Music As Medicine and
Work That Reconnects Retreat
Join us July 1-4 to reconnect to each other, to our world, and sing ourselves towards freedom and healing this INTERDEPENDENCE DAY weekend!
You are invited to a 4-day retreat of deep nourishment through community singing and Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects.” Let us gather to remember our radical interconnectedness with all of life. As we come back together from a pandemic that demanded from us either prolonged isolation or front-line engagement, we at School for The Great Turning invite you to rest and recover, and to deepen in our resiliency. In doing this, we give ourselves and our communities a precious gift – the capacity to be fully present to each other and our world, to share the load together.
Guided by Work that Reconnects facilitators and song carriers Lydia Violet Harutoonian, Jen Myzel, and assisted by Kele Nitoto, we will travel through the spiral of the Work that Reconnects – from Gratitude, to Honoring our Pain, to Perceiving in New and Ancient Ways, and Going Forth, in order to reinvigorate our energy for life at this pivotal moment. We will sing songs to move through our heartbreak, uplift our prayers, and celebrate The Great Turning.
The Work That Reconnects (WTR) is a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by beloved elder Joanna Macy, inspired by her scholarship in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism as well as 50+ years of international activism. Practiced internationally, this work has helped thousands of people to engage in The Great Turning, reinvigorating our capacity for action and resilience.
Hearts opened by grief and celebration want to sing out loud – together. Singing as a circle of comrades is one of the most healthful, uplifting, and nourishing things that we can do. Together we will create space for the tending of our roots and wounds through song, giving ourselves permission to make music. This workshop is open to music-makers and music lovers of all levels.
This retreat seeks to offer a balance of connection as a group and reflection in the quietude and stillness of nature. The Seven Circles Retreat Center is located in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA which is home to the world’s largest and oldest living trees. Seven Circles is committed to providing a space where people from a diversity of communities can gather for renewal and spiritual growth.
Accomodations & Meals
There are 37 guest beds in shared rooms with up to five people. Camping is possible but limited and doesn’t change the cost, and there aren’t facilities like showers or toilets just for campers and you have to bring your own gear. If you camp, showering will be negotiated with fellow participants to share their showers with folks who are camping, and toilets are in the common lodge. If you are in a room, linens, blankets, pillows, and mattress are provided.
There will be three nourishing meals per day, inspired by cuisines from around the world. You can view the menu provided by Seven Circles here.
We recognize that there is a demographic trend in workshop environments that can lead to repeatedly asking BIPOC folks to heal in white-majority spaces. For this workshop, we are curating registration to ensure a space that is at least 50% BIPOC, in an effort to help shift the tide of availability of BIPOC majority space.
If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, please register here: https://forms.gle/UZbYG9ge6fFtMJNX6
If you are white, please fill out this application here: https://forms.gle/VfHaAqzNiHGr9hFP6
$800 Standard + Contribution to Scholarship Fund
$625 Standard Price
We also have partial scholarships available and you are welcome to apply here: https://forms.gle/wkbKmnqetK47qE4a9
About Your Facilitators
Lydia Violet Harutoonian
Lydia Violet Farshid-Harutoonian, M.A., has studied dedicatedly with deep ecology…
elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy for the past 13 years, learning how we can metabolize planetary despair, anxiety, and community traumas into energy for resilience, action, and community healing. She runs The School for The Great Turning creates access to an education that will empower humanity’s life-sustaining legacy.
Lydia is also an Iranian-Armenian-American multi-instrumentalist weaving together Southern blues, American roots, and Iranian folk music traditions. With her live band she combines fiddle, banjo, and luscious harmonies to offer a soul-folk revival experience. In the past year she has collaborated with world-renowned artists Climbing PoeTree, Rising Appalachia, and Lyla June. ♬http://www.lydiafiddle.com♬
Jen Myzel is a facilitator of the Work that Reconnects, song catcher, educator, activist…
and children’s book author. Jen’s three musical albums and children’s book ‘Yellow Lotus Flower’ are inspired by her nine years of study with Joanna Macy, founder of the Work that Reconnects. Jen aims to inspire compassionate action on behalf of all life through her songs, stories and facilitation.
In addition to her work with School for the Great Turning, Jen is deeply engaged in creating community and change through her spiritual lineage of Judaism and she facilitates for Wilderness Torah and Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. Jen lives in a land-based community in the occupied Miwok and Southern Pomo territory of Occidental, CA with her husband, one year old son, and six other humans aspiring to be more graceful stewards of this beautiful Earth.
Kele Nitoto is a second generation African-American percussionist and singer.
Born and raised in the Oakland Dance Culture, Kele Has studied with Masters of many styles, becoming proficient in West-African, Congolese, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, and Afro-Haitian traditional musics. Over the last 25 years, Kele has performed throughout the country in dance companies, bands, and teaching workshops and classes, summer camps, spiritual and workplace retreats, and for countless ceremonies and celebrations.
Playing with such artists as Lydia Violet and the Thrive Choir, Kele has performed and recorded with the likes of MaMuse, Climbing Poetree, Rising Appalachia, Melanie DeMore, and Esperanza Spaulding. He is currently spearheading Oakland Hand Drums, an organization focused on rhythmic education and performance through a cultural and creative lens.
We also have partial scholarships available and you are welcome to apply here: https://forms.gle/wkbKmnqetK47qE4a9. We will be prioritizing BIPOC & LGBTQ+.
Please send any additional questions to email@example.com
BRING US TO YOUR COMMUNITY
If you are interested in bringing this work to your area, we would love to hear from you.
Please fill out this short survey, and we will be in touch soon!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When does the course start and finish?
The course starts April 23rd, 2022 and live sessions end on June 11th , but you will have lifetime access to all recordings and practice tracks!
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.
What Folks are Saying About
School of the Great Turning
“...thank you, for your work, your music, the songs (my voice is slowly coming back after years of silence and I’m writing one-line songs of gratitude thanks to you)!!”
“Thank you so much for this class and all of your sharing. Yesterday was an accumulation of so many emotions, but I am so happy to have shared my story. I truly believe in the Music As Medicine project and excited to see it grow.”
“I am lingering in the joy of our time together…I loved being in community with everyone y’all gathered. Thank you! With tears and solidarity in everything we are doing…”