14th January (one day sitting day)
Zazen sitting day, Subud Hall, Clifton, Bristol
I'm organising for Paul Crummay to host this sitting day for anyone familiar with Zazen. A chance to gather together for some new year practice! Please bring veggie lunch to share. Donations welcome to cover costs. 9.30 - 4.30pm.
5th - 13th May (residential)
Wild Therapy residential, Ecodharma, Catalunya, Spain
This course will help you to develop a deeper understanding of ecopsychological practices – both experientially and theoretically. You will be supported to deepen a nature-based practice and appreciate its therapeutic value and applications. Aimed at trainee or practising therapists and those who are interested in the relationship between therapy and nature-based approaches, we will explore how ecopsychological approaches can be resourcing and supportive in working one to one, as well as within other settings and groups. I'll be supported by Justin Roughley. *This event is fully booked. Please contact Ecodharma via the 'information and booking' link to be added to the waiting list*.
23rd June (one day event)
Somerset Convergence: Connect - Collaborate - Inspire. Wells, Somerset
An initiative of Sustainable Wells, Transition Langport and Green Wedmore, supported by Somerset Community Foundation, this Somerset Convergence day aims to reaffirm our power to change things; we can do more than we think; bottom-up change is more effective than top-down; above all, we can make a sustainable society that takes care of our planet and our people, that champions a localised economy, community cohesion and collaboration. I'll be one of the co-facilitators of the day.
5th - 8th July (three day gathering)
Edge of the Wild annual ecopsychology gathering at Green and Away, Worcestershire
At this annual national ecopsychology gathering, which I co-founded with friends seven years ago, I'll be facilitating an Edge of the Wild 'Truth Mandala'. The Truth Mandala emerged from Joanna Macy's 'work that reconnects' back in 1992, following the reconciliation of East and West Germany. I'm offering here it as I've found truth mandalas offer a simple and transformative space for a community to come together and process fear, grief, anger, emptiness and to sit in hope. Information.
20th-21st October (a series of city wide events)
Wild & Well Bristol
Wild & Well is a new kind of wellbeing event focusing on four themes - Move, Eat, Connect and Explore. Bristol. I'll be speaking on one of the 'Connect' panels exploring nature connection, mental health and wellbeing. Have a look at an introduction to the weekend and buy tickets.
27th October (one day workshop)
!Resilience from the ground up! Redbrick Building, Glastonbury, Somerset.
Resilience is defined as 'the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’. This day, for activists, change makers and anyone engaged in 'world work' will offer us the chance to gather, stop, share and reflect together, with the aim of supporting ourselves and one another in our ‘world work’ - whatever shape that takes. This day has come about in response to the first 'Somerset Convergence' meeting held in Wells in June. Download full flyer to find out more and to book. Facilitated by Emma Palmer and Paul Crummay. £40/25 full price/concessions, price includes a simple veggie lunch.
22nd November (evening event)
Other than Mother, CONFER seminar, The Freud Museum, London, NW3 5SX.
Women on the Couch - this seminar series is a series of presentations for psychotherapists on the inner lives of women. On 22nd November I'll be talking about being 'other than mother'. Some blurb for the evening: 'It’s strange to think that not having children – through choice, circumstance, and loss – is still a hot topic in 2018... Fascinated by rising statistics of childlessness, as well as in the ecological impact of parenthood, Emma wrote Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind to support those mulling this decision, as well as to highlight the ongoing stereotyping and ‘othering’ of the childfree. Opening a space for discussion, this evening is for those women who are both childfree by choice and childless through circumstance and loss, as well as those who are ambivalent, unsure or as yet undecided.' £25 per evening seminar.
Saturday 21st January
A pregnant pause: exploring childlessness (part of Tariki's ongoing 'Therapists forum'). At the Buddhist House, Narborough, Leicestershire. Hosted by Caroline Brazier of the Tariki Trust. Cost £25 including lunch (Tariki students £15). Booking information. This day forum will also be a chance to learn more about the phenomenon of increasing childlessness - due to choice, circumstance, loss, and happenstance - to share our own stories of being with or without child, and to bear in mind how we work with this theme in the therapy room. Please come along and create new dialogues and a more accepting, diverse culture for our communities, whether we're related by blood or friendship.
