SFCadmin

May 292014
 

Over the years, we’ve all come to rely on the online Sacred Fire Community Marketplace to buy Sacred Fire-related things — books, community crafts, recordings, etc. — while supporting the Community in the process. After almost two years of looking for a new marketplace manager, no one has come forward to lead the marketplace in a good way. Without a strong, visionary leader to oversee the marketplace growth and operations, we are not able to fulfill the basic commitment of maintaining good customer relations and good business. In short, it’s time for the marketplace to take a rest.

This feels appropriate, coming at a time when the community organization is paring down its focus to strengthen our support for the Hamlets, Firekeepers, and Lifeways programs. Much like the seasons move from one cycle of activity to another, we look forward to a youthful Spring for the marketplace after a Winter hibernation.

If you are inspired to devote some time to work with the marketplace in the future, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us via our get in touch form.

We appreciate your understanding and apologize for the inconvenience.

Feb 262012
 

I know the Firekeepers and those who attend establish a community atmosphere that feels safe and accepting of all the participants.

But sitting around the fire, making offerings to the fire, offering something of myself to the circle of people in attendance, and actively listening to the offerings shared by the other people in the circle sustains me in ways I don’t understand…in ways I don’t even feel the need to understand.

I have come to just accept it. I just know I feel healthier in mind and body for doing it.  I somehow feel empowered by the community of the fire to be more present with another day on the earth and that’s good enough for me.

David Curts, 67-year-old resident of Olympia, WA, USA

The Sacred Fire Community offers over 60 Community Fires each month. Find your fire.

Read more stories of Fire, or tell us your Fire Story.


Feb 252012
 

Before I found the Sacred Fire Community, I felt lost.

Like there was a vital piece of my soul that was missing. I knew that there was better — there had to be — but I had no way to access it and few people I could speak with about my deep longing. And, in most cases, those people had the same longing and uncertainty that I did.

How do you even begin to bridge the chasm in your heart? I tried to fill it with drugs and alcohol, but that made the situation even worse, as I knew those patches were temporary and often only served to reinforce my desire for another lifestyle. Doesn’t anybody else feel this pain? Doesn’t anybody else yearn for something more real, a lifestyle not infatuated with the fleeting constructs of man, but in love with the everlasting creations of Mother Earth?

Yes they do. What I had been searching for, I found. How to love the world that I live in and still work to better it.  A place where I can express my longing and fear and be met with understanding eyes, rather than blank stares. A community of people that understand my heartache and can help alleviate it. For myself and our world, the Community has been a Godsend.  I now know I’m not only one who wishes for a better world for their sons and daughters. I also know that it’s not just wishes anymore, that — one heart at a time— the Sacred Fire Community is working to transform our world. And for that I am grateful.

Thank you Sacred Fire.

Colin, Asheville, NC, USA

The Sacred Fire Community offers over 60 Community Fires each month. Find your fire.

Read more stories of Fire, or tell us your Fire Story.


 

Nov 222011
 

It’s been going on for 800,000 years: human beings and our special relationship to fire. We’re the only beings on the planet who light fires, who cook our food over fire, who use fire to light our way. What’s the story behind our innate relationship with this powerful, mysterious force? And the story of Fire’s relationship with us?

For many ages, our ancestors gathered around the fire. As creatures without the benefit of thick body fur, warm dens, and the superhuman senses and instincts of animals, our people never would have survived without Fire’s help. And beyond just surviving, the warmth of connection, transformation and purpose sparked by the fire within us make the life we have actually worth living. Imagine the isolation of trying to make it alone through trauma in your life. The hard times remind us of what we’re missing out on: unity and connection, enjoying life together with others, feeling the benefit of human sympathy and help from people we trust. This is what many of us are finding at our over 60 Community Fires throughout the world. An active energy in all aspects of the world, Fire lights our way like a beacon and offers life-saving warmth. You could say that human beings without fire are literally out in the cold: distracted by illusions, without purpose and wisdom, lost. Sound familiar?

Read more…

The Sacred Fire Community offers over 60 monthly community fires. Find your fire.

