Alef Trust hosts public programmes and events to support its mission to promote holistic frameworks for human growth.
Nurturing the Fields of Change
February – December 2023
This programme and emerging communityof practice are for all who are interested in social change and cultural transformation, fostering a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. Join us for the first cycle of a journey into the living dynamics and experiential heart of holistic change facilitation. Responding to the turmoil and imbalances of our time, the programme opens an opportunity to come together and explore how we can synergise our energies and nurture joint inquiries into the big questions that confront us, such as:
How can we nurture holistic system change in the world?
How can we open to nature and collective wisdom?
How are mind, heart, body and spirit engaged in our work?
How do we inspire coherent action for transformational outcomes?
How do we experience and approach the challenges we encounter?
Inquiries into these questions require not only a theoretical appreciation of the holistic, interconnected nature of our world, but a deep and ongoing commitment to engage experientially with our individual and collective interior conditions. Experienced holistic change facilitators, transpersonal coaches and mentors will accompany us on this individual and collective journey. Three nested circles let you choose the depth and intensity at which you want to engage in the programme and community.
“Many of us have begun to appreciate that purely external, technical solutions are insufficient in addressing the multifaceted problems of our time, because they are bypassing the inner dimensions of the crises we have been experiencing. There is a growing recognition that our global challenges are rooted in dysfunctional mental states and social dynamics, and that we need to engage in inner work to evolve our capacities and skills in addressing world-wide insecurities and volatilities” (Nurturing the Fields of Change report, p.12).
Corona and Beyond: Transpersonal Perspectives on Crisis, Transformation & Wellbeing
This cycle of six fortnightly dialogues will run from July to October. Themes that emerged in the webinar Corona and Beyond: Transitioning to a new paradigm, (9th June 2020) will be expanded by guest speakers in conversation with hosts Jessica Bockler and Les Lancaster. Transpersonal psychologists, coaches, creative and spiritual practitioners from the Alef Trust faculty will explore what we each can do to find greater alignment, meaning and balance in turbulent times. We look forward to opening the dialogue to include questions and discussion from participants, learning from each other as we envision the unfolding of a different future. There is no fee to join these events, although a voluntary donation to support our public programmes is appreciated. Please register for each event individually using the links below.
Dialogue 1 Corona & Beyond: The Alchemy of Acceptance Dr. Steve Taylor in conversation with Dr. Jessica Bockler & Prof. Les Lancaster Sunday, 19th July 2020, 20:00 – 21:00 BST
Acceptance is an essential spiritual quality. Resisting the present reality of our lives – and resisting the reality of our predicament as human beings – leads to conflict and frustration. Steve’s research has shown that ‘post-traumatic transformation’ (equivalent to spiritual awakening) often occurs when a person accepts their predicament, letting go of their resistance to it. In this session, Steve will read some of his poetic reflections and lead contemplative/meditative exercises. Steve will also explain a process by which we can shift into acceptance, whether in relation to the everyday demands of our lives, aspects of our own lives, or general aspects of human life such as ageing and death.
Dialogue2 Corona & Beyond: Transpersonal self-authorship Dr Kendra Diaz-Ford in conversation with Dr Jessica Bockler & Prof. Les Lancaster Sunday, 2nd August, 19:00-20:00 BST
Have you experienced a change in values as a result of COVID-19? What stories do you tell yourself about what is important in your life at this moment in time? And how are these very stories shaping the ways in which you currently interact with others, in work, relationship, community, and globally? There is power in the stories that you tell yourself, the stories you relay to others, and the ways in which your stories are received and mirrored by others. In this workshop, we will examine the function and power of story in the process of what I am calling Transpersonal Self-Authorship as a way of re-building identity and sense of self in a new and changing world.
