Meg Enters 2017 Retreat

Meg will be entering retreat in Crestone, Colorado for 60 days of silent, solo meditation, study, and practice. This is her seventh winter retreat under the loving guidance of one of her teachers, Pema Chödrön.

Meg with Pema in Crestone September 2015

This year my retreat (January 15 to March 20) will be in the very sacred mountains and valley of Crestone, Colorado. Pema lives there and is in retreat at her cabin, and so I will be there as well. Pema celebrated her 80th birthday in July and is taking the full year to be on sabbatical, mostly on retreat.

Crestone is a remarkable place, the home to many great spiritual teachers and traditions. Land was donated to teachers of many different faiths over several years by one philanthropist. The teachers have built temples, churches, and retreat facilities. Drawing on the rich energies of place, Crestone has become a truly ecumenical community.

I rely on these long periods of silence and solitude for many things. First is the joy of rediscovering my undistracted mind! Without the day-to-day interruptions of phone, email, Internet work and family, my mind comes alive again. I can read for hours, remember what I’ve read, make connections, delve deeply into complex issues and envision many things. All of these faculties disappear when I reenter the world, so for me it’s proof positive of how many of our great human capacities we lose in our rushed and distracted lives.

Crestone’s high mountains (up to 14,000 feet) and broad plains remind the Tibetan teachers of their homeland.

Retreatants are strongly encouraged not to write or journal; whenever we write something down, we’re solidifying our experience into a storyline. If you don’t write about it, the experience changes and never settles into just one interpretation. I love these times when I know not to write, or even think about things, just letting thoughts come and go. Of course this is not easy, but I find it very liberating and quite relaxing. And once I’m back in the world with a settled mind, good plans and ideas emerge that I can put into practice.

My ultimate purpose of long retreat is to settle and know my mind so that when I’m out in the world I can maintain a peaceful presence and am less triggered or defended. I want to be in the places where people are trying their best to persevere in situations of fear, stress, disrespect and oppression. This can be an Aboriginal village, a church group, a large government agency or a corporation. I want to support good people and good leaders to step forward as Warriors for the Human Spirit, people who refrain from using aggression and fear to accomplish their ends, and who act as champions for our best human capacities. For me to support these brave ones requires the stability of my own mind– this is what I’m developing from long retreats. (I can always tell I’m losing that stability by year’s end as I become more impatient, critical, and overwhelmed by world events. My adult children are the first to notice and comment that I need to go back into retreat!)

Many religious shrines of all varieties are sprinkled throughout Crestone. This is the Great Stupa dedicated to the Tibetan Kagyu Lineage.

Several years ago I wrote an essay on why I chose to become a Buddhist. If you’re interested in that, you can read it here:

http://margaretwheatley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/article-ToBeFreeFrom.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Book in 2017: Who Do We Choose to Be?

Coming in June 2017, a new book by Margaret Wheatley:

Who Do We Choose To Be?
Facing Reality | Claiming Leadership | Restoring Sanity

(June 2017, Berrett-Koehler).

Meg writes:

Several years ago, in the face of irreversible global problems and the devolution of leadership, I began to challenge every leader I met with these questions: Who do you choose to be for this time? Are you willing to use whatever power and influence you have to create islands of sanity that evoke and rely on our best human qualities to create, relate, and persevere? Will you consciously and bravely choose to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil?

This book summons us to be leaders for this time as things fall apart, to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil by creating Islands of Sanity.

For a five-day course on this book, offered by Meg at Schumacher College in England, see:
https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/short-courses/choose-to-be

 

 

 

For Persevering People Email Series

My Dear Friends,

As this tempestuous, surreal year draws to a close, and as we face the fearful uncertainty of 2017, I want to support us good, weary people by offering pages from my book Perseverance, published in 2010. If you sign up (by clicking here), you will receive one page every week for fourteen weeks. I’ve selected fourteen pages from the book that I feel of most value as we continue to do meaningful work in the midst of increasingly difficult circumstances. I offer this as my gift to you.

The Chinese character for Perseverance describes our challenges well: The ideogram is two elements–a knife suspended over a human heart. I feel the presence of this knife over my heart every day now. There is so much suffering, so much fear, so much uncertainty. Yet the task is to resist closing down from fear or fatigue. Our hearts need to stay open and, at the same time, we can’t succumb to the grief and anger that is so present as our hearts see what is happening to our precious world and all its beautiful people.

My own work continues to focus on how we develop the skills of compassion and insight as Warriors for the Human Spirit, people who vow to train themselves to stay available and present without adding to the aggression and fear of this time.

My book Perseverance is structured around a prophecy from the Hopi native people, describing how we can be of service in this time of a “river flowing now very fast.”

I’ve included the full prophecy at the end of this post.

If you would like to receive these weekly reassurances that we can be people who persevere, please click here. You can sign up at any time–the fourteen weeks begins whenever you click.

I would appreciate you sharing this with your friends and colleagues if you feel they might benefit from this offering.

With blessing for our peace and well-being as we face the future,


. . . . . . . . . . .

