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" I want more of this experience of community showing up so fully and beautifully.

This is some of what will change the world." 

Peia Bird


The Sacred Work of Grief





This 3-Day Community Grief Ritual and immersion retreat over Memorial Day Weekend is inspired by the traditional village grief rituals of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa brought to the West by Dagara healers Sobonfu and Malidoma Somé, and draws richly from the work and teachings of grief workers, soul activists and ritualists Francis Weller, Joanna Macy, Martin Prechtel and Michael Meade.


What if we had the loving support of a village to help us connect with and process the pain of our personal losses, along with the anxiety, sadness, fear, numbness, despair and overwhelm so many are feeling collectively in these times of social injustice and environmental devastation? Throughout history people have come together tribally and ceremonially to honor, metabolize and transmute their grief.


During this gathering we will explore the healing power of ritual, ceremony, rhythm, movement, song, art and writing practices. Rituals of remembrance, mourning, celebration, and praise of life open us to the transformative alchemy of communal grieving, where by sharing our fear, anger, guilt, sorrow, numbness and despair in community our hearts and souls can be restored to strength, gratitude and vitality.


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 held at Loving Earth Sanctuary, a remote, off-grid, ecologically-focused community on 40 acres near Lake San Antonio in the beautiful Santa Lucia mountains in Central California. Along with the sense of belonging that comes from a village-like setting there will also be time for solo reflection and communion with the land. 


This event is being offered in the spirit of the Buddhist practice of dāna similar in concept to the gift economy. We hope you will be guided to support Lara and her work through your sense of gratitude, ability to give and natural impulse to contribute.



from participants of previous Drinking from the Well Grief Rituals

This is such important work, no matter where your grief is stemming from. It was very transformational for me and I highly recommend it.

Drawing on the wisdom of so many amazing teachers, Lara presents it masterfully.

~ Brenda Johnson, Ashland, OR

The work you are doing is critical for assisting folks like me that need this energetic movement and soul retrieval plus radical support for it.

I know I did some major work and felt honored to be present for my fellow villagers. I know that my ability to open to my grief

was because of the beautiful and authentic tribe I had surrounding me.

~ Elizabeth Izzo, Portland, OR

It was just what I needed. I went specifically to grieve about the Earth and all we are losing. 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 B, 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

I felt very present and connected. Establishing the space as sacred and safe and building it as a “village”  made me feel connected. Having a

strong leader who kept structure, time and process in check made me feel safe and secure and helped ease any tension about the day. 

I experience daily pain in my body and it has lessened since the ritual. I have recommended this event to many friends

already and have told them it was deeply nourishing and healing on many levels.

~ E Rho, Corvallis, OR

Thank you for facilitating this amazing day on Saturday! I do feel changed, and I certainly can say this experience feels like one of those

"watershed" experiences.

~ Lisa Mayfield, Portland, OR

The songs. The jubilation. The celebration. All in front of the village's altar. It was so beautifully put together in a way that made it easy to

do the work with everyone. As for the work of sharing my grief with others, I believe this was just a beginning and still a palpable

lesson I have been waiting for, to share my tears with others. To be seen. And to be thanked for doing so. I felt very present.

I felt connected. I felt welcome to dance into the ceremony as myself.

~ J. R., Corvallis. 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

I have been reaping the benefits of the ceremony. It was such a blessing to be a part of it.

~ Claire Winograd, Corvallis, OR

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