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Late Plenary Program Narrative Matters 2018

Below you can find the plenary activities during the break in the late afternoon, from 15:30 - 16:30.

Tuesday 3 july 2018

Relax-Into-Stillness with Tai Chi

In this session, I will guide you through an experience of moving meditation based on the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi. The emphasis will be on breathing and gentle movements. These movements can be performed from either a standing or seated position—No previous experience is necessary. Research demonstrates that Tai Chi has physical health benefits for a variety of conditions—in particular stress-related illness. However, Tai Chi is also beneficial for emotional challenges—especially anxiety and depression. Tai Chi is mostly about learning to let go and give up control. In Tai Chi practice you start where you are and you progress at your own pace. By learning to let go of tension you release the Chi that is already there. The payoff is more “present moment” experience and thus more stillness—and higher quality of life at any age. Tai Chi is a Pathway to Stillness that resides at the center of your lifestory—the unchanging mindful awareness amidst the swirl of thoughts and emotions that is human life. In this way, it is a form of narrative care. In this session, we will focus on the “how to” relax-into-stillness.

The Tai Chi workshop will given by Gary Irwin-Kenyon.

Biography Gary Irwin-Kenyon

Gary Irwin-Kenyon (see picture below) is founding Chair and Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University. He is a Fellow of the Andrew Norman Institute for Advanced Studies in Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Southern California. Besides Pathways to Stillness (FriesenPress, 2016) (, he has authored, co-authored or co-edited six books. He designed a programme, Tai Chi as Narrative Care, which he has been teaching for the past ten years to special groups, including residents in long-term care.

 Gary Irwin-Kenyon

wednesday 4 july 2018

Aware & Awake

Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present, and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. Practically speaking, we train dynamically alternating between two things: stopping and clear observation. With stopping we mean allowing for feelings and thoughts to come and go (while paying attention to the breath and not judging the objects that arise). With clear observation we mean using the non-judgmental attitude found in the stopping phase, and applying it to situations to find fresh and appropriate responses and actions that serve both others and you. How? We try to bring our body and mind into harmony while we drive the car, take our morning shower or listen to a speaker at a congress… Take notice: mindfulness is not ‘being relaxed’, it is being aware of what happens in your body and mind in every moment.

In this short introduction we will practice a few (mindfulness) exercises. It is an invitation to be aware and awake on some moments this day and maybe in the rest of the week. Do you accept the challenge?

The Mindfulness workshop will given by Marjolein Prenger.

Biography Marjolein Prenger

Marjolein Prenger has studied Educational Sciences at the University of Groningen. After a two-year additional study, she was in 2003 generalist (Orthopedagoog Generlist). She worked in the clinical field for 10 years in both diagnostics and treatment. She had a focus on development problems at children and adolescents with intellectual disability and a sizeable problem behavior. Marjolein is now in the function of internship coordinator and lecturer within the department of Psychology, Health and Technology at the University of Twente. She has developed an module for students with meditation and autobiographical writing techniques. In addition she is owner of Praktijk Fiducie, a company for Mindfulness training and Positive Psychology programs.

 Marjolein Prenger

Thursday 5 july 2018

Join us on a guided tour through the Kristalbad, a multi-functional water purification wetland located in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, between Hengelo and Enschede. At the Kristalbad, the surplus of water from Enschede is further purified by the reeds, sand and the sky. It's a truely remarkable storage and purification of water, that is also a beautiful recreation area.

Interested? You can find a YouTube video with English subtitles here, a presentation can be found here, and a master thesis, made by student at the University of Twente, can be found here.