Making Meaning of the Ending of Days with Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW is a culture activist, teacher, author and ceremonialist. Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and 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. 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. He is also a sculptor, traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture. He is the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. 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.

Bay Area Integral is honored to bring Stephen Jenkinson to our community. In our opinion, he is a rare, fierce, instructive presence—a wise shaman, a scholar, and a storyteller par excellence. Don’t miss this opportunity to encounter a truly remarkable person.

Stephen is also a teacher, author, spiritual activist, and farmer. He holds Masters degrees from Harvard and the University of Toronto, and worked extensively with dying people and their families as the director of one of the largest hospice programs in Canada. He is also the founder of the Orphan Wisdom School, a house for teaching and learning the skills of deep living and making human culture. His work is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, and working for a time ​yet to come.​

Die Wise – A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul is his latest book about grief, and dying, and the great love of life. (2015 Nautilus Award Winner; video link)

Dying well is not a matter of enlightened self-interest or personal preference. Dying well must become an obligation that living people and dying people owe to each other and to those to come.

Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Not a seven step coping strategy, not an out-clause for trauma or sorrow, Die Wise is for everyone who, hell or high water, is not going to pull off eternity after all. Dying is not the end of wisdom and wisdom not exhausted by dying. Dying could be and must be the fullest expression and incarnation of what you’ve learned by living. It’s a moral obligation to die well. If you love somebody, if you care about the world that’s to come after you, if you want somebody to be spared the lunacy of what you’ve seen, you’ve got to die wise.




Making Meaning of the Ending of Days
with Stephen Jenkinson

Sunday, October 22, 6:00-8:00pm
Northbrae Community Church Chapel,
941 The Alameda, Berkeley, CA 94707

Pre-Registration: $20 regular, $17 senior/student/hardship
(Pre-registration ends 11:30pm the day before the event)

Day of Event: $25 regular, $20 senior/student/hardship
No one turned away for lack of funds

Volunteer Comp: A few available for this event; see the Volunteer page for details