Workshops

Our workshops are custom designed for each individual group.  They usually last 90 minutes, a half-day, a full day, or are presented in 4, 6, or 12 week series.  Most of our workshops can be offered online as well as in person.  They can be modified for other lengths and formats as well.  We have offered versions of the following workshops for spiritual organizations, medical personnel, staff of a wide variety of businesses, clergy, and social groups.  Some of them have proven to be ideal fits for specific populations; we have noted that information below. However, we would love to create your workshop on any of the following topics (and are always open to expanding this list); please contact us at education@passings.us or 719 257-2010 to begin discussing your workshop.

 

Death as A Compass:  The Gifts of Dying on the Spiritual Path

90 minute immersive workshop, half-day, day-long, or 6 part series

 

Ideal for: clergy members, spiritual directors/companions, ministry staff, spiritual seekers, and all folks desiring to integrate the wisdom of dying into their spiritual life

 

This workshop reclaims the gifts that death and dying offer to those of us on a spiritual path. People throughout time have utilized the wisdom of surrender as a compass on their spiritual journeys. However, in contemporary Western culture, death is being erased from our collective lexicon, its offerings nearly forgotten. Together, we begin to explore this indispensable wisdom by employing death as our compass. By examining the orientations we already have toward death and dying, we will increase our awareness of the role surrender may or may not play both in our personal spiritual journeys and the ways we accompany the people we companion. Next, we discover the role contemplative practice plays in dying consciously, both at the end of life and throughout each of the "little deaths" offered during our lifetimes, introducing four simple practices to our unique spiritual processes. Using the dying as our teachers, we remember how to die before we die. 

 

Living at the Edge:  Life after Terminal Diagnosis

Half-day, day-long, or 6 part series.

Ideal for:  those living with a terminal diagnosis, persons supporting others with terminal diagnosis, medical professionals, clergy members, professional caregivers

 

Building on nearly twenty years of experience living with a terminal diagnosis and supporting others who are doing the same, Amy has crafted a workshop that delves into some of the most significant questions we face as we learn to live while dying.  Participants courageously explore their ideas, beliefs, and fears about death and dying and open to new ways of being present throughout their days. We focus on the physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational dimensions of dying. Body-based practices are introduced to aid in our exploration as we investigate:  the creation of a new health care team, the place of grief and loss throughout terminal illness, the role of identity in learning to die, how to surrender that which is most dear, and the possibility of creating wellness in terminal illness.

 

Exploring Loss:  Moving from Lineage to Legacy

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

 

Ideal for:  those desiring to include all of life’s losses in their spiritual path, anyone in any type of ministry, clergy members, spiritual groups, or anyone experiencing loss in any form

 

From the moment we take our first breath, we begin to have a relationship with loss.  Indeed, life can be seen as a series of “little deaths”. Yet in contemporary Western culture, we often ignore loss altogether; we are taught to stuff our grief, to medicate it, to distract from it.  The results can be painful, even dangerous. This workshop explores our relationship to loss and redefines it. We use interactive exercises to examine our lineage of loss, weaving together our personal experiences with what we have been taught and modeled about grief from our families, our traditions, our communities, and our cultures.  Then we begin to create our legacy of loss, the ways we would like to integrate loss into our personal narrative and share that with others.

 

From Caregiver to Care-Partner:  Creating Embodied, Enlighted, Empathic Relationships

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

Ideal for: medical professionals; professional caregivers; family members and loved ones of folks experiencing illness, loss, or transition; clergy members; ministry staff; spiritual companions; parents 

 

A significant danger of healthcare and wellness care is a tendency to position some persons as subjects and others as objects.  The language we use to describe these roles itself indicates that they are often transactional; they involve someone giving something to someone else, someone caring for another person.  Fulfilling such roles in the manner of give-and-take can cause caregiver burnout and resentment as well as feelings of guilt and invisibility on the part of the care-receiver.  Such roles can never encompass the fullness that is possible in each human interaction. This workshop introduces an embodied approach to companionship that moves us beyond the realm of transactional, objectifying relationships and into a world where we partner in mutually transformational ways.  Four topics are addressed: Sharing CARE (Creative, Attentive, Responsive, Embodied support); Compassionate Companioning; Loss and Grief in Care Relationships; Lineages of Care (Some Teachers, Mentors, and Guides).

 

Living with Chronic Illness

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

 

Ideal for:  persons living with chronic illness, medical staff, persons supporting someone with chronic illness, professional caregivers, clergy members

 

Living with a chronic illness -- our own or someone else’s -- can be challenging in a multitude of ways.  Not only our physical bodies are affected; our relationships, our mental and emotional health, and our spiritual life all go through many changes during the course of such an illness.  This workshop guides participants to navigate these changes through the introduction of body-based practices into an exploration of the following questions: How does this illness affect my body, mind, emotions, spirituality, and relationships?  What is my identity now that I experience this illness? Who is on my health care team? Can I forgive the situation in which I find myself? How can I cultivate wellness within chronic illness?  

