The Project Programme
Workshops have been created to help organizations and local community groups to have a better understanding of the holistic nature of dying, and how we can bring our authentic selves to this sacred process.
The following are the four workshops currently set up and facilitated by Bridget Haley.
A Shared Experience
The first workshop discusses where we have come to in terms of end of life care in an age of advanced biomedicine and technology, and a consequential increase in the ageing population. Are we denying death as an inevitable life passage and a natural process? Have we handed the responsibility for the care of ourselves over to the medical establishment and then felt abandoned or unsupported when care was most needed? Is it time for change, reframing the practices that we have become depend on? The holistic dying process is explored in more detail, with emphasis on the psycho-spiritual dimension, while understanding first and foremost the need to honour life. We talk about conscious dying and preparedness, emphasising that there is no right or wrong way to die, only what is right for a person, given their unique life story. We discuss the “sense of the sacred” in this profound process and the opportunity for “sacred care” in which we can all participate. How would this work look in practice, and how would we offer this to members of our own community who may be dying.
Sacred Care Circles
As a way of companioning the dying, this workshop discusses establishing sacred care circles in naturally occurring communities, such as local church groups, neighborhood groups and other voluntary social organizations. Companions are those who lovingly spend time to “be” with the dying in a voluntary and non-medical way. In this, they can become a healing presence. We share in this experience by way of gift and in service to one another. Practical guidelines are provided. It is important that this care is only offered and given by invitation, and that the needs and privacy of the family are fully respected.
The sacred care circles can also provide a place for reflection and sharing amongst those engaged in this work.
Conscious Living, Conscious Dying
Conscious living requires that we begin to explore the wholeness of our being, and our true spiritual nature. This workshop looks at the importance of how we live and prepare ourselves today for our time of dying. It goes on to consider end of life wishes, including documenting these wishes in Advance Statements or Living Wills. We talk about the importance of having a conversation with our families and loved ones, and of finding someone who will advocate and honour our wishes when this is needed.
Exploring Our Own Spirituality
Living in a world of dis-harmony, dis-connection and dis-ease, the practice of sacred care requires a shift in our awareness and intention, and for the way in which we care. This workshop therefore provides a space in which we can explore a deeper connection with our true nature, that of love, peace, compassion and joy, and how we can bring this to the experience of caring for ourselves and our loved ones.