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The Sacred Work of Grief


DATE: Saturday, December 1, 2018

TIME: 10:00AM - 7:00PM

LOCATION: Green Lotus Center, Morro Bay, CA


Grief enters our lives through many gateways - whether personally through broken dreams, relationship conflicts, economic insecurity, bereavement, trauma, chronic illness, or collectively through our shared sense of fear, outrage, sorrow, despair and overwhelm at the levels of environmental devastation and social injustice in our world. Often the passage through grief feels too difficult to navigate alone, which reveals an inner knowing. Many traditional cultures understand the wisdom of creating communal rituals of remembrance, mourning, and praise of life in order to connect with and metabolize grief in a safe and sacred way. Honoring and releasing our sorrows in community strengthens our hearts and souls, and increases our capacity to respond to life with courage, compassion, and wisdom.

Through the ancient sacred tools of ritual, rhythm, music, movement, poetry, song and alchemical empathy we will create a safe container from which to travel deeply into the places of grief we are carrying and attend to what is asking for our loving presence. This daylong event is inspired in part by the traditional grief rituals of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa, brought to the West by Dagara healers Malidoma and Sobonfu Somé, and also draws richly from the writing and teachings of Francis Weller, Michael Meade, Martin Prechtel, and Joanna Macy. When we gather together in community to connect with, share and transform the energy of our losses and sorrows we cultivate renewed strength, vitality and gratitude to guide and support us through these challenging and turbulent times.


Lara Lwin Treadaway weaves group ritual, earth-based ceremony, poetry, music, song, storytelling, and ways of council to guide and support healing and transformation in community. She believes that sacred grief work, ancestral healing, earth reconnection, and the creative arts are pathways to restoring deep belonging within ourselves, between each other, and with the other-than-human world. Lara's personal story includes many rough initiations through grief, loss, and trauma, leading to a hard-won respect for the alchemical journey of transmuting pain into medicine for the world.


This event is being supported by local musician Timo Beckwith, who plays a multitude of instruments from all over the world including the Ennanga (African bow harp), flute, Doumbek, Darbuka, Frame Drum, and Bendir. Timo is the driving force behind the group World Wind, an original world fusion music ensemble, and has produced three albums blending Latin, African, Western and Eastern influences, including his solo album, Timo Solo. Timo will be bringing rhythms and sacred sounds to this gathering to help us connect with and move our grief.




This event is being offered on the Buddhist practice of dāna (donation), similar in philosophy to the gift economy, where you are invited to offer your support for this work from your natural impulse to offer reciprocity and contribute to the wellbeing of those holding this space, and from your ability to give. Suggested donation is on a sliding scale of $50-$100, requested in the spirit of trust and reciprocity. No-one will be turned away for lack of funds.  


Some parts of the day allow space for open grieving which can lead to the expression of strong emotions. If you are suffer from PTSD or are particularly sensitive to intense expressions of emotion then this event may not be suitable for you. If in any doubt please contact Lara on (541)-740-3933 to discuss further. 


The ritual cleared and cleansed me, the next day I felt a great capacity to hold life and things that were unbearable before. It was a life-changing practice that I intend to make a part of my life on a regular basis. Lara is an extraordinary spirit and a skillful facilitator. The container she

created felt incredibly safe and inclusive allowing me to do very deep work. This ritual is a much-needed balm for healing the collective. 

~ Jana Holm, Portland, OR

The Drinking from the Well Retreat opened up the pain of deep unresolved guilt, resentment and anger I held for my mother and allowed me to

see who she was and why for the first time. It was a true epiphany that I wouldn't have had without being present in this

beautiful circle Lara gave us. I feel I am at peace for the first time in my life.

~ Robin Clark, Coos Bay, OR

If you want a deeply poignant and absolutely beautiful experience, I most highly recommend this sacred work. If you are at all interested, go.

If you are curious, go. If you are doubtful, go. If you think this is for you or if you think this is not for you, go.

You will be forever blessed and eternally grateful.

~ Chante Dao, Hugo, OR

Those of us who love the earth and are awake to what is happening are carrying so much grief. Taking the time to feel and express grief for disappearing species, desecrated places, and our difficult future does not mean we are giving up,

but rather it can re-energize us to continue our activism.

~ Sharon Blick, Eugene, OR

I cannot suggest enough how much this event changed me. For anyone feeling the loss of another or loss of a dream. This event helped me,

in my darkest time, to begin my healing process. Sign up, you will not be disappointed.

~ Scott Roberts, Ashland, OR

You must experience this ceremony to whatever capacity you can. It is simple. It is powerful. And it is moving.

~ Blake S, Corvallis, OR

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