 

The Gift of Ritual

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

 

Ideal for:  anyone desiring to integrate or expand ritual into their life

 

People throughout time and across the globe have engaged in rituals to honor transitions large and small, to mark events as extraordinary, and to animate their worlds.  This workshop explores the significance of rituals in our individual and collective lives. We begin by defining ritual and the vital role it plays in creating meaning and in connecting us with ourselves, one another, the natural world, and the divine.  We examine our personal relationships to ritual, past and present, and identify how we may or may not already be utilizing rituals. Different components of ritual are presented, and a multitude of diverse examples of different rituals are shared. The workshop concludes with participants each creating two rituals:  one individual and one collective.

 

Writing as Mourning/Rite-ing as Mourning

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

 

Ideal for:  anyone grieving any loss

 

Mourning is our external expression of grief and sorrow.  Creating opportunities for such expressions -- individually and collectively, in a wide variety of forms -- can provide healing, movement, comfort, and support during the most challenging of times.  This highly experiential workshop weaves together two of the most potent tools for mourning: writing and ritual. Participants will be introduced to Wild Mind Writing, a technique developed to aid in the expression of grief, particularly layers of grief that may be unacknowledged.  We will also explore the role of ritual in mourning and examine the ways we can create rituals that aid in our grief work. Participants will build on the gifts that present themselves through our writing exercises to create a unique Rite of Passage that honors their grief and sorrow.

 

Writing Your Way/Rite-ing Your Way

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

 

Ideal for:  anyone on a spiritual path, spiritual companions, ministry staff, clergy members

 

This workshop utilizes two potent tools (Wild Mind Writing and Rite of Passage Rituals) to aid participants in asking and answering their big questions, connecting to the divine, exploring a challenge in their lives, and/or creating intent for whatever phase of their spiritual journey they are experiencing.  Wild Mind Writing throws open the doors to some of our unexplored and unexpressed thoughts, feelings, and memories, presenting to us connections we may not otherwise see. And Rites of Passage rituals mark transitions in our lives, whether large (like birth and death) or small (such as the changing of a season); their power has been harnessed by people throughout the globe for millennia.  After a brief introduction to the writing practice, we will delve into its use in a multitude of exercises. Next, we will learn about the power of ritual creating. Building on what presents itself through their writings, participants will each create their own Rite of Passage ritual.

 

Walking the Stations of the Cross as The Way of Dying

Day-long, 8 part series, or 16 part series

 

Ideal for anyone wishing to integrate the gifts of dying in their spiritual path, those with chronic or terminal illness, clergy groups, spiritual groups, anyone experiencing loss in any form

This workshop presents the Stations of the Cross, a religious ritual created during the late Middle Ages and still widely used by Christians throughout the world, as a teaching, a model, and an energetic transmission event through which we can prepare ourselves to die consciously, both as we approach the end of this life’s journey and during the multitude of other deaths that life offers us.  What unifies the work of conscious death and dying with the Christian way of life is kenosis, a continual act of self-emptying whereby we become fully receptive to God’s will. We will utilize the structure of Jesus’ death walk and its rituals as a gateway to explore more fully the terrain of conscious death and dying in a holistic manner that honors every part of our being. Through this act of reclaiming the Stations of the Cross as a ritual of conscious dying, we open to the wealth of gifts the process of surrender offers our spiritual path.

 

Contemplative Companioning:  Support without Objectification

Half-day, day-long, or 4 part series

 

Ideal for:  spiritual directors/companions; parents; teachers; professional caregivers; family members and loved ones of someone experiencing transition, loss, or illness; clergy members; ministry staff

 

As we work to create and nurture relationships beyond ethnic, class, gender, religious, cultural, and other boundaries, a frequent impediment is the objectification of those we companion.  This can be seen in all forms of companioning, from spiritual direction to advocacy, from traditional ministry to activism. When this happens, relationships become transactional, with one person being a caregiver and the other a care receiver.  Our work going forward must include attempts to erase this. Creating companionship rooted in contemplation circumvents this; specifically, contemplative somatic practices can be employed to consistently redirect our focus beyond the mental realms where objectification is rooted. This workshop demonstrates the challenges caused by objectification in the work of spiritual companionship and teaches contemplative body-based practices to create support that is mutually transformational rather than transactional.  First, we turn Inward to consider the orientations we have toward several issues that arise on the spiritual journey. Using our bodies as implements of awareness, we work to clarify what beliefs we hold that may guard against us forming I-Thou relationships with those we companion. Next, we focus Outward, exploring the energetic and somatic signs present when we are truly witnessing rather than overidentifying or underindentifying with another’s situation. Finally, Together, we explore the vast gifts non-dual consciousness can provide in erasing objectification; specifically, we learn a heart-based practice to help enlarge our capacity for unitive companionship.

 

© 2018 by  Amy Agape

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