Online Zoom Forum: Soul Stories: The Power of Listening and Sharing as a Sacred Art and a Spiritual Practice.

Date: Wednesday 22 May 2024.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).


Event Description:

Format: There will be five talks, each of 12 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers and the chair, followed by Q & A.



Dr MaryCatherine Burgess:

For decades, MaryCatherine has reflected on her own soul story, but she’s also participated in exploring soul stories with kindred spirits in a variety of settings. Whether over tea/coffee with friends, reflecting with others at retreats and workshops, participating in group enactments using psychodrama, enjoying collective soul expressions through music and movement, sharing dreams in a dream group, honoring personal and collective experiences of shamanic journeys, or gathering and writing about soul stories of shamanic practitioners, she appreciates and deeply values the power of soul stories. MaryCatherine is an ordained minister, psychodrama trainer, shamanic practitioner, musician, teacher, human relations consultant, honorary fellow, partner, mother, sister, friend, and grateful soul traveller.


Dr Michael Williams:

Title: Our Soul’s Legacy: Sharing Stories as a Sacred Art and Spiritual Practice for Future Generations.

Description: Dr Michael Williams explores the power of becoming a listening presence, fostering understanding across diverse backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. Dr Williams will share his recent experiences facilitating story circles in a hospice, a retirement home, and a rural historic museum, using storytelling to encourage soulful dialogue, reflection, and mutual understanding. The need to share our stories unlocks the life-changing potential of listening and its role in nurturing harmony amidst differences. It also bears testimony to the human desire to create our soul’s legacy through the spiritual practice of storytelling. Join us in building a more compassionate and interconnected world through the sacred art of listening and sharing stories.

Bio: In 1998, Dr Michael Williams undertook a self-study storytelling apprenticeship through the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. In 2005, he exchanged a rewarding role as an English teacher for an uncertain life as an itinerant storyteller. Despite the challenges and setbacks, Dr Williams persevered and founded a successful storytelling and coaching practice. He has worked with adults, young and old, as well as with a variety of community and corporate clients across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Canada. In recent years, he has focused his work on those with chronic illness and seniors suffering from loneliness and social isolation. In 2018, Dr Williams became a certified End-of-Life Planning Facilitator and Trainer for Before I Go Solutions/MyGoodbyes. He’s also a popular online workshop leader and speaker and is the 2024 Storyteller/Writer-in-Residence at the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead near St. George, Ontario. Dr Williams currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario where he is writing a collection of memoir stories.

Dr Donald Smith:

Title: Storytelling as Ritual and Encounter.

Description: Donald explores the settings and contexts of traditional storytelling as a community experience, and then makes some links with personal reading as a more private encounter, yet also with spiritual resonance.

Bio: Donald Smith is founding Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre and of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. Donald Smith is a noted storyteller and performance poet in his own right, novelist, and playwright; and has authored a succession of books about Scottish culture, including Storytelling Scotland (2001) and Freedom and Faith (2013). From 2012 to 2023 he was CEO of TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland). (Donald was born in Glasgow to an Irish mother, and was brought up in Church of Scotland manses in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. In 2023 he was honoured to receive the Hamish Henderson Award for lifetime achievement.

Dr Ian Wight:

Title: In Service of One’s Professing Self - Sourcing, Souling and Storying.

Description: Initial thoughts:

I expect to focus on the context of transformational professional learning, exploring the joining of soul and role, as part of ongoing professional-self design. Expect to draw on my experiences on soul stories vis-à-vis ego stories in circle-of-trust work (Parker Palmer), in presencing awareness efforts involving soul-sourcing in U Lab work (Otto Scharmer), and in helping to frame a national planning conference on the theme of Soul (CIP 2018 Winnipeg).


Deep listening, especially within, and co-creative sharing/making, in the service of one’s professing self, distilling operative prof-essence, manifesting agency in communion; sourcing as souling meaningful work.

Discussion points:

Soul-work. Ensacreding. Spirituality-in-action. Telling we-stories to the future (outing our indigeneity). Yarning and yearning.

Bio: As a former professional planning practitioner, and educator of planners in training, enabling their professional-self design, through exposure to praxis-making, ethos-making and the cultivation of a propensity for poiesis. Framing planning as placemaking as well-being by design, and its professing in terms of a form of 'telling stories to the future', ideally we-stories.

Dr Gameli Kodzo Tordzro:

Title: Attention to Sounds in Stories, Poetry, and Music - Receiving and Creating Soul Stories of a Spiritual Nature.

Description: I will speak interactively from my book 'Speaking Beyond' and the current collection in progress, 'Resonance', anthology of Poems and Stories and I will play my Bansuri Flute.

Bio: Dr Gameli Kodzo Tordzro is a tradition bearer from Ghana.

He is an educator, artistic researcher, director and performer and farmer.

He works part time in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow as an Artist in Residence of the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration Through Languages and The Arts (UNESCO RILA) and as a Research Associate of the MIDEQ Hub.

He is also a freelance creative arts consultant and producer. His professional experience cuts across Education, Artistic Research, Film, Television production and performance, Community Theatre and Development, traditional African cultures, music, fashion and textile production.

He is well known in Ghana for his storytelling role in the 1990s as Grandpa on the popular Ghana Television’s Kids Television programme ‘By The Fireside’ and later as ‘Paa Joe’ in the forty-episode TV Series ‘All That Glitters’ (2005 - 2006).

Tordzro is Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS Awards 2015) winner for Music and Sound for his work on the National Theatre of Scotland production ‘Last Dream on Earth’.

Margot Henderson:

Title: Once Upon A Time - a peep between the lines of one story, Our One Story and the story of our times.

Bio: Margot Henderson is a Scots -Irish Poet, Storyteller and Community Artist. She is a trained counsellor and integrative arts therapist. Much of her work is site specific, celebrating our connection to community, heritage and the natural world.

Her work takes place in diverse settings ranging from community centres, prisons and homeless shelters, theatres, galleries, to woodlands and wild places.

She was an Artist Educator for the Tate Galleries for many years and Storyteller in Residence for Coral Arts an Environmental Arts Theatre Company. She performs her work regularly in the Universal Hall at Findhorn and at many international festivals and conferences.

She has produced a number of collections of her work. As a skilled group facilitator she leads a range of workshops in creativity and well-being. She has led retreats at various centres such as Shambala, Newbold House and Hawkwood, combining practices in Mindfulness, Nature Connection, Qi Gong, Reflective Writing and Ritual.

She has been a Cultural Creative with the 8 Shields movement for 10 years, staffing on The Art of Mentoring camps.

“As a storyteller, I tell traditional stories from around the world, many from the Celtic tradition and local stories rooted in place as well as creating stories for specific occasions and celebrations. In my telling I combine, movement, music, poetry and song. I also work with story-making and the gathering of local history stories.


Soul Stories


An archive recording will be made for the EICSP archive.

NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.

Cost: By Donation:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


There seems to be a new issue with Paypal and hopefully it will be resolved.

If you are having a difficulty paying by Paypal, then you can pay by bank transfer instead.

NB: you must also email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can send you the Zoom sign-in details.

Here are the bank transfer details:

Account Name: Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace
Bank Address: Edinburgh Royal Mile Branch
Account Number: 06131159
Sort Code: 802000

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The IBAN number is as follows:

GB70 BOFS 8020 0006 1311 59

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