SEEDS OF STRENGTH: 31st July – 4th August 2019 at Emerson College
Following last summer’s conference, in which we took a deep look at the threat to our humanity which artificial intelligence poses, this year we will focus our attention on what it is that we can do as individuals to create a counterbalance. How can we cultivate our inner light, engender our inner warmth and find our inner strength? How can we become more inwardly active, practising a kind of ‘inner activism’ in the face of today’s challenges? And finally, how can this become the basis for a stronger community-life? This year our speakers will be Ian Trousdell, Marah Evans, Jeremy Naydler and James Dyson. Out of their different fields of work and life-experience, they will offer their unique perspectives on the conference theme and how just at this critical time we may nurture seeds of inner renewal. Supporting and deepening our conference theme, there will be creative workshops – including one on working with the land – and workshops on different aspects of the inner path. There will also be a performance (tbc) and an interactive talk using masks with Michael Chase. As usual there will opportunities for free initiatives and social activities.
We look forward to welcoming and meeting many of you!
Adrian Locher, Marjatta van Boeschoten and Sibylle Eichstaedt
from the Council of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain
Ian Trousdell has worked with Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual scientific development and research methods for over forty years as a teacher, businessman and water researcher. Out of his direct insights and study he has formed a clear presentation of how to achieve and use the intuitive capacity of knowing, which Rudolf Steiner hoped would become an integral part of modern culture.
Marah Evans has worked for 40 years in many therapeutic settings, initially as an anthroposophic art therapist (HCPC registered) and later as a BACP registered counsellor and anthroposophic psychotherapist (UKAACP) and supervisor. She was co- director at Hibernia College, UK for 14 years and has taught in many countries including UK, Philippines, India, China and Taiwan. She is currently a faculty member for the Mental Health Seminar and the postgraduate Psychotherapy Training based at Emerson College.
Jeremy Naydler, Ph.D. is a philosopher, cultural historian and gardener who lives and works in Oxford, England. He has long been interested in the history of consciousness and is also deeply concerned about the impact of electronic technologies on our inner life and on our relationship to nature. His most recent book, In the Shadow of the Machine: the Prehistory of the Computer and the Evolution of Consciousness, is published by Temple Lodge (2018).
James Dyson was the co-founder with Michael Evans of Park Attwood Clinic in 1979, where he worked until 2003. He retired from formal medical practice in 2014 and has since been very active as an adult educator, both in the UK and USA, mainly in medically related and psychological training courses.
Michael Chase has been developing the application of mask in theatre, education and therapy for thirty-five years. He is presently working as a Psychodrama Psychotherapist in a democratic therapeutic prison, HMP Grendon. Michael’s first book, MASK, on the theme of the four temperaments, is published by Hawthorn Press (2017).
Louise Coigley – Storytelling. The role of drama, gesture and storytelling in forming our memories, preparing us for the future and revealing our everyday inner artist.
Vija Docherty – Sacred Geometry. Details to be shared at the Conference opening.
Sibylle Eichstaedt – Creative Speech. How can the art of the spoken word and the conscious engagement with our voice, breath, with the sounds of speech and the world of poetry become a source of strength? Sibylle will introduce some processes that can be taken home for daily practice.
Liri Filippini – Painting with Pastels. Finding peace and trust in life by tapping into the transformative and healing power of colour. A painting workshop designed to inspire, empower and strengthen the inner light through a guided artistic journey and exploration.
Chrystal Hayn – Eurythmy. We will explore the qualities of light, warmth and strength in movement, discovering their interplay and what it is to be able to move between them harmoniously for the health of body and soul.
Kira Orsak – Creating a Biodynamic Smallholding for Education. A practical, hands- on celebration of the land as a blossoming smallholding comes into being. Activities are likely to include the making of a tea garden or biodynamic preparations, tending to the vegetable patch or developing the cultural social space.
INNER PATH WORKSHOPS
Jane Chase – Creating Sacred Spaces for Helping Conversations. We will develop skills and tools to create the right conditions to encourage I –Thou relating, where conversations have the power to generate moments of sacrament that awaken potential for healing and new possibilities.
Marah Evans – Present challenges for humanity and individuals. We will explore our theme using conversation, art and participants’ biographical examples in small groups. We will look both at dangers as well as Michaelic developments of our time and touch on wider issues of the inner path and care for trauma and symptoms of ‘unprepared threshold crossing’.
Christopher Marcus – The six subsidiary exercises. We will work with Rudolf Steiner’s six ‘subsidiary exercises’ as the prerequisite for developing inner stability and a healthy community life.
Jeremy Naydler – Deepening the Experience of Light and Thinking. An opportunity to explore the themes of my talk through practical exercises and conversation. We shall pursue a meditative approach towards refining our experience of artificial and natural light, and towards discerning the different kinds of illumination afforded to us when we engage in the activity of thinking.
Tom Ravetz – ‘Christ gives me my humanity’. We will work with an excerpt from Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts which describes a path to experiencing Christ as the bestower of warmth and light. We will practise different ways of approaching this text and meditating on it.
Ian Trousdell – Imagination, Inspiration and greater Intuition. We will explore ways to develop these capacities which exist in all people as ‘slumbering capacities waiting to be woken’. We will draw from Rudolf Steiner’s various works how to awaken them and what to notice when that awakening begins.