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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Potential for Personal Transformation : Vermont Retreat Center Fosters Deep Learning

Jun 08, 2017 05:13PM ● By Gina McCaffrey

"Successful personal transformation workshops depend on who presents them! We choose persons who contribute to our culture through the uniqueness of their persona, their artistry and contributions, their productivity and attitudes, their generosity and humanity, and especially their unconditional love for people in general; they are the forces that change our lives,” says professor A.H. Stone of The Learning Collaborative (TLC). “And, as we all learned in college, it’s best to select professors, not courses…if you want inspiration as well as learning.”

This insight has led to a new opportunity for personal transformation. During the past 30 years, TLC, based in both Milford, Connecticut, and Benson, Vermont, has offered workshops in health and healing, integrated with the humanism of aesthetics and the arts. TLC is dedicated to promoting the spirit of learning, and opportunities for personal transformation through its workshops, special programs and vibrant learning landscapes. They feature experiences based on interactions with unique personalities who pursue innovative approaches in their field of expertise and who bring new enthusiasm to self-discovery. These individuals share authentic feelings and their own acts of personal change; each provides a special entry point for undertaking interest in new subject matter that arises from intensity, intuition, insight, persistence and good will.

Historically, these workshops might have been found in Syracusa, the ancient Greek city known as the mecca for cultural development. Each workshop is steeped in the values inherent in shared learning, with presenters coming from humble, authentic spaces. Together, these thinkers reflect an understanding of living as experience being the authentic driver of life. Interactions with them provide both a renewed impetus for daily learning and an accelerated opportunity for enquiry, discovery and transformation.

Now the workshops are available at the new Center for Eco-Agriculture, Aesthetics, and Human Development at Stone Spirit Farm in Benson, Vermont, where visitors may experience deep learning on 500 acres of beautiful fields and forests. The center creates opportunities for spirit-based learning to enable understandings, insights and artistry to emerge in daily practice. The workshops have meaning to learners through authentic personas offering interactions that express valued goals, are content-rich, and promise new and synchronous visions. The workshops are steeped in a unique persona, and are rich in mentor-based perspectives for unique ways of being. The intent is to offer authentic, transparent and functional learning experiences that align with each participant’s desired development, the creation of meaning, and the evolution of one’s own persona.

Built on 50 years of personal transformation program designs, the experiences ground cultural development, social sustainability, environmental common sense, and the improvement of life quality. Participants fashion their personal meaning, discover reliable pathways and behaviors for change, and re-establish viable life standards. Small-group dialogues engage participants in clarifying their goals and organizing approaches to transformation. By considering disparate ideas of others who live their truth by learning in community, new and powerful language is created that is useful in understanding self, re-framing thinking and establishing new courses of action. By reframing internal language, with outside guidance, participants test their ideas shared in safe environments. Engagement in a community of generosity and spirit helps to generate insights within a framework congruent with one’s own transformation. Sharing intuitions and heart-felt emotions in a community of free spirit promotes constructive assessment of ideas, new levels of creativity, and multiple ways of expressing ideas and insights. Developing confidence through positive dialogue also establishes trust in one’s own ideas.

Perhaps most important is the change in consciousness that may be experienced in these workshops. Becoming aware of what you want, and how to achieve it, leads to establishing the new patterns and behaviors that you seek. In addition, tools are available that enable you to sustain these patterns for lifelong improvements that you chart in accord with your own values.

The opportunity for personal growth and transformation with authentic personas and genuine learners facilitates authentic, efficient, sincere and humane learning experiences. The center offers these workshops on a recurring basis, next sessions beginning in the summer of 2017.

For the schedule of workshops, more information and registration, visit or See ad, page 3.