Grief Tending Ritual, Song Medicine & Community with Laurence Cole

Laurence Cole: Grief Tending Ritual, Song Medicine & Community with Laurence Cole, Episode 165, Medicine For These Times

Laurence Cole is a song elder and ritualist based in Port Townsend, Washington. An abiding thread throughout his life has been a longing to discover when, where, and how human beings have lived in respectful, sacred, equitable relationships with each other and the rest of Nature, and what arts, ethics, and practices enabled them to do so and pass such attitudes and behaviors on to the coming generations.

In these profoundly challenging times, characterized by separation, polarization, and the commodification of nearly everything, (and the consequent damage such a culture is wreaking on the life support systems of this world,) the capacity to stay together and work cooperatively as a people is crucial for effective healing and restorative action in all realms. The communal arts of group singing, ritual, and the collective crafting of beauty are primal “technologies” of connection and belonging and have been the integral bedrock of all viable and regenerative cultures through the deep time of our presence here on Earth. When we take steps to reclaim that heritage, making use of nothing more than what we were born with, (our bodies, our hearts, our voices, our spirits) we can once again experience the bonding recognition that our true wealth is each other and that all flourishing is mutual.

Laurence has also been facilitating and offering community grief tending gatherings throughout North America for about 15 years.  His primary teachers and influences have been Sobonfu and Malidoma Somé, Angeles Arrien, Michael Meade, James Hillman, Francis Weller, Joanna Macy, and Martín Prechtel.  He is an advocate for this work not only for the ways it can bring release and healing for individuals, but also for the ways it can enable a renewed sense of respectful connection and belonging for groups of folks working together for restoration of mutually flourishing community

Episode Highlights

▶ Laurence’s journey into grief work

▶ The role of singing in grief rituals and why it is so powerful

▶ The community and belonging we can find through grief work

▶ The primal wound and modern disconnection

▶ How we can find hope and healing in a disconnected world

Laurence Cole’s Links & Resources

▶ Website:

▶ Communal Grief Retreats with Laurence and Alexandra (ahlay) Blakely:

▶ Grief Tending Mentoring Program:

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