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"Healing Spiritual Suffering" a workshop by The Sacred Art of Living

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What you can expect from this program: “Spirituality is the most overlooked factor in relieving physical pain…” -Cicely Saunders, MD

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Healing the Healers: Sacred Art of Living and Dying

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Healing Spiritual Pain

The SALD programme is a series of 4 modules and offers a creative blend of content-oriented presentations, personal reflection, group processes and sacred ritual. The facilitator’s role is to create a space for participants to engage with the course material in a way that confirms their own experience and also opens the possibility of new insight. While there are concrete learning outcomes for each module, the two-day program creates a retreat-like environment that nurtures and encourages the soul of the caregiver to show up. These programs are non-denominational in approach, meaning, that they respect the spiritual path of every person, regardless of any religious affiliation.

The Sacred Art of Living & Dying programme is more about living than about dying. This modules draw from the wisdom of our ancestors that the quality of life is enhanced when we do not live in fear or denial of suffering and mortality. The results of facing or “leaning into” existential/spiritual pain are profound and may include the improvement of physical health and enhanced capacity for healing—as well as peace of mind and the transformation of spirit. These insights, while critical at the end of life, are also useful throughout the many other real “deaths” that occur throughout every person’s lifetime including times of illness and loss and the normal stages of transition such as birth, adolescence and elderhood.

During this weekend workshop, holistic therapies are drawn from the world’s great spiritual traditions and applied with contemporary scientific skills.

Core Teaching

There is remarkable wisdom and available from human history and culture regarding the sacred art of living and dying which continues to offer important lessons for today’s caregivers.

The relationship between spiritual suffering and physical-emotional distress is real yet often goes “un-diagnosed.”

Every person shares common existential/spiritual needs regardless of whether they ascribe to a particular religious or faith system of belief.

There are four sources of emotional-spiritual suffering: meaning, forgiveness, relatedness and hope.

By first identifying and then leaning into the source of psycho-spiritual pain, doors open to the possibility of inner healing which also supports physical health and recovery from illness.

In order to recognise the “soul-pain” in another, we first have to identify these same realities in ourselves. The “new sciences” emerging in our time are confirming some of the same principles and practices found in the traditional healing arts.

Program Lessons

The art of living well and the art of dying well are one and the same.

We are the medicine, meaning, that we all have the capacity to be healers for ourselves and to one another in our willingness to be present to another.

We do not fix the suffering of others, however, the way in which care is given can touch the most hidden places.

There is a critical distinction between pain and suffering.

When dealing with spiritual suffering, the cardinal principle is to always “lean into the pain.”

The core teaching of the world’s great wisdom traditions is that one should never respond to the spiritual pain of another until it has first been ‘diagnosed’ [i.e. the origin of the “wound” is identified].

In addressing any form of spiritual suffering, we should not recommend a “tool” or practice for another unless we have experienced it ourselves.

Regarding the language of the “soul” [also called the essence or heart of a person], experience teaches that—

the soul usually speaks in metaphor

the soul is generally shy

the soul already knows what it needs and,

the soul recognises when it can safely reveal itself to another

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