• 02 Feb - 27 Apr 2023
  • online

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Carry On

Prairie Oaks Institute invites you to begin 2023 with a new sense of purpose and possibility, and to join us for this timely and life-giving series of mini-retreats.

These are challenging, bewildering times in our democracy, and the midterm election and its aftermath seem to bring still more causes and occasions for heartbreak – and hope. How do we hold it all? How do we deal with people with whom we disagree? And now that the election is over (with the next cycle already beginning), where do we find the hope and motivation to stay engaged, the stamina and courage to carry on, the strength and grace to contribute to the necessary work of healing?

Prairie Oaks Institute invites you to begin 2023 with a new sense of purpose and possibility, and to join us for this timely and life-giving series of mini-retreats: “Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Carry On.”

Guided by experienced Circle of Trust® facilitators Chris Commers, Patricia Hoffman, and Chris Johnson, these Courage & Renewal® gatherings will help us to:
• Name and hold our heartfelt responses to the significant challenges of our time.
• Practice crucial skills and capacities – “habits of the heart” – that help us live into these challenges, and help to make democracy possible.
• Treasure the wisdom of diverse perspectives and the power of open & honest questions.
• Deepen our understanding of what is being asked of us on the way toward a “more perfect union.”
• Be held by a remarkable community of support, inspiration, and positive relationship.

Our gatherings will include a nourishing mix of solitude and silence, conversation, and opportunity for reflective practice (writing, drawing, movement…). They’ll be grounded in your own experience and fueled with insights from poets, scholars, artists, naturalists, musicians, scientists, and various wisdom traditions. (The retreat title, and much of what we’ll do in the sessions, is based on Parker J. Palmer’s book Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. While it’s not required, if it’s possible for you we encourage you to read it ahead of time, or throughout the series.) Strictly confidential practices of deep listening, discernment, and mutual support will be a key component.

We will gather online (via Zoom) for seven bi-weekly sessions of 90 minutes each on the following Thursday evenings (at 4:30 Pacific / 5:30 Mountain / 6:30 Central / 7:30 Eastern); find your local time zone here: https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com

February 2: Creating Circles of Trust
February 16: We’re All in This Together
March 2: Appreciating the “Other”
March 16: Living with Tension and Paradox
March 30: What Do You Care Deeply About? Developing Personal Voice and Agency
April 13: Finding and Creating Community
April 27: Safe, Courageous Space for Deep Democracy

Zoom sessions

While we hope that you’ll be able to take part in the entire seven-session series, we also recognize that kind of commitment may be challenging for some; please join us as you’re able. We also recognize that these are tough economic times, so we suggest a modest donation for the complete series, guided by this pay-as-you-can scale: “supported registration” for $195, “regular registration” for $245, and “we’re all in this together” registration for $295 (which will help make it possible for someone else to participate.

We don’t want cost to be a barrier, so if there’s a different figure that can work for you, please email Chris Johnson at cjohnso542@gmail.com.

If you need to cancel your registration: more than one month prior to the start of the series, you’ll receive a full refund; one to four weeks prior, you’ll receive a 50% refund; less than one week prior, we’re sorry, no refunds will be made.


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