SPRING Sustainability and Spirituality Conference

May 31st—June 2nd (2013)

Date details +
  • $50
Room: East

*No one will be turned away if they cannot afford the program, but please indicate this in advance as there is a need for volunteer help, if possible. 

$140 for Friday and Saturday nights lodging, Friday and Saturday suppers, Saturday lunch, and Saturday and Sunday breakfasts from locally harvested foods from the adjoining Springdale Farm

$50 for Saturday only workshop including lunch


The purpose of this event is to gather activists, educators, environmentalists, and people of all faiths who wish to explore and develop principles and practices of sustainability and spirituality in an integrated way.  All who care about environmental sustainability and the global ecological crisis are invited to attend.

Saturday, June 1, will the central day of the Spring Spirituality and Sustainability retreat weekend in the beautiful environs of the Windhorse Shambhala Center, west of Plymouth, Wisconsin.  The interfaith focus of the weekend will include time for discussion, meditation, contemplation, sharing, and quiet time being on our beautiful land adjacent to the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  It will be the first in a series of seasonal retreats, providing a friendly open space where people who care about the environment will be inspired and refreshed.  What’s more, we hope that a mutual exploration of values that we hold most deeply, as well as obstacles we personally encounter, will be a healing and transformative experience for those who choose to come.


We have structured the event to allow people to stay at Windhorse on Friday and/or Saturday nights as an option, as some of us would like to spend additional time on the land and have more opportunities for meditation, relaxation, and making new friends. The fee for the Saturday workshop, including lunch, is $50.  For those who wish to stay Friday and Saturday nights, the whole package fee will be $140 including program, lodging and breakfasts.  No one will be turned away if they cannot afford the program, but please indicate this in advance as there is a need for volunteer help, if possible.  


There will be no guest teacher or key speaker.  Instead, we have invited representatives of different faiths to join us and participate in a day that will be more experiential than informational, focusing on insights from all who attend.  But we must limit the size of this gathering, so please save a place by registering online today at:  http://windhorse.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=131664 .

Friday night will begin with registration and orientation, soup, salad and bread dinner.  Gathering at the camp fire or woodstove fire as weather allows

Saturday's workshop:

8:00 am           Breakfast

9:00                 Registration for Saturday-only participants

9:30                 Welcome/overview of day

9:35                 Short Introductions by all

9:45                 Guided mindfulness meditation (from Shambhala tradition)

9:55                 Sharing stories and inspirations:  Recalling stories or teachings from your faith traditions (or from other source) that have given participants a deeper perspective on environmental/sustainability issues.              

10:35               Break  

10:45               Introduction to the Windhorse/High Wind/Bright Dawn lands

                        (guided walking tour of the land)

11:30              Contemplation and discussion: “What are your personal challenges in relating to and working on environmental and sustainability issues?”

  • Silent contemplation (5 minutes)
  • Sharing in dyads (10 minutes)
  • Discussion and identification of common issues (30 minutes)           

12:15 pm         Lunch  

1:15                 Listening to the land and ourselves:  Personal silent time for reflection outside on the land   

2:15                 Return to the bioshelter

2:20                 What did you hear?  Free sharing of notes, poems, and impressions in circle.

3:00                 Tea break

3:15                 What would we like to do together? :  Given our experience of being together today, as well as our personal needs, how could we best use Windhorse and our relationships with each other as a resource for support in our interfaith efforts related to sustainability?

  •  Facilitated small group discussions

3:45               Affinity group discussions and next steps:  Two rounds of small group meetings convened by participant who want to discuss a particular topic.

4:25               Break

4:30               Guided meditation, contemplation, or reflection 

4:40               Report back from discussion groups, including possible next step commitments.

5:10               Comments on the day from all

5:25               Next workshop:  suggestions for agenda

5:40               Adjourn workshop portion of day

                       Free time

6:30               Dinner for those who choose to stay, followed by a social evening

10:00             Lights out in buildings, sleep well


8:00               Breakfast

9:00               Meditation

10:00             Contemplative walks outside

11:00             Closing circle, adjourn

         Participants are welcome to stay the rest of the day and walk the land, share stories and enjoy new friends!

The Windhorse Retreat Center is on a large contiguous group of estates that have been lightly developed for educational retreats and sustainable living by the pioneering High Wind community. Windhorse is located just one hour north of Milwaukee, bordering on the Kettle Moraine State Park.  It is an exceptionally beautiful place with hills, woods, pioneer farms, and natural springs. 

Limited lodging is available on the property and tent camping is welcome. Accommodations also are available in motels, hotels, and bed-and-breakfasts in the nearby towns of Plymouth and Sheboygan.

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