The Red Latifa:

Essential Strength and the Courageous Heart

August 30 – September 1, 2024

with Diamond Approach Teachers:

Kara Vangen, Jim Lockridge, Kathleen Graham


…Either give me back my gladness, or the courage to think about how it was lost to me. Give me back, not what I see, but my sight.


Retreat Teaching

For us to engage our spiritual journey, we need to be courageous, we need a courageous heart. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, it had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
We need to become lionhearted about the truth. If your heart is open, this openness will manifest as courageousness. It will become a courageous, bold expansion, a daring openness. In fact, you can become so courageous you dare reality: “Show me! Let me see into your mystery!”

Activation of the Strength or Red Latifa carries the sacred impulse of “I Can”; from the depths of the heart to the surface, allowing us to expand with strength and courage in our life and spiritual journey.

This retreat is part of a series of teachings we are presenting on the qualities of our being known as the Lataif. These are subtle qualities that include aspects such as strength, will and support, peace, courage, joy, and compassion. Strengthening our access to these aspects not only enriches our lives but helps us build the capacity for spiritual deepening. In that regard, the Lataif can be thought of as tools for our unfoldment, qualities that help us understand ourselves at our deepest nature. We will continue the exploration of these qualities throughout the next several retreat weekends.

Retreat Structure

This is an ongoing retreat group in the initial stages of the Diamond Approach work. We are meeting 4 weekends a year, with a mix of in-person and online retreats. As the group gets established, additional sessions will be added which will extend the retreat.

Weekend retreats will be composed of meditation, breath and movement practices, lectures, and self-reflection, exercises geared toward connecting with our True Nature and facilitating the unfoldment of our souls.

Schedule: Friday evening thru Sunday at noon.

    • Friday 7-9:30PM,
    • Saturday 9:00AM-8:30P
    • Sunday 9:00AM-12:00PM.

At 6 PM on Friday there is an introduction to the retreat for new people and anyone interested in reviewing the retreat format and practices at 6 pm on Friday.

For those new to the Diamond Approach, this is a great opportunity to check out Diamond Approach in person with an ongoing open group.

We recommend that you make every effort to attend the retreat in person. In-person retreats are held at the Christine Center in Willard, WI. The Christine Center offers a serene, natural environment that enhances and supports inner exploration and integration. A zoom option is available and reserved for those with particular situations that make in person attendance impossible. If you have any questions please contact the teachers at

“If there’s anyone else you know who’s under 40 and on the fence about checking out the DA, here’s the link to the youth scholarship fund:  It can be for the first retreat, either online or residential in-person and can also cover child care costs!”

This retreat is a vital part of our exploration into the five Lataif; a group of essential aspects that not only enrich our lives but help us build the capacity for spiritual deepening in all aspects of our development.

More Information about Midwest 4 Diamond Approach Retreats

The Diamond Approach is the core teaching of the Ridhwan School ( and has been in existence since 1977. The method has become well known through the many books published by A.H. Almaas and the multiple opportunities currently to participate in Diamond Approach retreats throughout the world.

The Diamond Approach path was first introduced in the Midwest in 1996. This new group, DA Midwest Group 4, will be an open group, accepting new students for the next few years. The current teachers have been members of the school for over 25 years and live and practice in various places in the Midwest.

All Inclusive Retreat Pricing Options

Listed pricing includes all housing, meals, and program fee

Online Participation:


In Person Lodging Options:

Single Modern Hermitage: $605
Single Room in Main Building: $525
Single Cabin Bedroom: $525
Single Rustic Hermitage: $413
Shared Modern Hermitage: $493
Shared Room in Main Building: $453
Shared Cabin Bedroom: $453
Shared Rustic Hermitage: $379


Please contact our main office to make your reservation for any of the following (715-267-7507 or

        • To reduce the number of meals you would like
        • If you need to make special arrangements
        • If you would like to reserve pet friendly accommodations

Modern Hermitage: One room cottage with anywhere from 1 to 3 beds; living area; kitchenette; bathroom and shower.
Cabin Bedroom: A private bedroom with 1 to 2 beds located on the property in a shared cabin; shared kitchenette; shared bathroom and shower.
Guest Room-Main Building: A private bedroom with 2 beds and private bathroom located in the main building.
Rustic Hermitage: One room cottage with anywhere from 1 to 2 beds; living area. No bathroom or kitchenette. Modern bath and shower facilities are located on the property.

Meet the Teachers

Kara Vangen, MSW, CHTP, she/hers

Kara Vangen, MSW, CHTP, she/hers

Diamond Approach Teacher

Kara is passionate about doing the, “deep inner work” required to show up authentically in life and community and believes that our value and happiness as human beings arises from our ability to illuminate our inner life. She has been a member of the Ridhwan school for 25 years and is an ordained Diamond Approach teacher.
Kara’s professional experience includes front line work as a social worker in community mental health and as a Mental Health Therapist where she combines traditional and complimentary health practices to address mental health. She is co-director of the Cauldron Studies program which centers spiritual practice in both the study of culture and the sacred feminine. She has been teaching and working with others for over 20 years.

Jim Lockridge

Jim Lockridge

Diamond Approach Teacher

Jim Lockridge is an ordained teacher of the Diamond Approach where he has been a student since 1998 and began working with students in 2012. He is a lifelong investigator of both the physical and spiritual worlds. Jim began his spiritual quest at age 14 when he first discovered Catholicism and soon became an altar boy. He was a research scientist for 40 years, an auto-mechanic, a floor waxer, army reservist, meditator, school bus driver, gardener, high-school summer teacher, father of 2 daughters, grandfather and lately, an expert popsicle developer. He currently lives in St. Paul with his lovely wife, Stephanie. Jim is passionate about teaching others how to investigate and reveal the truth of who they are.

Kathleen Graham, RN, MS, she/her

Kathleen Graham, RN, MS, she/her

Diamond Approach Teacher

I have been a student of the Diamond Approach since 1996, and after many years of deeper study in the DA seminary program, was ordained as a teacher of the Diamond Approach in 2016. Since then I have been working with individual students and I am part of the teaching team for Midwest DA group 4. Prior to my work as a Diamond Approach teacher I enjoyed a long career as an advanced practice oncology nurse and hospice nurse which informed me about the nature of presence, although I didn’t know what to call it then. I learned as I was with those facing their suffering and mortality what an open heart really means. I find presence is a kind of nourishment for ourselves and others and is what welcomes just what is there. From the earliest days of attending Diamond Approach retreats I have been so impacted by the open hearted sensitivity of the teachers to invite me to be right where I am, with all places that felt so untouchable. This is an ongoing and every revealing journey for me. As a teacher, I bring this love and passion, and kind holding for ever unfolding and deepening truth for the students I work with. I enjoy life itself very much and I resonate completely with spending time in nature, hiking, swimming, traveling especially in the more remote parts of the world, and spending time with my partner and family of the heart.

2024 Retreat Dates and Venue


      • May 31-June 2 (in-person)

      • August 30-September 1 (in-person)

      • November 1-3 (online)