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MAY 28-30, 2014

Awakening Our Perceptions to Access
the Information We Need

Sundance, Utah  

"We're lost, but we're making good time."   --Yogi Berra

A Buddhist teacher taught that the only thing we can trust in life is that the world always gives us feedback.  As leaders, how do we develop the will, discipline and skills to stay open to the messages that are always there?  How do we, as individuals and organizations, befriend information rather than ignore or deny it?

This seminar provides the opportunity to develop skills of curiosity and discernment by working with all our sense perceptions.  We will practice new ways for absorbing the messages and information always available to us.  From this rich reservoir, we will focus on developing the skillful means for solving intractable problems and restoring meaning and capacity to our work as leaders.

This will be a very lively and rich exploration of how we sharpen our perceptions as  I'm partnering with my long-time colleague and friend, jazz drummer Jerry Granelli. 

For more information and to register, visit http://www.gagenmacdonald.com/2014/lost-and-found-in-our-brave-new-world-seminar-with-meg-wheatley/


MarshAUGUST 4-8, 2014

Cape Cod Institute

Meg has worked for 40 years with leaders on all continents and with most types of organizations and communities.  At this critical historic juncture, she feels compelled to challenge leaders with this question: "Who do we choose to be for this time?"

Do we contribute to the deterioration of human capacity by our silence and compliance, or do we act bravely and use our power and influence to champion the human spirit, using the resources we have available to create islands of sanity wherever we can?

In these five days, we will explore the challenges, possibilities and processes for creating sane, meaningful, and effective work and workplaces in the midst of an increasingly turbulent and incoherent time.

For more information and to register, visit:



SEPTEMBER 26-28, 2014

A Week-end Retreat for Exhausted and Overworked Leaders & Activists
Nalanda West
Seattle, WA USA

Nalanda"Expectation is just premeditated disappointment"

Those of us actively engaged in changing things for the better--in our families, organizations, communities or world--are usually trapped by a false assumption.  We believe that we have to have hope.  Without hope, we will have no motivation, no energy and no perseverance for the increasingly difficult work of creating positive change.  We often feel that if we let go of hope, we will plunge into despair and useless lives.

In Buddhism, hope is not an isolated energy.  It is always and irrevocably described with its intimate companion, fear.  Fear is the shadow side of hope: we expect a certain outcome, then are anxious it won't happen.  We work diligently to create a good result, then plunge into despair when it doesn't materialize.  The stronger our hope, the stronger our fear.  Therefore, in order to be fearless, we need to be hopeless.

Introducing the word "hopeless" to a Western audience of achievers and contributors always arouses strong reactions.  It exposes how strongly we cling to hope as a primary motivator.  But we can't be fearless in our activities without abandoning hope.  "Abandon all hope, ye who enter within" was Dante's description of Hell.  But this is not true.  As we stop clinging to hope, we discover "the place beyond hope and fear."

For me personally, as an activist in the world for more than 40 years, I too have struggled with abandoning hope. I have discovered that beyond hope and fear is the place of clear seeing and strengthened commitment to the causes, places and people I champion.  Enormous energy becomes available when we replace expectations with clarity.  All the energy we put into pumping ourselves up, or denying how difficult it is, or denying that it's not working out the way we wanted it to--all that energy becomes available to us so that we see clearly, and can fully engage our intelligence to work with what is.

This week-end retreat is structured as an inquiry into the ambush of hope.  Any ambush seduces its victims into behaviors that ultimately lead to its entrapment and demise.  To avoid this we will engage together in exploring:

  • how do we currently rely on hope to motivate and drive ourselves forward?
  • when have we experienced the place beyond hope and fear?
  • how much of our identity is tied into being successful at creating change?
  • where do we find the dedication and perseverance to continue our work?

Every session will begin with meditation.  Our inquiry will deepen using a variety of practices that cultivate awareness of our present state and clarity for the work ahead.

For more info and to register, visit