Monday 6th February
'Other than Mother' meet up - Continuing the conversation. At the Door and Rivet, Bristol, BS2 8TP, 7.30pm-9.30pm. £7. This evening will be another chance to gather together to continue the conversation about childlessness—whether through choice, circumstance, loss or happenstance—which started last June, following the launch of my second book Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind. This will be the third meet up we’ve had since the launch. They've been rich, respectful, interesting evenings with small groups of us bringing our experiences and challenges for sharing and discussion. So far our meet ups have included those who are childless by circumstance and loss and those who are childfree by choice, a Mum (intrigued by the subject) and some who are yet to decide, spanning different generations. Download flyer, or contact me for more information.
Saturday 18th March
'The Practice of the Wild: starting from where we are'. Key note talk for CONFER's 'Eco-Psychotherapy: Healing and the Natural World' conference at the London Wetlands Centre. 8.30am-5pm. £50/dana event. Developing the theme from CONFER's recent conference at the Eden Project, this event brings together the practices of ecology and psychotherapy to illustrate how engagement with nature is a powerful transformative tool, both in itself and - potentially - when integrated into any therapeutic approach. We will consider how concerns for the natural world may be pertinent to much unspoken anxiety in the consulting room, and how this can be worked with psychotherapeutically to create a deeper engagement with nature as a source of healing.
Saturday 1st April
'Other than Mother' day workshop - Longing and Legacies. At the Barn at Yanley Court Complementary Therapy Centre, Long Ashton, North Somerset, BS41 9LB. 10-4.30pm. A one day workshop for those who are childless or childfree. A space to reflect, talk, listen, plan, heal—even dream a little—in good company. This workshop has emerged from the meet ups which have been happening since the launch of my second book ‘Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind'; small gatherings which have been a rich and respectful sharing of experience. This day will be a chance to explore what it means to be without child, or no longer with child, in a world which is still very much pro-family and pro-natal. Sadly judgements and assumptions about those of us without children—for whatever reason—are still all too common. My intention is to offer a space where we can contact a sense of our longings and legacies—themes often associated with child-bearing and rearing. Through lead reflection, solo work, pair work and whole group work I shall invite you to reclaim a sense of your creativity and purpose whatever stage you’re at: you might be in the midst of deciding whether or not to have children, coming to terms with being unable to have a child, or looking to re-orient your life having known for some time that you don’t want children. Or you might be looking to your elder years. I’m very keen for us to create new forms, support networks, rites and rituals in honouring our lives and this gathering is part of that building process. So please contact me if you’re like to find out more! Download flyer.
Tuesday 23rd May
'Stories of our lives - childless, childfree, undecided'. Cafe Ronak, Bishopston, Bristol. 7.30-9.30pm. £7. This evening is an invitation to explore the stories and storying of our lives with a focus on being without child, for whatever reason. There’s much talk lately about how we need new stories in the times we’re in, or maybe, to dust off old stories, particularly with regards to the interrelated crises of our times; causing harm to human and other-than-human life. The Buddhist philosopher David Loy’s question “What happens when I realize that my story is a story?” seems particularly relevant to the subject of childlessness... Read more and book.
Friday 26th - Monday 29th May
The Courage to Care: Dreaming the Earth. Gaia House, co-facilitating with Suvaco. We are living through complex times. The multifaceted crisis — spiritual, psychological, ecological, social, political and economic - brings us into uncharted terrains where our usual solutions and strategies are growing increasingly impotent to effect change. What is it to abide, wholeheartedly, in uncertainty? To collectively create a field which exists beyond the known? How can we contribute as we understand that we co-emerge in relationship with the whole? As Dharma practitioners dreams can open a door into the ultimately empty and selfless nature of all dharmas. Through them we can explore that we are not on Earth, we are of Earth. We are Earth in human form. On this retreat we will establish a group field that allows a different kind of listening to arise, through tending to and sharing our dreams, guided meditations and group time, to let the sense of imaginal space arise - of intuition and felt images - and to explore what they ask of us. From £156 (supported rate), booking via Gaia House.
