Online Zoom Forum: Elderhood: Spiritual, Social, and Policy Perspectives.
Date: Wednesday 14 September 2022.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).
Format: There will be five talks, each of 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers, the chair, and the audience, followed by Q & A.
Bio: Ceolanna-Elizabeth Scott works in the field of Sound healing, Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy, and is a Sweat lodge guide. She has been working in the therapeutic field for over 30 years. Ceolanna‘s teaching and experiences come from Dzogchen and Native American Shamanistic spiritual disciplines. She feels blessed to now root herself in Celtic Consciousness.
An Initiative of Brigid, Ceolanna teaches Gaelic Mantras and Gutha. She believes that when we can experience the fragility of our own hearts, we can move into compassion with others.
Dr Sara Trevelyan:
Description: I will reflect on what elderhood has meant to me in my own life. Also, why it is timely and important, given the problems we face, individually, collectively, and globally, to focus on a particularly important quality of elderhood, which is wisdom. Elderhood is not simply about age. More importantly, it is about quality of lived experience, as well as a capacity to speak out, reach out, support, and see the places where healing is needed in our increasingly divided and fractured world.
Bio: Entering into my 70s these days, mother, grandmother, therapist, healer, interfaith minister, author of Freedom Found. My life has been a weaving of different aspects of myself into what feels today a commitment to living from my soul, following life’s continued unfolding with passion and full engagement.
Phyllida Anam Aire:
Title: Ageing Deeper into Love.
Description: If we were to live our precious lives according to our nature, then we would know the natural timing of things. But I feel that as divine beings, we have moved away from our innate natural rhythms and so have been normalized, socialized, and culturalized in a way that no longer honours nature without or nature within.
And why are we on/in Earth anyway? if not to live implicit Love?
Bio: I just love being a fully paid-up participant in this amazing drama of Life. Somehow, I don’t see it as MY Life rather, I have the awful privilege of being called to experience a very short spiral in this dramatic and dynamic mystery of Love made flesh.
Nearing my 80th birthday is such a rich and splendid privilege, one that fills me with deep gratitude to Life Itself. Joy has been a constant companion these past years.
Title: Personal Experience, Perspective. and Care.
Description: I will talk about my experience of eldership within my own life and tease out the factors that seem inherent to this vitally important role of eldership in our society.
Bio: My life has taken me through an initial period of seeking into the spiritual dimensions of life; into leading meditation groups and lecturing on Sufi philosophy; through a curiosity in the early emergence of computer science and a career in Information Technology, to presently working in the field of healing the body and psyche through the practice of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. In this process I have been fortunate to experience many people who have acted as elders for me.
I find it interesting to note, that in my current role of supporting babies to resolve their difficulties after birth, that this role contains many of the same features of eldership; namely personal experience, perspective. and care.
Title: The Value of Elderhood in the Age of Disruption.
Description: Two and half thousand years ago Heraclitus said that "the only constant in life is change”… however, although change itself is a constant, what is new is the scale and pace of scientific, technological, climactic, and social change - and the threat to our survival that this scale and pace brings. In her talk Kirsty will explore some of the key ways accessing the wisdom, values. and perspective of our Elders can help as humanity endeavours to navigate this critical period.
Bio: Kirsty brings her natural warmth, empathy, and intuitive insight to her work in Leadership Development, coaching, and consulting. She has extensive corporate and international business experience including an MBA from the University of Edinburgh which focussed on Venture Capital investment in Silicon Valley. She is the founder and a co-director of Edinburgh Universities Global Compassion Initiative and currently serves on the Business Committee of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh.
Over and above her rigorous academic and professional background, Kirsty brings presence and depths from decades of experience as a practitioner and instructor in mindfulness meditation, yoga, and personal development. She has twice hosted visits from her spiritual teacher Mother Meera to Edinburgh and has spent much time in India where she taught in Rishi Valley, a school founded by J K Krishnamurt and Annie Besant, in her mid- twenties. Additionally, she has ‘quietly' been a spiritual channel to a collective high consciousness she calls Benjamin for over four decades.
Kirsty divides her time between California and the UK. She has three children, four grandchildren, and a beloved small dog. Her favourite charity is a school for underprivileged children in India.
Prof Richard Roberts:
Title: Becoming an Elder.
Description: The term ‘Elder’ has for a long time been in common use to designate a position of authority in the ecclesial polity of Protestant, Reformed, and Baptist traditions, besides (e.g.) in the Society of Friends. This usage has but limited affinities with ‘eldership’ in traditional and pre-modern cultures. Modernity has had little place for eldership as the embodied wisdom of older people rendered accessible to a given community. Whereas over recent decades the Women’s Movement, and in particular its chthonic feminist wing, has advocated ritual transitions culminating in the achievement of the post-menopausal ‘Crone’ status, such a transformation is in my judgement far more problematic for men. Few men appear to attain recognition as Elders in this sense of an anthropological, ritualised transition. Indeed, the preoccupation with ‘Initiation’ in what I have experienced of the Men’s Movement, implies not so much a passage into wisdom towards the end of the life journey, as a sadly delayed start into manhood. That said, I was recently designated an Elder in the context of ritual space, an act that has given me much food for thought. What wisdom might I conceivably bear in an era in which technological modernity and AI out-accelerate human capacity?
Bio: Richard H. Roberts is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies (Lancaster University), and earlier held the Chair of Divinity at the University of St Andrews. and author of books on Karl Barth, Ernst Bloch, and the monograph Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences (CUP 2001). Among his latest publications are ‘God’ in Johannes Sachhuber, Judith Wolfe and Joel D. S. Rasmussen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth Century Christian Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 573-590 and 'Hugh MacDiarmid’s "On Raised Beach": "Geopoetics" in a Time of Catastrophic Crisis’, Religions 2022, 13(1), Special Issue Literature and Eco-theology 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13010031. Roberts frequently adopts an autoethnographic approach to research topics including ‘managerial modernity’; performance and ritual; place and identity; shamanism and altered states of consciousness; and theological issues concerned with sexuality and embodiment. Roberts is currently Honorary Fellow at New College, University of Edinburgh.
NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.
Cost: By Donation. For a Registration Form:
(for late inquiries on the day, then email, do not phone.
If you book on the day of the event you will be emailed the Zoom sign-in details 1-2 hours before the event).