Community of Opportunity Retreat 2015

Community of Opportunity Retreat

An Experiential Learning Retreat in being part of Intentional Communities

February 27th — March 1st 2015
For those passionate about Intentional community building, sustainability and Mindfulness. This retreat is sponsored by Moishe House, through the support of the Maimonides Fund

Intentional communities can be anything from collectives and people coming together through shared interests, values or faith to collective households, ecovillages, coops, communes, retreats, kibbutz’s, ashrams, 5 rhythms dancers, burning man, and a meditation group are all forms of intentional communities.They are pioneers in sustainable living, personal and cultural transformation, and peaceful social evolution.

This retreat is working towards similar visions of intentional, transformative, sustainable and mindful communities.

This is an inclusive retreat open to anyone regardless of background or religion who have interest in intentional communities. This retreat will give those who join the opportunity to participate and learn in talks and workshops on sustainability, social justice, mindfulness, conscious education and community organising. As well as be part of something exciting, create, innovate and form deeper connections with like-minded people. The retreat will be over a weekend and will provide a space to experientially live intentionally with meals, talks and workshops, foraging, meditation, dance, fun and lots more.

You will leave this weekend:

  • Having learnt something new about yourself, community and what intentional living means to you
  • Connections with like minded people and new friendships
  • Relaxed and inspired
  • With a pledge to take something you learnt and experienced back home with you and in some way integrate this into your life

Team

This event is brought to you by:

Our guest educators for the weekend:

Summary of retreat

Participants at the retreat
Workshop on community governance and decision making
Ritual space
mindful Dancing

50 people attended the retreat.

A note from the creator Nikki Levitan:

“I have experienced being part of and working within communities for most of my life.

It was living in an amazing urban communal home for people in their 20’s) that gave me my most profound community experience. I truly experienced being part of an intentional community and in a city. I met amazing, talented, socially aware, like-minded people, living their full potential, all committed to creating a better world.

It was having been part of this and living in the house that I became a community organizer. Since leaving the house I couldn’t help but notice a void amongst the community we created. I was blessed to have been gifted that communal space and now I want to give that gift and create platform and space for us to further grow our ideas and visions for community. This retreat is the first step.

So what is Community of Opportunity?

Transformational experiences can impact our lives in a big way. They include: community, participation, ritual, ceremonies, art, deep connection, music, dance, meditation, holistic practices, environmental & social justice awareness and self-discovery and self-development. They can occur within communities, festivals, retreats and when we get away from our limited and busy lives. The idea behind Community of Opportunity is about bringing transformational experiences to our everyday lives, more regularly and more accessibly through building a community of Agents of change.

Agents of change are: Those passionate about intentional community, sustainability (looking after our environment), creativity (self-expression and art), mindfulness (self-awareness), and social justice. If you are not sure what an agent of change is: it is YOU, YOU who has a vision to make the world a better place, YOU who has an idea that will make strangers smile, YOU who wants to make a difference!”

The values for the retreat were:

• Creating a sense of community together

• Inclusivity (We are all welcome and equal)

• Living with choice

• Participation

• Giving and receiving

The aims of the retreat where:

• Learn something: An insight, a fact or a skill

• Discover something: About yourself, a value, a possibility

• Form meaningful connections: With like-minded people, network

• Share: Yourself, your gifts and your visions

• Be part of the growth of Community of Opportunity

Community of Opportunity provides a platform and a space for ideas to be shared and visions to be made. The retreat was based on it being a Co Creation for all who participated.

Gifting- The act of giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting and receiving was a value introduced on the retreat. Participants were asked to bring their gifts, talents and skills to share.

This meant the program was designed organically by Nikki and team according to what participants both wanted to learn and experience and what they offered to gift in the application.

The programme was designed to give people choice between a learning based and experiential based sessions. Each day was based around a theme:

*Day 1 — Intention *Day 2 — Inspiration *Day 3 — Action and participation

The programming including: Ritual, learning focused intentional communities that exist, , social justice awareness, mediation, yoga, conscious relationships, discussions based on rural, urban and pop up communities, foraging, ecstatic dance, massage and creativity workshops.

There was also an information and inspiration area with articles about Intentional Communities, a mini library, an area for people to share their projects and work, an inspirational quotes and a Gratitude tree, inviting participants to share quotes that inspire them and what they are grateful for.

Outcomes:

*Building an online community

*Monthly Community of Opportunity meet up: Keeping the energy of the retreat COO will be hosting partnership events based on community, creativity, self-development and social change.

*Identifying that communities need a clear values and governance system

*A space for communal activities: Creating a new non transient model?

*A system that gives people ideas and practical tools that clarify and connect available help to community needs.

  • An exploration of how we look internally and externally as a community
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