Thursday 13th - Sunday 16th July
'Meeting at the edge of the wild' - 6th annual ecopsychology gathering - 'Fraktured Psyche'. Green & Away in Worcestershire. I'm glad to be on the organising group for this event, having been one of the founder organisers back in 2012 and in 2013. The week we met to start planning this gathering a fracking site in Lancashire was given the green light by the - news which seeped into our meeting. The 'fraktured psyche' emerged from our collective dreaming, alongside flaming tigers, watery shores, and a mighty winged lammergeier, along with other bird, bees and sacred messengers. This space will be a chance to join together in reflection, resistance, dream, play, and action as we join forces in celebrating the delight and feeling the pain. There'll be offerings of bodywork as we unfurl into the day... social dreaming as we gather together... fascinating keynotes and workshops as we share learning and practice... open spaces for spontaneous and strategic offerings... music and open mic around the fire. As ever we will have the chance to live alongside the thousands of other-than-human species living in this beautiful part of Worcestershire, with swimming in the river Teme and the lake and scenic walks. We'll be welcomed, hosted and fed by the generous-spirited people of Green and Away at their tented conference centre. So whether this will be your first visit, or you're a seasoned participant, we look forward to seeing you at this year's event... Programme news so far: the chance to hear from the fracking activist, Tina Rothery, music from Seize the Day and a residential environmental artist. Download the full flyer. Or visit this page.
Friday 13th October
'Eve's Dawning', Stillpoint Spaces, London, £12.75/£15
'Eve's Dawning' combines storytelling, live music and animation to tell the dystopian fairy tale of Eve, the last girl in the world, as she navigates a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Eve's fate unfolds as she experiences loss, betrayal and strange joy, before finding an unlikely companion in the form of a straight talking and highly persuasive fox.Playwright Joel Samuels, singer/songwriter Lydia Samuels and artist Jeanine Moros-Noujaim invite you to Eve's kaleidoscopic journey. Accompanied by a dreamy live soundtrack spanning multiple genres, from folk to doo-wop and punk.
The performance will be followed by psychotherapist and author Kamalamani drawing on themes from 'Eve's Dawning'. Inspired by the highly persuasive fox and the Zen notion of 'wild fox spirit', she will set them in ecopsychological context, with time for group discussion and sharing. Buy tickets.
Saturday 11th November
Body Psychotherapists Gathering, Resource for London, N7 6PA, £20
Five years ago when I was co-facilitating a Wild therapy training with Nick Totton I cam up with an idea that we should host a Body psychotherapy gathering, inviting therapists nationwide to gather and to share the work we do. I'm delighted that this idea has blossomed into this event, probably the first ever opportunity for UK body psychotherapists of all modalities and backgrounds to get together. It will not be a formal conference with speeches, but an informal gathering including opportunities for interaction on several levels. The day is open to everyone who identifies as a body psychotherapist, or as body-focused, body-centred, body-oriented, embodied, etc etc; also to people exploring the idea of training in this area. You do not need any certification in order to attend. It is being offered to the Body psychotherapy community as a gift by the Embodied-Relational Therapy Association.
Thursday 16th November
Book launch: 'Bodywise: weaving somatic psychotherapy, ecodharma, and the Buddha in everyday life', The Snug @ The tobacco Factory, Southville, Bristol.
Friday 25th - Sunday 26th November
Transpersonal Narratives in Ecopsychology, CONFER, Eden Project, Cornwall, £190-£300
A seed for this event was sown back in April when I emailed Jane Ryan, director of CONFER: "I’ve just been day dreaming about an ecopsychology event which draws on soul/transpersonal/’spiritual’ approaches". Three months on, I'm delighted that the day dream has taken shape and Jane and I will be co-chairing this event. Inspired by ecopsychology work and my love of 'Zen' master Dogen, my talk will be entitled 'Excellent knowledge and a wild fox (transformative) spirit'. The full programme includes Sophy Banks, James Barrett, Caroline Brazier, Marion Green, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr Justine Huxley, Kamalamani, Paul Maiteny, Rev Peter Owen-Jones, Mary-Jayne Rust and Nick Totton.
