Men's Springtime Grief & Praise Gathering
May 2-4, 2024 \|/ Port Townsend, WA
Men's Grief and Praise Gathering 
May 2-4, 2024
There is so much suffering and so much beauty on the planet all at once. It's for these reasons, and many more, that we gather in ritual space to join our hearts, hands and voices together as men.

This is a highly participatory gathering through which we will explore different access points for grief, praise, and ultimately, love. Together, we will co-create a ritual container of safety and support through song and dance, breath and somatic/embodiment practices, and movement and ceremony, to dive deep and become more fluent in apprenticing grief (and praise) on our journeys towards becoming more whole and connected men that welcome in all of our parts. We will collaboratively experience and play with some of the simple, effective ingredients that go into cooking a ritual for the renewal of all life. Grief is Praise, and we hope to moisten the ground with our tears of joy and gratitude alongside our grief.

We need men to commit to the entire weekend, arriving between 1 and 3pm Thursday May 2nd and to stay until closing on Saturday May 4th at 3pm

This is a village style gathering, meaning we will all be staying onsite either in tents, or shared indoor spaces (with camp mattress and sleeping bag and/or in personal vehicles)

Making this experience accessible to as many men as possible is important to us. A sliding scale is offered at 400 to 700. More than 400 will support this work moving forward making long term viability of these gatherings possible. Your investment supports the dignity and the long term viability for the facilitators and the spirit of reciprocity. In addition, your generosity supports men to participate who face financial barriers to gatherings like this through scholarships.

Email: [email protected]
Port Townsend, WA
~on the traditional territories of the Chemakum (Aqokúlo or Čə́məq̓əm) and S’Klallam (Nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕)
Facilitation and Lineage
We are deeply grateful to our teachers and draw deep inspiration from Sobonfu and Malidoma Somé, Frances Weller, Martin Prechtel, Joanna Macy and the Work That Reconnects, and many more. Laurence Cole is a beloved elder and mentor in this work in the Cascadia bio-region and many of us would not be here today if it were not for his guidance.

This is a unique space for men. We highly value the open community healing spaces for this work and feel it's absolutely essential that we be in space together as a people. Still, there is necessary work that men need to do solely in the company of other men–something that is our responsibility to confront and ultimately befriend. Most men are used to grieving alone, or not at all. And there is something about grief that dissolves the edges of the armor we carry as men, something that is needing to be released and composted into something new.

We are fully committed to co-creating a safe and brave space for men to show up in. This kind of ritual technology is ancient and essential for the health of village culture–something we are actively working towards re-imagining and re-embodying. At the heart of this, is learning to hold and be held in sacred witness by each other, by our ancestors, and by the other-than-human world.

Francis Weller outlined this work through what he calls the Gates of Grief. These are starting points, or pathways into feeling our grief, and while Weller highlights originally 5, and later 7, there are likely more than just that.

“Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close.”
~Francis Weller

Everything we love we will lose, the places that have not known love, the sorrows of the world, what we expected but did not receive, and intergenerational or ancestral grief.
*Additional gates to explore include trauma and earth grief.
Nico Kladis
Nico Kladis, MA is an integral psychotherapist and threshold guide walking the edges of what it means to be fully human and sharing our gifts while living and dying well. He is immersed in acts of remembrance through song, dance, breathwork, grief tending, ancestral skills, collective healing, and place-based men's work for the deepest good of each other and the more-than-human world. He lives and loves on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend, WA (s'Klallam/Chimakum territory).
Elias Serras
Elia is an EcoSomatic facilitator and guide for individuals, groups and organizations. His work is to empower embodied belonging through Truth, Healing, and Wholeness. Contact with wilderness saved his life as a younger man and inspired him to live and learn in communities ranging from traditional villages to contemporary Ecovillages in 11 different countries. He has been working with men and masculinity throughout the US since 2018. He currently lives in a cabin in the woods on the Olympic peninsula, and can often be found singing, dancing or breaking bread wherever the village fire is burning bright. See more at EcoSomaBe
Yam (also Yambaby) is a community song leader, rhythm bringer and student of emergent ritual space. His highly interactive, playful teaching style is informed by the deep belief that music itself is every body’s inherent birthright, and that singing together in community is not only vital to our survival as a people, but also really fun. He knows music to be a living line of connection and communication to our ancestors, the wider cosmos and our more-than-human kin.
Yam currently resides on unceded Lummi and Nooksack territory, otherwise known as Bellingham, WA. He is the cohost and editor of the singing podcast Bliss Is Ordinary a member of the song collective Earth Practice, and a devoted dad.

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