Zen of Authenticity Transform yourself, your relationships, and the world Authentic Relating The Art of Being Human The Dome: Our Practice Space Originally conceived as an interfaith sanctuary, the 2,800 square foot Dome is a uniquely powerful space for this retreat and our authentic relating practice activities. Dining Hall CMZC's dining hall is where we will enjoy quality vegetarian meals. Alternatively, you can step out of the French doors and eat in the garden. Meditation Hall You will have the option to join the residential zen community for their morning meditation and chanting service. Garden and Lawn The front yard lawn surrounded by vegetable and flower gardens is an oasis in our high alpine desert climate. It's a great place to relax and socialize in the sun or in the shade of two old juniper trees. Many groups take their meals outside while enjoying expansive views of the valley.

Welcome to The ART of Being Human Level 1

Authentic Relating Training

Residential Retreat

July 29 – August 1, 2021

Crestone, Colorado

Zen of Authentic Relating

Authentic Relating is often likened to relational meditation. Please join this unique immersive retreat of relational meditation practices set in the beautiful, contemplative, Crestone Mountain Zen Center. You are invited to spend 4 days and 3 nights in this serene environment. This unique Level 1 course will be an immersive course hosted at the beautiful Crestone Mountain Zen Center on the slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Southern Colorado. We will guide you through a thoroughly tested and proven sequence of exercises designed to teach you the most powerful tools to create and deepen connection, with facilitated group conversation after each exercise to ensure maximum learning. We’ve constructed the exercises to ensure that the foundational skills of Authentic Relating are most efficiently and effectively absorbed by participants, no matter their level of prior experience or training.

The course begins with arrival on Thursday afternoon, July 29th, and concludes with a departure around noon on Sunday, August 1st.

Optional morning meditations in the Zendo will complement the relational and communication work that we do together throughout the day.   There are incredible nearby attractions if you decide to extend your trip.

Level 1 Course Description

ART International’s flagship Level 1 course has introduced the foundational tools and skills of this life-changing practice to thousands of people around the world. The course is designed to make the learning of authentic relating as accessible, adaptable, practical, and engaging as possible so that graduates can apply their new skills to their lives right away with immediate results.

We’ve designed this course to give you the experience of profound connection, intimacy, trust, and aliveness with anyone you want, anytime, anywhere – all within just a few days. The tools and skills we teach work across all social contexts, from the workplace to the living room, from strangers to partners, and everyone in between.

Keith will expertly guide you through a curriculum that strongly emphasizes embodied and experiential learning. This is not a lecture or seminar – it is a deep dive full-immersion training that will leave you enlivened, heart and mind-opened, and deeply connected to yourself and others.

We’ve delivered the same Level 1 Course to spiritual seekers in Bali, inmates in Colorado, executives in New York City, and people from all across the social, cultural, economic, and political spectrum, of all ages and nationalities, on four continents. Universally, participants report profound and lasting transformation in all aspects of their lives. The course speaks in the shared language of human connection and is designed specifically to include everyone in the practice of Authentic Relating, no matter what path they’ve traveled in life.

We believe that we all have the capacity to be bridges – between parts of ourselves, ourselves with others, and together with the world. The course’s mission is to build bridges, and use our bridges to heal, connect, and co-create a more enlivened, awakened world – together.

You Will Leave This Course With:

Keith and his co-facilitators will guide you through tested and proven sequences of exercises designed to teach you the most powerful tools to create and deepen connection, with facilitated group conversation after each exercise to ensure maximum learning. We’ve constructed the exercises to ensure that the foundational skills of Authentic Relating are most efficiently and effectively absorbed by participants, no matter their level of prior experience or training.

  • The ability to engage in deep, meaningful, soulful conversations with anyone, anytime, anywhere
  • A powerful language and skill-set to accurately and transparently express your authentic experience in real-time, and to invite others to do the same
  • The awareness to identify your true, core desires, and the ability to articulate them to others
  • A profound understanding of the dignity of speaking your authentic voice, and the humility of using your eyes and ears to pay attention to – and learn from – the world around you
  • The ability to see and reflect the essential being in others, and to gently guide them into a space in which they can be fully, wholly themselves – one of the greatest gifts we can offer each other
  • A complete set of powerful tools to de-escalate conflict and to use conflict as a vehicle leading to deeper connection, understanding, and empathy
  • A restored connection to childlike genuine curiosity, and a perspective that regards the world with awe and wonder
  • The ability to set powerful context at both the personal and collective levels, and a clear understanding of how influential context is in informing our experience of life
  • An experience of profoundly vulnerable, intimate, beautiful connections with other participants that will leave you inspired, delighted, and heart-opened


The retreat begins with an arrival dinner at 6 PM on Thursday, July 29th, and concludes around noon on Sunday, August 1st.

The monastery runs on a strict schedule, therefore our meal times each day are fixed at 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 6 pm.

Our daily program will begin at 10 AM, and we will end each evening between 8 and 9 pm. Optional Zen Meditation is available in the mornings.

Day 1: Thursday, July 29

  • Arrival 2-4 PM
  • What is Authentic Relating?
  • <Optional> Introduction to Zazen (seated meditation)



Day 2: Friday, July 30th

  • The Five Authentic Relating Practices
  • The Three Levels of Conversation
  • The Foundation of Connection
  • Empathy and Authentic Listening
  • The Power of Setting Context
  • Dignity and Humility, Posture and Collapse
  • Be the Guru

Day 3: Saturday, July 31st

  • The Role of the Witness
  • Undamning the World
  • Genuine Curiosity
  • Transforming Conflict
  • Discomfort as a Spiritual Practice
  • Relational Aikido
  • The Withhold Process

Day 4: Sunday, Aug 1

  • Integration and Appreciation
  • Bag Lunch & Departure ( ~noon)



  • Crestone, Colorado  – July 29 – Aug 1
  • Course Leader: Keith McGuinnes
  • Assistant Course Leader: TBD
  • Location: Crestone Mountain Zen Center, location linked here
    • Times: Thursday Arrival at 2-5pm, Fri/Sat 8:30AM-8:00PM, Sun Departure at noon
  • Accommodation and meals:  Please note that this is a residential Level 1, and additional accommodation and meal plans must be purchased in addition to the course fee. The resort fees range from $300 for meals only to $700 for a single space. This is in addition to the $345 course fee paid through ART International. Please read carefully before registering.
  • There is a 10% Early Bird Discount on accommodations offered for registrations and payments through Venmo prior to July 15th!

Steps to Register for the Zen of Authentic Relating:

  1. Choose and Pay for the accommodation of your choice here
  2. Register with ART International ($345).  You need to scroll down towards the bottom of the page where you can register for the Live Courses (select Crestone, CO in the dropdown).

Questions? Please contact course leader and retreat organizer Keith (kmcguinnes@gmail.com)

5 % of course profits are donated to Realness Project (RP), ART International’s sister organization, and 501(c)3 nonprofit, bringing authentic relating training to jails, prisons, and schools. ​