Braiding Sweetgrass: A Half-Day Retreat

with Cynthia Trone & Kendra Arey
Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m. to noon
Merryspring Nature Center, Camden
Space is limited! 
“How, in our modern world, can we find our way to understand the Earth as a gift again, to make our relations with the world sacred again?”  Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
Join us for a morning of deep connection to nature, ourselves, and each other. Together in practice, we will explore questions such as: How does the natural world speak to us? What is it telling us? Can we slow down enough, and be silent enough, to hear the sweet wisdom of the Earth?
Gently led by Kendra and Cynthia, this outdoor retreat will be an opportunity to explore and honor our connection to the Earth in quiet stillness. Readings from Braiding Sweetgrass will inspire our time together as we open our hearts, minds, and senses to the natural world all around. We will enjoy guided meditations, where the breezes and fall gardens at Merryspring Nature Center will remind us of our sacred responsibility as stewards of this fragile planet.There will be invitations to creatively express your experience through writing, drawing, and/or photography.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. She is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.
Note: Braiding Sweetgrass is not required reading to participate.
What to bring: Please bring a blanket or yoga mat/cushion to sit on, paper and pencil (colored pencils if you like to draw!), snack, and water. Bring a mask. Wear layers for changing temperatures and bring a rain jacket/wind breaker. Optional: bring a camera if you’d like to take photographs as we explore our creativity in nature.
The retreat is on rain or shine. There is a gazebo outdoors for cover, if needed.
Level: All are welcome.
Registration: Kindly complete payment below or contact Rachel at [email protected] to register and discuss other payment options. Donations in any amount are graciously appreciated. In addition to online payment, you may send a check. Please register by email first and request mailing address. Thank you!
Suggested donation
If you are able to pay the full amount, you will help someone else participate. Thank you!
About the Facilitators
Kendra Arey is an artist, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner. In 2015, she started the local recovery group that is now known as Rockland Recovery Dharma. In 2018, Kendra traveled to Dharamshala, India to study Tibetan thangka painting at the Center for Living Buddhist Art. During this time Kendra completed a thangka painting of the Bodhisattva Manjushri and deepened her appreciation and understanding of sacred Buddhist art. Kendra completed her Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley University in 2021, and she worked as a school-based clinical intern with Sweetser. Kendra is also the Recovery in Maine Coordinator at Points North Institute, where she works to engage communities in conversations around Maine's opioid epidemic.
Cynthia Trone earned her Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Studies from Lesley University in 2017. Her work focuses on the connection of ancient wisdom to modern crises. In 2016, Cynthia travelled to Tibet to better understand the oppression and culture of Tibetan Buddhism, and in 2017, she attended the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra teachings in Bodhgaya, India. She coordinated the Sacred Art Tour’s visits to Maine in 2018 and 2019 and looks forward to welcoming the monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Mundgod, India back to midcoast Maine again in the future.
The Dancing Elephant is by donation so that everyone can participate. Donations in any amount are graciously appreciated.