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February 6, 2021

Virtual Retreat: Compassionate Selves for a Compassionate World with the Garrison Institute Fellows

“There is a way for us as human beings to be a being here that causes all life to thrive.” ~ Pat McCabe | Woman Stands Shining, Diné (Navajo) mother, activist, artist, writer.

The picture can sometimes be bleak. We are faced with multiple overlapping ecological and social crises – from a self-destructive political economy to a global pandemic to a continued structural assault on black and brown bodies.

How can we tend to all the serious work that needs to be done with care, love, and maybe even joy? Perhaps these are not just helpful qualities, but essential. This half-day retreat explores self-compassion as a doorway into our interconnected nature, and how sensing into both experiences as a practice can help us to be a presence that causes all life to thrive.

Our nature is love and when we are deeply connected to our loving, kind, and compassionate self, this natural state of being can expand into our relationships, our work, and our movements on the planet. Cultivating self-compassion can be one of the very useful practices in forming that connective tissue.

On this half-day retreat, we’ll co-create a sacred space that allows for the transformational possibility of self-compassion both in the present moment and as an action we can embody and carry into the world. The facilitators will weave mindful self-compassion practices, light movement, sound journey, spoken word, and community conversation into a ceremonial experience that will offer grounding and maybe point us to our interconnected nature. You’ll leave with tools and an intention that you can bring into your everyday life.

Join these inspirational Garrison Fellows as they offer this multidisciplinary journey into the heart of yourself. In this season that often celebrates love as a romantic ideal, allow yourself to experience true love as a state of being, the fabric of our interconnected selves. Use this opportunity as a catalyst for initiating a new daily practice or expanding one you already have. Sign up with a friend or a partner or attend on your own. Come with an open heart and a curious mind.

The retreat will include:
• Light yoga-based movement practices
• Mindful self-compassion practice
• Sound journey
• Inquiry through journaling and dialogue
• Intention setting for daily action

This virtual retreat will be conducted through Zoom on Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 12:00pm – 6:00pm ET. The virtual retreat link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of your registration. Please email us at events@garrisoninstitute.org with questions.


Jennifer Bloom is a poet, singer, scholar, mother, and advisor to the Garrison Institute Fellowship. Jennifer loves to weave the intellectual and creative worlds together to inform one another. She considers her role to be that of meaning maker and sacred space holder, whether she is performing, facilitating a retreat, or writing. Jennifer has published two collections of poetry and an album of music and holds a B.A. in English from Yale University and a Master’s of Science in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her perspectives integrate continued studies through The Neuroleadership Institute, The Mindsight Institute, Prosocial World as well as Jewish, Yogic, and Earth-based wisdom traditions.

Nico Cary is a writer, performance artist, and mindfulness teacher. He received his BA from UC Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Studies Field School, specializing in cognitive linguistics. From writing and performing in a theater piece on water politics that featured at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans to helping develop an immersive multimedia installation on processing grief for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Nico is truly a cross-platform artist. While engaged in a deeply fulfilling artistic career, Nico also proudly serves as a mindfulness facilitator for InsightLA. He is interested in the many different vocabularies of healing and the holding capacity of mindfulness, particularly as it relates to embodied activism and creative ecosystems.

Nichol Chase is a teacher, musician, and yogi for whom singing and movement is integral to life. Nichol’s yoga practice is informed by a vast and eclectic set of influences that blend invigorating flow with precise and insightful instruction and extensive study with a variety of innovative teachers. She is a faculty member and teacher trainer for The Mazé Method, where she has worked for several years, and is currently on the faculty for a teacher training partnership between Yoga International and the Mazé Method. Nichol’s artistic experience includes more than a decade of Royal Academy ballet training and specialization as an operatic Coloratura Soprano, earning the Bachelor of Music degree with a major in Vocal Performance from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. Nichol’s study of yoga piqued an interest in Kirtan and Indian Classical music resulting in the addition of the harmonium to her repertoire for accompaniment to traditional chants in Sanskrit. She studies Northern Indian Classical Music, Mantra, and Kirtan with Sheela Bringi, and leads Kirtan and Sound Healing experiences.

Orlando Villarraga is a poet, musician, and visual artist. As an ally to the Teyuna indigenous tribes of Colombia, Orlando contributes as an interpreter and organizer to help bridge communication of ancient earth-based philosophy to the western world, as well as supporting the tribal communities in the process of living in a post-colonial society. A cofounder of The Resonance Experience, a group of innovators revealing the power of experiential sound in “refreshing” how we listen to the world, Orlando’s work includes guiding deep personal inquiries in the form of sound meditation. He has shared his experiences at NYU’s Love Class, The Interpersonal Neurobiology Conference, and the SAND conference. Orlando is happy and continues to learn from the universe as his university.

Barnaby Willett is a contemplative practitioner who aspires to be of service to the greater good. He helped grow the nonprofit Peace in Schools to be a national leader in mindfulness education, most recently serving as Director of Innovation and Partnerships. He is one of the most experienced school-based mindfulness teachers in the United States and is also a teacher on iBme’s teen mindfulness retreats. Barnaby has collaborated with leaders in the health sciences, education, and politics to advance adolescent well-being through evidence-based research and practice. He believes that scaling depth in mindfulness education is essential for creating trauma-informed, equitable schools. Barnaby has been a speaker at educational and contemplative conferences and has facilitated contemplative practice for adults through Presence Collective in Portland, Oregon. He is originally from the UK and is a student of Chinese tea, Islamic philosophy, Albert Murray, and the imaginal. Barnaby began contemplative practice in 1994 and holds a BA in English from Pomona College.

Registration Options

1 - Supporter (suggested donation) (Donation)
2 - Participant