In traditional cultures, death was honored as part of life. The elderly were given respect and care by the younger generations, and death itself was a sacred passage to the realm of the ancestors. For those left behind, grieving was recognized as an essential part of the death process, honoring the gift of the life that was and cleansing the way for new life to come.
Modern culture has lost this ancient perspective. Fear and guilt, denial and confusion abound. This disconnection has led to alienation and tremendous suffering for those facing death as well as for those struggling to deal with the loss of loved ones. We have lost touch with the rituals and wisdom that have always sustained peoples of indigenous cultures and wisdom traditions as they moved through the various stages and cycles of life.
Prema offers community service for an organization called the Sacred Fire Community through a program known as ‘Lifeways’. The Lifeways programs serve to acknowledge and honor the important stages of life and to reconnect us with the necessary skills and rituals that are needed for us to embrace these passages with grace and acceptance. Lifeways has developed rituals, retreats, workshops, and councils that are supporting individuals and groups to return to a deeply rooted way of living that acknowledges the full circle of life, from the very beginning to the end. For more information about the Sacred Fire Community and Lifeways programs visit Sacred Fire Community.
The Death and Dying Council serves to address our sense of disconnection from Death and help us to honor it as both a natural part of life and a sacred doorway. Prema heads the Death and Dying Council which offers support and counsel for individuals facing death, as well as for their families and friends. Through one-on-one support, workshops, conference calls and special events and rituals for communities dealing with death, a safe and loving space is created to explore feelings and beliefs about death and to recognize it as a profound teacher for life. The Council also offers information about shamanic funerary rites that are available.
Click here to find out more about the Death and Dying council and other Lifeways programs.