" 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


This event is inspired by the village grief rituals of the Dagara tribe of West Africa, brought to the West by Dagara healer Sobonfu Somé, and draws from the work of Francis Weller, Michael Meade, Martin Prechtel, and Joanna Macy. Through cross-cultural ritual, poetry, and song we will create a sudden village to share, metabolize, and transmute what we have been carrying alone. Gathering in community to empty our communal cup of sorrow strengthens our hearts and souls, and increases our capacity to respond to the world with compassion, courage, and wisdom.

We have all been touched by the hand of grief in myriad ways, whether personally through lost dreams, relationship conflicts, illness, stress, or the death of loved ones, or collectively through our shared sense of fear, sadness, despair, numbness, anger, and overwhelm at the depths of social injustice and environmental devastation in our world. Coming together to share rituals of honoring, mourning, remembrance, and praise of life helps builds resilience, creativity, and vitality to guide and support us through these challenging 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.


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



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