Grief Ritual in the Dagara Tradition with Sobonfu Somé

Sobonfu Somé

October 28–30, 2005

Tuition $160 + 2 nights

Grieving is a natural gift of human nature. We are born with a wonderful ability to express our feelings. When we have reached adulthood most of us have had great cause to grieve for lost loved ones, broken dreams, failed careers, and relationship crises. It is generally accepted (science has proven) that repressing emotions can lead to ill health. We know that unexpressed grief will burrow its way deep into the subconscious/psyche, numbing our feelings and disconnecting us from life itself. And yet we, as a culture, fail to support the expression of grief. There are so few places where it is acceptable to express our deepest feelings.

A child is born into the Dagara tribal community. Hers is a world of nature, of song, with many members of her family and village always nearby to support her. They foster her growth and honor the uniqueness of her contributions to the world. They teach her rituals to nurture her soul. One such ritual is grieving, a soul-cleansing rite that within the traditional world of the Dagara people of West Africa is conducted almost daily in different parts of the tribe as a way of releasing tension caused by loss and restoring continuity within their relationships.

This weekend will offer you the opportunity to work alongside Sobonfu Somé and experience the Dagara grief tradition of her West African culture.

Sobonfu will share her personal experiences and the wisdom of her tribe, showing us how to overcome the blockages that keep us trapped. She will assist each participant to draw on personal and collective images and stories, working in groups, using the rhythm of drums, song and dance, to facilitate this process.

The ancient teachings of the Dagara people as shared through Sobonfu will provide a deeply powerful and safe space to support the release of our anger, fear, guilt, numbness, indifference, frustration and grief about all the losses we have endured in this lifetime.

This experience will enable us to regain a lasting sense of connectedness with ourselves, our community, and with spirit, leading us to self-discovery and self-mastery.

Sobonfu Somé

Sobonfu Somé has made it her life’s mission to share the ancient wisdom of her ancestors—the Dagara of Burkina Faso, West Africa—with Westerners. She is the author of several books, including The Spirit of Intimacy, Welcoming Spirit Home, and Falling Out of Grace. Filled with grace and eloquence, Sobonfu possesses a charm and modesty that enables her to touch audiences deeply. Her message about the importance of spirit, community and ritual in our lives rings with an intuitive power and truth that Alice Walker has said “can help us put together so many things that our modern western world has broken.”

Program Details

Financial aid is available for this program.