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The Druid Way

How Grief can be a Starting Point – the Work of Stephen Jenkinson

February 12th, 2013

After seeing the film Griefwalker on Saturday and hearing Stephen Jenkinson talk, I found his ideas so provocative, so profound and transformative, I went to his Sunday all-day session. It wasn’t a workshop, it wasn’t therapy, it wasn’t about developing the Self, or the spiritual quest. But what he said was so relevant to Druidry, the work of being in the world (if I can be that vague) that I found it quite mind-blowing. Because he talks about Grief it can seem a gloomy starting point, but in fact he talks about it in a way that makes it seem THE starting point! I guess the first idea in this other clip gives an insight into how this could be:

9 Responses to “How Grief can be a Starting Point – the Work of Stephen Jenkinson”

  1. Grief does seem like one of the great uncovered topics in Paganism, quite simply because there are no easy formulas to address it. I’m trying to remember if it was a post you made that mentioned the spiritual isolation that grief produces? After losing my father in 2009 I’ve been profoundly affected by grief and once again found that my own spiritual path needs some tools built to deal with the massive transformation that grieving can bring on, both in ambiguous and non-ambiguous loss.

  2. ‘Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone…’
    It doesn’t always have to go that way ;-)!
    Thanks for sharing Philip.

  3. At a relatively old age (65), I had my first deep experience with grief, losing my dog & my mother two weeks apart. I can’t say exactly how the journey has been so far since it hasn’t been a whole year yet. But I do know that looking at grief as the beginning of something entirely different in my life feels definitely right. I plan to take a look at Stephen’s work. Thanks for the post, Philip.

  4. Thanks for posting about Stephen’s work. Last year, I lost my partner of 18 years, and although I was prepared for his death, I wasn’t prepared for what comes after. His passing and my grief have really thrown me for a loop, and everything has changed. Most difficult have been the spiritual changes. And as one other commenter mentioned, there is little written in the Pagan community about death or grief. It is very isolating, even when we make our best efforts to remain connected, at least that has been my experience so far. It’s good to read Jenkinson address the power of grief and the opportunity it presents rather than how others simply want to ignore it altogether.

    • Thanks for posting this, Wes. It’s from such deep places that kind of wisdom arises. Those of us who are physically nearer to you, please let us know how we can connect in a helpful way.

    • I think Wes from what I’ve reading and hearing of Jenkinson’s work he really has some powerful and potentially life-changing insights to share around this. I think you’re right that the Pagan community has much to grow into here.

  5. Thank you, Philip for sharing this. The connection that I feel to these various truths is clean and wholesome. I have been watching my life with a nod to Tibetan Buddhism which basically tells us that our death is the testament of our life – how good we live determines how prepared we are when our physical death is at hand, and the manner of our dying determines the next journey for us. I feel the same vein of wisdom in Stephen’s work. Connecting with the present, with the physical as well as the Otherwordly is still difficult on a continual basis and is rather more moment to moment. When we can keep the momentum going, we are alive and preparing for our death.

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