 

Nov 222011
 

What are the qualities of the Sacred Fire Community that keep people coming back for more?

Even when we uncover our weaknesses and faults, encounter our attachments and expectations, and even face our fears about conflict, we keep jumping into the flames again and again. What is it that enriches our lives so much that we’re compelled to keep coming back? Read some Fire Stories, or discover your local Community Fire.

The Sacred Fire Community isn’t unique. What other tribes, nations, villages, groups offer this special mix that makes up deep community? When have you felt it before, noticed it in the joy expressed by others’ experiences, tasted it when traveling in a ‘third world’ country? Was there a spark of deep community in New Orleans after Katrina? What about in Japan after the 2011 tsunami?

Human beings’ inner calling to deep community is an ancient one. Before the recent Industrial and Technological Ages — comprising a tiny moment on humanity’s timeline — people across the planet, our ancestors, lived tribally. In these deep communities, human beings could be said to have priorities different from our modern ones: they found it practical to spend their lives reinforcing their rightful place in the web of all life. Generally, each individual was known well, both in their place with other humans and with nature, and their purpose in life was uncovered and nourished by the village they served and that served them. Their rituals and ways of life reinforced their relationships with each other and their world.
Read more…

The Sacred Fire Community offers over 60 Community Fires each month. Find your fire.

The Keys to Deep Community: Lifeways Programs

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Nov 222011
 

Could one of the foundations of deep community be that it’s grounded in the lifeways of the people? Sacred Fire Community Lifeways is bringing forth programs that initiate these ways for people of western culture whose lifeways are long lost.

Join us in bringing forth and nurturing a way of living that sustains individuals, families and communities in this time of pivotal transition. As you will see below, Lifeways spans the cycle of the year and the cycles of life – lifeways are for everyone.For more information on the Sacred Fire Community Lifeways program, please contact Sherry Boatright. For individual program info or registration, see the contact links below.

Ukila’i, A Retreat for Men
Contact

 

The Heart of Birth
Contact

 

Deep Relationships
Contact

 

Ritaka: A Young Person’s Weekend Gathering
Contact

 

Ukalai: A Retreat for Women
Contact

 

Sacred Emergence : Initiation into Womanhood
This rite of passage is led by elders of the Sacred Fire community. They are trained and experienced in holding a container for people of western culture while honoring the deep ancestral connections that bring forth transformation.

Applications open throughout the year
Contact

 

Sacred Awakening: Young Men’s Initiation
This rite of passage is led by elders of the Sacred Fire community. They are trained and experienced in holding a container for people of western culture while honoring the deep ancestral connections that bring forth transformation.

Applications open throughout the year
Contact

 

Nov 202011
 

To me it seems long ago, the time before my Initiation. I remember most my longing; I remember the feeling of not fitting in.

I remember the way I was blindly reaching out to the world, to her song, to the birds and the trees and the mountains where I grew up. I was reaching out through Marijuana: trying to make this connection to the world and the sacredness that I knew was there. I was walking a tightrope, part of me doing what I was supposed to do in our culture: get into a prestigious university and keep up that GPA. And part of me was floundering: barely holding water in this Ivy League world where I wasn’t seen and wasn’t heard except for my charismatic “party” charm. I was nineteen. Now I am twenty six, and the experience of Initiation continues to unfold for me. Like a flower opening up, petal by petal, to bloom, my Initiation continues to grow inside of me, as I move forward through my life.

As one of my dear friends in the Sacred Fire Community has said, and it has made me laugh, my dad “got weird” when I was fourteen years old. He had been called to begin the long and arduous path of becoming a marakame, a shaman in the native Huichol tradition of Mexico. He is not Mexican by blood, nor is his Native American blood thick enough to measure, yet part of his agreements to the Gods in the time before this life included this path; part of his heart is home in the homelands of the Huichol. Anyways, all of this was a change for me, but most welcome in its funny way. My father began to offer Sacred Fires at his house, and though for a long time there was only one attendee, the community around my family had begun to grow. By eighteen, I was interested enough to attend my first Sacred Fire Community Reunion in Tennessee. And when I saw Grandfather Fire for the first time, when I heard the words of my heart I had never dared to speak, when he described how the world is a song, and every being plays its harmony in the glorious cacophony of life, I was breathless. Dancing like an uncontrolled banshee around the fire for the first time in my life and feeling the full sacredness of my femininity, I wanted more of that. I wanted more of that sweet, complete surrender.

