The Alef Trust Round Table at the Eurotas Conference in Tallinn September 2021
Alef Trust held a Round Table at the 21st Eurotas Conference which took place in Tallinn, Estonia on 22nd – 26th September 2021. The conference theme was: Inner ecology and transpersonal education. The title of the Alef Trust Round Table was: Transpersonal education as service to the greater whole.The Round Table panellists were four faculty members at Alef Trust – Les Lancaster, Jessica Bockler, Kendra Diaz-Ford, and Jevon Dängeli.
This article will briefly introduce what each panellist presented, including video clips of some presentations.
Les Lancaster opened the Round Table by explaining that transpersonal education cannot be reduced to matters of curriculum and established pedagogic models. In offering postgraduate programmes in transpersonal psychology, Alef Trust actualises a new paradigm in which individual and collective integrity, and awareness of the interconnectedness of all things, are central. Our intention focuses on community and the needs of the whole which we serve. Teaching has its place within these values of being.
Les described that since the inception of Alef Trust, the decision to operate fully online was not only pragmatic but – more importantly – reflected our belief that we have a responsibility to shape the shared space of the internet in relation to transcendent values – to create a “noosphere”, as envisaged by Teilhard de Chardin. This space, which increasingly defines the age we have entered, holds a mirror to humankind: Do we wish to see the reflection dominated by consumerist needs that sever our connection to planetary values? Or can we envisage a shining mirror in which service to the whole and transpersonal values are shared? In this presentation we explored a number of areas pertaining to our approach, touching on relational, technological, and applied practices and processes.
Due to a technical issue the video recording of Les’ presentation is not available.
The following presenter was Jevon Dängeli. He introduced transpersonal coaching as a pedagogical and change process. In this experiential segment, Jevon facilitated a process to explore the relational/connecting space between individuals and all phenomena in order to optimise the conditions for learning and change – open, calm, alert and receptive. This optimising of conditions not only aids one to access the deeper aspects of the psyche, but also to consciously process and embody information so that it can be applied meaningfully and purposefully in pursuits such as intellectual or spiritual development and ecological change (win-win-win).
Kendra Diaz-Ford introduced ways in which we can bring embodied presence online and explored how technology can serve as a conduit for building educational and transformative communities. Theory and practical applications were discussed along with examples of what Alef Trust does in the “classroom” to maintain presence and connection with students from around the world while online.
Jessica Bockler rounded off the presentation with stories of practice and service, exploring how transpersonal education can have a transformative bearing on the future of our human civilization. Jessica highlighted that over the past two years the Alef Trust has been facilitating the Conscious Community Project, an initiative devised to enable transformational community work around the world. Twelve projects have been initiated, serving critical causes in Mexico, South Africa, Pakistan, and Europe. All of the projects are underpinned by principles of holistic change facilitation, honouring integrative practice and inner ecology as pathways to change. Project leaders have been meeting as an inquiry group, investigating the nature and dynamics of their work and sharing challenges and insights experienced along the way. Jessica shared glimpses of this work and its emerging results.
Thereafter, the participants in the conference room in Tallinn and those who joined via Zoom were invited to collectedly tap embodied and imaginal ways of knowing, and jointly sense into the role that transpersonal education could and should play in our complex and fragile world.
We would like to thank the Eurotas conference organisers for the opportunity to offer this Round Table.