This conference proposes that caring for the natural world of which we are an integral part is critical for our survival and our emotional well-being. Disrespecting that which nurtures us leads to deepening splits, tensions and conflicts within and beyond ourselves, which counter well-being and continue our dissociation from nurturing the planet, our home.
Simultaneously, embracing the realities of climate change and the interrelated crises we face - for example, the 6th extinction crisis and unprecedented ecosystemic degradation - confronts us collectively and individually with painful but potentially liberating psychological and transpersonal changes arising out of a sense of the impending and most likely irreversible changes for many species on earth. The programme thus rests on the premise that our psychological, social and spiritual health is being damaged alongside the biosphere but that we can still strengthen our capacity as practitioners and activists to counter this downward spiral.
In this context, we will be looking at spiritual traditions as well as psychological insights that support such capacity, and using insights from these traditions that support/deepen psychotherapy, in an attempt to find our own way through the conflicts posed by the interrelated emergencies. The conference will not offer answers so much as a sharing of the questions and a community of people with common concerns to ask how received, ancient wisdom can support contemporary eco-systemic and psychotherapeutic thinking to help us address and embrace these issues in an effective and empowered way.
Please contact me if you are interested in any of the events below, or wish to book.
'An Ecology of Mind'. Film night and discussion. Friday 11th March, Bristol Buddhist Centre, BS7 9NT. An Ecology of Mind is a portrait of Gregory Bateson, the celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, systems theorist, and film maker and is produced and directed by his daughter, Nora. As the film blurb says: This film hopes to inspire its audience to see our lives within a larger system - glistening with symmetry, play, and metaphor. An invitation to ask the kinds of questions that could help thread the world back together from the inside. Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start. No need to book. Donations (dana) towards running costs gratefully received!
'Other than Mother: Contemporary Womanhood and Reproductive Questions' - Friday 18th March, Stillpoint Spaces, London, N7. What sort of expectations do women consciously and unconsciously carry around today? What are the consequences of living in a pronatal society? What's the effect of what Melanie Holmes refers to as The Mother Mandate - the idea that life for women is incomplete if they haven't had a child? This evening will open a space for discussion on these important topics. Kamalamani, author of Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind will give a short talk followed by an open discussion. Books will be available for purchase. Book here. 7-9pm.
'Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind': book launch. Friday 15th April, central Bristol, 6-9.30pm. By invitation. A celebration of the birth of my second book! More details from the publishers.
'Otherness' and Going Forth. Friday 13th May. Bristol Buddhist Centre, BS7 9NT. Doors open 7.15 for a 7.30pm start. Donations welcome. (Suitable for those with some experience of meditation and Buddhist practice). Going forth from the home life to the homeless life is an important aspect of Buddhist practice. In her recently published book 'Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind', Kamalamani explores the experience of 'otherness', in the context of being part of a growing minority who are choosing not to have children. How 'otherness' can be both liberating, as well as being subject to judgement, misunderstanding, and stereotyping. She also talks about how not bearing children has been a going forth, in terms of her expectations of how her life would turn out, in terms of holding in mind self, other, and world, and in terms of identity - with motherhood still being seen societally as an essential part of womanhood. This evening will give us the opportunity to explore the themes of going forth linked to identity, otherness, and our practice of the Dharma. Please come, whether you're without child (by choice, circumstance and/or happenstance) a parent, 'other', or as yet undecided.
'Other than Mother': An Exploration of Childlessness. Monday 6th June, the Galley Cafe, Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4RU. £6. Download flyer.
More women than ever before are not having children in 'Western' countries. Fascinated by this phenomena, as well as being interested in remaining without child for ecological and environmental reasons, Kamalamani has written 'Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind' with a view to supporting people in mulling this private decision with global consequences. This book explores many themes that constellate around the decision to have children (or not): identity, gender conditioning, meaning-making, embodiment, and our care for other-than-human life, to name but a few. Kamalamani longs for the day when we embrace different reproductive choices and choosing not to have children isn't automatically judged as being socially deviant and somehow in reaction to children and parents. This evening, held the day after World Environment Day, will open a space for discussion and exploration of these important topics. Signed copies of 'Other than Mother' will be available for purchase. Please contact me to book as numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 participants.
