You are invited to join us for this two part virtual offering with Francis Weller, Sundays, March 7 and March 21, 1-3:30pm. In this workshop we will explore ways to cultivate a lifelong relationship with the inevitable presence of loss and sorrow. Beginning with the premise that grief is not only an emotion, but a core human faculty, Francis examines ways to develop the skills needed to face the ongoing losses and disruptions in our daily lives. A rich and engaging offering, complete with Question and Response segments, writing practices, small group connections, meditations and reflection questions.
This offering is coordinated by the Finding Hope team, where we show up to hard topics including domestic violence, suicide, addiction, sexual abuse and mental illness. In Finding Hope we are committed to expanding our capacity to be present with one another in difficult times and grateful to have Francis Weller to teach us and support this path of development.
We anticipate this event will sell out (with 200 spots available). The cost is $25 and scholarships are available (Message firstname.lastname@example.org for scholarship info). After registering you will receive access information and .pdf of materials.
Part One: Cultivating an Apprenticeship with Sorrow (March 7th 1:00-3:30pm)
Grief and loss touch us all, arriving at our door in many ways. It comes swirling on the winds of divorce, or the death of someone dear, as an illness that alters the course of a life. For many of us, our grief is tied intimately to the ravages we witness daily to watersheds, forests and the disappearance of species, the silencing of languages, and the coarsening of culture. And yet our encounters with sorrow are often met with confusion, fear and overwhelm. We are uncertain how to meet this difficult guest when it surfaces in our lives.
This course is designed to inaugurate an Apprenticeship with Sorrow. It is through the rites of grief that we are, in turn, ripened as human beings. Grief invites gravity and depth into our world. Our work is to understand grief not only as an emotion, but also a core faculty of being human, a profound capacity to metabolize sorrow into something nutrient dense for the community.
Cultivating the skills of grief work is critical in these days of wild uncertainty and rampant loss. While the pandemic has quickened our awareness of the fragile threads that hold a culture together, it is only one of the pending threats that we must come to face. Social issues such as systemic racism and economic disparity, global concerns around climate catastrophe, all weigh on us, requiring a strong and vital response. We need to fortify our inner and outer connections to not only weather the storms but to be tempered by them as well.
Part Two: Medicine for the Long Dark (March 21st, 1:00-3:30pm)
During our time together, we explore multiple threads that support and sustain our apprenticeship with sorrow. In part two, we acknowledge the truth of what lies ahead of us, the Long Dark, that carries with it anxiety and trepidation. In the end, we lean into the truth of our entanglement with one another, with this shimmering world and come to honor the power of the heart's affections.
This is the work of our times. Grief and loss will be our constant companions. It is up to us to become skillful in the ways that keep our faces turned into the winds of sorrow. So much depends on these next decades and the upcoming generations. So much hinges on a heart enamored with the world. As Wendell Berry says, "It all turns on affection."
"Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground."
About Francis Weller
Francis Weller, MFT, is a psychotherapist, writer and soul activist. He is a master of synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures and poetic traditions. Author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief; The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation, (with Rashani Réa) and In the Absence of the Ordinary: Essays in a Time of Uncertainty, he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people. He founded and directs WisdomBridge, an organization that offers educational programs that seek to integrate the wisdom from indigenous cultures with the insights and knowledge gathered from western poetic, psychological and spiritual traditions. For thirty-seven years Francis has worked as a psychotherapist and developed a style he calls soul-centered psychotherapy.