top of page

" 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


DATE: Sunday, September 30, 2018

TIME: 10:00AM - 5:30PM

LOCATION: The Little Church, Portland, OR


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 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 draws inspiration from the traditional grief rituals of the Dagara people of Burkina Faso, West Africa, brought to the West by Malidoma and Sobonfu Somé, and 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 can cultivate and develop 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 deep initiations through grief, loss, and trauma, leading to a hard-won respect for the alchemical journey of transmuting pain into medicine for the world.


Colleen Caffrey is a musician, teacher and coach and has taught traditional West African drumming, facilitated drum circles in assisted living facilities, and guided groups in a rhythm and movement-based learning process called TaKeTiNa which she describes as “meditation without the sitting still.” In rhythm, she finds a deep connection to spirit and community.



This event is being offered on the Buddhist practice of dāna (donation), similar in philosophy to the gift economy, where each person is invited to offer support through a combination of their ability to give and natural impulse to contribute. The suggested donation is a sliding scale of $75-110, requested in the spirit of gratitude and reciprocity. No-one will be turned away for lack of funds.  



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.

~ Elizabeth Izzo, Portland, 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

It was so beautifully put together in a way that made it easy to do the work with everyone. 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

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


Thank you, Lara, for an incredible gift of healing. It will be a memory I will travel with and share with others wherever I

go. So glad our paths came together during this time in my life. From a very grateful heart.

~ Jean Edwards, San Luis Obispo, CA

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

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

~ Blake S, Corvallis, OR

bottom of page