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The Art of Facilitation: An Immersion Retreat in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

August 25, 2017 @ 10:00 am - August 31, 2017 @ 3:00 pm



  • Have you longed for mentoring and companionship around group facilitation?
  • Are you eager for the courage and capacity to contribute more effectively to cultural and organizational change as you facilitate?
  • Do you wish for more connection to your own power and ability to make a positive difference as a facilitator?
  • Do you want to dramatically increase your toolbox as a facilitator even in the context of power differences?
  • Would you like to learn how to regain flow and self-connection when you feel overwhelmed and under-resourced while facilitating?

If you have been inspired seeing Miki facilitate groups – at a training, when she used Convergent Facilitation to support your group in reaching a decision, or for any other group process – and you have wanted to understand fully what she does, so you can expand your range as facilitator, this is your retreat.

This is the first opportunity ever that Miki is creating to focus exclusively on everything related to facilitation. Instead of learning it only by watching, Miki plans to break everything down in learnable bits, creating the conditions for you to immerse yourself for a whole week in intensive learning and practicing designed to support you in gaining more mastery in the key tools and inner capacities that make deep, efficient, and transformative results likely in any group, whether within an organization, in a community, as part of your activism, or in a one-time gathering.

The retreat is designed primarily for people who are already facilitating groups – as trainers, activists, mediators, managers, consultants, and more. If you are not facilitating groups and you want to be, you are also welcome, knowing it’s likely to be a steep learning curve for you.

The plan for this retreat is to include the following:

  • Interactive demonstration and instruction of essential facilitation competencies such as:
    • Framing: naming what you see happening in a group in ways that help people settle and be present
    • Reflecting and reframing: capturing everything said in ways that uncover the Noncontroversial Essence in support of the person speaking and everyone else
    • Asking questions: inviting depth, reflection, and surfacing of what usually remains unsaid by continuously asking questions that go beyond the comfortable
    • Transparency: using your internal process as a tool for supporting groups in cohering and building trust
    • Interrupting: how to step into what’s happening with care and strength when you believe that someone’s speech no longer serves the group
    • Tracking: making facilitation decisions based on ongoing awareness of purpose, time, people, needs, and open loops
    • Willingness: supporting everyone in trusting that they matter and that everyone else matters, too, thereby expanding the field of willingness within the group
    • Navigating transitions: when aiming to shift focus, considering whether and how to involve individuals or the group as a whole in the process of deciding
    • Working across power differences: learning how to enhance collaboration and full participation by being aware of and then challenging implicit power dynamics
  • Opportunities for individual and group work to deepen inner resources, including:
    • “Absorbing” without reacting using Nonviolent Communication practices
    • Learning to rely on intuition and increase self-confidence
    • Overcoming fear and risking vulnerability and discomfort in yourself and others to bring as much truth as possible to the surface
  • Ongoing opportunities for practice, both with and without coaching
    • Specific scenarios from participants’ lives and practice
    • Using Convergent Facilitation in simulated settings
    • Navigating challenging moments
    • Setting up practice situations for any and all of the topics covered during the retreat
  • Co-creating the retreat by bringing situations, examples, and questions to explore


Info for guests/marketing
TuitionGift Economy –  Request for registrations by July 1st
Deposit in order to your secure spot(this amount will be the sum of your room choice and meal plan)
Single Room$495 – sold out
Double$275 – sold out
Triple/+$155 – sold out
Other (tent, etc.)$125
Commuter Rate$60
Food Options vary – see below

Lodging and Food

Room options – We will be staying at the Redwood Lodge and Orchard Lodge at the Ben Lomond Quaker Center.  You can see pictures of the accommodations here. We’ve sold out of private rooms at the retreat center, but there are a few hotel options within a 5-10 minute drive, the nearest and cheapest being Quality Inn & Suites Santa Cruz Mountains.

The prices above reflect arriving on August 24th (check-in at 5pm or later) and leaving on August 31st (we need to be cleared out by 3pm, you can leave earlier if you need to).