Embodying Social Justice. Contemporary Perspectives across the Arts and Psychological Therapies. Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June, Whitelands College, University of Roehampton, London. We live and work in a time of global crisis. How do we tackle the tensions between political governance of populations and the intimate governance of bodies and selves in our creative-therapeutic relationships? This conference is for therapists with an interest in the links between social justice and therapeutic practice. It will make a space for exploring our own tangled personal-political, creative and embodied perspectives - it will be participative and engaging. This event is being organised by the Centre for Arts Therapies Research (CATR), the Centre for Research in Social and Psychological Transformation (CREST), Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, and the University of Edinburgh. I will be chairing the closing panel and hosting an experiential workshop on 'otherness'.
Choosing Childlessness and Cherishing Life: A talk, questions, answers and discussion at the Green Earth Awakening gathering, Saturday 17th September, Blackdown Hills, Somerset. I'll be talking about themes from my latest book 'Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind' in exploring how we make conscious life decisions, bearing in mind the empowerment of human and other-than-human life. Booking information.
Soft Fascination: Body, Breath and World. Friday 14th -Sunday 16th October, Paddington Farm, nr Glastonbury. A residential ecopsychology weekend co-creating the conditions for what Kaplan and Kaplan call 'soft fascination'. Download flyer.
'Other than Mother': Bridging between the childless and childfree. Monday 24th October, the Door and Rivet, Bristol, BS2 8TP, £6. Download flyer.
In researching and launching my latest book 'Other than Mother', it's becoming increasingly clear that there's alot of grey area between being without child due to circumstance and happenstance and choice. For many of us this choice is often not a simple one; its twists and turns pulling us in different directions over time. It seems important to bridge between those of us who are—or who identify—as childfree and those of us who are childfree. There may be a range of similarities and differences between our life’s circumstances. An important unifying theme is that however we have arrived at being without child, we are still (sadly) subjected to society’s stereotypes and suspicions. That might be pity, if we are childless by circumstance, through to sometimes being dismissed and scorned if we are childfree by choice. So this evening will be a chance to talk about this bridging - is it timely? Is it useful? How might it happen? It would be lovely to see some of you from our first gathering, and, of course, to see new faces. Please come along and add your presence and voice! Please contact me to book as numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 participants.
'Calling the earth to witness: telling our earth story'. A workshop at CONFER's 'Psychotherapy & the Natural World' conference, 12th/13th November, the Eden Project, Cornwall. Recollective practices are an important facet of ecopsychology. Inspired by the imagery of the Buddha calling the earth to witness during the night of his enlightenment, as well as my own practises of meditation, journalling and photography, I am fascinated by the telling of our earth stories. In the understanding and telling many things emerge. In this workshop we can began to tell our earth stories through reflection, working outside, alone, and in small groups. My wish is that this collective earth 'storying' resources us and the biosphere as well as giving us another way of working with our clients.
'Sustainable Sangha'. A practice day exploring what sustainability means for us, our practice and our influence on the world around us. This event is a 'warm up' for Buddhist Action month in June, and an introduction to the Triratna Buddhist movement's 'sustainable centre initiative'. 26th April, Bristol Buddhist Centre.
'Calling all Apprentice Ecosattvas!' and 'The Burning House'. Two talks given as part of Buddhist Action Month. 9th and 16th June, Bristol Buddhist Centre.
'Making our mark or throwing our weight around?' Workshop delivered at 'Choreography, Chaos & Contradictions. The Edge of the Wild Annual Ecopsychology Gathering 2015. 2-5th July, Green & Away Tented Venue, Worcestershire.
'Carbon Conversations', a 6 week group is aimed at anyone who is aware of and concerned by climate change and wishes to make practical and behavioural changes in preparing for a low-carbon future. September - October 2015, Bishopston, Bristol.
'Wild Dharma' weekend. Gathering together at the summer's end, this ecopsychology workshop will be an exploration of apparent polarities such as: wildness and stillness, quiet and activity, self and other, embodied and disembodied. We shall be working at the interface of Wild therapy and Buddhist practice - although you need neither be a therapist or a Buddhist to come along. Ragman's Lane Farm in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, 18-20 September 2015.
