A community based contemplative care program for beginners
Present To Dying is conceived as a 4-week immersive and sequential program aimed at improving our community’s capacity to be present to and serve as compassionate companions for the people in our lives who are facing death, which includes us – at some point or another.
Present to Dying will be conducted as a Council Practice, also referred to as a sacred wisdom circle. In our circle we will be cultivating the capacity to speak and listen as beginners, from the 3-centers of mind ~ heart ~ body. We will engage in direct experimental practices intended to deepen our awareness of impermanence, loss, realization of interconnectedness, and our own goodness.
We will learn what to expect as death draws near, and what tasks and opportunities exist that are inherent to dying. We will contemplate how we think and feel about our own death and our own dying, and how we would want that to unfold.
Ultimately we hope to support the growth of empowered and compassionate companions, intimate with death, resources to themselves, and resources to those in their community.
Week 1 - The contemplation of dying (Saturday, April 8th)
1. OPENING OUR COUNCIL: Our vehicle for cultivating deep listening
2. EXERCISE: How do you want to die
3. PRACTICE: The 9 Contemplations: our ever present relationship with death
4. CLOSING COUNCIL and preparing to meet again
Week 2 – Bearing witness (Saturday, April 15th)
1. EXERCISE: Bearing Witness to Dying & Three-Centered Awareness
2. PRACTICE: Ubumuntu ~ Part 1, Seeing our goodness and interconnectedness
3. TOOLS: Tools for Compassionate Companioning*
4. TOOLS: What we can expect as the End of Life draws near*
Week 3 – The experience of Loss (Saturday, April 22rd)
1. EXERCISE: The practice of Birth and Death
2. TOOLS: Coping with Loss ~ oscillating between loss and restoration
3. PRACTICE: Ubumuntu ~ Part 2, Releasing our Hearts
4. TOOLS: Opportunities for those close to dying in the 11th Hour*
Week 4 – Compassionate action (Saturday, April 29th)
1. PRACTICE: The Practice of Dying ~ the dissolution of the body at death
2. TOOLS: A brief introduction to G.R.A.C.E. ~ A beginners guide*
3. PRACTICE: Writing one's one legacy letter ~ a practice of self compassion.
4. CLOSING COUNCIL ~ reflections, graduation, invitations, and dedicating our merit.
*We are grateful to Joan Halifax PhD, Dr. Ira Byock MD, Mr. Frank Ostaseski, and Barbara Karnes, RN for their inspirational tools and guidance.
2023 Spring Course Dates: Beginning April 8th, then continuing on April 15, April 22, April 29.
Each Saturday we will begin promptly at10:00AM and conclude at approximately 2:15-2:45PM
(Please plan to arrive at the Olympia Fig Tree between 9:30AM - 9:45AM).
Location: Olympia Fig, 1713 State Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98506
Parking: Located in the back of the Olympia Fig and on State Avenue
Registration Process: Two ways to register.
(1) Please print and complete the PDF registration form below and include the course fee and return to the following address. Hospice Without Borders, 1713 State Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98506
(2) Contact us using the form below and we will return your message and arrange a time to complete the registration over the phone.
Course Registration Fee: Registration is $40. This small fee covers the cost of the entire cost for the course and includes the Saturday sessions, all course material and a nutritious vegetarian lunch served at each of the 4 Saturdays.
Once we process your registration, we will contact you by email to confirm you plan to attend and provide you with course introduction details that will help prepare you for the course. We hope to see you in September.
If you have additional questions not answered above, or you wish to register for the course over the phone as described above, please feel free to contact us using the form below. One of the course leaders will contact you in 1-3 business days.