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Workshops at Death Faire

November 5, 2016



Death Faire 2016 will be one of the largest gatherings of death educators, wisdom-bearers, councilors, and celebrators that this region has ever seen!  A ticket to Death Faire includes FREE ADMISSION to 9 amazing workshops that take place during the event itself.  No pre-registration required.  Just come to the event ($10 all day pass pre-purchase, or $15 at the gate) and enjoy the workshops!

We still have three workshops slots left!  Death midwives and doulas.  Grief councilors and educators.  Funeral officiants.  Psychics and oracles.  Storytellers.  Wisdom bearers.  From the physical to the spiritual.  If you’ve got wisdom to share and you’d like to teach a workshop at Death Faire – please contact jenn@abundancenc.org!

Get your Death Faire Tickets HERE!


HEALING MUSIC – with John Westmoreland

1:45 – 2:45 – Main Stage

Join John up on the main stage for an intimate acoustic set.


john-headshotA native North Carolinian with deep roots in the blues, John Westmoreland is a multidimensional musician. John is a founding member and lead guitarist of the West-African fusion band Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba which performs locally in the triangle as well as across the nation. As a solo artist he plays his own dynamic, and sensitive interpretations— interweaving jazz, World Music, Blues, Bach, the American Songbook, and also his own original compositions. John has a passion for exploring how music can facilitate deep relaxation and healing. He regularly provides music for yoga classes and meditation, and also plays music as part of UNC Hospital’s Door to Door music program. In 2013 he received an Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council to travel to Peru to study Icaros, a style of healing music from Amazonia.




1:30 – 2:15pm at Abundance NC Office

In this workshop we will identify the challenges of talking about death in a variety of situations.

1)What the stuck places are in ourselves that keep us from showing up fully when it comes to talking about death, and how we can compassionately loosen those stuck places.

2)What the challenges are in expressing our unique individual fears, fantasies, and wishes about our own death, and strategies for opening those conversations with family and friends.

3) How to effectively overcome awkwardness, in order to helpfully approach friends and family when they are in the midst of loss and grief.

4) How to lovingly open conversations with friends or family members who are facing their own impending mortality.

5) How honesty, vulnerability, and humor can be used effectively in any or all of these situations.

6) And why we would we want to bother with any or all of these issues?


sally-jpgSally is a devoted mother, grandmother and spouse; she’s been a counselor, psychotherapist, community organizer, artist, and workshop leader over the course of 30 years. She’s engaged in professional and personal growth work in many settings including wilderness vision fasting, adult and elder initiation rites, community-building and therapeutic group work, non-violent communication and dialogue.  She feels awkward in the face of death, grief and intimacy, and is likewise fully committed to confronting that awkwardness in order to develop the richest and most connected relationships possible.




floatDying, Awakening, Death: Tools and Experiences for Awareness, Opening, and Surrender

led by Leif Robert Diamant and Cathy Brooksie Edwards (with music from Garth Robertson)

1:30 – 2:15pm at the Cidery

This workshop will assist participants in deepening their ease and consciousness about dying and death. Possibilities of how to accept and embrace this part of life will be presented and explored through meditation, exercises, trance and hypnosis, and limited discussion. Hopefully, this will help people feel more comfort and confidence about dying and increased joy and gratitude for living.

leif-1Leif Robert Diamant has been a lover of Nature all of his life and has spent much of that life outside as a gardener and farmer, ethnobotantist, wild crafter, walker in the woods and fields…   He is a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister. He served on the Duke University Medical Center faculty for ten years, and now teaches and leads ceremonies in settings such as Piedmont Earthskills Gathering, Shakori Hills Music Festival, Warren Wilson College, Annual Meeting of Licensed Professional Counselors, and the Abundance Foundation.  Leif can be contacted at wildearthconsulting.com or boxturtlecommunitysupportedagriculture (csa). com

cathy-brooksie-edwards-therapist-integrative-healter-near-chapel-hill-nc-sqCathy Brooksie Edwards has an eclectic background weaving many modalities into the healer that she is.  She has worked with at-risk adolescents and their families in the out-door wilderness treatment setting, and individuals and families providing one-on-one, group and family in-home services and case management.

For over 15 years Cathy has taught stress reduction classes and workshops in a wide variety of situations.  Her work is as diverse as she is and each client has their own personal treatment plan. She uses therapeutic listening, cognitive and behavioral restructuring, art therapy, energy tapping, and role playing.  She re-teaches the lost art of how to be happy and joyful.





1:30 – 2:15pm at Workshop Tent

dance-with-deathFrom Greenville, Rev. Pat Jobe is the minister at South Carolina’s largest Unitarian Universalist congregation. It is also the fifth largest church on his road. His workshop encourages us to laugh at and dance with death. Jobe recommends laughter and dance out of many years of doing both; and being “the death guy,” in his family and among his friends. Even before becoming a minister, he was the go to guy as family members approached death; and he was even the guy to take pets to the vet for the last round up. He loves to laugh and dance and figures in the face of a hooded figure with a scythe, laughter and dance may be the best options. His presentation lasts 16 minutes, the rest of the time he will encourage questions and discussion.







Pat Jobe is a minister, author or co-author of five books, singer, dancer, and friend of the human race – not necessarily in that order.






