Diamond Approach Teachers:

Kara Vangen, Jim Lockridge, and Kathleen Graham

May 31-June 2, 2024

This is a hybrid retreat, offered in person and online

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”


Retreat Teaching

Compassion is the aspect of loving kindness needed to experience and accept one’s hurts and wounds, without defense. Compassion is usually experienced as warmth, sensitivity, tenderness and an attitude of unconditional openness to our immediate experience whatever the content. This inner quality is potent and has a tremendous impact on our soul’s unfolding when it is activated. However, compassion’s real significance is not to remove suffering, but to lead us to the truth by providing the inner capacity to be with our suffering and to see and understand it at its depth. This tolerance and acceptance of experience allows one to just be, instead of trying to manipulate ourselves in any way.

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

In person retreat at the Christine Center. We recommend that you make every effort to attend the retreat in person. 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 DiamondApproachMidwest@gmail.com.



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. Time: Friday 7-9:30PM, Saturday 9:00AM-8:30PM, and 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.

You are invited to accompany others who are exploring the Diamond Approach spiritual path. This weekend we will meet together 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. You may also choose to attend our online retreats from a hermitage or room at the Christine Center. 


“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: https://dayouthfund.org/.  It can be for the first retreat, either online or residential in-person and can also cover child care costs!”

This retreat marks the beginning 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 (www.diamondapproach.org) 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: $565
Single Room in Main Building: $503
Single Cabin Bedroom: $503
Single Rustic Hermitage: $409
Shared Modern Hermitage: $481
Shared Room in Main Building: $451
Shared Rustic Hermitage: $379


Please contact our main office to make your reservation for any of the following (715-267-7507 or welcome@christinecenter.org):

        • 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

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

Kathleen is an ordained Diamond Approach teacher (2016), and student member of the Ridhwan School (1996 – current). Her primary interest and passion is with health and wellness, and personal transformation, whether working as a hospice/ oncology nurse or Diamond Approach teacher. She continues to recognize and trust the alchemical process of transformation that can happen as one is engaged in the immediacy of one’s experience. She offers an open-hearted invitation to the inner journey that can open in ever-deepening ways to the preciousness of one’s truth.

2024 Retreat Dates and Venue


      • May 31-June 2 (in-person)

      • August 30-September 1 (in-person)

      • November 1-3 (online)