Transformational Thinking: A New Look at “Looking”

We are excited to announce our spring Foundations course, which is required for a Certificate of Completion and is open to the public.


Transformational Thinking:
A New Look at “Looking”

Retreat January 8-9, 2016, at Mount Mary University, 2900 N. Menomonee River Parkway, Milwaukee, WI 53222; then online for 13 subsequent weeks.

“Humans remain in an incomplete state if they do not take in hand the transformative substance within themselves, and transform
themselves through their own power.”

-R.S., Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path

“The most important problem of all human thinking is: to understand man as a free personality, whose very foundation is himself.

– R.S., Truth and Knowledge

What does it mean for thinking to be free? Can we change our thinking so that we can participate more directly with the inner patterns that underlie the very foundations of experience?  How can we understand and utilize principles of transformative thinking in a way that supports our personal and professional development, as well as the evolution of the planet?

This course explores Rudolf Steiner’s approach to understanding understanding, how it relates to human freedom and morality, and how it provides a context that helps us change our thinking so that we can become an active participant in the unfolding of reality in new ways. It will be collaboratively taught. The retreat will be led by Mary Ruud with Dawn Imes, Pam Harsch and Lori Barian. The online portion will be led by Nancy Kresin-Price, Ph.D., with contributions from Mary Ruud, Dawn Imes, Pam Harsch and Lori Barian.

The course will open with a weekend retreat orienting participants to Rudolf Steiner’s “Philosophy of Freedom” and incorporating eurythmy and artistic activities, as well as various exercises exemplifying transformational thinking. Attending the weekend intensive is required for participation in the online portion of the course.

The full online course will include study of various texts, including Rudolf Steiner’s seminal work Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path (aka The Philosophy of Freedom), as well as supplemental readings on the theme. The course places emphasis on embodied knowing, observation as a contemplative practice, and on relating abstract knowledge to immediate experience.  Students will have the opportunity to implement transformative practices in their own lives using a set of tools presented in the course.  Working in collaboration with other students and the instructors, students will explore many aspects of transformation through contemplative practice, social exercises, and reflective journaling.


Philosophy of Freedom aka Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path by Rudolf Steiner. We will be working with the second half of the book during the course. Feel free to read the first half in advance. Once you register, we will send you a pdf version of Intuitive Thinking.
Freedom through Love by Nick Thomas. GLWI has purchased 30 of these to have available for purchase at the retreat. We will be selling them for a discounted price of $12 each.
Human and Cosmic Thought by Rudolf Steiner, Lectures 1 & 2, available at the Rudolf Steiner Archive, here, free of charge:

Online Portion Requirements

For the online portion of the course, participants will need a computer with Internet capability and consistent online access, Microsoft Word 97 or higher, and basic computer know-how. Students should expect to spend a total of about 1.5 hours/week online.

Teacher Biographies

Mary Ruud serves as GLWI’s Foundations Coordinator, teaching Rudolf Steiner’s view of the human being and other foundational content for the certificate program. She has taught eurythmy to children and adults for over 25 years, including 12 years at the Urban Waldorf School, and works as a therapeutic eurythmist. As an adult educator, Mary also teaches for the LifeWays North America Early Childhood Training and other Waldorf teacher education workshops and programs elsewhere in the country. Mary received her Masters in Liberal Studies in 2005 with an emphasis on ecology and earth healing.

Nancy Kresin-Price has been involved in Waldorf education for over twenty years as a parent, administrator, and teacher.  She completed her doctorate at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Transformative Studies department. Her study focused on an action research project that trained teachers in techniques to build deeper teacher-student relationships through the mindful and contemplative practice of student observation. Her published Master’s thesis,  Social Sculpture: New Eyes for the World, explores her theory of social artistry and documents her interviews with 17 prominent social artists from around the world in search of a common thread leading them each to a life of service. Nancy earned her BFA in acting from the DePaul/Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, completed her Waldorf certification through the Waldorf Teacher Develolpment Association, Ann Arbor, MI, and earned her M.A. at the Barfield School of Sunbridge College, using Goethean methodologies and contemplative practice in academic research. She is currently serving as a lead teacher in Tamarack Waldorf School’s high school.

Dawn Imes has been a student of anthroposophy for many years. She has been teaching handwork at Prairie Hill Waldorf School since 1990. Dawn has presented workshops in felting wool, knitting, spinning for children and adults. She completed the Juniper Tree Puppetry Training through Suzanne Down 2003-2005, attended Handwork Conferences at Kimberton WS with Margareta Eischenholz, has done Foundation Year Course work at Arcturus, Chicago, IL, and GLWI. She earned her BA in Studio Art and Psychology from Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale, Illinois.

Pam Harsch has served as a Great Lakes Waldorf Institute faculty member with Mount Mary University since 2002, focusing in the Early Childhood Certificate Program.  She taught for many years at Prairie Hill Waldorf School both in the Early Childhood program and as adjunct faculty for the grades.  She obtained her Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate from the UW-Milwaukee and AWSNA, her MS in Clinical Science, emphasis education and management from San Francisco State University, CA, and her BS Honors in Medical Technology and Philosophy from Marquette University.  For the past nine years she has participated in leadership and personal development work through the Center for Authentic Leadership in Atlanta and is also branching off into the study and practice of energy medicine.

Lori Barian has been a student of anthroposophy since 1989 and has been actively serving  the Anthroposophical Society as a volunteer, locally, regionally and nationally since 1994. She has served as Director of Administration for GLWI since August 2008 on a contract basis. Her professional employment and private contractor work has been primarily in nonprofit administration and development, including work for Prairie Hill Waldorf School, LifeWays Childcare, and Tamarack Waldorf School, and a number of other organizations.


This course, GLWI-Fn2, 2-cr., is required for GLWI students who are seeking a certificate in Waldorf teaching and is open to anyone interested in developing their own transformational thinking and exploring the anthroposophical approach to freedom and metamorphosis.

Individuals from the general public may register for the weekend only—Friday, January 8, 5-8:30 p.m. & Saturday, January 9, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.—or the full course, as space allows, with GLWI certificate students getting first priority.  The costs are as follows:

Current GLWI students register for this course for credit towards Certificate: $1,090, includes all retreat expenses.

The general public can register for this course as non-credit full course: half-price = $545 by Dec. 20; $570 after that, includes all retreat expenses.

The general public can register for the weekend only: $135 plus meals by Dec. 20; $160 after that.

Contact Lori Barian, Director of Administration, or 414-616-1832 for registration materials, course syllabus and other information. Other details will be on the website as soon as they are available.

Online Registration

Please add the appropriate course to your cart.

Registration by Mail

Transformational Thinking Registration form can be downloaded and mailed in with your payment. Payment plans are always an option for GLWI registration. Please use the paper registration form to explain your plan and submit with your down-payment, required to reserve your place in the course.

GLWI-Fn2 2 credits
Transformational Thinking
Product Options
1For GLWI Credit Tuition$1,090.00
2Non-Credit Full Course$570.00
3Weekend Retreat only$160.00
41 of 4 Installments w/ Scholarship$185.00
51 of 4 Installments Full Amount$275.50
6For GLWI Credit Tuition w/ Scholarship$740.00
Shipping Rate: F


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  1. […] back from Milwaukee for Spring retreat – as always, an amazing time, with amazing […]