Dialogue 3 Corona & Beyond: Benefits of the shamanic paradigm and rituals during a crisis Dr Steven Schmitz in conversation with Dr Jessica Bockler & Prof. Les Lancaster Sunday 16th August, 19:00-20:00 BST
How can the ancient wisdom and practices of Shamanism and the practicing of rituals be beneficial for us during the time of a turbulent and disruptive crisis like the Coronavirus pandemic? Shamanism is a practical, earth-based tradition and the oldest form of spiritual healing that can help generate balance, harmony, and empowerment when we and our lives are unsettled.
How can we increase our powerful spiritual immunity? Rituals are an effective means for connecting with Spirit, for connecting as community, and for healing. Join us for a presentation by Dr. Steven Schmitz, a faculty member of Alef Trust, that will teach you concrete and practical ways to effectively handle your life during a crisis situation.
Dialogue 4 Corona & Beyond: Art as a planetary garden of compassionate novelty Dr Lila Moore in conversation with Dr Jessica Bockler & Prof. Les Lancaster Sunday 30th August, 19:00-20:00 BST
This dialogue explores the emerging roles of art and artists during and after the pandemic. We will consider the realigning of earth and heart during times of crisis and quarantine: restoring balance through engagement with the archetypes of art. Art, technology and the caring cultivation of the Noosphere have valuable contributions to make to our sense of wholeness and our capacity to envision and rebuild the life of the Self and the culture during these changing times.
Join the exploration which includes a meditative video on the Spiritual in Art and “Fragments of Wholeness,” a contemplative film experience.
Dialogue 5 Corona & Beyond: Changing perspectives in a changing world Jevon Dängeli in conversation with Dr Jessica Bockler & Prof. Les Lancaster Sunday 13th September, 19:00-20:00 BST
We are living in a time of radical change! A new paradigm is emerging – one that is calling for a more Eco-logical way of being in the world, including our relationships, our work, and our personal lives. Ego (self-centred) logic has played a significant role in the current crises that pervade our world. Ego-logic has reached a breaking point. We need a new way forward. The Eco-logical approach includes caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment in sustainable ways. The Eco-logical perspective may help us to navigate these radical changes more resourcefully, and support us in co-creating a world that we all want to experience – now and for generations to come.
Dialogue 6 Corona & Beyond: The power of myth Prof. Les Lancaster & Dr Jessica Bockler Sunday 4th October, 19:00-20:00 BST
In this session, we explore an idea that is traditionally associated with magical or religious thinking: The idea that our lives may be shaped and informed by patterns and powers of agency which arise from a deeper intelligence beyond the human realm. From this perspective, the emergence of the coronavirus with all its implications and effects is necessarily meaningful in the sense that it bears a purpose. Join us in experiential practice and dialogue to expose our collective beliefs and insights into the coronavirus and its role in our complex and volatile human world.
Corona and Beyond: Transitioning to a new paradigm
As the first phase of the Corona pandemic seems to be coming to a close, with ‘lockdown’ being eased in many countries, many are asking, What’s next? How we answer this question largely depends on how we understand the meaning of Corona. If it is simply a virus, then we proceed with caution back to our old ways. From a transpersonal perspective, however, we understand that the whole complex of responses brought about by the virus indicates directions in which we must travel. Many features of the Covid-19 pandemic and of the worldwide response to it, can only be fully understood as harbingers of a global re-balancing of values. At this time of transition, the collective psyche is urging us towards a more soulful future, in which our cultures regain a sustainable relationship to the natural world of which we are but a small part. The values and paradigms that served us in past ages are no longer fit for purpose; We are being urged to find the key for living in a truly global era.
Faculty from the Alef Trust presented their insights into the current situation informed by transpersonal perspectives and practices. Short individual presentations were followed by a panel discussion, including contributions and questions from attendees.
You may also be interested in reading The third narrative: Corona and the collective psyche, a recent essay by Les Lancaster which suggests that the values and paradigms that served us in the past are no longer fit for purpose: We are being urged to find the key for living in a truly global era.
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