Category Archives: Sessions

Meditation for Balance and Relaxation

Vic DivechaIn this session, you will learn how to meditate daily and on an as-needed basis. You will also learn about free local and online resources to build a practice of daily meditation.  Participants will learn to become their own master, how to meditate at home, and know where to look for resources and guidance for their personal meditation practice.

Vic Divecha – Michigan Meditation Meetup

vic divechaVic has been facilitating a communities of meditators in Ann Arbor, Detroit subburbs and Windsor, ON for the past 10 years. Signing up on Michigan Meditation Meetup is a great way to stay in touch. The meetup features activites which are always free to learners. Retreats, meditation courses and seminars are conducted to teach self-sustaining meditation practices.  Vic has partnered with local meditators to author 7 meditation CDs, which are made available at no cost to participants as mp3 downloads or online listening, as a part of his meditation courses.


Sahaja Meditation

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Bicycle Repair

prof coolStop by this casual drop-in session to learn basic bike maintenance procedures that can be performed by a home mechanic.  Bring your bike in to get it ready early this year or make it through the remainder of winter!  Randy Veilkan and Ben Hogan will show you basic maintenance skills like:

  • Tuning in shifters
  • Adjusting brakes
  • Adjusting/lubricating bearings
  • Straightening wheels
  • Fixing flat tires
  • Adjusting seat and handlebar position
  • Anything else we have tools/time for

If they can’t show you how to fix it during the session due to repair parts being needed, they can at least point you in the right direction and show you how to perform the repair later.  Cables and housing will be available for purchase.  If you need any other replacement parts, please bring them to the session.

Randy Velikan

Randy is a mechanical engineer who enjoys tinkering, bicycles, old cars, and other gadgets.

Ben Hogan

“My name is Ben Hogan. I have three years of bicycle mechanic experience under my belt. Basic bicycle maintenance is something that was taught to me, and I want to teach you how to solve some of the simple issues that might arise with your machine. I believe that every bicycle owner requires at least some knowledge of the workings of their own bicycle, and I am confident that I can make that happen.”

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MI Passive House Update & DIY GFRC Pots

This session will fill you in on the progress made on the superinsulated earth-sheltered Passive House (seen in Re-skilling 2012), followed by the opportunity to make a small molded pot of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete to keep. This material is strong in tension, compression, and bending so it makes great structural insulated panels when applied in thin layers to both sides of styrofoam walls or floors. The R60 insulation without thermal bridging is already making the basement level warm, though the house doesn’t have a heating system yet, and the roof and windows are still plastic tarps.

Each participant will have the chance to make a small molded pot of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete to take home. This material can be mixed in a 5 gallon bucket and applied to molds or to styrofoam shapes or masonry walls with hand tools to make extra strong things with just thin layers of the fiberous concrete. Christina Snyder, the owner-builder-architect, will share lessons learned, including recipes, sources of ingredients, and ideas for using the materials for remodeling as well as new construction.

Note this session has a materials fee of $2 per pot. Includes all the ingredients in glass-fiber reinforced concrete (some only available in wholesale quantities, not in stores), the plastic mold, mold release coating, and materials for making personalized decorations, and handouts for the recipe and sources of tools and materials.

Christina Snyder – Equilibrium Energy Spaces

christinaPointingChristina is an architect, builder, adjunct professor, and Michigan’s first Certified Passive House Consultant ( She specializes in sustainable construction, whether residential or commercial, new or retrofit, modern or natural building materials, and especially in ultra energy & water efficient designs that either incorporate renewable energy or are “renewable ready”, including Zero Energy Homes. You can preview some of the photos in the presentation at the website for her Passive House:


2012 Passive House Update


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Salad, Song, and Storage

food preservationThis hour of food fun for the senses will be presented by the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, and will include song, taste, and knowledge-sharing oriented towards food storage and simple toppings.  Participants in this session will:

  1. Learn how to preserve food in the winter such as squash and root vegetables
  2. Sing food-related song rounds
  3. Learn how to make a simple dressing with an infinite number of options for flavor changes

Anne Elder (and friends) – Community Farm of Ann Arbor

Annie ElderAnne Elder is a co-founder of Community Farm of Ann Arbor, now in its 25 year. With Paul Bantle and help from many members, the Community Farm of Ann Arbor grows produce for 180 families.


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Singing in Circle

Ercole de' Roberti: Concert, c. 1490 Singing two-part, three-part, or four-part rounds is great fun for adults and kids. We’ll sing rounds, both familiar and obscure, silly and profound, for all experience levels. Participants will practice vocal independence (holding a part when others are singing something different).

Jeanne Mackey

JeanneMackey60aJeanne Mackey, MSW, is a lifelong musician, community-builder, and change-maker. She was on the organizing team of the first ReSkilling Festival in 2009 and has taken part in every festival since then.  Jeanne is also leading the session The Work that Reconnects: Practices of Joanna Macy.


Rounds List 2013

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Funding Community Projects Through the Crowd

Crowdfunding – what is it and how can your business or community group use it? This workshop includes an overview of how crowdfunding has been used over the last few years and how that will change based on the passage of the JOBS Act in April 2012 which will now allow businesses to solicit investments from the community over the internet. If you have a community group or a small business venture that needs initial seed funding, this workshop will be of great value to you.

Participants will walk away with a best practices handout that will help them run successful crowdfunding campaigns. Through an understanding of how they can raise small amounts of capital through the ‘crowd’, they’ll have the opportunity to fund the community learning and skill sharing projects that are of high value to us all.

Angela Barbash – Reconsider

angela barbashAngela has spent the last 10 years as a financial advisor working in the traditional industry serving individual client needs. In response to what she and her colleagues saw as a deeply flawed financial services system ill-suited for the 21st Century ‘New Economy’, Reconsider was founded in December 2011 and has committed to nurturing cultural transformation for sustainable prosperity. She and those involved in the firm are dedicated to providing financial consulting services that deepen connections among clients, their community, and their resources. Reconsider currently incubates at Spark East in Downtown Ypsilanti.

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darning sock

Darning is a sewing technique used to fix holes in fabric or knitting. Once you know how to darn you can keep all those smartwool socks much longer.  Stop by this drop-in session and Molly McMullen-Laird will show you how to get started on repairing woolens that need a few stitches to keep them in working order. Please bring a piece to work on plus some pieces of yarn to match, a needle with a large eye and a hard surface like a jar or water bottle or a real darning egg if you have one! She’ll teach you the very basics of darning as she learned it from her mother. As a participant you will take your garment home with the repair already started to finish it on your own and then go on to mend everything in your house!

Molly McMullen-Laird – Community Supported Anthroposophical Medicine

Molly-McMullen-Laird-MD“I am an anthroposophical physician, I work with needles a lot, and one of my hobbies is recycling and doing simple things to reduce my use of resources. I like to fix things also. Darning is an easy thing that everyone can use so if you don’t know how, then stop by and I will teach you. It is simple.”

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