The John O'Donohue Symposium: To Bless the Space Between Us
Towards a Conversation of Healing for Our Wounded Earth
April 24-26, 2020
Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland
Dan Siegel, M.D., Diane Ackerman, Ellen Wingard, Davy Spillane, Caroline Welch and Richard Harrell
Fr. Martin Downey, Lelia Doolan, Dr. Deirdre O'Donohue, Dr. Cillian Roden
We extend a warm invitation to the second John O'Donohue Symposium in the heart of John's beloved Burren landscape in County Clare, Ireland. Join an international circle gathering around John's themes of connecting with self, others, community and the world. At the heart of John's awakened beliefs was the premise that ancient wisdom could offer desperately needed nourishment for the hunger experienced in our modern world. His work directs our search to crucial thresholds: past and future, life and death, the visible and the invisible world, encouraging us to become agents of transformation and change. Our time together will be celebrating the rich Irish traditions of conversation, poetry and music, with John's close friends and family.
Our focus will be centered around the themes: Mind, Music, Poetry and the Environment.
We are made from the clay of this earth and the rhythm within, is one with the rhythm outside. We have lost touch with this rhythm and our footsteps on this earth have faltered, our reckless stride is wrecking havoc.
John's writing awakens our spirits, encouraging us to look beyond the small flat screen in the palm of our hand where our world is condensed to immediate accessibly and function. We must turn to one another, creating a conversation of connection to consciousness towards action to reimagine a sustainable future for ourselves and our planet.
See speaker biographies below.
All Symposium Events will be held at the beautiful Falls Hotel and Spa, in Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland
Friday, April 24, 2020
- 3:00 - 6:00 Symposium Check-In
- 6:00 - 7:30 Wine and Cheese Reception on the Terrace / Falls Hotel
- 7:30 Evening Concert and Opening Ceremony featuring Guest Speakers with John's niece, Katie O'Donohue (soloist)
Saturday, April 25, 2020
- 9:00 - 5:00 Conference
- 8:00 Celebration of Irish Music at the Dylan Thomas Bar / Falls Hotel
Sunday, April 26, 2020
- 9:00 - 5:00 Conference
Symposium ticket includes all conference activities and the following: wine and cheese reception, buffet lunches (special diet requests accommodated) morning/afternoon tea and coffee. Lodging is not included and the responsibility of the ticket holder to make arrangements.
Lodging and Transportation:
The Falls Hotel and Spa has rooms held at special pricing for Symposium guests: click here to make a reservation. Numerous additional lodging options are available in the surrounding area with Lahinch, Doolin and Ennis in close proximity. We encourage making lodging reservations immediately to ensure availability. The closest airport to Ennistymon is the Shannon International Airport, with ground transportation options available.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS:
Dan Siegel, M.D.
Dan Siegel, M.D.
As a scientist and physician, my own mind was lit up with a spark of connection with John, ignited by our contrasts, and joined by the integration emerging in our mutual interests in exploring the nature of reality. John and I were working on a living bridge linking science and mysticism, finding common ground in the poetic study of the soul and the empirical explorations of the mind and brain. John’s insights into the nature of the invisible world, what he would call the “mystical,” resonated powerfully in new ways with the emerging science on the deep nature of reality—of our brains, our bodies, our minds, and our relationships with people and the planet. John’s work was grounded in contemplative and scholarly study and we discovered it to be consistent with rigorous cutting-edge research. His insights continue to inspire me each day, as they may do for so many, old and new to his life’s work, through John’s powerful presence on the visible page and audible recording, opening a window to awaken us to a deeper, more joyful, and meaningful life filled by the "surprise of its own unfolding."
Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory, and narrative.
Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families,and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He serves as the Medical Director of the Lifespan Learning Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Blue School in New York City, which has built its curriculum around Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight approach.
Dr. Siegel has published extensively for the professional audience. He is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and the internationally acclaimed text, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (2nd. Ed., Guilford, 2012). This book introduces the field of interpersonal neurobiology and has been utilized by a number of clinical and research organizations worldwide. Dr. Siegel serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which contains over sixty textbooks. The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being (Norton, 2007) explore the nature of mindful awareness as a process that harnesses the social circuitry of the brain as it promotes mental, physical, and health. The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician's Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration (Norton, 2010), explores the application of focusing techniques for the clinician’s own development, as well as their clients' development of mindsight and neural integration. Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind (Norton, 2012), explores how to apply the interpersonal neurobiology approach to developing a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and empathic relationships.
