If still more education is to save us, it would have to be education of a different kind: an education that takes us into the depth of things.
In the next few months, I’m exploring as collaborator-participant-teacher the kinds of learning that contradict and uproot radically all we may think we know...
Trekking in Western Nepal for 16 days. 4 - 24 September: pilgrimage, ancestors, making our road by walking it
“Rather than lifting value from removed observation, we lived it… it is really in the mountains, enormous and looming, and we find ourselves in a town where the pace matches this isolated landscape. The transition from the urban madness has been matched by a change in spirit.” - Previous course participant
“This is the slowest, quietest I have ever felt in my life. I am loving life at the moment…the quiet is bliss. The silence is a new type of being.” - Previous course participant
We Will Dance with Mountains - re-membering home: 16 September - 2 December
Online, provocateurs, hosted by Bayo Akomolafe, a writing collaborative that is all about turning ourselves inside out, upside down - zero constraints except the limits of our own imaginations.
SOUTH AFRICAN TEACHING
While I’m not at Schumacher College, I’ll be teaching at the Sustainability Institute. 2017 is the fifteenth anniversary of the post graduate degree I co-created in Sustainable Development.
Leading Transitions and Environmental Ethics (with Prof. Johan Hattingh) Course Outline
Facilitation for Just Transitions (with Rebecca Freeth and this year with Colin Campbell) Course Outline
MA in Ecology and Spirituality
From January 2017 I am facilitating and teaching on Schumacher College’s brand new MA in Ecology and Spirituality. I'm part of an amazing teaching group including Rachel Fleming, Andy Letcher, Stephan Harding, Fiona Tilley and Colin Campbell. This radical degree is accredited by Lampeter, University of Wales (TSD), founded in 1822, which is one of the oldest centres for academic study of theology, philosophy and spirituality in England and Wales. The course is held in the 13th century Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, with Schumacher College’s unique transformative learning at its heart.
Navigating a journey of the interior, through combining rigorous theoretical exploration with extensive experiential work and opportunity to deepen spiritual practice is a real ride.
International participants, international teaching faculty within a physical space that is home to a 2000 year old yew tree, the River Dart, indigenous woodlands and a garden cared for by humans for over 1000 years. And, it has to be said - one of the most amazing things about Schumacher College and its entire approach is the food! Working at this extraordinary place is like going home.
The modules are 3 weeks full-on teaching, and then a reading week. I love this design. The first 4 are residential, and after that distance learning.
The residential titles are:
Ecology and Spirituality
The Ecological Self
And the electives (distance learning):
Heavenly Discourse; Environmental Philosophy; Religion and the Environment; Cosmology, Magic and Divination; Sacred Geography
These titles are wonderful, and they hide a little the gritty engagement they bring. When I did Fritjof Capra’s first Systems Theory course in the early 90’s eyebrows were raised at concepts like ‘systems theory, complexity, Gaia, deep ecology’. Now, these are part of everyday language. The same too likely with the tectonic shifts within ecology and spirituality.
Searching for reconnection from dislocated lives has many roots.
“At this point in human history, many academics, activists, leaders and thinkers are calling for an urgent reconsideration of the cultural narratives and spiritual values that support our very existence on the planet. In an attempt to divert the current trajectory of ‘progress’ and ‘development’ towards a more sustainable and equitable future, this requires objective and critical thinking about our relationship and connection to the natural world, to the people and communities around us and to the very beliefs and values that drive our individual and collective actions.
This programme in Ecology and Spirituality brings together the theological legacy of academic work at University of Wales Trinity Saint David with the ecological and transformative learning developed to postgraduate level by Schumacher College over 25 years. It explores the role of spirituality, religion, philosophy, science and narrative as the underlying causes, but also the potential solutions, to the systemic ecological crises in which we find ourselves. From different perspectives this programme will track the roots, thought-lines and stories that have caused our modern-day disconnection from the natural world and from each other – and look at ways in which we might make re-connection, in theory and in practice, for ourselves and for others.”