October 21, 2021 — October 24, 2021 St Margaret's Convent - Duxbury, Massachusetts
Wisdom & Money is convening a new Retreat Circle for people of wealth and/or people from a culture of wealth. We will have our first gathering at St Margaret’s Convent in Duxbury, MA. Our Circles are for those who desire to bring awareness to their relationship with money to participate in the transformation needed in our personal lives as well as in the world. Through regular in-person and virtual meetings, Circle members deepen their relationships and provide each other with meaningful mutual support over time. (We will also offer another retreat for those who would like to consider joining this New Circle; it will take place online February 10-13, 2022. More info TBA soon.) Read on for more info about this kickoff retreat, joining this new Wisdom & Money Circle, and how to register (note: registration deadline is October 6, 2021).
About Our Circles & Who They are For
Wisdom & Money believes that systemic transformation must be rooted in personal transformation, and that personal transformation thrives best within the bonds of intimate and enduring spiritual community. For this reason, we invite people of wealth and people from a culture of wealth who share a commitment to social justice to gather in ongoing Retreat Circles for brave and honest conversation.
By people of wealth, we mean people who see themselves as having more than they need. By people from a culture of wealth, we mean people from a wealthy family or community and/or people who work with wealth in their professional lives.
In our Retreat Circles we enter together into a transformative process framed by shared practices. These include contemplative spiritual practices (see below) that release a sense of inner spaciousness. We find that this allow us to make decisions about money that are guided by the light of life and that participate in the creation of justice and unity.
In our Circles we share reflections on topics related to money with a focus on our personal experience. We practice financial transparency, sharing details (including numbers) related to our financial lives as we are ready. Between retreats, we gather virtually each month for spiritual practice and check-ins.
Participants will commit to hold each other’s stories in confidence. In addition, we will be extravagant in our practice of compassion for ourselves and others in the understanding that a safe, supportive container of friends is often what we need to begin making changes.
How to Register
To register, click here to fill out our online registration form.
Note that our registration deadline is October 6, 2021.
Topics We May Explore
Below is a list of some topics we may choose to discuss in our conversations together. Before each session, we will engage a prescribed activity to help us prepare for the session. We may also wish to identify and attend to specific next steps that flow from our conversations.
Sharing Our Money Stories
Participants will respond to a series of questions about our history with money through journal writing and creativity. We will pay particular attention to our relationships with our families. These questions are designed to help us see more clearly influences that shaped our relationship with money and assumptions we are holding.
Financial Net Worth
Participants will create a document that summarizes our financial net worth which will include a summary of all of our assets and liabilities. In the process, we will pay close attention to our inner responses to gathering this information. We will also reflect on how we think about how much is enough.
Participants will prepare our monthly/annual budget to share with others. If we do not have one, we will track our expenses for a month and share what we have learned about what we spend money on during the course of a month. In the process, we will pay close attention to our inner responses to this activity.
Participants will pay attention to the choices we make during our daily lives related to where and how we live, where and how we shop, etc. for one month (building off the budget exercise), noticing choices that feel in alignment with our sense of joy and values and those that do not. There is no judgment here – the exercise is to help us come to greater awareness of where our financial choices are in alignment and where they are not, in a spirit of curiosity and compassion.
Participants will prepare a summary of all of our investments, including bank accounts, real estate, mutual funds, stocks, notes, etc. If we do not understand a particular investment, we will make an effort to learn what it is. We will review our list of investments, noticing which ones feel aligned with our values and which do not. We will also create a summary of the values/goals/intentions that guide (or that we hope will guide) our investment decision making.
Participants will create a list of the financial gifts we made during the past 12 months and create a summary of the goals/values/intentions that guide our gifting. We will also notice what factors go into our decision making re who to give to and how much.
Cross Class Relationships
Participants will choose one cross class relationship we are in and reflect on the role money/class plays in that relationship, with particular attention to what comes up in us in that relationship.
Race and Money
Participants will read one or two articles on the topic of reparations and reflect on where this topic intersects with our personal financial decisions. We will also consider how our experience of race intersects with our financial lives.
