Passage into Elderhood–Becoming a Wisdom Keeper
Thérèse and Tere will take you on a journey of exploration into the heart of aging and dying using the ancient tools of ceremony and prayer, Council-sharing and talking stick, quest, and sweatlodge. We will explore how to face our fears and the changes of aging with resilience, grace and equanimity, and how to hone our personal spirituality to support us as we head into the Mystery.
Session 1: Preparing for the Journey–Charting our Course.
Essential practices for the budding Wisdom Keeper (these themes will be threaded throughout the 8 sessions)
• Sitting in Elder-Council
• Connecting with our inner elder
• Developing resilience
• The four powers of elderhood
• Aging as a rite of passage
• Articulating a personal vision and intentions for elder years
Sessions 2: Personal Life Review
• Overview of the intention, value of and methodology for doing a life review
• Quiet time for reflection
• Creating a life-journey chart
Session 3: Deepening our skills at being a sacred Witness
• Training in ‘Compassionate Listening’ skills, using stories from our life reviews
Sessions 4: Regrets, Fears and the Shadow side of aging
• Council sharing time, then bringing our fears, regrets and past identities/careers to the sacred sweatlodge fire (with the choice to go inside the lodge or stay outside by the fire.)
Session 5: Making Friends with Silence, Stillness and Solitude
• Learning about “Death Lodge” and “Quest”
• Four hours of silence/stillness in the woods at Sacred Groves
Session 6: Grief and Loss
• Learning how to walk with, make friends with grief and loss
• Half-day Grief Ritual
Session 7: Preparing for Death and Dying Well
• Stories of good deaths and difficult deaths
• Practical preparations for death
• Spiritual practices to prepare for death
Session 8: The Journey as a Wisdom Keeper begins!
• Witness each others visions/intentions for an inspiring elder chapter
• Wrap up and closure of this chapter of this journey!