Tue, Mar 16 | Zoom video

"An Apprenticeship with Sorrow" with Francis Weller

This brief presentation will explore the elements of an Apprenticeship with Sorrow. It is through the rites of grief that we are, in turn, ripened as human beings. Grief invites gravity and depth into our world.

Time & Location

Mar 16, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT
Zoom video

About the Event

"An Apprenticeship with Sorrow" with Francis Weller

Join Francis Weller and Angell Deer for a beautiful presentation of the elements of an Apprenticeship with Sorrow.

This exceptional event is limited in space. So reserve as soon as possible.

“Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.”

-Oscar Wilde

More information on this event

Grief and loss touch us all, arriving at our door in many ways. It comes swirling on the winds of divorce, or the death of someone dear, as an illness that alters the course of a life. For many of us, our grief is tied intimately to the ravages we witness daily to watersheds, forests and the disappearance of species, the silencing of languages, and the coarsening of culture. And yet our encounters with sorrow are often met with confusion, fear, and overwhelm. We are uncertain how to meet this difficult guest when it surfaces in our lives.

This brief presentation will explore the elements of an Apprenticeship with Sorrow. It is through the rites of grief that we are, in turn, ripened as human beings. Grief invites gravity and depth into our world. Our work is to understand grief not only as an emotion but also a core faculty of being human, a profound capacity to metabolize sorrow into something nutrient-dense for the community. This apprenticeship is, at heart, about the crafting of elders capable of meeting the pain and suffering of the world with a dignified and robust bearing. This is soul activism intended to foster deep cultural change. Cultivating the skills of grief work is critical in these days of wild uncertainty and rampant loss. While the pandemic has quickened our awareness of the fragile threads that hold a culture together, it is only one of the pending threats that we must come to face. Social issues such as systemic racism and economic disparity, global concerns around climate catastrophe, all weigh on us, requiring a strong and urgent response. We need to fortify our inner and outer connections to not only weather the storms but to be tempered by them. We do this work not solely for our own healing, but also to make us capable of responding to the critical needs of our times.

About Francis Weller

Francis Weller, MFT, is a psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist. He is a master of synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures, and poetic traditions. 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. For thirty-eight years Francis has worked as a psychotherapist and developed a style he calls soul-centered psychotherapy. As a gifted therapist and teacher, he has been described as a jazz artist, improvising, and moving fluidly in and out of deep emotional territories with groups and individuals, bringing imagination and attention to places often held with judgment and shame. His latest offerings are a 10-session audio series on "Living a Soulful Life and Why It Matters," ​"The Alchemy of Initiation: Soul Work and the Art of Ripening," and “An Apprenticeship with Sorrow: Community, Ritual and the Sacred Work of Grief.”

His writings have appeared in anthologies and journals exploring the confluence between psyche, nature, and culture. His work was featured in The Sun magazine (October 2015) the Utne Reader (Fall 2016) and Kosmos Journal (Winter 2021). 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.

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