Overview of The Course
The Course is designed to be an experiential journey, utilizing the principles of adult learning. It involves the utilization of a diverse array of mediums to help guide participants through a journey of self-enfoldment and awareness of life and death. It’s seven consecutive weeks, up to 3 hours each session, with homework and personal assignments concluding each session. The goal of the Course is to offer individuals an opportunity to develop a deeper recognition of what matters most to them, what is to true value, how to live more authentically in alignment with their life’s purpose, and to review our losses as to their impact on our lives. By the end, it is the hope that participants will have had the opportunity, in a safe space, to be more fully self-expressive in their beliefs and ideals of their living.
The Course has been designed to gently permission participants to share their innermost feelings regarding living and dying. It’s a process of self-enfoldment in a safe space, a space that’s created by the group. The subject matter is introduced through the 7 weeks, each week delving deeper into our self-expressions and feelings regarding living and dying. The following is a brief overview of the session topics:
- Perceptions and realities of death and dying
- Empathy, compassion and Communication
- Pain, suffering and hope
- Emotional and psychosocial elements of death
- Personal culture, spirituality, religion and dying
- Grief and loss
- The connectivity of Life
"Only Love and Death will change all things."
Spring 2018 Session Dates:
Wednesdays, 6 - 9pm
Session 1 - March 28
Session 2 - April 4
Session 3 - April 11
Session 4 - April 18
Session 5 - April 25
Session 6 - May 2
Session 7 - May 9
"Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!"
Session 1: Introduction, Perceptions of Death and Dying
Our perceptions of death and dying. What do we feel about the topic of death and dying? What do we perceive is society’s view/messaging about dying? Have we ever thought out death? What does it mean to ‘live in the light of death?’ Is it really that scary if it is the only absolute of life? “Death demands life”, what does that mean?
Session 2: The Art of Empathy and Communication
How can we be more effective communicators? What do the dying teach us about listening and speaking? How can we listen with more than our ears? How do we feel in silence with another? How is our mere presence a form of communication?
Session 3: The Dance of Pain, Suffering and Hope
Pain and suffering are often confused as one and the same, but they’re not. How are they different? What are their elements? How does illness express itself through these elements? What disease would we not want to die of, and why?
Session 4: An Imaginary Journey Into Our Own Dying
We conduct a fantasy journey into our own dying. What surfaces from within ourselves? What do we want if we were ill? What are some of our fears of dying? What are we grateful for in the light of one day taking our last breath? How can we redefine our daily lives with that which we hope for?
"You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?"
Session 5: Personal Culture, Spirituality and Religion
What is our personal culture, and how does it impact our lives? What is Cultural Humility, and how is dying the great common ground where we all meet? How does one’s spiritualty/religion impact how we view life and death? How could it change with an illness?
Session 6: Journey Into Grief and Loss
We’ve all experienced loss, but have we mourned? How do unresolved losses impact our daily lives? Through a journey of an experiential exercise into loss, what do we find most meaningful in our lives? The story of the Kintsugi Bowl.
Session 7: Conclusion, The Weave of Life
Conducted is the building of the weave to demonstrate how our living, dying and loss, and hopes are interwoven. How can dying create a sense of community? A pot-luck is suggested to the group to stage a table of harvesting all that we’ve learned together in the 7 weeks.