Engage with grief as a sacred experience.
The 16th-century Spanish saint Teresa of Avila speaks of the “beautiful wound” of longing for God, describing this depth of suffering as a doorway to union with her beloved. John of the Cross, Teresa’s contemporary, coined the term “Dark Night of the Soul” and developed a teaching that shows us how to surrender to radical unknowing and allow ourselves to be stripped of all that stands between our souls and the Divine. These and other mystics see deep sorrow as a great spiritual blessing, rather than as a problem that requires a
The purpose of this class is to engage with grief as a sacred experience, harvesting the beauty that we can find when we show up and make ourselves available to the fullness of our encounter with loss. We will be looking to the teachings of the mystics of various spiritual traditions (Christianity, Judaism, Sufism, Buddhism, and Hinduism) as guides for navigating the terrain of grief and loss. We will be reading poems and short prose passages from the mystics in a kind of Lectio Divina practice, writing in response to evocative prompts, sitting in contemplative silence, engaging in small-group and wholecircle sharing and chanting.
These practices will allow us to cultivate the tenderness and courage required to explore the places where our losses invite us into deeper aliveness and radiant joy. We do this so that we may turn toward, rather than push away, experiences of loss both for ourselves as well as for the suffering of others.
**Mirabai Starr**: writes creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. She has received critical acclaim for her revolutionary new translations of the mystics. She is author of the poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, a collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols, and the award-winning book, GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Her newest book, CARAVAN OF NO DESPAIR: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation, received the Spirituality & Practice “Best Books of 2015” award. She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15, 2018 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
OneSpirit Elective Credit: 2.0
Available by: Attend in NYC Classroom or Join by Videoconference or Download Recordings (learn more about videoconference)
Price: General Public: $ 190.00 | One Spirit Graduates: $ 170.00
If you have questions about registering for this course, please contact One Spirit Learning Alliance by email to [email protected] or call 212-931-6840 x 0.