The New York Times bestseller Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human (Norton, 2016) offers a deep exploration of our mental lives as they emerge from the body and our relations to each other and the world around us. His upcoming book Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence (Tarcher/Perigee, August 2018) will provide practical instruction for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one's day-to-day life. Dr. Siegel's publications for professionals and the public have been translated into over forty languages. Dr. Siegel’s book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation (Bantam, 2010), offers the general reader an in-depth exploration of the power of the mind to integrate the brain and promote well-being. His New York Times bestseller Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence (Tarcher/Perigee, 2018) provides practical instruction for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one's day-to-day life. Dr. Siegel's publications for professionals and the public have been translated into over 40 forty languages.
He has written five parenting books, including the three New York Times bestsellers Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014); The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind (Random House, 2011) and No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind (Bantam, 2014), both with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child (Bantam, 2018) also with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., and Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive (Tarcher/Penguin, 2003) with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.
Dr. Siegel's unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, care providers, policy-makers, mediators, judges, and clergy. He has lectured for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and London's Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He lives in Southern California with his family.
Diane Ackerman writes about nature and human nature, especially the crossroads where the two meet and cast light on each other. She is the author of twenty-five works of poetry and nonfiction, including three New York Times bestsellers: "The Human Age," which received the PEN Henry David Thoreau Award; "A Natural History of the Senses," which inspired a PBS NOVA series, which she hosted; and "The Zookeeper's Wife," which received the Orion Book Award. The movie version of "The Zookeeper's Wife" appeared in 2017. "One Hundred Names for Love" was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. In her other nonfiction books, she considers how the brain becomes the mind, the natural history of love, the plight and fascination of endangered animals, deep play, the science and wonder of the garden, crisis-line counseling, becoming a pilot, and other subjects. She's also published seven collections of poetry. Her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, Smithsonian, National Geographic, and many other journals.
Among her prizes and awards are the John Burroughs Nature Award, Orion Book Award, PEN Henry David Thoreau Award, Lavan Poetry Prize, Literary Lion (of the New York Public Library). She was a finalist in the Journalist in Space Project (cancelled after Challenger). She also has the somewhat unusual distinction of having a molecule named after her --dianeackerone—a sex pheromone in crocodilians. She lives in Ithaca, NY.
Ellen Wingard consults with leaders in Fortune 50 companies, social enterprise, academic and public sector who seek to connect “soul to role” in making a significant impact in their organizations and society. Ellen works to build multi-stakeholder collaborations in the private and public sector with activist business leaders who recognize the moral imperative to advance issues of equity, social justice and environmental sustainability in their business practices.
As an early innovator in the leadership development field, Ellen began her career in the 1980’s linking mindfulness with presence-based executive coaching practices to increase health and reduce work related stress, expanding her focus in the 1990s to advance global women’s empowerment. For the past 20 years, she has been working with leaders seeking breakthroughs at the intersection of race and gender equity while nurturing collaborative cultures of belonging and shared purpose.
Throughout her career, Ellen has been a key contributor to transformational leadership initiatives that inspire collective leadership across generations to positively disrupt top down patriarchal practices.
From 1994 to 2003, Ellen was fortunate to bring John O’Donohue into numerous workplace environments at the Harvard Medical School, the Museum of Science, the International Coaching & Mentoring Conference, Linkage Inc., as well as multiple healthcare and financial service institutions. John called on leaders to uphold principles of integrity and counteract the dehumanizing effects of work on the human spirit. In challenging leaders to address the misuse of power and status, John evoked a vision of work where cultures of dignity and mutual respect would ignite the imagination and awaken authentic presence to inspire new narratives of creativity and purpose. Today the transformative effect of John’s ongoing body of work is present in academic curriculums, grassroots movements and board rooms around the globe.
Currently, Ellen continues to be inspired by these principles working with partners in the fields of neuroscience, storytelling and conflict resolution who are bridging deep divides on intractable issues with non-traditional collaboration practices.
Ellen is a member of the Executive Coaching pool at the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program and serves as Board Chair Emeritus of World Pulse (www.worldpulse.com) a digital media channel linking 60,000 grassroots global leaders in 190 countries. As an affiliate of Movius Consulting (www.MoviusConsulting.com), she partners with leading negotation experts to facilitate mutual gains solutions in complex negotiations. Ellen is active on multiple boards, including Auburn Seminary (www.auburnseminary.org) a leadership development center dedicated to preparing the next generation of social justice leaders and De Shema (www.deshema.org) Tibetan based women’s empowerment foundation accelerating women’s advancement in education and health access.
