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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



Weaving Grief & Gratitude


DATES: Fri, Oct 12 - Sun, Oct 14, 2018

TIMES: 6pm Friday - 6pm Sunday

LOCATION: Private Residence, Sebastopol, CA 


This 3-day retreat in Sebastopol, Northern California offers a unique invitation to dive deeply into the places of loss and sorrow in our lives, and to metabolize and transform the grief we have been carrying alone into medicine that can guide and sustain us. Together we will create a safe and sacred container in which to explore the deepest well of our souls and the highest reach of our spirits. In communion with our individual and collective stories of life's deepest initiations we will explore a range of transformative practices together to open the mind and heart, carry our losses and longings to the land, seek knowledge of grief's hidden gifts, and receive and offer prayers of gratitude.

We have all been touched by the hand of grief, whether through lost dreams, relationship conflicts, illness, ancestral wounds, the death of loved ones, or through our collective sense of fear, sadness, outrage, despair, numbness and overwhelm at the depths of injustice and devastation in our world. Throughout history traditional cultures have come together to create circles of healing and belonging by sharing rituals of mourning, remembrance, and praise of life. Gathering together to engage in deep conversations with soul and to empty the communal cup of sorrow, strengthens our hearts and increases our capacity to respond to the world with compassion, courage, and wisdom.


This retreat draws from the traditional grieving practices of the Dagara tribe of West Africa, brought to the West by Malidoma and Sobonfu Somé, along with the work of teachers, ritualists, and poets such as Francis Weller, Michael Meade, Joanna Macy, Martin Prechtel, David Whyte, and others. Through the transformative power of ritual, ceremony, song, poetry, and alchemical empathy we will begin to pull apart the tangled threads of loss and sorrow in our lives and weave together a rich web of blessings from all that is left. By sharing and metabolizing our grief in community we will build strength, 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.


Kelly McRee has been working as an educational facilitator for over a decade. From personal experience she knows the deep pain and traumatic stress that arises from sudden loss. Her journey has led her to share her innovative healing modalities including community and movement therapy, yin yoga, art, dance, hang drum music, and creating rituals, and sacred spaces. She is joyfully committed to helping others heal and renew. Read more about Kelly on her website:


This event is being held at a private residence in Sebastopol, CA. Camping only. Facilities include flush toilets, showers, refrigeration, and cooking equipment. All events will be held outdoors under the Majestic Oaks, unless the weather drives us indoors. Directions and more details will be sent with confirmation of your registration. For any questions please email Lara at


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 for this work through a combination of their ability to give and natural impulse to contribute. The suggested donation is a sliding scale of $250 - $350, requested in the spirit of gratitude and reciprocity. No-one will be turned away for lack of funds. 



I cannot even begin to say how beautiful, brilliant, deep, delicious, wise, impactful, meaningful, moving, powerful, fierce, profound, real, and deeply healing this gathering was. I spent a year at Kalani-Honua on the Big Island of Hawaii following two years at Esalen so I have experienced

many healing events, retreats and workshops, and I have to say that I was so thoroughly cleansed, impressed, moved, touched,

wrung out, inspired and lifted up by this Grief Ritual Retreat that I still can’t believe it. I highly recommend this

experience to everyone I know! Amazing work!!! Amazing!!!

~ Montgomery Norton, San Luis Obispo, CA

In a short time, I had come to know and care for my fellow Villagers, made friends, heard stories, saw inside their hearts briefly. A true

community holds the capacity to experience many things together without busting at the seams. Grief bonds when held with

compassion and understanding. Grief shows us our capacity for Joy as well. A community that learns to hold both is

strong, resilient, and capable of changing the world. Thank you, Lara Lwin Treadaway, for guiding us.

~ Michelle Madgett, San Luis Obispo, CA


The structure of the days was prescient and full of open space for creativity and more work. It never felt too heavy. It was all so beautiful.

I need to take time to write about it or it will soon be like a dream. Thank you for your depth, your lightness, your clarity, your sense

of love and deep profound history of this movement of the heart and spirit needing to come alive at this time!

~ Bob Banner, San Luis Obispo, CA


I just want to share that I recently attended this amazing ceremony in Coos Bay. 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

Each time I tell of the experience I had of this retreat to a friend who didn't get to experience it, they are amazed and my story becomes a

little more complete and clearer to me. You blessed us all with this gift. You truly created a sacred space,

of trust, holiness and safety. What a combination. Thank you so much, Lara."

~ Lois Williams, Coos Bay, OR

The Grief Ritual 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. It was beautiful!  

~ Robin Clark, Bandon, OR

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 profoundThese rituals have been life-changing for me.

~ Oshi, Coos Bay, 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

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

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