Seven Circles Application/Waitlist

Note about Application Process & Waitlist

This application is for white folx. We ask you to apply to this workshop instead of having access to automatic registration as we would like to prioritize space for BIPOC.  

We are used to asking BIPOC to do their healing in white majority spaces and it is our intention to adjust this pattern to prioritize space for them in our workshop, recognizing and honoring the difference in experiences that are possible in a majority BIPOC space.


Interdependence Day Music As Medicine and Work That Reconnects Retreat

Join us July 1-4 to reconnect to each other, to our world, and sing ourselves towards freedom and healing this INTERDEPENDENCE DAY weekend!

You are invited to a 4-day retreat of deep nourishment through community singing and Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects.” Let us gather to remember our radical interconnectedness with all of life.  As we come back together from a pandemic that demanded from us either prolonged isolation or front-line engagement, we at School for The Great Turning invite you to rest and recover, and to deepen in our resiliency. In doing this, we give ourselves and our communities a precious gift – the capacity to be fully present to each other and our world, to share the load together.

Guided by Work that Reconnects facilitators and song carriers Lydia Violet Harutoonian, Jen Myzel, and assisted by Kele Nitoto, we will travel through the spiral of the Work that Reconnects – from Gratitude, to Honoring our Pain, to Perceiving in New and Ancient Ways, and Going Forth, in order to reinvigorate our energy for life at this pivotal moment. We will sing songs to move through our heartbreak, uplift our prayers, and celebrate The Great Turning.

The Work That Reconnects (WTR) is a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by beloved elder Joanna Macy, inspired by her scholarship in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism as well as 50+ years of international activism. Practiced internationally, this work has helped thousands of people to engage in The Great Turning, reinvigorating our capacity for action and resilience.

Hearts opened by grief and celebration want to sing out loud – together. Singing as a circle of comrades is one of the most healthful, uplifting, and nourishing things that we can do. Together we will create space for the tending of our roots and wounds through song, giving ourselves permission to make music. This workshop is open to music-makers and music lovers of all levels.

This retreat seeks to offer a balance of connection as a group and reflection in the quietude and stillness of nature. The Seven Circles Retreat Center is located in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA which is home to the world’s largest and oldest living trees.  Seven Circles is committed to providing a space where people from a diversity of communities can gather for renewal and spiritual growth.


There will be three nourishing meals per day, inspired by cuisines from around the world. Please visit the website for an example of the menu provided by Seven Circles.


There are 37 guest beds in shared rooms with up to five people. Camping is possible but limited and doesn’t change the cost, and there aren’t facilities like showers or toilets just for campers and you have to bring your own gear.  If you camp, showering will be negotiated with fellow participants to share their showers with folks who are camping, and toilets are in the common lodge. If you are in a room, linens, blankets, pillows, and mattress are provided. We will send out a survey closer to the retreat date to organize bed space.


About your facilitators

Lydia Violet Farshid-Harutoonian, M.A., has studied dedicatedly with deep ecology elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy for the past 13 years, learning how we can metabolize planetary despair, anxiety, and community traumas into energy for resilience, action, and community healing. She runs The School for The Great Turning creates access to an education that will empower humanity's life-sustaining legacy.
Lydia is also an Iranian-Armenian-American multi-instrumentalist weaving together Southern blues, American roots, and Iranian folk music traditions. With her live band she combines fiddle, banjo, and luscious harmonies to offer a soul-folk revival experience. In the past year she has collaborated with world-renowned artists Climbing PoeTree, Rising Appalachia, and Lyla June. ♬ ♬


Jen Myzel is a facilitator of the Work that Reconnects, song catcher, educator, activist and children’s book author. Jen’s three musical albums and children’s book ‘Yellow Lotus Flower’ are inspired by her nine years of study with Joanna Macy, founder of the Work that Reconnects. Jen aims to inspire compassionate action on behalf of all life through her songs, stories and facilitation.

In addition to her work with School for the Great Turning, Jen is deeply engaged in creating community and change through her spiritual lineage of Judaism and she facilitates for Wilderness Torah and Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. Jen lives in a land-based community in the occupied Miwok and Southern Pomo territory of Occidental, CA with her husband, one year old son, and six other humans aspiring to be more graceful stewards of this beautiful Earth.


Kele Nitoto is a second generation African-American percussionist and singer. Born and raised in the Oakland Dance Culture, Kele Has studied with Masters of many styles, becoming proficient in West-African, Congolese, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, and Afro-Haitian traditional musics. Over the last 25 years, Kele has performed throughout the country in dance companies, bands, and teaching workshops and classes, summer camps, spiritual and workplace retreats, and for countless ceremonies and celebrations.
Playing with such artists as Lydia Violet and the Thrive Choir, Kele has performed and recorded with the likes of MaMuse, Climbing Poetree, Rising Appalachia, Melanie DeMore, and Esperanza Spaulding. He is currently spearheading Oakland Hand Drums, an organization focused on rhythmic education and performance through a cultural and creative lens.


COVID Policy

Vaccination or negative PCR covid test within 72 hours if unvaxed, and everyone is rapid tested upon arrival and must test negative.


$800 Standard + Contribution to Scholarship Fund
$675 Standard Price
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