Middle Eastern Spirituality

and Peace

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Spirituality, Peace and Wellbeing

Reverend Professor Stephen G. Wright

March 5

Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.
Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Workshop: 10am-4pm.
£20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students).

Those who work with people and in communities - therapists, healers, counsellors, social workers, teachers, health care staff and so on, are increasingly being encouraged to explore spirituality and to provide spiritual support to others.When people are fearful, in conflict and dis-eased, then many spiritual challenges arise such as the search for inner peace and recovery from trauma, finding hope and meaning amidst conflict, conflict resolution and the relief of suffering, and searching for forgiveness.

This very practical and participative study day is for those who have an interest in spirituality, want to know more about what it is and what the implications are for themselves and those they work with who are in or have experienced crisis of one form or another.

When we encounter suffering and sickness in the broadest sense - be it in ourselves, our relationships, our communities - the impact of these challenges is at every level; body, mind and soul. Those involved in giving help and support in such circumstances experience the difficulty of encountering the suffering of others as well as their own feelings - of sorrow, anger, fear and so on.

This workshop will look at what spirituality means to those involved in caring work, how we can explore it more deeply and safely in our own lives and in support to others. Themes such as the nature of spirituality and the relationship to religion, how spirituality affects wellbeing and recent research in the field will be explored. This is an opportunity to deepen knowledge about spirituality and wellbeing, drawing particularly on Middle Eastern traditions, in an enjoyable and experiential way so that we can discover within ourselves that “peace which passes all understanding.” Finding peace within and taking care of ourselves in the face of suffering is a precursor to caring for others and bringing harmony beyond ourselves.

Reverend Professor Stephen G Wright, RN RCNT RNT DipN DANS RPTT MSc FRCN MBE., University of Cumbria, Carlisle; Founding editor: Spirituality and Health International; Chairman: The Sacred Space Foundation.

Stephen has a long and distinguished history in nursing. He has published widely and made numerous conference and media appearances. Currently he works as journalist and editorial adviser to Nursing Standard in which he has a twice monthly column on spirituality and health matters. He works also as a Trustee and spiritual counsellor for the Foundation (a charity dedicated to the support of those who are in spiritual crisis, are exhausted and burned out, and to the teaching of the healing arts). His books include Therapeutic Touch (Stephen is a registered practitioner of this therapy) and Sacred Space - right relationship and spirituality in health care (both co-written with Jean Sayre-Adams) and most recently (2005) Reflections on spirituality and health which has received outstanding reviews.

He is involved in several research projects on “healing” and is an active Trustee and one of a team of Spiritual Directors at Penny Brohn Cancer Care (formerly of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre). He manages a consultancy company for the Foundation, carrying out a wide range of projects in recent years with health, social and business organisations. The projects (some of which are long-term and ongoing) include developing staff support schemes, best practice and policy development in spiritual care, training staff in spiritual counselling and spiritual care, providing leadership mentoring and conflict resolution for individuals and groups. He also works with clients on a one-to-one basis who are seeking healing and guidance on their illness or spiritual journey.

He is an ordained interfaith minister and spiritual counsellor and brings a wide range of knowledge and deep experience of many faiths to his work. In both his academic and practice work he focuses on exploring and bringing together spirituality and health, and the journal which he founded nearly ten years ago is dedicated to this theme and is now published by Wiley. He lives in Cumbria in rather splendid isolation, where he can walk the hills, meditate, tai chi, take care of his organic garden and enjoy grandfatherhood.

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