 

Meg Receives 2nd Annual Clara Snell Woodbury Distinguished Women’s Leadership Award

Meg Wheatley received the 2nd Annual Clara Snell Woodbury Distinguished Women’s Leadership Award April 15, 2016 in Burbank CA. Clara Snell Woodbury was the second wife of Francis Chute Woodbury who founded the university in 1884. She was a leader in her own right in those times: helping young women develop technical skills to eventually emancipate themselves into the modern workforce and seek positions in the judiciary (first as court stenographers then as early women jurists), nonprofit and private sectors. Meg received the award because she embodies the same forward thinking, intellect and leadership skills whose legacy is honored.

At the same event, Meg was honored by Leadership California (www.leadershipcalifornia.com) as part of Leadership California’s 25th Anniversary.

Meg Enters 2016 Retreat

Meg enters her annual winter retreat, January-March 2016

Meg is entering her sixth year of retreat at Gampo Abbey.  Amidst wild weather, deep snows and moose visitors, she lives comfortably for nine weeks in her own retreat cabin in silence, totally on her own, meditating, studying, and contemplating, speaking to no one except for occasional conversations with her teacher Pema Chödrön.

 

Pema and Meg at Gampo Abbey on Tibetan New Year

Pema and Meg at Gampo Abbey on Tibetan New Year

 

I have come to rely on these long periods of silence and solitude for many things. First is the joy of rediscovering my undistracted mind! Without the day-to-day interruptions of phone, email, Internet work and family, my mind comes alive again. I can read for hours, remember what I’ve read, make connections, delve deeply into complex issues and envision many things. All of these faculties disappear when I reenter the world, so for me it’s proof positive of how many of our great human capacities we lose in our rushed and distracted lives.

 

Gampo Abbey is nestled on the tip of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The Abbey is in the lower left corner. Note the ice that will soon be solid for many months--a frozen sea!

Gampo Abbey is nestled on the tip of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The Abbey is in the lower left corner. Note the ice that will soon be solid for many months–a frozen sea!

Retreatants are strongly encouraged not to write or journal; whenever we write something down, we’re solidifying our experience into a storyline. If you don’t write about it, the experience changes and never settles into just one interpretation. I love these times when I know not to write, or even think about things, just letting thoughts come and go. Of course this is not easy, but I find it very liberating and quite relaxing. And once I’m back in the world with a settled mind, good plans and ideas emerge that I can put into practice.

My ultimate purpose of long retreat is to settle and know my mind so that when I’m out in the world I can maintain a peaceful presence and am less triggered or defended. I want to be in the places where people are trying their best to persevere in situations of fear, stress, disrespect and oppression. This can be an Aboriginal village, a church group, a large government agency or a corporation. I want to support good people and good leaders to step forward as Warriors for the Human Spirit, people who refrain from using aggression and fear to accomplish their ends, and who act as champions for our best human capacities. For me to support these brave ones requires the stability of my own mind– this is what I’m developing from long retreats. (I can always tell I’m losing that stability by year’s end as I become more impatient, critical, and overwhelmed by world events. My adult children are the first to notice and comment that I need to go back into retreat!)

Gampo Abbey flag poles and retreat cabin. Meg's cabin is farther into the woods and she is totally self-sufficient during retreat.

Gampo Abbey flag poles and retreat cabin. Meg’s cabin is farther into the woods and she is totally self-sufficient during retreat.

Several years ago I wrote an essay on why I chose to become a Buddhist. If you’re interested in that, you can read it here:

http://margaretwheatley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/article-ToBeFreeFrom.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

The value and purpose of these retreats is beautifully explained by Pema in her interview with Bill Moyers many years ago.

Margaret Wheatley honored by The Loretto Women’s Network

loretto-award-500wMargaret Wheatley has been honored by The Loretto Women’s Network (LWN), awarding her the 2015 Mary Rhodes Award for her international work with women and grass roots traditions.

The Loretto Community is a religious community comprised of the Sisters of Loretto and the Co-members of Loretto. The Loretto Women’s Network is a group of feminists within the Community who are active in the causes for equality of women.

The award is named for Mary Rhodes, one of the founders of the Sisters of Loretto. The Mary Rhodes Award is a way Loretto chooses to honor women who have made a significant contribution to the cause of justice and equality for women. Meg was chosen because she “acts as an international agent of social change, especially for working women and with grass roots traditions.”

The award has also been presented to four other outstanding women: Dr. Ghazala Hayat, a strong advocate educating peoples about the role of women in Islam; Sister Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service and a national leader on issues of social justice and creator of “Nuns on the Bus”; the laywomen employees at the Loretto Motherhouse for their caring, attentive and respectful service; and Marcellina Otti, a Ugandan woman working with refugees in the Denver area.

Meg Enters Retreat

January-March 2015

Meg has entered retreat at Gampo Abbey for 60 days of silent, solo meditation, study, and practice. This is her fifth winter retreat under the loving guidance of one of her teachers, Pema Chödrön. The value and purpose of these retreats is beautifully explained by Pema in her interview with Bill Moyers many years ago.

