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The Healing Art of Lament

Sunday, December 1st, 2019 | Ashland, OR


 Songs are thoughts, sung out with the breath when people are moved by great forces and ordinary speech no longer suffices.  

~ Orpingalik, Netsilik Inuit healer and poet ~

This daylong gathering offers an opportunity to experience the healing art of Lament, a near-universal and ancient oral tradition of weeping, singing, and sounding as an intuitive and embodied practice of honouring, metabolizing, and transmuting our deep emotional responses to loss, grief, and life transition. We will explore the history of Lament practices from around the world, with a focus on the traditions of Finnish Karelian singing and Gaelic Irish Keening (Caoine) and deep engagement with their modern revival forms. Through song, sound, movement, word, and ritual gesture we will learn new ways to alchemize our grief and sorrow into gifts of beauty and praise, and open our hearts up to the mystery of transformation.


We have so much to grieve for, both in our personal lives and for all that is happening in our hurting world. Yet without the ability to be present to and metabolize the energy of grief, it can become stuck and stagnant, leading to illness, anxiety, numbness, depression, and apathy. This event provides a sacred container to connect with our innate knowledge of these ancestral ways and reclaim their power to heal and transform. In remembering and reviving these ancient practices for modern times we will regain lost skills to help restore meaning during times of loss and change, deepen our sense of belonging, reveal new clarity of vision, and strengthen our hearts for fuller engagement with the challenges in our lives and of our world. 

With thanks to my mentor Tuomas Rounakari, his mentor Pirkko Fihlman and my Irish colleagues and fellow keeners Tanya Bryan, Sinead Gallagher, Tara Dominick, and Marian Caulfield for their encouragement and support. See below for some further resources on the healing power of lament.

An article on traditional Karelian

Singing and its modern revival 

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Tuomas Rounakari on

The Healing Power of a Lament

The Irish Keening Tradition:

Singing the Soul Home

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“ Deep in our bones resides an ancient, singing couple who just won't give up making their beautiful, wild noise.

The world won't end if we can find them. 

~ Martin Prechtel ~


Lara Lwin Treadaway facilitates healing and transformation in community, weaving earth-honoring ritual, experiential group process, ways of council, poetry, storytelling, sounding, and song. 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 story includes many deep initiations through grief, loss, and trauma, leading to a hard-won respect for the alchemical journey of transmuting our pain into medicine for the world.


DATE/TIME: Sunday, December 1st, 2019 | 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

LOCATION: Private Residence, Ashland, OR

RECIPROCITY: Suggested Sliding Scale $100 - $250

Gift exchange and scholarships are available. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

If you are able to contribute more than suggested please consider doing so to support this work.

Limited to 10 participants only. Early registration is recommended.

If you have any questions please contact Lara:  |  541-740-3933


"During the workshop, we each created and sang our own lament, which was a powerful and beautiful experience. I definitely feel inspired to make it a regular practice. It is not only wonderful and healing for grief, but also anything that troubles

heart and mind. Such meaningful rituals and ways need to be brought back into our lives and cultures."

~ Elisabeth Freise-Mick, Portland, OR

"It was exactly what I needed to learn more about bringing a practice of sacred grieving into my life and to help me open up to the acute grief I've been feeling from the recent death of my father. It was transformative to be witnessed in my grieving and to

witness others in theirs. I felt confident in the way that Lara facilitated a safe, supportive, and sacred space for us."

~ Minda Stiles, Newport, OR

"Simply put, Lara is ideally suited for this sacred alchemical work. She has the capacity to hold deep space for the sorrows

of the world while being firmly rooted in the healing power of the good, the true, and the beautiful."

~ Freyja Swan-Utsman, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Lara is a skilled facilitator who navigates the most challenging issues of our time with wisdom, sensitivity, and a wide-open heart.

Her event was a deep experience that challenged me to explore my grief and pain, while

empowering me to face those hurts with resilience and hope."

~ Kevin Gallagher, Santa Barbara, CA

"Lara is such an amazingly skilled guide in the realms of the underworld with so much tenderness into the heart of shadow.

A real transformative opportunity to unmask and get real with yourself. Not to be missed."

~ Natalia Price Vales, Nevada City, CA 

"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."

~ Jana Holm, Portland, OR

"This was one of the most rich and beautiful days of my life. Lara held an impeccably clear, loving space for all of us. I came

away having made friends with my sadness and peace with the anger that protects it. I continue to feel

a sense of peace as I let the grief walk beside me, no longer judged or hindered by fear."

~ Erica Indrani Eddy, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Grief work is such a vital part of our lives as full humans, and something so missing from our Western society. Lara brings

this sacred technology and offerings back into our remembrance, awakening it from our deep ancestral knowledge."

~ Alexa Lindahl, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Lara is a gifted guide through the deep well of sorrow and grief. She is receptive to the needs of each participant being aware

of the community as a whole. Lara holds a safe container in which participants can let go in ways many of us

have never been able to before. The deep joy which follows the out-pouring of grief is truly profound."

~ Oshi, Coos Bay, OR

"If you want a deeply poignant and absolutely beautiful experience, I most highly recommend this sacred work. If you

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​

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