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Adult Grief Program for Small Groups - Lesson 2

Station One on the Journey Continued: “The Call to Adventure”


Exploring the stages of grief

Guiding Words:

“Witness Consciousness”

Guiding Question:

What is Grief asking of you?

Guiding Quotation: Michael Singer

“The path to true well-being is in deciding that you do not want to suffer anymore.”

Invitation to the Projects:

Journaling: Be with the concept of “Witness Consciousness”; what are you witnessing when it comes to your thoughts?

Watch a movie this week, noting the stages of grief as they are experienced by the protagonist.

Create an image: What does my grief look like?

Meditation or Closing Quotation:

“The Beginning of Thriving/ Planting Seed Thoughts”

Adapted from the writings of Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

Note: There is more in these lessons than you have time for in any given group. We have included lots of supplemental material; the important thing is to move through the process as outlined and supplement according to time and the needs of the group.

Check in: Pass the talking stick to the left (from the heart)

Our guiding word is “Witness Consciousness”. What does this bring up for you?

Guiding quotation: Michael Singer

“The path to true well-being is in deciding that you do not want to suffer anymore.”

Follow-up and sharing:

Share experiences with the loss line

Teaching point: DABDA

  • Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

D Denial

A Anger

B Bargaining

D Depression

A Acceptance

  • Where are you today – what stage of grief?

Story: “The Phoenix”

Invitation to the projects:

  • Watch a movie (Movies suggestions are listed below)

Watch for the stages of grief as outlined by Kubler-Ross

When does the hero begin to thrive?

What is the grief message?

Be prepared to share this experience in next meeting

  • What does your grief look like? Create or find an image of your grief

Closing quotation:

Hafiz, “Don’t surrender………”

Meditation/closing quotation (depending on time and/or situation)

“The Beginning of Thriving/Planting Seed Thoughts”

Check out: Pass the talking stick to the left (from the heart)

“In the Bag”:

Lesson #2 Grief Image

Notebook/journal Tissues

Tablecloth Box of pens

Candle Lighter

Quotations Singing bowl, bell

Loss Line Grief image

Talking stick

“The path to true well-being

is in deciding that

you do not want to

suffer anymore.”

~ Michael Singer

Movie Suggestions:

Stella Days The Mission

The Quartet The Peaceful Warrior

The Exotic Marigold Hotel The Sunshine Cleaning Company

Deep in the Heart The Ultimate Gift

Ponette Mary and Martha

The Whale Rider Saving Mr. Banks

Temple Grandin Morning

Avatar Labor Day

I am Legend Barefoot

Iron Man Clash of the Titans

The Matrix Batman Begins

Fight Club Finding Nemo

Rainman The Game

Finding Forrester The Pursuit of Happiness

Contact The Contender

Mulan The Princess Bride

The Game Everything’s Fine

The Boys are Back The Secret Life of Bees

There is a bird that lays no eggs and has no young. It was here when the world began and is still living today, in a hidden, faraway desert spot. It is the phoenix, the bird of fire.

One day in the beginning times, the sun looked down and saw a large bird with shimmering feathers. They were red and gold--bright and dazzling like the sun itself. The sun called out, "Glorious Phoenix, you shall be my bird and live forever!"

Live forever! The Phoenix was overjoyed to hear these words. It lifted its head and sang, "Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone!"

But the Phoenix was not happy for long. Poor bird. Its feathers were far too beautiful. Men, women, and children were always chasing it and trying to trap it. They wanted to have some of those beautiful, shiny feathers for themselves.

"I cannot live here," thought the phoenix and it flew off toward the east, where the sun rises in the morning.

The Phoenix flew for a long time, and then came to a far away, hidden desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace, flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.

Almost five hundred years passed. The Phoenix was still alive, but it had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength. It couldn't soar so high in the sky, nor fly as fast or as far as when it was young.

"I don't want to live like this," thought the Phoenix. "I want to be young and strong."

So the Phoenix lifted its head and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!" but the sun didn't answer. Day after day the Phoenix sang. When the sun still didn't answer, the Phoenix decided to return to the place where it had lived in the beginning and ask the sun one more time.

It flew across the desert, over hills, green valleys, and high mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix has a keen sense of smell and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it landed, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark and all kinds of fragrant leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its claws.

When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountainside. Right at the top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and lined it with the fragrant leaves. Then the Phoenix flew off and collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix made an egg from the myrrh and carried the egg back to the nest.

Now everything was ready. The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its head, and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!"

This time the sun heard the song. Swiftly it chased the clouds from the sky and stilled the winds and shone down on the mountainside with all its power.

