July 4 – 9, 2011
Satish Kumar, Stephan Harding and Alastair McIntosh
Our popular Earth Pilgrim course returns to our summer programme. The course centres around the experiences and reflections of Satish Kumar, who has undertaken many pilgrimages throughout his life, beginning with an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage from India to America. More recently, a BBC documentary Earth Pilgrim followed Satish through the landscapes of Dartmoor in different seasons as he reflected on the profound insights and spiritual experiences that come from spending time close to nature.
During this course, Satish will share his thoughts on the importance of bringing soul into the heart of everything we do, and how this can enhance our creativity and our work for sustainability and peace. On Dartmoor, participants will visit with Satish some of the landscapes pictured in the Earth Pilgrim documentary – woods, rivers, tors, stone circles, and the open moor – walking together, talking, sitting quietly and reflecting individually and as a group. The group will be joined on one of the walks by Stephan Harding who will introduce Gaia theory and deep ecology as a way of connecting more deeply with the natural world. The course will also include a guided visit to the beautiful Dartington Hall Gardens and a walk along a section of the South Devon coast.
Alastair McIntosh will join the group for an evening to discuss his “poacher’s pilgrimage through the Outer Hebrides”. In 2008, he felt moved to journey by foot through his home island of Lewis and Harris in the Scottish Hebridean islands. Disguised as a poacher, he spent 12 days camping out in some of the remotest parts of Britain and walking though coastal villages meeting people he knew and making new friends. Two years later the pilgrimage continues to deepen as he writes it up – a magical realist exploration of God, war trauma and the function of “faerie” in the indigenous Celtic psyche. During the course of this evening he will share with the course participants a preview of his work in progress.
The Earth Pilgrim course offers the opportunity to slow down. As we explore some of the beautiful Dartmoor and coastal landscapes, we will enjoy periods of quiet reflection through mindful walking and sitting, as well as sharing some of our thoughts and ideas. Journal writing, drawing, meditation, and experiential exercises will complement discussions with Satish about the place of spirituality in the modern world.
This week aims to help you engage with the natural world and to reconnect.
Satish Kumar: When he was only nine years old, Satish renounced the world and joined the wandering brotherhood of Jain monks. Dissuaded from his path by an inner voice at the age of 18, he left the monastic order and became a campaigner for land reform, and has been working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a peaceful world into reality ever since. He undertook an 8,000 mile peace pilgrimage, walking from India to America without any money to deliver packets of peace tea to leaders of the four nuclear powers. In 1973, he settled in England, becoming editor of Resurgence magazine – a position he has held ever since. Satish is the guiding spirit behind a number of ecological, spiritual and educational ventures in Britain and was one of the founders of Schumacher College.
Stephan Harding is Programme Coordinator of the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College teaching on the MSc core modules and as part of several of the short courses at the College. He is a close associate of James Lovelock and an expert in the study of Gaia theory and deep ecology. He is the author of Animate Earth.
Alastair McIntosh is an activist, scholar, broadcaster and writer of books including Soil and Soul, Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition and a Schumacher Briefing, Rekindling Community. His books have been described as “world-changing” by George Monbiot, “life-changing” by the Bishop of Liverpool, “inspirational” by Starhawk and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
Facilitator: Rosalind J.Turner is a group facilitator and an open-air coach. As a group facilitator, Rosalind works with authenticity and integrity; she brings to the role her understanding of mindfulness techniques, combined with a flair for working creatively and spontaneously. As a coach, she specialises in giving people supported time and space in nature; away from the usual distractions, offering the opportunity for deeper reflection and a more embodied experience. For further information please visit her website www.walkingtomeetourselves.co.uk
All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.
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