The LIVING WELL, DYING WELL program of the Earth & Spirit Society delivered its second year of workshops in April of 2018 at The Church of Truth.  Twelve courageous participants from all over the CRD and Cowichan attended the four week series focused on end-of-life issues for seniors and their families. Supported by the New Horizons Seniors Program the workshops were facilitated by Penny Allport, Bill Israel and Robin June Hood with a  laughter yoga (belly laughing extraordinaire) session by Gene Thurby and Heather Fox delivered an informative session on palliative care and hospice. Randy Pearce jumped in as a volunteer and was a huge help for those of us older folks!

Each of the participants engaged in a “talking circle” process, creating an open and safe atmosphere for authentic exploration of end-of-life issues. The four workshop events covered an important range of issues and personal concerns including health care planning and options for ceremony and burial practices. Each of the workshops were “linked” by a Journal Workbook for participants to record their individual concerns, meditations and action plans.

Here is a taste of impact of the workshops from participants:

  • Loved bringing in the aspect of Living Well and laughter yoga.
  • It was gentle yet specific, using a sacred approach with a centre altar of green living beings.
  • I shifted into a desire for joy, and a sense of promise that death will bring a new adventure.
  • I was inspired to complete my end of life directive with a positive sense – and great relief.
  • I liked the altar, the mood, the readings, the feeling of being heard by facilitators.
  • Lovely to be part of the group and have an openness to discuss death and dying and hear the sharing of people at different stages of life.
  • I loved the paradoxical element of hospice and laughter yoga in the same session!

The next LIVING WELL, DYING WELL (LWDW) series will be held the last two weeks of September & the first two weeks of October, 2018. The Earth and Spirit Society is pleased to announce these workshops will be held in the New Horizons Activity Centre located in James Bay, Victoria.

Mark your calendar now for these four Thursday morning workshops sessions and email us to hold your spot!

What I Learned at the Living Well, Dying Well Workshop
 by Randy Pearce


The first thing that I learned was that people want and need a place where they can openly discuss death as it occurs in their lives. I learned that death is a deeply important topic to the guests in attendance, and I learned from their shared narrations on death that our subject matter occurs within individual psyches in unique and complex ways.

The second thing that I learned was that I need and want a place where I can share in conversations about my own personal experiences and thoughts related to death, and I learned that I have much to gain by listening to others speak of their own death experiences.

Thirdly, I would like add that I learned something about the open nature of sharing that was so much a feature of the LWDW series that I attended. Sharing ideas, reciprocally, about death, and hence life, is an effective way of increasing health and happiness in our lives. Health and happiness paradoxically appear to increase with open conversations about death, while keeping discussions on death barred from communication leads to anxiety and depression. Learning to Live Well, by learning to Die Well, is a very good thing. This is what I learned at the LWDW workshop.

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Interested in joining the next Living Well, Dying Well program?

Sep 20 | Sep 27 | Oct 4 | Oct 11