Soon I heard the first women’s initiation was about to take place, and I knew that this was what I needed. I made the preparations necessary: a curriculum in femininity. By undertaking this process, I was guided through a journey where I learned about my body and nourished my feminine soul as I prepared for the initiation ritual. I was shocked that though I was lucky enough to grow up in a culture where I was encouraged, as a woman, to “succeed,” I had never been taught the sacred layers of my gender. I was never embraced by the nurturing, space-holding, creative womb of feminine community. And after all this undressing, stripping apart the layers of my cultural heritage, I arrived to my place of Initiation. I traveled through the doorway of the week-long sacred ritual. I had eight beautiful sisters with me on the path. I cut the cord of my attachment to my upbringing and was reborn as a woman, seen and heard and held by the divine.

There is an adjustment period. It was challenging to return to a world with all my pre-initiation relationships and the realignment: it took others a while to get to know the new me. It was and continues to be challenging to move amongst young adults who have no concept of initiation, and who are self-initiating all the time in careless, unguided ways. And it takes time for this new relationship with divine to grow. Two years after my Initiation, I had a huge lesson in boundary setting when I moved back home for a year after college. All my close high school friends had stayed in the area and it was as though they could see the change in me: my new growth and self-awareness, and they wanted a piece of that for themselves. I was inundated by their presence, and my mother no longer held up the strong boundaries for me she had set in my adolescence. I didn’t know what to do, how to protect myself, yet I had this relationship with divine, and I knew I could ask for help. When I did, it was as if I had been struck by lightning: I kicked my friends out of the house and stayed up for days, really investigating the karmic patterns between my childhood and my newly emerging adulthood. I looked long and hard at myself and let go of the relationships that were no longer serving me, and I sought help and healing and the path was there for me, waiting.

I drew on the strength of my initiation and knew that I was safe, even in my deepest vulnerability. I traveled by myself to Southeast Asia for two months, moved out of my home town and to Los Angeles, and still I felt the power of community, the power of my heart, as I tried to navigate the treacherous and sometimes shallow entertainment industry. And now I am willing to leap into the next chapter of my life, into the unknown as I make the journey to live in a foreign country. The experience of initiation has given me the gift of trust in my own soul. Life is no longer about success or failure; it is about following my heart so that I can be a servant to my highest self and to the divine in its many miraculous forms. I am a child of this earth and am moving forward in this divine comedy as a player: laughing, singing and dancing all the way.

by Madeline Merritt

 

 

Learn more about Sacred Emergence, the Sacred Fire Community Lifeways initiation into womanhood.

Return to The Heart Blog

Nov 202011
 

Take one modern human, typically pre-chilled from a life of disconnection and cold, calculating thought. Bring said human to the Fire. Mix in a few other pre-chilled Beings. Stir in some emotion. Viola! You have Grandfather Fire’s traditional baked beings recipe. The humans come out steaming hot: full of joy, embracing whatever challenges life may bring. In fact, they become so hot they may cause other ‘pre-chilled beings’ to heat up and cook in a chain reaction that could engulf the entire world. At least we hope so!

If we are forced to “fess up,” the secret agenda of the Sacred Fire Community is spontaneous combustion: everything we do, from our Lifeways offerings to our Community Fires, our fiery events, and even our Marketplace books and products are all designed to get you, your friends, and your loved ones to unexpectedly burst into flames…igniting the fire of Heart, transformation and joy. Our goal is to spread Heart and fire with reckless creative abandon, igniting a deep passion for life that turns the orderly, detached, modern world upside down. We seek nothing less than total world illumination: an unshakable experience of our deep connection to each other and the great web of life.