Planning for Our Elder Years
Participants will meet with our financial advisors to create a financial plan that takes into account our long-term/retirement needs.
Participants will review our current will/estate plan, noticing what feels up to date/in alignment and what needs work. We will also summarize the intentions/hopes that guide our estate planning decisions.
The Practices We Will Use in This Circle
Open Conversation About Money
We believe that engaging with money openly in spiritual community can lead to root level transformation at the personal, communal and systemic levels. The particular money practices we use are:
- Sharing of financial numbers in small circles
- Welcoming the emotions connected to financial transparency, knowing that emotions offer possibilities for transformation
- Honoring our own and one another’s clear yes’s and no’s
- Experimenting with moving money in alignment with the Holy Spirit
- Allowing gifts to flow within diverse partnerships by experimenting with ways to exchange gifts across conventional social boundaries.
Our two primary influences in learning about this path are Cynthia Bourgeault and the monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage. The wisdom practices we use include:
- Contemplative prayer
- Lectio divina
- Cultivating a balance of work and prayer
- Honoring the Sabbath
The Be Present Empowerment Model (BPEM) ™
We offer training in and we practice the BPEM because of its ability to open the heart, allowing us to see the spirit in each other outside the impact of our culture’s divisions. From there, we more easily can build equitable and sustainable partnerships. The realms of this model are:
- Know Yourself Outside the Distress of Oppression
- Listen to Others in a Conscious and Present State
- Build Effective Relationships and Sustain True Alliances
Creativity and Playfulness
We incorporate creativity and playfulness into our work as a way of listening beyond the rational mind. Forms we use include:
- Imaginative prayer
- Sacred Play
We make time to pay attention to and care for our body as a way of incorporating the wisdom that flows through the physical body. For instance, we make time for:
- Body Prayer
- Mindful eating
Connection to the Earth
We create opportunities to experience the sacrament of creation by hosting many of our retreats in beautiful natural settings and making time for participants to go for walks or experience the beauty of nature in other ways.
Engaging in Authentic Community
In addition to the practices named above, we also practice:
- Slowing down conversations to allow each person to find their voice and move from inner clarity. At times, we slow down conversations in order to open up places where our vision is blocked or our movement stuck and/or where we have lost the ability to hear each other clearly.
- Loving each other in the midst of and through transformative “messy” moments
This retreat will be facilitated by Rose Feerick and Steven Bonsey. Wisdom & Money staff members also sit in our circles as facilitator-participants. We come as people who are on a transformative journey with money, who are ourselves learning how to be in partnerships in ways that are authentic and healing, and who have gathered experience through the process of sitting in many of these circles. We offer that experience, sight, and wisdom to support the movement of each circle and the individuals within it. Wisdom & Money staff also offer logistical support to our circles and are available to support circle members in preparing for gatherings, working through issues that may emerge along the way that would benefit from additional conversation.
Lodging and Health & Safety Protocol
To read our evolving Covid safety protocol for in-person retreats, please visit this page.
In the interest of public safety in this time of pandemic, we are restricting registrations for this retreat to no more than seven retreatants plus staff. Wisdom & Money will offer at least one future opportunity (TBA) for interested persons to join the founding cohort of this New Circle.
St Margaret’s Convent will offer the serene setting of the New England seaside in fall. We aim as well to protect one another with a Covid protocol: Participants will need to show a negative Covid test taken in the 24 hours prior to arriving at the first session. We will lodge in single rooms and share a bath with just one other person. We will be masked for all indoor gatherings. Indoor meals will be taken in silence, both in honor of monastic practice and for the benefit of reduced exposure. The W&M staff will prepare meals within the guesthouse. We will not be interacting with any other groups at the retreat center for the duration of our stay.
Please note that our registration deadline is October 6, 2021.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this circle, please contact Rose at (408) 960-9139 or [email protected].
Note that we will also offer another retreat for those who would like to consider joining this New Circle; it will take place online February 10-13, 2022. More info to be posted on the website soon, but if you are interested, please email us to let us know.
If you're interested in attending this event, please sign up here and we'll be in touch with you.