The Living & Dying Consciously Project

2525 Arapahoe Avenue E4-811

Boulder, CO 80302

The Living & Dying Consciously Project

2525 Arapahoe Avenue E4-811

Boulder, CO 80302

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Ayni Communications

© 2019  The Living & Dying Consciously Project

October 9, 2018

“We remember our ancestors because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love, and die.” 

~ Alice Walker

This October I will honor my ancestors with others.

I recently moved into a co-housing community. There are 36 living units with 106 ways of doing things. Sometimes it is challenging to get anything done. But, we all agree that honoring our ancestors is an important activity.

So, we will celebrate Dia de los Muertos together on November 1, 2018.

Creating a ceremony that everyone can participate in takes time and energy. We...

July 27, 2018

Ritual and ceremony are ancient human activities. Some anthropologist think rituals are a basic human instinct.  The wisdom keepers knew that ritual ceremonies invoked a visceral experience of both the visible and invisible worlds. The bonds of community were strengthened through the use of rituals. Ceremonies provided an opportunity to be filled with a sense of wonderment.

Modern researchers have demonstrated that people who practice rituals can lower their level of anxiety and gain confidence in their own abilities to solve problems.  They better navigate the di...

June 11, 2017

Summertime is always the best of what might be."

– Charles Bowden

The Summer Solstice – marking the beginning of Summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern hemishpere – is a time of magic. On the night of June 20/21, we celebrate our sun’s journey to its northernmost point, directly above the Tropic of Cancer.

It is an auspicious time, a time to balance the elements of fire and water, and long celebrated by the ancient wisdom keepers whose sacred temples were designed to align with the sun’s trajectory at this time of the year.

Even to...

December 28, 2016

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.”   – Mary Anne Redmacher

Are you feeling fearful?  Are your surroundings unfamiliar?  Do you need more courage to confront the new year?

During my lifetime I have crossed many thresholds, leaving an old life behind while facing a new adventure.  I have often approached these thresholds with joy as I took on the responsibilities of becoming an adult, a wife, a guardian, or stepped into a leadership role.  At these times I have entered the...

December 12, 2016

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

~ Albert Camus

The winter solstice is a time to release the old and invite in the new.  During the longest night it is traditional to celebrate the darkness and invite back the sun into our lives.  It is a time of life, death and rebirth. 

In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice occurs in December, while those in the southern hemisphere experience it in June.  In ancient times, winter festivals were held on or around the winter solstice.

In Boulder, Colorado our cele...

October 30, 2016

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations offer us an opportunity to connect with our departed loved ones. This tradition is rooted in ancient harvest festivals throughout the world that have also served as a time of remembrance.

From October 31 to November 2 in the northern hemisphere, it has been customary to take this time to remember that life is short and invite departed spirits to return for a visit encouraged by food, wine and festive decorations. In Mexico, family members return...

October 16, 2016

Several years ago, Patti Pansa, a professional engineer and life coach, contacted me to assist her in her journey towards death.

When we met she had taken care of all the literal preparations for death: she had spoken to her family members about her wishes for end-of-life care; her last will and testament, advanced health care directives, and medical durable power of attorney were all signed and delivered to the appropriate people; a list of her important accounts with passwords sat in a folder next to her computer.

But Patti wanted more. She wanted to leave a legacy...

September 16, 2016

After death our physical body returns to the earth.  Our wisdom returns to the mountains. Our soul returns to the stars.”   – Q’ero elder

I met Don Francisco Chura Flores, a Q’ero medicine man, when I attended a class on shamanic energy medicine in the desert of Joshua Tree, California. He dressed in the colorful hand-woven clothing of his people who live in the high mountains of Peru. He was not a tall man, but his presence was substantial. He had traveled to the desert as a guest of The Four Winds Society to give us, the students, the healer’s rites of the Q’ero...

September 2, 2016

"Make his path smooth, then shall he travel beyond the four hills!”  

– Omaha Tribe Prayer

In traditional societies there is often a welcoming ceremony for newborns.  While baby showers are popular in our culture, why not invite friends and family members over to greet the new arrival?

On such occasions I have invoked the powers that will protect the baby.  These powers may be animals, natural elements or spiritual guides.  I ask the parents to choose these forces.

On many such occasions I have use the Omaha Tribe Prayer as the transformational part of the ceremon...

July 19, 2016

In ceremony…all is made new; everything becomes sacred.”  – Sun Bear

Do you know how to create a ceremony?

The true purpose of a ceremony is to change things or to recognize a change that has already occurred. While the intention of the ceremony is directed toward a specific goal, each individual participating in a ceremony may experience it quite differently.  Ceremonies often contain ritual practices that have been performed for generations. These ritual practices promise a connection to Spirit. However, a ceremony also allows space for creativity, spontaneity and...

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