'Sustaining Resistance & Empowering Renewal' residential. Team facilitator for this 10-day event which offered a range of tools, collective and personal, to make our activism more effective. The workshop used methods of holistic and participatory learning: cognitive, critical, emotional, and visceral, bringing together activists from across Europe, to share practice and strengthen networks. 31st Oct to 9th Nov 2015, Ecodharma Centre, nr Abella de la Conca, Spain.
'Practising with Character' retreat for women mitras within Triratna Buddhist Movement. A retreat based on my book 'Meditating with Character.' 28 November - 5 December 2015, Taraloka Retreat Centre, Shropshire.
'Introducing Wild Therapy': A talk for Taunton Association of Psychotherapy. An evening exploring Wild Therapy, with its roots in Embodied-Relational Therapy. It invites us to explore the wilder aspects of therapy and of ourselves through working in the elements and in the presence of other-than-human life. In turn we invite the outside back into our therapy rooms. Wild Therapy celebrates creativity, spontaneity and interconnection. 21 February 2014, Taunton.
Wild therapy group. 6 week Wild therapy group in. Bristol - April/May 2014.
'The Body Politic', the 7th Psychotherapy and Politics PCSR (Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Reponsibility) Conference. Co-ordinating for this conference with colleagues from PCSR and workshop presentation. Saturday 10th May 2014, NCVO, London, N1 9RL.
'Amitabha and the rite of fascination'. A talk introducing and celebrating Amitabah, the rich red-coloured Buddha of the west, associated with meditation, compassion and the rite of fascination, amongst other things... 1 December 2014, 7.30pm, Bristol Buddhist Centre.
'Heart of Winter - Heart of Practice.' Midwinter practice day. 21 December 2014, 10-5pm, Bristol Buddhist Centre.
'Meetings at the Edge: the Interface of Ecopsychology and Buddhism': A talk for Bristol Psychotherapy Association. Practising Buddhism since her early twenties, Kamalamani loves to see how age-old teachings are relevant to contemporary life. Her book 'Meditating with Character' explores meditation and character structure. She greatly values co-facilitating 'Wild Therapy' in meeting her own edges. 4 February 2013, Clifton, Bristol.
'Mindful Body' Retreat Day. A day retreat is an invitation to reflect on what it means to be a body; with mindfulness and compassion. You'll have the chance to explore the past and present of your embodied experience drawing upon themes from Kamalamani's book 'Meditating with Character.' Sunday 17 March 2013 at Yanley Court, Long Aston, Bristol.
Wild Therapy Introductory Day. Introducing Wild Therapy in the beautifully converted barn at Yanley Court. For those who are new to and curious about Wild Therapy and those who want a Wild Therapy refresher. Working alone, in pairs and small groups outdoors and indoors. Sunday 28 April 2013, Yanley Court, Long Ashton, Bristol.
Wild Therapy - A five day residential. Run by Nick Totton and myself for therapists wishing to experience Wild therapy with more time and space than an introductory weekend. This will be held at Ragmans Farm, a 60 acre organic farm in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Its people use farming practices that regenerate the land, using permaculture as a guiding design principle. 6-11 June 2013, Ragman's Lane Farm, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
'Embodying the Shambhala Warrior Myth' workshop delivered at the 'Meeting at the Edge of the Wild' ecopsychology gathering I am co-organising. This tented gathering will feature key note speakers, workshops, dream matrix, meditation, yoga, wild dancing, story-telling, live music and more! The event will be organised by PCSR and other UK-based ecopsychologists. 1-4 August 2013, Green and Away, Worcestershire.
'Meditating with Character' week-long retreat. Come and explore your meditation and Dharmapractice with a fresh approach from Kamalamani, based on her book 'Meditating with Character'. Deepen your understanding of how your life conditioning shapes your body-mind and influences your approach to meditation and Dharma life. With meditation, reflection, discussion, movement, and ritual. 4-11 October 2013, Taraloka Retreat Centre, Shropshire.
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