The animals, the snakes, the lizards, and every other bird hid from the sun's fierce rays -- in caves and holes, under shady rocks and trees. Only the Phoenix sat upon its nest and let the sun’s rays beat down upon it beautiful, shiny feathers.

Suddenly there was a flash of light, flames leaped out of the nest, and the Phoenix became a big round blaze of fire.

After a while the flames died down. The tree was not burnt, nor was the nest. But the Phoenix was gone. In the nest was a heap of silvery-gray ash.

The ash began to tremble and slowly heave itself upward. From under the ash there rose up a young Phoenix. It was small and looked sort of crumpled, but it stretched its neck and lifted its wings and flapped them. Moment by moment it grew, until it was the same size as the old Phoenix. It looked around, found the egg made of myrrh, and hollowed it out. Then it placed the ashes inside and finally closed up the egg. The young Phoenix lifted its head and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!"

When the song ended, the wind began to blow, the clouds came scudding across the sky, and the other living creatures crept out of their hiding places.

Then the Phoenix, with the egg in its claws, flew up and away. At the same time, a cloud of birds of all shapes and sizes rose up from the earth and flew behind the Phoenix, singing together, "You are the greatest of birds! You are our king!"

The birds flew with the Phoenix to the temple of the sun that the Egyptians had built at Heliopolis, city of the sun. Then the Phoenix placed the egg with the ashes inside on the sun's altar.

"Now," said the Phoenix, "I must fly on alone." And while the other birds watched, it flew off toward the faraway desert.

The Phoenix lives there still. But every five hundred years, when it begins to feel weak and old, it flies west to the same mountain. There it builds a fragrant nest on top of a palm tree, and there the sun once again burns it to ashes. But each time, the Phoenix rises up from those ashes, fresh and new and young again.

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.

Let it cut more deep.

Let it ferment and season you

As few human or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight

Has made my eyes so soft,

My voice so tender,

My need of God



~ Hafiz

Meditation: The Beginning of Thriving

Lesson Two

Adapted from the writings of Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

  • Distance yourself from thoughts. (You’re not your thoughts, not your emotions).

  • Unending love, peace, inspiration, contentment are yours to be had.

  • Stop using your mind to protect yourself from the natural unfolding of life.

  • The dualistic mind is not adequate to the task of life; the rational mind cannot deal with great love or great suffering.

  • How am I using life’s energy? To keep myself in bondage or to free myself?

  • Commit yourself to being well, to thriving.

  • Spiritual evolution is to remove the blockages that cause your grief.

  • Open your heart in the face of everything & permit the purification process, the emptying.

  • With a permanently open heart – you live in love and it feeds and strengthens you.

  • Watch your grief and let it pass through you instead of getting involved in it.

  • Getting involved in it feeds it.

  • We have infinite energy – we block this energy by shutting down.

  • Allow everything to just be as it is; surrender.

  • The heart closes because it gets blocked by stored, unfinished business (energy patterns) from the past. Then they get triggered or reactivated.

  • We cling AND we resist – thus blocking this energy rather than allowing it to pass.

  • The highest state of being is the result of how open you are, resulting in unending inspiration, love, openness.

  • Let every disturbance become fuel for the journey. That which holds you down can become the powerful force that raises you up to well-being and thriving. You just have to be willing to take the ascent!

  • You are the indwelling being who is aware of passing feelings and thoughts. Maintain your center and appreciate and respect even the difficult experiences. Just don’t get lost in them or resist them.

  • You don’t have to get rid of disturbing, painful grief. You just cease to get involved with them. Allow it and watch it move through you, like a passing dark cloud; continue to breathe deeply and watch it move. Let it go. Witness consciousness – Awareness - does not fight or protect or control. It just releases, lets go……’s simply being aware while everything parades and passes before it.

  • You will experience strength and well-being even when your heart feels weak. This is the essence of what is means to thrive in the face of suffering.

  • We will feel disturbances, we will feel grief; just know that it cannot disturb your seat of consciousness – nothing can touch the truth of your well-being.

  • The path to true well-being is in deciding that you do not want to suffer anymore.

  • We are either suffering or protecting ourselves from suffering.

  • Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything.

  • If you want to be free, accept the pain in your heart – on the other side of pain is freedom.

  • There is an ocean of love and joy behind all of this grief. That force will sustain you by feeding your heart from deep within. Over time you will form an intensely personal, even loving relationship not only with this force, but with grief.

  • It will replace the relationship you have now with your pain. Peace and love can run your life.

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