Monthly Archives: September 2021

Values Change for Survival: A Work That Reconnects Retreat


Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons has long uttered these four words as a clarion call for re-orientation.

One way of creating this necessary values change is practicing re-orientation. Individual practice done together with others in a group is a great way that I have seen the capacity to change strengthened, and networks of relationships nourished to shift away from market and state and extraction and toward reciprocal exchange and collective governance and regeneration.

A methodology that has deep roots here, in the traditional region of the Haudenosaunee, is called the Work That Reconnects. Sourced via Joanna Macy (a 1978 graduate of the same PhD program I am in) it draws from engaged Buddhism, the anti-nuclear and anti-war movements, and human potential experiments of the 1970s. If you are in need of self-expression, grief, expanded imagination, social justice, spiritual ecology, and fun in a group context, check it out! (There are a number of offerings around the world noted on the website above).

This particular retreat has been crafted in honor of indigenous peoples day, and features Lyons’ framework as a guiding principle regarding the need for a values change for survival. It is hosted in partnership with Garden’s Edge, an international solidarity organization that works with the Amaranth plant and the peoples all over Turtle Island and Abya Yala that grow it.

Economically, it will be offered on a sliding scale (aka pay what you can and feel called to give). One needs to be present for the whole two days to support container building. A portion of the proceeds will go toward local indigenous justice efforts. As you wish to do so, please distribute among folks you know in the broader area who might benefit from such an offering.