Die Wise, A Talk with Stephen Jenkinson
Monday, November 13, 2017
German Cultural Centre, Saskatoon
9:30 am to 4:30 pm, lunch included
EARLY BIRD – $125 if purchased by October 13th
FULL FEE – $150 after October 13th
STUDENTS AND ELDERS 60 & up – $100
~ Some partial scholarships will be available for earnest learners with limited financial means.
~ If you would like to contribute to CHI’s scholarship fund to help with accessibility for all interested people of any means, you can do that online on the ticket page, or make arrangements with CHI directly.
~ Stephen’s book will be available for purchase.
Purchase tickets online (service charges apply). or
Place your order directly to be paid with cash, cheque or e-transfer to the Saskatoon Community Healing Initiative
email@example.com / 306-229-1978
We are very pleased to present this offering of a day-long soul-based village training experience with a visiting teacher.
This experience is for anyone who is on to the scent of better ways for the health of people, leadership, culture and community. It is for youngers and elders, health workers and community leaders, people who long to be present in their own dying and their own living, in the dying and living of ones loved, or in the death trade.
This event is for you if soul and culture are coming to feel like matters of death and life, and you are ready to see an old world out, to birth our new world with life based in humanity, nature, spirit, and living alive.
Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW, is an activist, teacher, author, and farmer. He has a master’s degree in theology from Harvard University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Toronto. Formerly a program director at a major Canadian hospital and medical-school assistant professor, Stephen is now a sought-after workshop leader, speaker, and consultant to palliative care and hospice organizations. As well as being the founder of The Orphan Wisdom School, he is also the subject of the documentary film Griefwalker.
Here’s a taste of Stephen’s medicine:
“If you have ever seen a counsellor or therapist you know that the focus seems to go automatically to your childhood and your parents, or to your personal style or lack of it, or to your ideas and your conjured personal myths. It goes automatically to you. The reality that psychology and self help grant you is the reality between your ears, as they say, your interior life, your Own True Self.
At the end of the counseling session you are released back into the sorrows and consternations and, yes, madnesses of the culture that went a long way towards giving you your personal limp and ache in the first place, a culture as utterly unchanged by your personal improvement as it was inured to your personal misfortune.
In a culture like ours, so unsure of itself, so without a shared understanding of life for its people, there are subtle, enduring consequences that look like personal inadequacy, failure of will, inability or unwillingness to live deeply. But what I’ve seen over twenty five years of working with people convinces me that these problems or struggles are not bad psychology, worse parenting or lousy personality development.
What we suffer from most is culture failure, amnesia of ancestry and deep family story, phantom or sham rites of passage, no instruction on how to live with each other or with the world around us or with our dead or with our history.
Any counsel worthy of the name should have culture at its core. Any counsel worthy of the name should begin to make a place in personal life for the rumoured, scattered story of who you come from, where, and why. Counsel well done and honest makes a home for the orphan wisdom of personal life in the life of the world. It tries to ask the questions that the Sufi poet Rumi asked of himself eight centuries ago, and it tries to answer them:
All day long I think about it, and at night I say it: Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? Who hears with my ear, and speaks with my tongue? And what is the soul?
Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Not a seven step coping strategy, not an out-clause for trauma or sorrow, Die Wise is for everyone who, hell or high water, is not going to pull off eternity after all.
Dying is not the end of wisdom and wisdom not exhausted by dying. Dying could be and must be the fullest expression and incarnation of what you’ve learned by living. It’s a moral obligation to die well. If you love somebody, if you care about the world that’s to come after you, if you want somebody to be spared the lunacy of what you’ve seen, you’ve got to die wise.
Dying well is not a matter of enlightened self-interest or personal preference. Dying well must become an obligation that living people and dying people owe to each other and to those to come.”
Die Wise A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul
Die Wise – A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, is Stephen Jenkinson’s latest book about grief, and dying, and the great love of life. Published by North Atlantic Books, it is a 2015 Nautilus Award Winner.
For more information about Stephen Jenkinson and his work, visit http://www.orphanwisdom.com
Thank you to Melva Armstrong and WHOLifE Journal for sponsoring CHI.