At the Foot of the World Tree Withered


A Week long Teaching in Bali

April 5-9 2017 

This is a unique offering-- if you know Stephen, you know he comes with teachings of the ramshackling kind, about honor and grace under pressure, about elder hood in an age of age intolerance, about the withering World Tree, about how we might learn our darkening times.

This is deep and full of life.  And not a trifling matter.

In Stephen's words: The Bali session will be the first time I'll be 'teaching the book'. (Referring to a yet-to-be released one.)

The session will be two things: a deep meditation on what has become of age and elderhood in the west, and a visitation of elderhood. So, there will be content that goes well out beyond 'geezerdom', but the manner of our inquiry will be fully informed with the skills of elderhood that will be practiced.


The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen.  And the weather, and the waters. The appearance of it all is this: We’d rather be defeated than persuaded. Perhaps we will be.

In a time like this, contemplation tethered to the troubled world is courageous. Contemplative sorrow: that’s the kind that is willing to learn the trouble of its time in a way that principled anxiety is not. Contemplation worthy of the troubled time: that is something to bequeath to the young among us. Unvanquished give-a-shit: that is something the old among us might be nourished to see.

Trade faith and hope for a stranger love of life, one that befriends the darkening sky by learning it. We might yet craft an eloquence that serves the terrible beauty we are about to bequeath to the young. Consequence, after all, is the true companion of grown ups.

This is a week at the foot of the withering World Tree, for young folk and old folk, for elders in training.

About Stephen JENKINSon


Spiritual Activist, Teacher, Author
Website | Facebook

Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With a Masters degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and one from the University of Toronto (Social Work), he is revolutionizing grief and dying in North America. Stephen is redefining what it means to live, and die well. 

The Orphan Wisdom School is for anyone with a desire to be useful to those who will inherit an endangered and often dangerous world. It is for those who have an instinct and a desire to be an ancestor worthy of being claimed. It is for those wishing to learn something of the skills of grace in a graceless time, of mentor-ship and fierce and exemplary compassion. It is for elders in training.

Stephen is the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions – a live recorded teaching (2013), How it All Could Be: A work book for dying people and those who love them (2009), Angel and Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life – a live recorded teaching (2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002), and contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007).  Stephen is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker (National Film Board of Canada, 2008), a lyrical, poetic portrait of his work with dying people.

Apprenticed to a master storyteller, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is former programme director in a major Canadian hospital, former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school, consultant to palliative care and hospice organizations and educator and advocate in the helping professions.

Stephen is also a sculptor, traditional canoe builder and his house has won a Governor General’s Award for architecture.

Immersion Inclusions

  • All teaching with Stephen (roughly 6-8 hrs/day)
  • All organic, locally sourced food (we provide mostly vegetarian cuisine but can cater to any dietary needs)
  • Optional daily yoga and meditation
  • 4 nights accommodation at the spectacular Beji Indah (Ubud)
  • Any additional activities; including Balinese blessing ceremony and the Art of Offering workshop

What's Not Included

  • Flights, visas (most countries receive free 30 days of travel within Indonesia), and transportation prior to our start date


About the Venue

Beji Indah is spectacular.  It's a lush, 10 room, individually-styled villa spread out over a beautiful riverside backdrop. It's a stones throw from the bustling heart of Ubud, but you wouldn't know it-- here you're in your own private paradise.   

It's perfect for the kind of experience this will be.  Stephen doesn't mince words, our time with him is likely to be deep and intense, so when we break it's nice to sit quietly with only the sound of a river as the backdrop, or to continue the conversation in our newly forged friendships, or to grab a glass of wine and go for a swim.

The rooms are ridiculously spacious-- you won't believe it until you set foot in one-- and they're all uniquely designed.

The best part though are the people.  We felt an immediate kinship with Yulia (the Balinese manager/caretaker of the grounds), spending hours just sitting and talking.  

Here's an excerpt of the villa's story from the owner, Dr. Steven Wignall:

Villa Beji Indah operates less like a corporate entity and more as a social enterprise.
Investment in staff welfare and development, commitment to the local communities
and supporting sustainable tourism is at the core of our operation.
Our staff are from the picturesque village of Nyuh Kuning or the surrounding suburbs.
No one is hospitality trained but everyone is invested in its mission - to create an
unforgettable experience for those who visit us while ensuring care for the
environment and support those less fortunate.
At the end of the day, this is our home and we welcome you to come stay with us.
And soon it will be yours too!

You can read the full story here.

We can't wait to bring you here!  


At the Foot of the World Tree Withered
from 250.00

**Please Note: The $400 amount listed above represents the 25% deposit amount, not the full fee of $1,595. **

There are three registration options: Shared room, Private room, or Seminar only (which doesn't include accommodation or transportation, but does include all the teaching with Stephen and meals).  A shared room means you will be placed in a room with one other person, and each of you will have your own bed.

Private room means you will have your own room and bathroom.

Rather than pay the entire amount at the time of registration, you can choose to pay a 25% deposit to reserve your place in the Immersion.  This deposit is non-refundable.  


Shared Room: $1,595 USD ($400 deposit)

Private Room: $1,995 USD ($500 deposit)

Seminar Only: $1,050 USD (doesn't include accommodation or transportation)

For any questions, email:

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