“HOME DYING, FUNERALS AND BURIAL:  An experiential understanding and regulatory guide”   

with Jenny Bingham and Alisa Esposito

2:30 – 3:15pm at the Abundance Office


jennyJenny Bingham is the founder of Sacred Passages.  It is her purpose is to support the transformative possibility that death offers. This is what draws her to it.  As has been said by many, we can live each moment as though it may be our last and then our life becomes more full.  Jenny is always available for one on one or group discussions on all aspects of the transformative possibility of death. She recently completed her masters in social work with a focus on death and dying.  She has experience in hospice and bereavement work – as well as trainings in celebrancy, gestalt therapy, flower essence therapy, spacial dynamics and has spent a year at a priest seminary.


imageedit_3_9098472412Alisa Esposito is the visionary behind Sparkroot Farm – a teaching farm and expanding market garden, a community gathering space, teaching and cross-cultural learning place. Alisa tends the Village conservation burial ground that offers funeral services to our community and beyond.  Alisa milks goats, keep bees, pigeons and chickens, and cultivates connection between humans of this world and this land that claims us.

After two years being with her children and husband, Chris Lucash, during his dying time through ALS … along with grief and gratitude, learning the offerings, mysteries and deep grief of Life – and studying under Stephen Jenkinson at Orphan Wisdom School – Alisa has become a local explorer in the quest to understand and challenge the stories and spells that conjure our “death phobic” culture.



DEATH MEDITATION – with Julia Hartsell

2:30 – 3:15,  HOMS Porch


Buddhists, mystics and indigenous cultures have rituals & practices to befriend death.  While we’ve lost some traditional forms of initiation, we can bring death closer to consciousness with focused awareness.  Meditating on death can bring beautiful perspective and inspiration to life.  In this experiential circle, participants will be guided through a meditation with space to vision, listen, feel, then journal &/or share what is discovered on the journey.

imageedit_1_9253675926Dancer, Hoop Artist, Movement Guide & Soul Activist – Julia Hartsell has cleared her path with passionate leaps of faith.  Julia is a pioneer in the modern Hoop Dance movement; facilitates regular Ecstatic Dance & Ritual Dance events, and runs her own studio, The Flowjo, a movement sanctuary for dance, soul transformation, somatic & circus arts in Carrboro, NC.

Julia’s honest, heart-centered way of guiding, dancing and facilitating infuses the spaces she holds with a palpable vibration of love and profound potential for joy, connection, transformation, healing and community building.


A Seeker & life-long Devotee of dance, Julia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and Art History.  Her studies cultivated a fascination with mystical experience, sacred space and a deep sense of social responsibility.  After 9-11, with despair and sadness, magically, she found the instrument of her bliss, a hoop, and cultivated a meditative, sensual medicine practice that began to soften her despair while offering bliss, connection, ways of interacting with others and dreams of positively affecting the world through movement.   This embodied path has lead her into other Somatic & Circus arts.  With the birth of The Flowjo, she’s been able to immerse in communal dance, partner dance & acrobatics as well as rituals for healing.  Her path currently has her studying Death, Dying & Grief, inevitable aspects of our embodied experience.



GRIEF & EMPOWERMENT – with Megan Toben and Frank Phoenix

101 session –   2:30 – 3:15pm, Workshop Tent

201 session –  3:30 – 4:15pm, Workshop Tent


Do you feel paralyzed by our current cultural crises and all the social/ecological and community level implications? Drawing from deep ecology, systems thinking and spiritual traditions, poet, author, scholar of Buddhist teachings and deep ecology, Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects (WTR) builds motivation, creativity, courage and solidarity for the transition to a sustainable human culture.

“The truth of our inter-existence, made real to us by our pain for the world, helps us see with new eyes. It brings fresh understandings of who we are and how we are related to each other and the universe. We begin to comprehend our own power to change and heal. We strengthen by growing living connections with past and future generations, and our brother and sister species.” ~ Joanna Macy


meganMegan Toben and her husband, Tim Toben, co-founded the Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain out of their love for the Earth Community. They are continually inspired by the people who come and contribute their enthusiasm and expertise to the work! Megan knows the land there deeply, having raised her family on the land for the past twelve years.





Frank-Phoenix50_avatarFrank Phoenix is the President of the Fenwick Foundation, a non-profit organization in Chapel Hill that benefits philanthropy, voluntarism, and grant making foundations. He previously worked as a Partner of Greenbridge Developments, and served on the Board of the Triangle Community Foundation, which builds philanthropic assets and manages over 750 charitable funds in the Triangle. Frank has extensive experience in philanthropy, and is an expert in non-profits, fundraising, community outreach, and grant writing.  Mostly he is a deep thinker, loyal friend, and all around fabulous human being.






In English – 3:30 – 4:15,  Abundance Office

En Español – 4:30 – 5:15,  la oficina Abundance















The Day of the Dead is made out of rituals and traditions that reveal the contents of our souls and hearts. The Day of the Dead, traces one of the many lines that keep us connected in space and time.  This workshop explores briefly the history of the Aztec and other indigenous tribes in Mexico and Central America around the dead and, explores the cultural differences between Mexico en the US in this matter and how it has been invigorated up to our days by the element of syncretism.

El Día de los Muertos está hecho de rituales y tradiciones que revelan el contenido de nuestra alma y corazón. El Día de los Muertos traza muchas de las líneas que nos mantienen conectados en espacio y tiempo.  Este taller explora brevemente la historia aztecas y otros grupos indígenas en México y en América Central en torno al día de los muertos, explora las diferencias culturales ente Mexico y los EU in este asunto y como se ha mantenido su vigor hasta nuestros días por el elemento del sincretismo.

pepePepe Caudillo was born in México. He is married and has two daughters. Pepe considers himself to be a a Day of the Dead aficionado. He lost his younger brother 31 years ago. That was his first shocking encounter with the dead but, even before that, The Day of the Dead, has been present in his life. Since he can remember altars and offerings have been present in his family, in his community. Pepe will be a the Dead Faire to share what he has learned about the holiday that should never die.


November 5, 2016