Tending the Five Gates of Grief: A Five-Part Online Experience

With Francis Weller

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Check out Francis Weller’s article, The Generous Heart: The Gift of Self-Compassion, and his interview with Alnoor Ladha, Deschooling Dialogues: On Initiation, Trauma and Ritual.

Check out Francis Weller’s other paid recorded programs An Apprenticeship with Sorrow: A Weekend Retreat and Soul Work and the Art of Ripening: A Five Part Online Course on the Alchemy of Initiation.

Join us for this exploration into tending the Five Gates of Grief. Through ritual, the poetic imagination, writing practices, reflection questions, small group work, meditations and more, you will enter into a circle of concerned hearts and coax your stories of loss and sorrow into the waiting world.

Grief finds its way into all our lives through losses great and small. With its arrival, we are taken into a shadowed terrain, carried into the night world where we are invited to discover a new mode of seeing; a different form of perception that gradually reveals the holiness that lies in this darkness. In this place we discover that grief is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Contrary to our fears, we find that grief is suffused with life-force. It is riddled with energy, carrying a secret vitality hidden within our sorrows. There is some strange intimacy between grief and aliveness, some sacred exchange between what seems unbearable and what is most exquisitely alive.

This five-week series is an invitation to enter the healing ground of grief and tend the river of tears and sorrow that enter our lives in a multitude of ways. We will gather in a virtual community in our shared coherent field, leaning into the commons of the soul. Grief has never been private. It has always been communal. On some level we are waiting for the others to arrive so we can drop into the heart of our grief and allow it to move.

These gatherings will be a soulful and potent way for us to address the wide range of sorrows that we are asked to digest. It is essential that we honor all the forms of loss in our lives, from the most intimate, carried in our “secret inside flesh,” to those that swirl around us on the winds of culture, the rips and tears to our beleaguered planet, and the lingering losses of our ancestors. We do this to keep our hearts open, fluid, and responsive to this tender and aching world.

The weekly structure will include core teachings on the Five Gates of Grief, instructions in multiple practices to work with these vulnerable terrains, homework to vitalize the material between sessions and an invitation to share your experience with many others.

Francis Weller

Francis Weller

Francis Weller, MFT, is a psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist. 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.

Francis’ writings have appeared in anthologies and journals exploring the confluence between psyche, nature, and culture, including “The Sun” magazine, the “Utne Reader”, “Kosmos Journal”, and “Ruminate”. Francis is currently on staff at Commonweal Cancer Help Program, co-leading their week-long retreats with Michael Lerner. He is currently completing his fourth book, The Alchemy of Initiation: Soul Work and the Art of Ripening.