Alumnus Tom Pinkson, PhD ’76 Leads Ceremony that Honors Marin Seniors

Ceremony honors Marin seniors and helps them pass on what they’ve learned.

Taken from an article in the Marin Independent Journal:

Tom Pinkson, a Saybrook alumnus, is a psychologist and the creator of Recognition Rites For A New Vision of Aging – Honoring Elders. The 65-year-old Pinkson is the founder of Wakan, a spiritual community based on the wisdom traditions of indigenous people. He is the author of “The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol: Medicine Teachings for Modern Times,” a newly published account of his experiences with the Huichol Indians of western central Mexico.

“Honoring elders is not something we do in our mainstream, youth oriented culture. We’ve been told that when we get to a certain age, we’re not as important anymore as we were when we were younger. That’s very different in indigenous cultures, where the elders are respected and revered.” He’s leading the way in changing that.

“In our culture, the elders miss out on the opportunity to share their wisdom, and the younger generation misses out on the opportunity to learn from their elders,” he said. “It’s a lose-lose situation. Recognition rites are about replacing the negative thoughts we have about aging with positive ones.”

Pinkson has developed the recognition rites program with funds from individuals and foundations. He’s performed three so far, and is focusing on honoring elders in diverse communities. He also hopes to teach others how to offer recognition rites and to write a book about it.

– For more information on Recognition Rites, contact Tom Pinkson at, [email protected] or call 451-0192.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *