WORKSHOP VIDEO: The Wild Edge of Sorrow, with Author Francis Weller, MFT


“Where there is sorrow,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “there is holy ground.” This day-long seminar is an invitation to enter the sacred ground of grief and encounter the multiple ways it arrives in our lives. Sorrow shakes us and breaks us open to depths of soul we could not imagine. In a very real way, grief ripens us, pulls up from the depths of our souls what is most authentic in us. In truth, without some familiarity with sorrow, we do not mature as human beings. It is the broken heart, the heart that knows sorrow, that is capable of genuine love.
Grief has always been communal in our long story as a species. Too often in modern times, however, our grief is carried privately, forcing sorrow underground. It is our unexpressed sorrows, the congested stories of loss, that, when left unattended, block our access to soul. We then are pulled by the gravity of loss below the surface of life and into the terrain of death. We must restore the practices and customs of grief in our lives. Each of us must undertake an apprenticeship with sorrow and learn the skill of grieving for our sake and the welfare of all beings.


Francis Weller, MFT, is a psychotherapist, writer and soul activist. He is a master of synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures and poetic traditions. Author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people. To further this work, he founded and directs WisdomBridge, an organization that offers educational programs that seek to integrate the wisdom from traditional cultures with the insights and knowledge gathered from western cultures.

Francis received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and two Master’s Degrees from John F. Kennedy University in Clinical Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology. His writings have appeared in anthologies and journals exploring the confluence between psyche, nature, and culture. His work was featured in The Sun  magazine and The Utne Reader. He is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at conferences, bringing insight, poetry and a breath of humor to his talks. Francis is currently on staff at Commonweal Cancer Help Program, co-leading their week-long retreats with Michael Lerner. He has taught at Sonoma State University, the Sophia Center in Oakland and has been the featured teacher at the Minnesota Men’s Conference. He is currently completing his third book, A Trail on the Ground: The Geography of Soul.

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