 

Meg describes why she goes on these long retreats:

 

Pema and Meg at Gampo Abbey on Tibetan New Year

Pema and Meg at Gampo Abbey on Tibetan New Year

“I rely on these long periods of silence and solitude for many things. First is the joy of rediscovering my undistracted mind! Without the day-to-day interruptions of phone, email, Internet work and family, my mind comes alive again. I can read for hours, remember what I’ve read, make connections, delve deeply into complex issues and envision many things. All of these faculties disappear when I reenter the world, so for me it’s proof positive of how many of our great human capacities we lose in our rushed and distracted lives.

 

 

 

Gampo Abbey is nestled on the tip of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The Abbey is in the lower left corner.  Note the ice that will soon be solid for many months--a frozen sea!

Gampo Abbey is nestled on the tip of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The Abbey is in the lower left corner. Note the ice that will soon be solid for many months–a frozen sea!

Retreatants are strongly encouraged not to write or journal; whenever we write something down, we’re solidifying our experience into a storyline. If you don’t write about it, the experience changes and never settles into just one interpretation. I love these times when I know not to write, or even think about things, just letting thoughts come and go. Of course this is not easy, but I find it very liberating and quite relaxing. And once I’m back in the world with a settled mind, good plans and ideas emerge that I can put into practice.

My ultimate purpose of long retreat is to settle and know my mind so that when I’m out in the world I can maintain a peaceful presence and am less triggered or defended. I want to be in the places where people are trying their best to persevere in situations of fear, stress, disrespect and oppression. This can be an Aboriginal village, a church group, a large government agency or a corporation. I want to support good people and good leaders to step forward as Warriors for the Human Spirit, people who refrain from using aggression and fear to accomplish their ends, and who act as champions for our best human capacities. For me to support these brave ones requires the stability of my own mind– this is what I’m developing from long retreats. (I can always tell I’m losing that stability by year’s end as I become more impatient, critical, and overwhelmed by world events. My adult children are the first to notice and comment that I need to go back into retreat!)

Gampo Abbey flag poles and retreat cabin.  Meg's cabin is farther into the woods and she is totally self-sufficient during retreat.

Gampo Abbey flag poles and retreat cabin. Meg’s cabin is farther into the woods and she is totally self-sufficient during retreat.

Several years ago I wrote an essay on why I chose to become a Buddhist. If you’re interested in that, you can read it here: http://margaretwheatley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/article-ToBeFreeFrom.pdf

New Book Released: How Does Raven Know?

How Does Raven Know Cover

Wheatley publishes her eighth book, written just after her 70th birthday, a highly personal and reflective memoir of her experiences with sacred world, written in poetic form with dozens of her photographs as well.

Each of my books is an invitation to see the world with new eyes. Yet unlike my previous seven books, How Does Raven Know? invites you to see the world anew informed not by science but by sacred wisdoms. I have sought to encourage you to shift your gaze once again to discover the support, confidence, and companionship we need to meet this time. My aspiration is to reintroduce you to a world we modern ones have dismissed or ignored, a world still held for us in the ancient wisdom traditions of most cultures.    It is not a call to action, but to relationship with forgotten companions and animate Earth that, in my own experience, willingly offer us support, encouragement, and consolation.

More information: http://margaretwheatley.com/books-products/books/raven-know/

Margaret Wheatley receives Leadership Legacy Award from the International Leadership Academy

November 2014

2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Meg Wheatley

2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Meg Wheatley

Meg Wheatley shifted the field of leadership in 1992 with the publication of her book, Leadership and the New Science. The book was a revelation to scholars and leadership professionals, utilizing systems thinking, quantum physics, and chaos theory to create a new paradigm of organizational change and development. A bestseller, Leadership and the New Science has been translated into 18 languages and is currently available in its third edition.

At the same time, she co-founded, in 1991, The Berkana Institute, a global charitable foundation that worked for 20 years applying the principles of living systems to organizations around the world and creating healthy and resilient communities. Soon to return after a three year hibernation, Berkana continues to blaze new organizational paths by experimenting with what happens when an organization purposefully enters a reflective period of stillness.

Wheatley’s recent books all address, from different entry points, the darkness that exists in the world and how humanity can rediscover hope, learn perseverance, and strengthen our communities to work together to meet challenges, meaningfully contribute, and make a difference. Her two latest book are So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New Word (Berrett-Koehler, 2012) and How Does Raven Know: Entering Sacred World | A Meditative Memoir (2014).

Source:  http://www.ila-net.org/LeadershipLegacy/index.html

Public School Named for Margaret Wheatley

September 2014, Portland Oregon

On September 26, 2014, Meg was deeply moved to be present for the inauguration of a school named after her in Portland Oregon (Multinomah Service District). This school serves children ages 5-21 who experience multiple educational challenges and medical complexities.

wheatley-ribboncutting

One of only a few such schools in the nation, the staff is dedicated to evoking each child’s maximum potential rather than see them limited by their challenges. (read more: http://www.mesd.k12.or.us/Page/269)

Meg was presented with a replica of the plaque now displayed on the building:

wheatley-schoolplaque