Over the past five years, we at Montaia have been experimenting with social technologies and group dynamics to better understand how we can work together more effectively as humans. We conduct month-long residencies and togetherness research sessions at our co-living facility in the Eastern Sierra, California, and also offer workshops and wilderness retreats around the globe. Our goal is to improve human collaboration and connection through these experiments and studies.
We have found that using biomimicry, or the study of replicating nature's patterns, can be used to solve human social problems. Specifically, we have learned that by using patterns of interaction that mimic the connectivity, mutual benefit, and interconnectedness found in nature, we can create more positive and harmonious relationships. Our approach is based on the principles of co-regulation, collaborative group dynamics, and poly-vagal theory. Our offerings include social technology practices that aim to create more healthy and functional communities.
Throughout history, humans have used ceremonies, traditions, and initiations to strengthen bonds and increase the stability of social groups. Research shows that these practices are often, if it always, linked to the overall health and longevity of a community or tribe. Working together collectively has proven to be the #1 winning survival strategy for human beings. Our approach here at Montaia is grounded in the anthropology of community wellness, and seeks to better understand the creation and maintenance of strong, cohesive relationships within social groups. Our most brilliant revelation?
It turns out that teamwork really is what makes the dream work.
Our goal is to build cultures that emphasize open and authentic communication, mutual understanding, and collaborative problem-solving. To achieve this, we use methods such as authentic relating, emergent dialogue, and collective sense-making to work together towards solutions to problems big and small challenges. We believe that by fostering interpersonality, intersubjectivity, and conscious collaboration, we can create a more positive and sustainable future on this planet.
“Come here for the community.”
“The Montaia Wilderness Expedition I attended was nothing short of catalytic and life-changing. Come here for the community. I am truly thankful and proud to call Montaia home, and belong to it.”
“The location is unique and special but I think one of the most precious things about Montaia is the community. Montaia attracts some of the most lovely people and Kaela and James have created an amazing atmosphere for people to be themselves fully and connect deeply and authentically with others.”
“The Montaia Basecamp is a space unlike any I've been in before. With a warm wood stove, cozy living space, and spacious bedrooms, it quickly becomes home to anyone who walks thorough the door.”
“One of the most beautiful places I have ever worked! My time at Montaia Basecamp transformed both my inner state and relationship to work and life. I came out of my time there motivated, balanced, and refreshed.”
Kaela Atleework is an experience designer, a human connection researcher, and an international community builder. She is the co-founder of Montaia Basecamp. When she is not facilitating co-living experiments and guiding group wilderness expeditions, Kaela travels the world studying intersubjective that range all the way from somatics to synergy practices (focused on intimacy and/or group cohesion dynamics).
Sean is our resident herbalist, permaculturalist, and property manager, ready to support you in all of your needs, concerns, and questions. Dedicated to the service of others, his plethora of health wisdom and love for nature will guide the explorations of Self, Health, & Happiness. As a former farm owner and a current adventurist, Sean will lead nature walks, mountainside meditations that explores the depth of connection between the human and natural world.
James has facilitated month-long intentional coliving retreats in 5 different countries over the last 5 years. This is the 10th iteration of this model, and each iteration has been evolved from the previous. James is a certified Integral Facilitator, he’s also been trained in Art of Hosting, Creative Facilitation, Authentic Relating, Emergent Dialogue, Theory U, and Spiral Dynamics. James is obsessed with everything relational and group-based. His creative digital studio ‘Iris Cocreative’ is dedicated to serving relational and intersubjective organizations around the world.
Porter has been teaching, counseling, and running Rites of Passage for 15 years. He is deeply passionate about creating transformational experiences that sustain change for individuals and groups across the lifespan. He has worked with thousands of youth programs and trained hundreds of educators across the U.S. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he dances, explores the wilds, and is currently completing his licensure as a therapist.
Stephen Torrence is a geeky wizard from Austin, Texas. He has worn many hats over the last decade and a half, accumulating a wide range of skills and experience. His areas of exploration include technical systems design & integration, sustainable community building, interpersonal facilitation (including Authentic Relating and Circling), and classical Buddhist meditation training. Stephen now lives as a digital nomad in Canada and the USA, facilitating relational meditation and working as a technical consultant for multiple conscious businesses.