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The Empowered Elder


EAN's Foundation Workshop

(Seven online sessions via Zoom video conferencing)

Tuesdays, February 5th - March 19th
10:00 am - 12:15 pm PST / 1:00 pm - 3:15pm EST

(Registration is closed for this workshop)


EAN is a movement of vital elders who are dedicated to growing in consciousness while actively addressing the vital issues of our time. The Empowered Elder Workshop introduces the basic tenets upon which EAN is founded and explores the important role of elders in today's world. There is a focus on understanding, embracing, and stepping into the role of elder—of moving from 'disempowered older' to 'empowered elder'!


1 - Being an Elder 

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

2 - Growing in Consciousness

  • Introduction to the science of mindfulness and the Story of Oneness
  • How growing in mindfulness/consciousness/awareness supports our interactions with life as an individual and as part of the larger living system

3 - State of the World

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

- The Great Turning: The Sustainability Revolution

  • Introduction to the Ecological Revolution and new sustainable models of environmental, social and economic systems
  • How shifting from “there's little-or-nothing I can do” to understanding what I CAN do and changing my behavior is part of the solution

- Sacred Activism

  • Exploring and connecting to what is “sacred” and important to you, as well as 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 what I can do" to commitment with others to take action on behalf of Life

- Elder Circles • Projects Creation • Celebration 

  • Hearing from the Elder circlers, actions groups, and individual projects that have formed about their plans and next steps
  • Celebrating our time together and reflecting on what we have learned 


After each session participants will have access to a homework and resources webpage with daily practices and journal questions, along with readings, videos, and websites relating to the topic of the next session.

The following four books have provided key source material for our workshop. They are not required reading; however, we highly recommend them for your reading list now or in the future.

From Age-ing to Sage-ing (2nd ed.) — Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
The Great Work — Thomas Berry
Active Hope — Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism — Andrew Harvey


Constance Washburn M.A. is the lead facilitator of the Empowered Elder Workshop. She is a founding member of the Elders Action Network and is a long time facilitator, community builder and leads retreats, trainings and workshops in Joanna Macy's “Work that Reconnects,” helping people reconnect to themselves, each other, and the earth in order to build a sustainable future for all life. 

Constance has an M.A. in education and theater and is a graduate of the Ecology of Leadership and Permaculture Design programs at the Regenerative Design Institute, holds a certificate in Transforming Business, Society, and Self with U.Lab from MITx, and she is a mindfulness/meditation instructor and yoga teacher. 

She served as Education Director at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), Marin Organic, and the Marin Agriculture and Education Alliance (MAEA) for 18 years, creating programs and events connecting people to the land. Programs included farm tours, talks, large festivals, volunteer and teacher trainings, as well as the Farm Field Studies program, which brought thousands of students a year out to farms.

 What participants have said about the workshop...

“The Empowered Elder: EAN's Foundation Workshop gives a superb overview of what EAN is about as well as going into depth, especially through the varied, imaginative, and potentially transformative experiential exercises, as well as the rich resources. You will emerge more knowledgeable and wiser -- not only about what Elders Action Network really means but also about how you want to embrace your elderhood and contribute to making our world and earth a better home for our great, great grandchildren. This workshop will be valuable for EAN "old-timers" as well as new members.“ 

Meg Newhouse, Passion & Purpose LifeCrafting,
founder of the Life Planning Network, EAN "old-timer" 

"This workshop lays the foundation for our thinking, acting and being needed to preserve all life for all future time. If there is one course that says everything about everything, this is it. In a world exploding with information, how do we decide what to let in…This gives participants the keys to what's important and a method by which to choose."   

Geoff Ainscow, producer of The Deep Time Walk, EAN “old-timer”