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Paha Sapa (Black Hills)


Our next program will be 05 - 14 August.

Apply Now > For Accepted Participants >

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Paha Sapa (Black Hills)


Our next program will be 05 - 14 August.

Apply Now > For Accepted Participants >

Overview

The Satyagraha Institute promotes the uplift of all beings by cultivating leadership in the pursuit of truth and nonviolence. We work to promote the understanding and practice of satyagraha as a way of life and a method for social change.

We believe that today all life on earth is threatened. The dominance of a civilization with a destructive relationship with the earth has brought us to the edge of ecological catastrophe in a few short decades. As our climate continues to show signs of dramatic change, exploitative interests continue to dredge as much profit from the earth as possible, poisoning it in the process. The resulting disputes over land and natural resources is causing violence against and among human communities.

There are alternative models of life than those rooted in this materialistic and exploitative contemporary paradigm. These alternative models can be seen in the traditional world views of indigenous peoples and in the worldview of those rooted in an understanding of nonviolence, like Mahatma Gandhi. Here relationships and respect for all life and the earth are paramount. In his ideas and ideals, Gandhi, contributes a way of life that draws on the best of ancient practices and values, and challenges us to implement them in our present context.

Therefore:

  • Given the continuing threats to the very bases of human life: land, water, air, plant and animal species
  • Given the violence directed toward indigenous communities, struggling to reclaim and retain their lives and livelihoods, identities, languages, and world views
  • Given the location of the Satyagraha Institute program in the Paha Sapa (Black Hills), sacred lands to Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people
  • Given our conviction that only nonviolent change will bring healing for the earth and its beings
  • Given our commitment to training leaders in Gandhian nonviolence

We commit to bringing together in our 2018 Black Hills program, those who are able to share world views that can contribute to our vision for the future, and help us to effectively oppose those forces of violence and destruction desecrating the earth and its peoples.

We welcome applications from all those interested in deepening their own understandings and commitments.

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Participants


Our intention is to gather a fertile international mix, of approximately twenty participants, that reflects some of the great diversity of the human family.

Participants


Our intention is to gather a fertile international mix, of approximately twenty participants, that reflects some of the great diversity of the human family.

The summer institute is designed for:

• Leaders of groups, organizations, movements, or communities
• Promising young people who are likely to be future leaders
• Individuals who are active in their communities on the front lines of social change
• Individuals with wisdom to share from the academy, the field, and the indigenous traditions: experienced guides for exploring the terrain of satyagraha

Resident faculty and visiting resource people provide guidance for the program. The expectation is that all participants will share their perspectives and learn from the wisdom of others.

Our intention is to gather a fertile international mix, of approximately twenty participants, that reflects some of the great diversity of the human family.

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Program


The theme of the summer institute is learning how to create social change using the principles and tools of satyagraha. The learning experience will be rooted in four areas: a course of study, the arts, community life, and the inner life.

Program


The theme of the summer institute is learning how to create social change using the principles and tools of satyagraha. The learning experience will be rooted in four areas: a course of study, the arts, community life, and the inner life.

Course of Study 

The centerpiece of the summer program is a course of study focusing on the theory and practice of satyagraha. This course presents Gandhi’s experience as a starting point for a much broader discussion. The roots of satyagraha will also be explored in other spiritual and cultural traditions like indigenous spirituality, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker movement.

Several resident faculty and a variety of visiting resource people will guide our exploration of the following core topics. For each tradition, we will explore theory, personal lives and practices, satyagraha in action, successes, failures, and lessons learned. The format includes instructor presentations and group discussion.

• Satyagraha as a method of social change
• Nonviolence in the tradition of Mohandas Gandhi
• Nonviolence in traditions of indigenous spirituality and culture
• Nonviolence in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement
• Nonviolence in the tradition of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement
• Nonviolence in traditions of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and secular pacifism
• Conflict resolution theory
• Tools for conflict prevention
• Tools for conflict resolution / Working with individuals
• Tools for conflict resolution / Working with groups

 

THE ARTS

The summer institute will explore, in theory and in practice, how the arts interact with satyagraha in the work of social change. Artists have the power to help us reconsider how we might interpret challenges, approach conflicts, and engage uncertainties. The arts can help us shift perspective and see new options. The arts can inspire bold action. These are all dynamics that can support the work of social change.

 

COMMUNITY LIFE

An important goal of the summer institute is to strengthen the community of practitioners, teachers, and future leaders who are committed to experimenting with satyagraha. We expect that important relationships will develop in the course of our living and studying together.

Additionally, the program emphasizes two aspects of community life that are integral to the work of satyagraha. First, all participants will share in bread labor, simple manual labor to support the basic needs of the community.

Second, sustainability will be an ongoing reference point during our time together. As we work for social change, we will regularly assess the long-term impact of our daily living practices.

 

THE INNER LIFE

The practice of satyagraha requires attention to the inner life. As Gandhi, King, and many others have demonstrated in their words and actions, the practitioner must commit to investigating, challenging, and training his or her heart. The summer institute will encourage attention to the inner life in several ways:

• The course of study will include exploration of how different spiritual traditions provide foundations for nonviolence.
• The daily schedule will include ample time for rest, personal reflection, and individual spiritual practice.
• There will be regular opportunities for group meditation, as well as instruction on training the mind to be more at ease and attentive.
• The daily schedule will include a time for discussion of various topics related to the inner life (such as developing our ability to offer patience to difficult people, monitoring our intentions, and preparing ourselves to enter difficult situations).

 

TYPICAL DAY

The daily schedule of the summer institute will vary depending on the particular needs and opportunities of the day. A typical day will include a morning and afternoon seminar and an evening guest or activity. Each day will also have times for meditation/yoga, bread labor, and relaxation. Occasionally, we will have field visits with opportunities to learn from people, places, and projects related to our theme.

 

Location


The 2018 program will be based at Placerville Camp, a retreat center in the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) of South Dakota.

Location


The 2018 program will be based at Placerville Camp, a retreat center in the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) of South Dakota.

The summer institute is typically be held at a retreat center offering some distance from urban distractions and amenities. The 2018 program will be based at Placerville Camp, a retreat center in the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) of South Dakota. Participants arriving by plane will fly in and out of Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP).

Accommodations are simple. For lodging, participants can expect that they will have a bed indoors, that there will be several people per room, and that there will be shared bathrooms. Camping may be an option for those who are interested. For meals, participants can expect a simple and healthy menu of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and proteins. Meats will be served occasionally and a vegetarian option will always be available. Learning will not be limited to classroom settings. Some sessions will be held outdoors and some off-site.

 

Dates & Fees


Dates & Fees


5 - 14 AUGUST 2018

TOTAL COST: $500

The fee includes meals, lodging, and program. It also includes pickup/dropoff at the Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) or downtown Rapid City. This fee does not include your travel to and from the Rapid City area.

Please contact us to learn about fundraising ideas and finding financial support in your community.

In order to keep the fee affordable, we have set it much lower than what is necessary to cover costs. If you would like to support this project, feel free to make a contribution.