The noted and highly regarded anthroposophist Sergei Olegovich Prokofieff has died July 26th in Switzerland. Author of many books of anthroposophical research and insights into the legacy of Rudolf Steiner and the spiritual situation of humanity, he was a member of the Executive Council at the Goetheanum until failing health required him to step back. He was also formerly leader of the Anthroposophical Society in Russia.

For a list of his books in English translation, see SteinerBooks and Temple Lodge publishers. A brief biography is at Wikipedia.

Services will be held in the Schreinerei, the carpentry hall of the Goetheanum, on Tuesday July 29, and at his request, instead of flowers, friends are asked to make donations to the Anthroposophical Society in Russia.

A campus view at RSC

Rudolf Steiner College issued the following press release on Wednesday, July 9:

The Board of Rudolf Steiner College is pleased to announce that the College has formally entered into an agreement with Meristem, a new nonprofit, to work together on the campus in Fair Oaks, California. Meristem will provide educational services to young adults on the autism spectrum, while new resources will be provided to the College to enhance its standing as the preeminent center for Waldorf teacher education internationally.

“This is a major step forward for Rudolf Steiner College,” said Betty Staley, Interim President of the College. “With this additional support, the College will be able to undertake many positive steps—upgrading facilities, enhancing administrative and faculty staffing, designing new educational offerings, and building the infrastructure leading to full accreditation. We are most enthused about this agreement.”

Meristem’s efforts will be closely aligned with the College. Its offerings are inspired by the work of Ruskin Mill Trust in England and The Center for Transformative Movement in the United States. The agreement is the culmination of months of discussions between the Board and leadership of Rudolf Steiner College and the Board of Meristem.

The website presents a clear, concise account from down under of Steiner/Waldorf education entitled "For creativity, capability and resilience, Steiner schools work." The author, an educational developer at Victoria University in Melbourne named Tao Bak, "attended a Steiner school for part of his education."

The first thing that strikes a visitor to a Steiner school is often the aesthetic quality of the surroundings and the emphasis on artistic activities. The schools are usually small, multi-age, and teachers, students and parents appear calm. Based on a holistic and integrated approach, the Steiner curriculum aims to develop the various dimensions of the growing child. This includes cognitive, emotional, ethical and spiritual aspects. ... Through its focus on capabilities, creativity and resilience, Steiner education aligns with many of the goals of 21st century education. The view of Rudolf Steiner was that the human being must be free and autonomous. The research, although limited, appears to endorse the effectiveness of Steiner education in attaining its broader goals.

[Read more...]

Each spring at the annual meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in Switzerland a theme is offered for study and conversation by groups around the world. The latest and recent themes are available on line here.

The new theme for the current year is “The I Knows Itself” – in the Light of Michaelic World Affirmation. General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada Arie van Ameringen has offered some helpful reflections on this theme that are available now on the ASC website.

Tickets for the Threefold Mystery Drama Group Festival of Rudolf Steiner's four mystery dramas, co-sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society in America next August 8-17, are now completely sold out. But tickets will be available ninety minutes in advance for the dress rehearsals of the four dramas on July 31st and August 2nd, 4th, and 6th. More information...

Have you ever wanted to learn book repair? Now’s your chance. Just want to get out of town with some friends? Why not a libra-cation (library vacation)? It’s also a great opportunity to come together and re-envision the future of the library and it’s place in the larger movement. Really though, the future of the library depends on the community coming together around it at this moment.

There are many opportunities to join in:
- If you’re local (near Philmont, NY), take on a weekly shift; we also have work parties every other week...
- If you’re out-of-town, there are two work weeks planned during the summer (6/16-6/20 and 8/18-8/22), a Youth Section Workcamp (6/30-7/5), plus the possibility of others if there are interested groups…

Find more info at our blog:

The summer email from the Youth Section has arrived, full of articles, news, and events. And inspiring words from Rudolf Steiner:

'We can already sense the life of the future in embryonic from, and we need to foster it through festivals of hope and expectation. Hope and expectation (not sharply defined ideals) must bind us together in these festivals. The image of Michael with his guiding eyes and hands and his spiritual armor must stand before us.' (Breslau, June 9th 1924)

Read it here...

Beverly Amico, leader of outreach and development for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), is part of a conversation in the New York Times about technology in schools. As Beverly explained in the News from AWSNA email,

CNN recently sponsored a tweet chat in coordination with Screen-Free Week, which intrigued the New York Times to follow up by soliciting a variety of opinions on the subject. We are grateful that Waldorf Education was included in this discussion, and that my description of the way computer technology best serves children was part of the piece.

She opens her Times article:

Over the past several decades, and despite unremarkable results, significant financial resources have been dedicated to technology integration in classrooms. The focus has been on how best to use computers as educational tools while largely disregarding the more fundamental issue of their effects on child development.

Read Beverly's full statement here, add your comment, and navigate to others' views. (Note that allows free access to ten articles per month.)

