Ritual Expressions Events

Grief Ritual

SHRINE GRIEF RITUAL OCT. 2012.

SHRINE GRIEF RITUAL OCT. 2012Community Grief Ritual

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and Workshop

SHRINE GRIEF RITUAL OCT. 2012SHRINE GRIEF RITUAL OCT. 2012.

There are currently no new dates set for this season

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Registration Deadline to be announced

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from 10:00 AM till 7:00 PM

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Venue TBA, MA

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Facilitated by Katja Esser and Leon Chaban

members of East Coast Village honoring the teachings of the Dagara People of West Africa as taught by Malidoma Somé

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Grieving does not belong only to the ones that lost a loved one, grieving is a skill and is what we do each time we fall in love with life knowing the change and loss that comes with it.

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Expressing grief is essential to our process of being fully human. We grieve unexpressed dreams, love we have never received, people and things we have lost or chosen to let go of, other people’s grief, the suffering on the planet or any story that triggers the feeling of grief.  The ritual is also called ‘The Pouring of Water’ and like any water, when we fully allow ourselves to experience the depth of our grief and tears arise, what has been solidified in us begins to dissolve and comes into flow again. Tears are like an inner shower that cleanses the soul, heals and restores us to peace. Grief suppressed or unresolved, moves as an undercurrent that continues to undermine our energy, lives, and ultimately becomes toxic.   The rise of depression, anger and rage in our society is symptomatic of unexpressed grief.  To truly grieve is a skill and it takes a community to hold it.

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In our culture there is a huge judgment around the process of grieving because of its uncontrollable nature when it finally unleashes. We hold a fear that it is too big, too overwhelming and we may never come out of it. However, there is beauty in each feeling that emerges from deep within our soul that ultimately brings us closer to our essential self. Deep grieving is not recommended to be done alone. This community grief ritual is designed to create a safe container to fully express the unedited version of our inner turmoil and give it over to the ancestors. Our pain and loss is everybody’s pain and in moments of deep grief differences and judgments fall away. Communal ritual of any sort moves energy in a big way; together we can access what is harder to do by oneself. Coming through the grief we experience greater joy, freedom, gratitude, a new clarity and lightness in life. Dissolving the stuck energy allows the Self to emerge powerfully and opens the gateway to our beautiful sacred gifts we are meant to fulfill in this life time.

 
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Community Grief Rituals have always been part of humanity. It usually finds its expression through funeral rituals. It was understood that the tears were needed for the dead to cross over but also for the living to create an opportunity to cleanse themselves from accumulated losses, disappointments, and hurts of all kinds. The Dagara Grief Ritual is derived from the Dagara Funeral Ritual, and was developed as a response to the lack of grieving and particular communal grieving that takes place in our Western Civilization.

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Katja Esser and Leon Chaban are hosting this one day event allowing the participants to fully empty out over this time period. This ritual has a very particular choreography and it involves the participation of every single person. Together we build the shrine and the ritual space. There are a number of items to bring and each person gets to make a bundle from things you find in nature that itemizes your particular grief. We send a full list of what to bring when you register. We call out to drummers, they are key to keep the ritual going and the more we have the more we can take turns to relieve each other and allow them to grieve as well. In order to stay focused on the ritual and bring the cost down we ask people to bring a potluck meal that feeds about 5 people, that way we can cover lunch and dinner and stay connected to the process of grieving. There are options to stay overnight to allow for a better transition and integration in that case, you will have to bring your own bedding and mattress.

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katja Esser and Leon ChabanKatja Esser has been facilitating ritual since 1992 of which the Summer Solstice at America’s Stonehenge is the most well known. Katja has been working with Malidoma Somé since 1996. She is born in a water year in the Dagara tradition and water people hold rituals concerning grief, healing and reconciliation. In the last 10 years she has co-lead and facilitated numerous grief rituals. She is one of the founding members of the East Coast Village. She has now landed at Earthlands and assists, with her husband Larry Buell founder of Earthlands, the affairs at the Institute of Environmental Awareness.

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Leon Chaban has been on a path of discovery, learning, and sharing deep wisdom of Nature early on in his life. After his study with West African Elder Malidoma Somé in 2007, Leon’s attraction to the magic of Earth based indigenous wisdom crystallized in deep affection for the sacredness of Ritual. Honoring our connection to Nature, ritual and community is what the indigenous world offers to the modern world. Community is integral to the harmony and balance of each individual, helping in awakening each other gifts and beauty. Ritual is the technology that weaves the individual gifts into a community that activates the transformative power of the natural world. Leon Chaban is currently serves on the Board of Directors of East Coast Village, dedicated to promoting public awareness of the living traditions of indigenous peoples, to encourage people to live in harmony with the environment and to preserve for future generations; to promote the spiritual and personal well-being of people.

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WOW!! What a ride it has been since last I was in your eye sight….. I can not thank you each enough for the journey of being held and welcomed in grief…… I feel like for me it continued for the rest of the month, and even some now, but now it doesn’t hold so much deep pain, but a sweet faint smell of letting go…… Kathleen
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