A graduate of Boston University and Antioch University, Ellen has extensive post-graduate training in systems thinking, behavioral medicine, contemplative practices, culture change, team development, and executive assessment. Ellen received certification from the Harvard Negotiation Project in mediation. She is the coauthor of Strengthening Leadership Skills Through Coaching in Culture Shift, AHA, 1997, co-editor of the Jossey-Bass book Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, released in April 2005 and the forthcoming The Global Coach in 2020.
Davy Spillane's distinguished career spans decades as a Grammy-winning soloist, band leader, composer and legendary studio session player, on the Uilleann Pipes and Low Whistle. Born in Dublin in 1959 into a family of journalists and photographers, Davy received his education in the Irish language. The influence of his parent's love of mythology, poetry and American jazz music, were the seeds in his emerging development as an artist. Combined with access in his early teen years to prominent Irish musicians, these forces shaped Davy's own distinctive style. At 12, Davy began playing the Tin Whistle, shortly thereafter the Uilleann Pipes and Low Whistle. By 17, he was performing at international festivals. At age 19, Davy starred in the lead role of Joe Comerford's award-winning feature film, 'Traveller.'
Davy was a founding member of the highly successful band, Moving Hearts, receiving international acclaim for their ground-breaking fusion of rock, jazz and traditional Irish instruments. During these years, he began a long apprenticeship in the art of making Uilleann Pipes in the Dublin workshop of Johnny Bourke. Davy would go on to form a band carrying his own name, The Davy Spillane Band, touring for 10 years, continuing to stretch the musical horizon. He collaborated with Bill Whelan as a soloist on the original score of Riverdance. In 1991, Sony Music International signed Davy with appearances in Europe, the United States and Asia. His regular appearances on RTE, BBC and PBS, as well performances at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in China and at festivals around the world, brought his signature style to broadening audiences. Davy's musical compositions have been featured in numerous films including: 'Gangs of New York,' 'Michael Collins,' 'Wuthering Heights,' 'Rob Roy,' to name a few. As a highly sought-after international session musician, collaborative partners include: Van Morrison, Bryan Adams, Enya, Emmylou Harris, Paul Winter, Rory Gallagher, Elvis Costello, Sinead O'Connor, Steve Winwood, B. J. Cole, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Karl Jenkins, Mike Oldfield, Secret Garden, among many others.
Davy created his own studio, North Atlantic Music, and makes his home on the magnificent West Coast of Ireland. He joined the Irish Coast Guard in 2000, serving as a S.A.R. Boat Coxswain, in a formidable landscape and often under harrowing conditions. Davy makes and plays his own instruments exclusively on all of his recordings. In 2007, Davy received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Hastings College (USA) in acknowledgement of his significant contributions and expertise.
Davy actively performs worldwide, composing new music and collaborating with others, as well as pursuing his own photography.
Caroline S. Welch
Caroline is CEO of Mind Your Brain, Inc. in Santa Monica, CA and co-founder with Dan Siegel of the Mindsight Institute, whose mission is to make the science of well-being accessible for professional and personal development through online and in-person programs. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and holds a Master’s degree in Communications from the University of Southern California. Caroline was a civil litigator for over ten years, mainly representing Japanese corporate clients in intellectual property matters. She served as Vice President in Litigation at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and prior to that she was Senior Counsel at Spelling Entertainment in Los Angeles, where she supervised litigation and served as production attorney for Judge Judy. Caroline is also a mediator and has served on the Los Angeles Superior Court’s mediation panel. Prior to attending law school, Caroline taught English in Japan for three years.
Caroline provides workshops and lectures on strategies to optimize our personal and professional well-being. Her first book, The Gift of Presence: A Mindfulness Guide for Women will be published by Penguin Random House on March 17, 2020. Caroline interviewed over 100 women from around the world to explore the many roles women play, unique challenges they face in the family, workplace and larger society.
Richard Harrell has served as the Director of the Juilliard Opera Center, the Director of the San Francisco Opera Center, Artistic Advisor and Head of Faculty for the Opera Training Program of the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Director of the Opera Program for the San Francisco Conservatory, Artistic Consultant and Principal Stage Director for the Bangkok Opera and senior faculty for the Opera Studio of the Netherlands. He serves as Associate Director of the Orfeo Foundation, an international organization based in Amsterdam which supports the careers of young opera singers. Currently a professor of music at the City College of San Francisco, he also serves as the Founding Director of Heroes’ Voices, a non-profit service organization for veterans. Heroes’ Voices produces therapeutic music and poetry workshops for veterans with PTSD and other challenges.