Since March Marianne Schubert has been the new leader of the Visual Art Section at the Goetheanum. As an architect she is not only interested in building but also in the social life arising from the way one builds. Her wishes are for a culture of togetherness, where people develop their communal awareness for new methods of working and evaluating. [Read the article from Anthroposophy Worldwide.]

Nancy Jewel Poer shared some thoughts from her hospital room by e-mail with friends on Martin Luther King Day. We asked if we could share them further here, and she agreed. Nancy is a person of many deeds and concerns -- teacher, historian of the spirit of America, social activist, lecturer and filmmaker, advocate for conscious dying, and her website is well worth a visit. At this moment her attention was drawn to the cosmopolitan life of a Sacramento hospital, where she found herself passing along some history around Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech on the Washington Mall in 1963, including the little-known role played by the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in his speaking forth "the dream." Read more...

Online registration is open for the Annual General Meeting and conference "Bringing Anthroposophy to Life!" It's October 10-12 at Rudolf Steiner College.

A Second Classroom, with Torin Finser

Sun, Sep 14 2014 to Tue, Sep 16 2014
Location: Los Altos, San Francisco, Sacramento, Davis, Fair Oaks, CA

Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School [more]

What on Earth Is the Archangel Michael Waiting For?

Sat, Sep 27 2014 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Phoenixville, PA

Finding the Spirit of Present-Mindedness, with Michael Ronall [more]

In The Grail I Find Myself Again

Fri, Nov 07 2014 to Sun, Nov 09 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Our Individual Journeys from Suffering to Compassion (the third Parzival workshop) [more]

The arc from Society to individual is continued with the new "Theme for the Year" 2014-2015 from the Goetheanum: "'The I Knows Itself' – in the Light of Michaelic World Affirmation.' Like the Society, the individual confronts the same challenges as other contemporaries and must also find a connection to the world—as a basis for self-knowledge. Read the article by Constanza Kaliks.

Some time ago Michael Ronall shared an essay he had written for the catalog of Mercury Press, one of the fine small publishers who supplement the great work of SteinerBooks. Mercury Press is a long-sustained labor of love from co-workers of the remarkable Fellowship Community in Chestnut Ridge, NY, "an intergenerational community primarily concerned with enlivening elder care and realizing the ideas of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner."

With medical topics at its core, Mercury Press also reaches out into education, children's books, social questions, and much more, including the four volume Who Was Ita Wegman? The current catalog includes essays from William Lindeman, Matthew Barton, Florin Lowndes, and Michael Ronall who shared his essay, "How Then Shall We Live," to promote the press' work. It opens with a famous quote from Schiller: "Do you seek the highest, the greatest? The plant can teach it to you. What the plant does without willing, do that willingly." Read it in the catalog or in our Articles section.

The Hindu reported on 12/8/2013 on an international seminar on holistic education in Coimbatore, southern India, with Waldorf educators and anthroposophic doctors. It shared the Waldorf story and perspective as brought by leader of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum Dr Michaela Glöckler. The eight-day conference was initiated by Yellow Train School whose Facebook page has photos of the event. Santhya Vikram of Yellow Train is quoted:

More and more people are disillusioned by the frenetic pace of our lives and what our young children are subjected to in the name of education. They want the schooling years that are joyful and healing in an environment of love and care.

The International Postgraduate Medical Training (IPMT) which meets around the world was also held in India, in Chennai, in late November. Its next meetings in North America are May 10-17, 2014, in Fair Oaks, CA, which includes the Anthroposophic Nursing Certification Course and Rhythmical Massage Therapy Training; and an advanced training for school doctors in Wilton, NH, June 29-July 4.

Bruno Follador

In the Biodynamics Blog Jeff Schreiber, who farms at Three Sisters Community Farm near Milwaukee, offers a stimulating report on a recent workshop with Bruno Follador and others: “More Humus, More Humanity: Insights and Practices out of Biodynamic Agriculture” at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin. The report is interspersed with photos and telling quotations, include the painter Cézanne's assertion that "The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution."

And a key issue worked on was thinking: "All phenomena become merely things 'out there,' things to manipulate, exploit, and control. Here, in this worldview, is where the horrors of our world begin: soil becomes just an inert medium for root growth. Chickens: just cuts of meat. Water: just molecules. Land: just a commodity. People: just collections of genes." But a biodynamic farmer must overcome this kind of thinking to meet the truth of the compost heap at the heart of a living farm.

And so, "The revolution we so badly need... will come through free people paying ever greater attention – little by little, day by day – to the phenomena that surround them..." [Read more.]

Founded by Rudolf Steiner, the Anthroposophical Society supports individuals in working on inner development and in bringing its fruits to benefit the world. More...

Anthroposophical Society in America
1923 Geddes Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1797
Tel: 734.662.9355
Fax: 734.662.1727
Email: info (at) anthroposophyorg