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Stepping into the Role of 'Empowered Elder'

CEN Foundation Workshop Overview

Purpose of CEN

CEN is a movement of elders, dedicated to growing in consciousness while actively addressing our Earth’s vital issues: social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, sustainable, regenerative living, and restoration of democracy.

Purpose of Workshop

This Workshop provides the basic tenets upon which CEN is founded. It addresses what it means to be a conscious elder, why the state of the world especially calls us to step up in our roles as elders to the social and environmental challenges humanity faces, and opportunities to do so within our growing movement.

Aspirations for Workshop Participants

  • Inspiration to take action for Earth and to engage in positive change on personal, social and environmental levels;
  • Embrace the role of Elder;
  • Move from individual self to One with the World community;
  • Gain a deeper understanding and address the core environmental, social/economic, political and spiritual crises facing our world today;
  • Form into a local community of elders who connect deeply to one another;
  • Contribute to expanding CEN resources for learning and growing; and
  • Learn and practice the transformational tools of mindfulness, deep listening, journaling and dialogue.

Overview of Workshop Sessions

 Being an Elder

  • Introduction to CEN and to the values, roles, and tasks of elderhood.
  • What it means to you to be an Elder and move from un-empowered senior to a state of empowerment.

 Growing in Consciousness

  • Introduction to the science of mindfulness and the Story of Oneness; Understand CEN’s tag line - One Earth, One Humanity, One Future.
  • How growing in mindfulness/consciousness/awareness can support our awareness/consciousness as individuals and as part of the larger living system.

 State of the World

  • Introduction and exploration of environmental, socio-economic, and spiritual crises and divides in our world today.
  • How facing the state of the world empowers you to act on behalf of Earth.

 Ecological Revolution/The Great Turning

  • Introduction to the Great Turning or the Ecological Revolution and new sustainable models of environmental, social and economic systems.
  • How shifting from “nothing or little I can do” to “understanding what I can do and changing my behaviors” can be part of the solution.

 Sacred Activism

  • Exploring and connecting to what is “ sacred”/important to you. How to take action from love not hate, from unity, not division.
  • Finding your calling. What is being asked of you now as an Elder?

 Taking Action Together for the Earth

  • Forming into elder circles, Climate Action chapters, or other community action groups; Setting plans for how we will engage as elders.
  • Shifting from not knowing to commitment with others to take action on behalf of Life.

 Completion - Celebration - Evaluation

  • Our final session together will be a community celebration and evaluation. We will hear from each other our plans for moving forward and how the CEN Foundation Workshop has affected us and our future.


Foundational Resource Books

The following books have provided key source material for this workshop. We highly recommend them but they are not required reading.

From Age-ing to Sage-ing (2nd ed.)   Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

The Great Work   Thomas Berry

Active Hope   Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone

Sacred Activism   Andrew Harvey

The Sages’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for a Modern Revolution   William Martin