Grief Soul and Community: A Ritual for Healing Personal and Collective Grief

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Starts:  Fri, February 16, 2018 at 7:00 PM
Ends:  Sun, February 18, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne

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Grief is a shunned emotion in most of the modern world, which looks for endless good times even as we drift further from nature and continue to experience collective trauma, environmental degradation, and fragmentation of our communities. The modern approach to grief is that it’s a personal issue, to be dealt with individually through our own efforts, or privately in the confines of therapy.

In the Indigenous context, grief is never carried alone. Grieving is a skill that is taught, and there are rituals and spaces where communal grieving is welcomed, bringing renewal to individuals and the community. Being able to grieve well is actually one of the essential skills to having an authentic sense of community, trust, and intimacy with oneself and others.

Stepping into the territory of grief is to enter into sacred space. In the words of Oscar Wilde “Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.” This ritual is an invitation to gather as a community in a safely held space to explore, share, express, and heal the grief we are carrying, whether personal, ancestral, cultural, or global.

Grief can show up in our lives in many ways… not only as tears and sadness, but also in anger, projections, confusion, disappointment, family estrangement, loneliness, apathy, addictions, lack of direction, fatigue and physical illness.

The ritual is open to everyone… not just for those who think they are currently grieving. The reality is, we all have unresolved grief. In our modern culture there are few opportunities to share and express grief wholeheartedly, in a way that fully moves it out of our bodies and psyche. Unexpressed grief, so prevalent in Australian society today, has massive impacts on our personal and community wellbeing.

What’s on the other side of the threshold of grief is the possibility of deep renewal, joy, and being re-born into a whole new relationship with the world. The possibility that vitality locked inside breaks through a crack in our hearts and finds a free and wild expression in our lives and the rhythms of our community. As the great poet Kahlil Gibran said:

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

Expect some storytelling, some sharing, some laughter and some tears, and occasional outbursts of song and dance and the old language of “prayer-talk” as we travel through this journey together.

FRI 16 FEB, 7-10PM

Friday evening is an introduction to this work and may be attended as a stand-alone event.

Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne
Level 1, 110 – 112 Argyle St, Fitzroy, 3065, Victoria, Australia


FRIDAY NIGHT: $35 / $40
FULL WEEKEND: $245 / $295
FULL WEEKEND (EARLY-BIRD): $195 / $245 (until 31 Jan)

Subsidised tickets, $125 for the full weekend, are available for anyone experiencing financial hardship who would otherwise be unable to attend the event. Please contact us if you’d like to apply for a subsidised ticket.

Andy Harrison, M: 0417 561 473,


The ritual will be facilitated by Randy Jones (Canada), author of “Medicine Without an Expiry Date: Indigenous Remedy for Modern Trouble”. Jones is a community leader and an advocate for the revival of the conversation between the modern world and the wisdom of Indigenous cultures. Sorrowed by the very loss of the wild in modernity, Jones has dedicated much of his life to re-establishing an alliance between the two. Over the last 25 years, he has embarked on an indigenous training which included dynamic studies in mythology, ritual, rhythm, dance and storytelling. He has trained and worked with such renowned teachers as Malidoma Somé, Michael Meade, Daniel Deardorff, Sobonfu Somé, Francis Weller, Stephen Jenkinson, Martín Prechtel, Marion Woodman and Robert Bly.

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