Caution: baked beings are by their nature unpredictable. Their brazen enthusiasm can make those around them uncomfortable, leading those others to feel bloated with unexpressed emotions. But with a little more Heart and fire, everyone lets loose. Fear gives way, and the result is a thriving community wherein difference and even outright conflict simply fuel more transformation and joy.

Find out more:

Discover the Story of Fire.

Step into the Dance of Deep Community.

Find your Fire.

Celebrate the cycles of life.

Birth

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Jan 032011
 

Our experience of being born and welcomed shapes who
we are and how we relate with life.
What happens when we engage family, community,
and Divine in this powerful right of passage?
We create a sustainable future, one baby at a time.

HOB AVL Group copyThe Heart of Birth is a weekend program for men and women who are looking for
• Reassurance about the birth process.
• Tools to guide you in the journey of pregnancy, birth and the initial steps in parenting.
• A foundation to support you and your baby as you continue throughout life.
• Effective ways to help families, clients, and community in welcoming life.

Children are the bloom of our people. For our ancestors, birth was a time of great celebration and deep purpose. It was one of the essential ingredients in sustaining community. Community knew that they had a role in helping to bring forth and sustain life.

LL with baby rounded copy

In the old ways, people acknowledged the creation of new life, from conception through birth, as dependent on the grace of a deep mystery. Elders and community supported the expecting mother and father and gathered to honor the arrival and unique path of the newborn child.

Unfortunately, many of these sacred relationships between community and birth have been forgotten in our culture today. Whether at home or in the hospital, birth often becomes a medicalized and disconnected experience. This can lead to fear, isolation, aggression and confusion, perpetuating a world out of balance as people lose their way.
The Heart of Birth Program engages the inherent power and mystery that brings forth life. It provides effective tools to help you instinctively be with the process of birth and early parenting. Heart of Birth recognizes that deeply connecting with and welcoming life is essential for individuals and communities to live in balance and harmony with the world. Join us.

Download the Heart Of Birth Program FlyerLL w infant copy

Read the story of Neikame. Neikame is the Huichol word for the beginning stage of corn. Learn how this relates to the Heart of Birth program.

Learn about our program presenters.

Click here with questions.

 

See sidebar to left for upcoming locations and dates for this Lifeways program, or view all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

Heart of Birth is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

 

Photo Credit: Josephine Thomas, Jeff Bartlett

Initiation into Womanhood

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Jan 032011
 

The vital and timeless ritual of initiation has been lost to our modern culture.
As a result, many young people are confused or resistant about entering into adulthood. They long to discover their life’s purpose and their relationship to the wholeness of life.

At this stage in life, a young person can feel the need to question, to grow up and reach for life. In their search, they may rely on drastic methods to do so. The initiatory wake-up call materializes when depression hits, illness takes hold, suicidal thoughts arise, strange accidents occur, or when a compelling urge arises to indulge in risky behaviors such as drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex. Usually, there’s confusion and the symptoms are inexplicable.

Initiation into Womanhood sits at the crossroads of a girl’s budding life. At this time of great change and transition, an inner calling moves her to discover a deeper connection to herself and to the world she lives in. A young woman in search of herself innately knows that she must become fully human. She knows there is more to life than what she may be currently experiencing. For some, this search can occur in her early teens. For others, it can be a process of an opening that moves her through her teens and into her 20’s. Initiation is a transformational process into adulthood. It catalyzes a young woman’s innate purpose in the context of community and society.

The Sacred Fire Community Lifeways Sacred Emergence – Initiation into Womanhood program is a guided rite of passage for girls and young women that lays a foundation for self awareness to emerge. In claiming the sacred feminine in her life, a young woman will connect to her inherent gift to create, and with gained competence, make a new commitment to life to become the person she was born to be.

ARE YOU READY FOR INITIATION? Let our staff help you determine your readiness for initiation. Contact us to talk to one of our ritual staff.

TO APPLY:
Sacred Emergence
is a six-month to one-year-long program (depending on when you apply and the cutoff date for that year). Initiation is offered each summer in various locations. Applications are accepted year round. Girls and young women ages 16-25 are welcome to apply. To apply or learn more, contact Us.

