the Whidbey Camano Land Trust (WCLT). Jessica is a Stewardship Director with the WCLT and helps to coordinate and monitor the Whidbey Institute’s Conservation Easement along with our Forest Stewardship Plan.
I was eager to learn more about the WCLT’s role in protecting the Whidbey Institute’s 106 acres of forest and wetlands and wanted to hear from her about some of the unique aspects of the land and features to look for when traveling the 4+ miles of trails.
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Read “Passages”, our June 2022 Newsletter, where we welcome new board member Jenna Ringelheim, share a farewell letter from staff member Marnie Jackson, and offer an exciting update about our partnership with ILALI.
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We are pleased to introduce Jenna Ringelheim as the newest member of our Board of Directors. Jenna’s connection to the Whidbey Institute threads through Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), whose Pacific Northwest Regional Fellows gathered here as a cohort, and through Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where she obtained an MBA in Sustainable Systems alongside fellow board members Casey Dilloway and Hilary Wilson. Read More →
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