He has directed more than 60 opera productions for companies in Europe, Asia and North America, and has been a stage director, voice teacher, and guest Master Class instructor at universities and training programs including Yale, Indiana University, Polish National Opera Studio, Chautauqua Institution, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Works, Loyola University, Mannes School of Music, and the University of Florida. Mr. Harrell performed as a baritone soloist with such companies as La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Washington Opera, Baltimore Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre Company, Opera Omaha, New Jersey Symphony, Richmond Symphony and National Symphony. He recorded the role of Bernardo on the Deutsche Grammophon album of West Side Story and is featured on the recording of Leonard Bernstein’s last opera, A Quiet Place. A frequent judge for vocal competitions, he annually adjudicates for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and his essays on artist training and the business of opera have been published in Opera America publications.
Originally from Oklahoma, he grew up in northern Virginia, attended college in Washington, D.C. and New York City, and has lived for many years in San Francisco.
Lelia Doolan has spent a lifetime meandering in the realms of theatre, film, journalism and talk - as actor, producer, scribbler, campaigner - in RTÉ, the Abbey Theatre, the Irish Film Board, Burren Action Group and so on. She lives and attempts to garden in the west of Ireland.
Fr. Martin Downey
Fr. Martin Downey is the Parish Priest of St. Joseph's Church in Galway, Ireland.
Dr. Deidre O'Donohue
Dr. Deirdre O'Donohue
Dr. Deirdre O'Donohue is a member of the artist piano and chamber music faculty at NYU's Steinhardt School in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, and also the college and precollege faculties of Manhattan School of Music. She has performed solo and chamber recitals in Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada and the United States. She has also given masterclasses and lecture/demonstrations at the Uniwersytet Muzyczny Fryderka Chopina in Warsaw, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Poona Music Society in India, the Rotterdam Conservatory, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and at numerous music institutions throughout the United States, and Canada. Dr. O'Donohue received the Sparrendam Medal for performance in the Netherlands, and the Roger Phelps Award from New York University for her dissertation entitled “The Concept of Unity and Uniqueness in the Multi-Movement Works of Beethoven.”
Recent engagements: Curso de Piano at the Conservatorio superior de musica de Castilla y Leon in Salamanca, Spain (3/2016); Summer faculty: Barcelona Piano Academy (2016-2018); faculty, coach and performer: Interharmony International Music Festival(Germany); Works-in Progress, (Vermont); Adamant Music School in Vermont; Summer Trios ( Pennsylvania); Lectures/demonstrations: the Uniwersytet Muzyczny Fryderyka Chopina (Warsaw, Poland); New Jersey Music Teachers’ Association:; New York University Summer Intensive; the Piano Teachers' Congress(Steinway Hall); Adjudicator: the National Feis Ceoil Competition (Dublin); Young Artists Festival in Seattle; the Royal Irish Academy of Music's Piano Festival; the MTNA National Conference; Ithaca College of Music; Leschetizsky Association, NYSMTA, PTC, NJMTA, NHMTA and external examiner for the Royal Irish Academy; Masterclasses at Interharmony International Music Festival(Germany); Yahama (NY); NYU, Queens College, New Hampshire, South Carolina; Intensive week-long courses in piano technique and interpretation at the Gijon Conservatory in Spain; solo recitals in Weill Recital Hall, NYU; Convention Clinician for the South Carolina MTA.
She has co-edited (with Prof. Henk Hillenaar), the book Schubert and Friendship by Michael Davidson which was published by the London publisher, Kahn & Averill in the Fall of 2012.
Deirdre O'Donohue is Past President of the NY State Music Teachers' Association, former Chairperson of the MTNA's Eastern Division High School Competition, and former Chairperson and founder of the NYSTMA Empire State Performance Competition. Since the summer of 2001 she has been on the faculty of the Adamant Music School in Adamant, Vermont where she has also been the Coordinator for week-long piano masterclasses of Menahem Pressler, John O'Conor and Andre Laplante. She is also on the piano faculty of the summer Barcelona Piano Academy.
Dr. O'Donohue holds degrees from New York University, the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria, and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Dr. Cillian Roden
Dr. Cillian Roden
Cilian Roden is an aquatic ecologist and retired lecturer in Heritage Studies at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. Technical interests include the marine plankton of the Irish west coast, the ecology of freshwater lakes, lagoon conservation and shellfish aquaculture. He has also explored and written on the Burren’s flora and very unusual algal communities.As a result of these studies he has become acutely aware of the decline of many aquatic ecosystems due largely to human activities. This awareness has informed his approach to Heritage Studies where he has stressed the role of human feelings in understanding how people and nature interact. He is also intrigued by the professional ecologist’s dilemma where technical training encourages the digitalisation of nature but human feeling demands emotionally powerful description of wonderful ecosystems such as the Burren or the North Atlantic Ocean.