Want to know more
The Sacred Emergence Newsletter comes out with the seasonal changes.
Here you can find stories from Initiates about their experience going
through the initiation process, teachings, from initiation staff, mothers
and experts on the subjects of initiation and rites of passage, as well as
poetry and art.  Join our growing Lifeways women’s culture by connecting to
this quarterly publication. Click Here to subscribe

Meet the Women’s Initiation Council

 

See sidebar to left for upcoming locations and dates for this Lifeways program, or view all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

Sacred Emergence ~ Initiation into Womanhood is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

 

 Photo Credit: S. Boatright & D. Jenné

Young Men’s Initiation

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Jan 032011
 

The vital and timeless ritual of initiation has been lost in our culture, leaving young people confused about their purpose and their relationship to the whole of life.

Without the guidance and support of ritual and community, the powerful drives and overwhelming emotions of the initiatory age can lead to destructiveness and turmoil, or to the sublimation of the heart’s true calling. Ultimately, the absence of initiation can lead to men leading lives of perpetual adolescence.

Sacred Awakening young men’s initiation is a sacred rite of passage that activates the transformative spiritual force awaiting deep inside each young man to ignite maturity, responsibility and wisdom to life. The ritual of initiation provides the catalyst for this transformation. Ritual elders assisted by qualified men from the Sacred Fire Community guide applicants throughout the preparatory process and initiation ritual.

Young men ages 16-25 are encouraged to apply.

“The initiation is, without a doubt, powerful. Its effects are transformational in the sense of allowing that which is not essential to drop away. It works to benefit the individual and by extension the community. It provides the occasion and impetus for a young man to take his place as an adult in the world with attending responsibilities, respect and dignity. It forges a bond between the initiates and the cadre of men in the community who support and mentor the young men in the initiation process. Above all, it gives the initiates a deep sense of who they truly are. They begin to live their lives from this authentic place.” Dan Sprinkles, Sacred Awakening presenter

Meet the initiation team.

Contact us. to apply for the next Sacred Awakening young men’s initiation.

View all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

Sacred Awakening initiation for young men is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

 

 

Prayer

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Jan 032011
 

Experience what happens when you take down the walls separating human beings from the living world. Heal your life by relating deeply to nature, each other, yourself.

We speak about being ‘connected,’ but do we experience that?

In the experience of connection, there remains no doubt that we are deeply related with the world around us. In this workshop, we’ll work to reclaim that experience, which is our birthright. This is where prayer and healing begins.

”…after your exercises, it was less like I was sending words, and more like I was sending my heart and feelings. And not just that, but I felt them actually being received, responded to, and something divine came pouring back down on me with such love as I can never describe.” Lori, Chapel Hill, NC

More about Exploring the Core Basis of Prayer.

Meet our program presenter.

Click here for inquiries or to register.

See sidebar to left for upcoming locations and dates for this Lifeways program, or view all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

Exploring the Core Basis of Prayer is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

 

Women

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Jan 032011
 

Ukalai

 

The feminine is incredibly strong and connective, like the force that both gives and holds life together. In traditional cultures there are regular cycles when women come together with elder women to become reoriented, refocused, and renewed. The Ukalai women’s gathering is a coming together for this purpose – to fold oneself back into the whole and reconnect to the capacity of the feminine. Our “women’s business” is to stand firmly, in the very midst of our troubled culture, and bring forth the true gifts of the feminine to our partners and children, our communities and our world in this time of tremendous global change.

The Ukalai gatherings are cyclical offerings for women that build on the work that is being offered at women’s fires, and are open to all women whether or not you attend women’s fires. They are a core element in Life Cycle Living, where we learn the importance of living fully through each stage of life.

Ukalai gatherings offer you the opportunity for:

  • Allowing yourself to both support and be supported by other women
  • Exploring what does ‘divine feminine’ really mean?
  • Discovering how to be with your femininity and independence within a relationship
  • Promoting an environment around you that honors the feminine and teaching your children to do the same
  • Exploring what impedes you
  • Increasing self-acceptance and confidence
  • Exploring the changing role of your femininity throughout the stages of life

Join us in discovering “women’s business”. Play your part in bringing balance in these transformative times. UKALAI.

