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Well, bummer. It's official. The CAA "Menlo Retreat" is on sabbatical for 2012. The hope is it will return, in some new form, in 2013.
I'm disappointed to not be going next summer. I was really looking forward to seeing everyone, and doing nothing but training for a whole week. My dorm things are still/already packed from last summer.
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience it at least that one time, to have met so many really wonderful people and participated in a warm, inclusive Aikido tradition.
I'm looking forward to 2013, and to helping create the event, in whatever way I can help. For now, we can all stay in touch and post photos and stories about past Retreats, share ideas and info about the future, and keep the soul of the event alive. If you are on Facebook, there's the Aiki Summer Retreat Fans page you can "Like" to stay in touch. And check the fan website: www.aikiretreat.com from time to time.
Please share the links with your friends from time to time, so they can be in the loop about the new 2013+ Retreat. Invite them to go, when details emerge about it. If 2013 is going to be the beginning of a new and successful event, we're going to have to support it.
Meanwhile, take the week of vacation time and the money you were planning on spending to go to the Retreat, and find another Aikido event to enjoy and support. Start with those at your own dojo, of course, and pick any other event(s) you think might be worthwhile. Go, and bring some friends along with you. It's our participation (and volunteering to help out, where possible) that keeps them happening.
I know so far that I'm going to the San Diego Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar (my 3rd year) in San Diego in January. At the end of March I'll be doing the Evolutionary Aikido Seminar at Aikido of San Diego, with Patrick Cassidy Sensei and Dave Goldberg Sensei. For a summer "away" seminar or retreat I have about 8-10 options so far, but haven't made up my mind. In any case, I hope to see you on the mat soon, and at the Retreat in 2013!