Courses Overview >> Short courses >> An Exploration of Eldering: featuring guest wisdom keepers Martin Shaw and Pat McCabe

Status message

This event has now passed

An Exploration of Eldering: featuring guest wisdom keepers Martin Shaw and Pat McCabe

Key Info: 
  • An opportunity to explore the meaning of contemporary eldering
  • How might a mythic perspective and traditional ways inform our understandings of eldering?
  • A chance to gather with your peers to journey and reflect together on the role and contribution modern day elders can make in their communities.

Facilitated by Lynn Alderson and Fiona Tilley with guests Pat McCabe (joins by Skype) Martin Shaw , Colin Campbell and fireside chat with Satish Kumar

£ 650.00
Course fees include all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Monday to Friday afternoon and includes four nights private accommodation with shared bathroom plus all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. If you would like to take this course as a non-residential participant, please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 1803 847237
This course is full.

Eldering is an ancient and honourable tradition. Modern communities have fallen asleep to this inherent wisdom - needed more than ever in these uncertain and challenging times.

Far too often we are expected to move alone from one stage of life to another with little psychological or spiritual support. How can we be more prepared to shift our career-focused adulthood into our eldering years?

This short course is a departure from our usual format as throughout the week we will hear from a variety of voices exploring a different aspect of elderhood and we want to integrate participants story and wisdom within the group sessions.

The course will be led Lynn Alderson and Fiona Tilley who will also act as facilitators, bringing ways of working that will challenge and help each of us to come to a new and deeper understanding both of the collective potential and our individual contributions.

The week features our guest wisdom keepers Pat McCabe(via Skype), Martin Shaw and Colin Campbell who will each run a short session. 

Satish Kumar joins the group for a fireside chat.

Pat McCabe is an elder of the Dine people, one of the first peoples of North America. She will be able to speak about her role as a modern elder in a culture where older people are regarded very differently, where the tradition of eldering is still very much alive, and how she came to find and accept her path.

Martin Shaw is a mythologist and storyteller and will be able to help us to think our about our own lives from a very different point of view, understanding the journeys we are on from a new perspective, and help us to think creatively and deeply about fundamental concepts such as death and our place in the world.

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

This course is full.
Facilitated by Lynn Alderson and Fiona Tilley with guests Pat McCabe (joins by Skype) Martin Shaw , Colin Campbell and fireside chat with Satish Kumar

Lynn Alderson

Lynn has been involved in group work for more than 40 years, having learned from early work in the Women's Movement its value in both changing consciousness and changing lives. Having worked for some years as a non-religious funeral/life celebrant her work more recently has focused on ageing, death and eldering. 'Finding companions for this latest part of our journeys has radically transformed my experience of becoming and being older.'

Fiona Tilley

Dr Fiona Tilley


Dr Fiona Tilley completed her PhD research into the environmental practices of small and medium sized enterprises in 1998. A career in academia followed with positions at Durham University Business School and latterly the Sustainability Research Institute at the University Leeds. She has published extensively in the field of sustainability entrepreneurship and emerging new business models. From 2009 she stepped back from conventional education in sustainability social sciences to explore alternative and transformational learning practices. Finding Schumacher College has been a significant place of influence. More recently the College has offered opportunities to facilitate short courses and to convene modules on the MA Ecology and Spirituality and to be the Programme Co-ordinate for Becoming Indigenous.

Pat McCabe (Woman Stands Shining)

Woman Stands Shining, Pat McCabe, has the honor of being of the Dine (Navajo) Nation. A Life-Bringer, Life-Bearer Mother, writer, artist, activist, speaker and cultural liason, her work is driven by the study of the Science of Right Relations. Moving from the central knowledge that We, The Five-Fingered-Ones, are born into Beauty, as Beauty, for Joyful Life, she brings the understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing into discussion and inquiry on Sustainability. Born to a People who have deep understanding and methodology for Restoration, she carries the Beauty Way into places where it has formerly been kept out. She is an active participant in Indigenous Peoples gatherings worldwide most recently in Chile, Belgium, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and Bali. She has worked with the International Center for Cultural Studies in India and with Sarvodaya with Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne in Sri Lanka, as well as with organizations and gatherings in the U.S. Her recent work includes being a cultural consultant to the Pachamama Alliance, Inner Circle Invitee to the Language of Spirit Dialogue - Dialogue between Quantum Physicists, Linguists, Scientists and Indigenous knowledge keepers. Upcoming work includes the AUM National gathering, Women's teachings In Chile, and work with Israeli and Palestinian women.

Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw is a writer, storyteller and acclaimed teacher of myth. Author of the award winning Mythteller trilogy, his essay and conversation with Ai Wei Wei was published by the Marciano Arts Foundation in early 2019. His translations of Gaelic poetry and folklore have been published in Orion Magazine, Poetry International, Kenyon Review, Poetry Magazine and the Mississippi Review. He leads the Mythic Life course at Stanford University and is a visiting fellow of Schumacher College. Much of his work derives from a four year period living in a tent on a succession of English hills.

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell grew up in rural southeastern Botswana, the son of a renowned anthropologist and a creative healing mother. He is currently a practitioner of traditional African medicine, based in Cape Town, South Africa and the UK. He receives clients from all over the world, and facilitates international group processes relating to natural law, transformation, healing & personal power, sacred sites, and cross-cultural cosmology.

His work bridges major world cities with ancestral homelands and forgotten wilderness, taking him from the Amazon Basin to Los Angeles, the sacred sites of Venda to the urban grit of Johannesburg, and remote Ethiopia to the City of London. Colin co-founded and co-runs a training school in Botswana for traditional doctors and sangomas with his brother Niall Campbell. He is also a lifelong artist and musician, his style once again bridging the traditional with the contemporary, the timeless with the timely, and the sounds of the sacred with the lyricism of electric rocking funk.

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar

Satish is a former monk and long-term peace and environment activist. He has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.

In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College. Satish has authored numerous books including No Destination: Autobiography of a Pilgrim, Soul, Soil, Society: a new trinity for our time and most recently Elegant Simplicity: The Art Of Living Well.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

NB: Please do not pay your deposit for the course yet. Any applications received where a deposit has been paid will be rejected and the deposit refunded.

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.

More about our growing areas and philosophy

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing, and all it entails, a truly transformative time.   Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

Integral to the College’s international learning community, you will get to know students, staff and volunteers through daily meetings and shared activities. There is also a diverse programme of events and evening talks, offered by college residents, visiting teachers and local experts.