“I feel as if now I have a deep core strength and courage to draw upon that manifests in the feminine which has always been there, I just didn’t know it. I appreciate what it means to be a woman more and am able to see this in others also: our beauty, generosity, gentleness, courage, communicative abilities, creativity and more… I appreciate men more and the masculine as it plays out in my two young sons as they grow. Am now seeking out the counsel of women more in my life… I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this experience and have spoken of it to several female friends since.”  — Zoe Roberts, Perth, Australia

Sherry Boatright facilitates this gathering. She is an elder Quiatizques (woman bringer of rain or weather shaman) in the Nahuatl tradition of the central highlands of Mexico. She is also a psychotherapist experienced in leading women’s groups, a ceremonial leader and a Sacred Fire Community Firekeeper. Sherry is the director of the Sacred Fire Community’s Lifeways, our series of programs that honor and celebrate the natural stages and transitions of life.

For more information or if you have any questions please contact us using the form below.

Your Name *

Email Address *

Phone Number

Subject

Comments

Please leave this field empty.

Read more about Ukalai women’s retreat.

Meet the Lifeways Ukalai women’s retreat presenter.

See sidebar to left for upcoming locations and dates for this Lifeways program, or view all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

Ukalai is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

 

 

Photo Credit: Sherry Boatright

Men’s Retreats (Ukilái)

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Jan 032011
 

Embark on a pilgrimage to your soul. Strip away society’s baggage, and learn to balance action, compassion, feelings and achievements in daily life.

Ukilái: (Uh-key-lá-ee) is a word in the Huichol indigenous language that means “a man who has reached a level of maturity and has taken on the responsibilities of spirit, community, and family.” An Ukilái has found his role and place within himself, the community and in the world and therefore is a support for himself and others.

In the indigenous world and the life of our ancestors, the masculine ones were initiated, taught, and guided to interact with each other, the feminine, the community and with the spirits. Knowing who they were, men found a home within themselves and produced balanced relationship with others.

Discover more about the Ukilái Men’s Retreat.

Meet the Ukilái presenters.

Click here for inquiries or to register.

You can also view all upcoming Lifeways programs, or find out about bringing this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

Ukilái is a core Sacred Fire Community Lifeways program.

Upcoming Programs

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  • [/events_list]

Transitions

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Jan 032011
 

Engage with the deep purpose behind the transitions in your life by listening to the deep knowing of your heart.

Learn practices and skills to reap the full benefits of change and growth in this two-day program. The Lifeways Transitions program brings us back to our own heart-knowing and the life-skills that support us to flow with change and to align with Divine movement.

Whether it is a simple shift of awareness or a profound metamorphosis, a deep loss or a joyous celebration, change is an integral part of our daily experience. To move through the natural and inevitable cycles of life with acceptance and grace we must learn how to embrace change.

And yet we often feel overwhelmed, fearful and frustrated in the face of transition.

More about the Way of Transition.

Meet Prema Sheerin, our program presenter.

Click here for inquiries or to register.

See sidebar to left for upcoming locations and dates for this Lifeways program, or view all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

The Way of Transition is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

Dying

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Jan 012011
 

Our culture has taught us that death is isolating, a suffering to be avoided at all costs. Our ancestors had a different view: death is a peaceful, nurturing transition, a step toward the next stage of existence as the cycle continues.

In the Peaceful Dying Project, we walk together, step by step, through each phase of the journey of death – before, during and after. We contemplate and discuss the important issues that naturally arise as we engage with this potent transition.

More about the Peaceful Dying Project.

Meet Prema Sheerin, our program presenter.

Click here for inquiries or to register.

See sidebar to left for upcoming locations and dates for this Lifeways program, or view all upcoming Lifeways programs. Or bring this or other Lifeways programs to your area.

The Peaceful Dying Project is offered by Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.

The Peaceful Dying Project Audio and Guidebook

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