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Mindful : October 2017
The newcomer on the landscape of mindfulness-based destinations is 1440 Multiversity, which opened its doors this past Memorial Day week- end. Founder Scott Kriens looks to great teachers like Jack Kornfield and his Spirit Rock as forebears: “We are standing on the shoulders of those people and their work.” One need look no farther than straight up—up at the towering and ancient redwood trees that stud the campus—to absorb the lessons of heritage. Like Dana Bass Solomon of Holly- hock, Kriens prefers using the words “learning destination” or “immersion” to “retreat.” But unlike Hollyhock, which can require a car, three ferry rides, some island hopping, and a full day to reach, the multiversity is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Silicon Valley. A 75-acre wooded site formerly occupied by a Bible college, the multiversity’s campus has been care- fully and comprehensively designed to create for the visitor a feeling of ease and seamlessness, both social and physical. The slate surface of the refurbished—and now nondenomina- tional—chapel stage flows into the patio outside, separated only by a glass door. So, too, are people encouraged to flow from conversation to conversa- tion, developing “teachable skills for better living.” One image that Kriens and his team nurtured during the years of planning for the center is that of a corporate executive, likely lodged in one of the suites, and a col- lege student, perhaps occupying one of the outdoor sleeping pods, finding themselves side-by-side during the same evening session and striking up a conversation. It is, Kriens says, “a scenario we hope to curate.” In that sense, 1440 Multiversity offers a campus that is as conducive to contemplation and deep silence as it is to widening circles of relation- ship. With 11 classrooms, six or seven simultaneously running classes, and plans for an 800-seat auditorium, 1440 Multiversity offers itself as an upscale but relaxed hub of learning and connectivity. “Life is about relationships,” Kriens says. “The work of 1440 Multiversity is to create avenues of learning—to encourage richer, deeper, more connected relationships. To do that requires one to pause and become present, right where you are.” ● Founded 2017 What’s Offered Programs are typically 2 to 7 days long, though it varies Accommodations Double and single rooms and “Pods”—modern, Asian-style shared sleeping spaces with 8 twin beds Program Calendar Year-round Fun Fact 1440 has an outdoor amphi- theater situated between two stands of redwood trees and just above a creek. On one side are a few redwoods between 600 and 700 years old. On the other side is a red- wood that the staff calls the “mother tree”: 14 feet across and 300 feet tall. “Our guess is it’s about 1,200 years old,” Scott Kriens says. PHOTOGRAPHSCOURTESYOF1440MULTIVERSITY Scotts Valley, California 1440.org 1440 Multiversity AT A GLANCE October 2017 mindful 51