Karuna means compassion in action. karuna changes the way we perceive and respond. Karuna creates space. Within the space, suffering becomes an opportunity to cultivate resilience and purpose. For people living with a psychiatric diagnosis, Karuna becomes hope. The Karuna Conference is designed for people seeking to learn new approaches for exploring the human experience. It is a space of personal transformation and possibilities.
April 20-21, 2023 | 9-4pm | Sheraton in Rocky Hill, Connecticut
This is a free 2-day conference hosted by Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.
We are returning to our roots as we explore voices, visions, and unique beliefs, and elevate the experiences of people who will describe pathways outside of the medical paradigm.
1) Critically explore the dominant narrative of "mental illness" held up by our society,
including psychiatric oppression.
2) Explore alternative narratives that are central to the work of offering effective, and
holistic, resources to support a person in their experience navigating voices, visions,
and unique beliefs.
3) Co-create a shared understanding to guide our collective approach to offering
education, advocacy, and support in the areas of voices, visions, and unique beliefs
associated with mental health, addiction, and trauma.
Registration, and a commitment to attend the full 2-days, is required. Full participation is required because we are co-creating an experience, together. Based on our experience in this work, the depth of conversation and connection is described as personally transformative, with practical application. This may be the first time negotiating thoughts and beliefs related to accepting voices, visions, and altered states of consciousness as having potential beyond the psychiatric narrative. We hold this space sacred and it is our intention to honor the collective care of the group.
12 credits through the NASW-CT, CCB, and RSS are available to those who attend the full conference in person.
For those who are interested in attending in person, please note that we have a registration limit of 150 people. We will provide complimentary breakfast and lunch. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend breakouts and sign up for a Toivo Healing Arts Session, including chair massage, reiki, and acupuncture.
You can register separately for the Zoom Livestream of the Keynote Presentations by going HERE
“The Karuna Conference was an excellent experience. One that is helping to bring effective healing modalities to the forefront of our consciousness to help those who truly need it!”
Kahseim Outlaw, Karuna Conference 2018 & 2023 Keynote
Instructor at The Graduate Institute and High School Wellness Educator.
EXPERIENCE INDIVIDUAL HEALING ARTS
Relax, rebalance, and rejuvenate through complimentary reiki, chair massage, and acupuncture in the Toivo Healing Arts Space available both days to attendees.
Reiki is an energy healing modality that utilizes gentle touch to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body to restore physical and emotional wellbeing.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective technique for balancing the flow of energy through stimulating specific points throughout the body using thin needles inserted through the skin.
Chair Massage is a brief massage focused on the back, shoulders, and neck. Chair massage is done over clothes and is an effective approach to relieving muscle tension.
Please check in at the Toivo Healing Arts table to book your session at the beginning of each day.
9:00am | Welcome & Introduction
9:30am | Collective Care
9:45am | Opening Keynote
11:00am | Breakouts
12:00pm | Lunch
12:30pm | Welcome Back
12:45pm | Afternoon Keynote
1:30pm | Afternoon Breakouts
2:45pm | Group Integration
3:30pm | Closing Collective Care
Voices, Visions, states of consciousness
The Experience af Voice Hearing
Experiential Context Training
The Values of the Hearing Voices Movement
Alternatives to Suicide Support Group - an Alternative to What?
CT Hearing Voices Network - Support Groups for Voice Hearers
Emotional Freedom Technique
Breathwork for Recovery
"What an opportunity for growth, awareness and support. No matter who you are or where you are coming from, you will be welcome and you will LEARN! Absolutely Wonderful. I think every MH professional and every person going through a difficult time or who has had a difficult journey will gain knowledge and be able to grow through this. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Annonymous - 2021 Online Karuna Conference
“My heart is full after today's Karuna conference. The organizers did a great job creating a welcoming space that honored human connection."
Caroline Mazel-Carlton, Karuna Conference 2017.
Hearing Voices USA Board of Directors and Director of Training of the Wildflower Alliance.
Compassion in Action
The Karunā Conference
Karunā is a Sanskrit word that translates to compassion. Sanskrit is the ancient language of India. Although it is no longer a commonly spoken language, many languages are rooted in Sanskrit.
Karunā is one of the four immeasurable virtues in Buddhism - along with loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity. In Sanskrit, these virtues are called the brahmavihārās, and they are intentionally contemplated during meditation to cultivate an enlightened state of mind.
Compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity is present within each of us. Cultivating these virtues and shifting our internal experience to embody them takes time and focus.
However, we know it is possible. We are living proof. Won’t you join us as we put Karunā into action, together?
Advocacy Unlimited is a Connecticut nonprofit that provides holistic, peer-led education, advocacy, and support. We believe that all people - regardless of socio-economic status or psychiatric history - possess the innate capacity to heal, in connection with others. All people have the right to live a life of self-defined purpose. www.advocacyunlimited.org