The Power of Story To Heal with Pádraig Ó Tuama

Join beloved poet, theologian and healer Pádraig Ó Tuama for this rare opportunity to spend a day examining the stories we tell about the world we live in and how to embrace the ‘here’ of our lives to heal.

Our lives are filled with moments and memories which we weave together to create ‘our story’. These accumulated experiences are recalled with a bias particular to our personal journey and interpretation of truth. But what if the narrative we define ourselves by doesn’t actually serve us as we thought it might? What if it actually prevents us from the kind of healing that we and our world need?

Until 2019, Pádraig Ó Tuama was the leader of Ireland’s oldest peace & reconciliation community, Corrymeela, and has dedicated his life to bring healing to people and places of conflict through art and conversation. During this rare opportunity, we will learn about the role story & language play in conflict and rethink our relationship with time in bringing a new awareness to our lives.

 During this special one-day workshop, we will explore:

  • The Past as a Curious Creature
    How can we exercise the muscle of honesty as well as dignity when it comes to the stories we tell about our past? Mostly we like to tell nostalgic stories of the past, but the history of many countries requires a reckoning with shame when it comes to our past. 

  •  Disbelief in the Future 
    “Children are our future” some leaders say, while they’re systematically wrecking the present. We will explore ideas of the future, recognising that it doesn’t exist yet, and consider — in story, poetry and news — how the practice of courage and surprise in the present can affect the futures. 
  • The Present of the Present.
    We will imagine a way of being in the present that might be both courageous and innovative in speaking about the things that affect us now and — we imagine — will continue to affect us in the futures that we make. 

A profound voice of healing, join Pádraig Ó Tuama as he guides us through an intimate exploration of the world as we think we know it and encourages us to embrace the power we hold in shaping it.


9.45 am          Arrival & welcome
10.00 am       The Past as a Curious Creature
12.00pm        Break (times vary)
1.00 pm          Disbelief in the Future
2.00 pm         The Present of the Present
4.00 pm         Finish & reflection 


‘To be born is to be born into a story of possibility, a story of failure, a story of imagination and the failure of imagination.’

–  Pádraig Ó Tuama

ABOUT Pádraig Ó Tuama

Poet and theologian, Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centres around themes of language, power, conflict and religion. Working fluently on the page and in public, Pádraig is a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. 

From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community.

A profoundly engaging public speaker, Ó Tuama has worked with groups to explore story, conflict, their relationship with religion and argument, and violence. Using poetry, group discussion and lectures, his work is marked both by lyricism and pragmatism, and includes a practice of evoking stories and participation from attendees at his always-popular lectures, retreats and events. 


Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

Buy tickets for
The Power of Story To Heal with Pádraig Ó Tuama


Major Event
When and where:
  • Sun 1 Mar 2020 9.45am – 4pm
    11 Princes St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia




Full price: $245
Concession: $220
+ booking fee 

Ticket price includes drink and refreshments on the day.

Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current Student Cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers. If you can no longer attend this event you are welcome to share your ticket with someone else, which they can present at the door to gain entry. Please see our Terms & Conditions on Refunds, Transfers & Credits for further details.

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