  • Each person needs to bring their own bedding (sleeping bags or a twin fitted and flat sheet) and pillow cases, towels, and toiletries. One pillow and one blanket per mattress are provided, as is hand soap and paper towels. For those who are unable to bring their own linens, a limited number sets are available for a $10.00 laundering fee. For additional items that guests would benefit from  bringing, see “What To Bring and What Not To Bring to Quaker Center”
  • For more information, click here.

Making a deposit – In order to secure your spot, please pay a deposit equal to the amount of your room and board.  For those choosing to commute, please choose “commuter rate”.

If you are unable to cover your room and board cost, please contact us.

Choosing Room and Meal Plan

Please see the chart above to choose your room option.

Choose from the following for determining your food payment:

  • Overnight guests – $255/person
    • Includes all meals (Dinner August 24th through lunch on August 31st)
  • Meals for commuter:
    • Breakfast, lunch, and dinners (starts: breakfast, August 25th, ends: lunch, August 31st) – $245
    • Only Lunches and Dinners (starts: lunch, August 25th – ends: dinner, August 30th) – $205
    • Only Dinners (starts: dinner August 25th – ends: dinner, August 30th) – $75

About the food – The food will be 95% organic and natural ingredients.  The other 5% is for random items that the chef prefers to use that he either can’t find organic or uses in small amounts. Our chef is able to accommodate omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets. The meat he will be using will be either organic or “natural” (no hormones). Most of the meat will be chicken and fish but he does, on occasion, serve beef, pork, lamb, seafood, etc. In addition to those main dietary categories, he always has plain food options available by request in the kitchen, e.g. plain chicken, tofu, eggs, nut butters, vegetables, salad, for every meal.

Breakfast service is always the same: toaster station, some type of egg dish, fresh fruit, yogurt, hot and cold cereal, coffee and tea. Lunch and dinner menus are organized according to the basic categories of carb, protein, veg, salad, drink. Dinner will also include some kind of dessert.

If you have any dietary restrictions above that go beyond what is specified above, please email Aimee.


Gift Economy – We will be experimenting with gift economy for this retreat, which means there is no set price for tuition.  There is still a baseline cost for room and board (see above).

If you are clear about what you want to contribute and you are able to give that amount now, please do so (pick both a lodging/meal plan ticket and the tuition ticket below in the registration section).  This is not a requirement, however.  There will be time at the retreat to explore what would be a meaningful contribution for you to make, or for you to adjust the amount you contributed if you did so ahead of time.

For transparency, Miki is hoping that this retreat brings in $25,000 to BayNVC (the income goes to the entire organization and the many projects they support, not Miki individually).  With this in mind, if we get 40 participants, that comes out to $625/person. We’re offering this information to support you in making an informed decision, based on your own financial reality and our hopes for the retreat. Because we are welcoming in particular activists who are likely to be challenged financially, we are also hoping many others will contribute more than the average.

A request to register by July 1st – Our hope is that as many participants will register by July 1st as possible.  The sooner we get registrations in, the less logistical work it is for us, as having a sense of the number of participants allows us to plan accordingly in terms of room arrangements, food purchasing, scholarship funds available, etc.  Because we are inviting in gift economy for this retreat, there is no official “early bird rate,” but rather a request to co-hold the awareness around logistics and timing.


Ben Lomond Quaker Center, near San Francisco

How to Register

Please fill out the online registration form and make a payment via paypal below. If you have any special needs financially or otherwise, please contact Aimee .
In order to make this retreat as accessible as possible:
  • We’re offering Bring-A-Friend Discounts:
    • Register with a Friend – you both get $20 off your room and board when you register – enter coupon code “plusfriend” at checkout
    • Recruit a Friend – $20 off your room and board for each additional friend you recruit (you keep track and we’ll reimburse you at the retreat)
  • We’re also offering Team Discounts – come with your company, community, or non-profit team to leverage the impact of this retreat and support the integration of these skills into your lives and projects! contact aimee@baynvc.com for more details or to register your team.

Purchase food and accommodation

Please note that there are no more rooms available! Staying in a tent or commuting are now the only options available for attending the retreat.



August 25, 2017 @ 10:00 am
August 31, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
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Ben Lomond Quaker Center
1000 Hubbard Gulch Road
Ben Lomond, CA 95005 United States
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