‘Keening’ Being Raised from the Ashes

CAN THE ANCIENT TRADITION OF LAMENT CHANGE THE WAY WE

APPROACH MENTAL HEALTH IN IRELAND?

Sligo August 23rd-25th 2019 – Due to their sell out success in April with the first introduction of
this innovative retreat concept, A Time To Gather will host another weekend retreat, this
time in SLIGO, at the wonderful Gyreum Eco Lodge, giving people the opportunity to
engage with the ancient tool of LAMENT.

This effort was initially driven by a researcher and Keener Marian Caulfield who discovered that
for the last twenty years there has been a growing revival of the old Karelian practice of lament in
Finland which had dramatically changed the face of Mental Health services over there. In April, with the
assistance of Tuomas Rounakari (Researcher, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki), a modern day lament
teacher, her research came into action with ‘Learning to Cry Again’, an event in her home county of Cork .
Out of this a team of Keeners have come into a regular practice and through A Time to Gather they will
launch phase 2 of their drive to restore and reimagine Lamenting for modern day.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
➢ DATA GATHERED SHOWS THOSE FEELING DISCONNECTION FEEL RECONNECTION
➢PEOPLE FINDING DIFFICULTY EXPRESSING DESPAIR SAY THAT THE PROCESS
ALLOWS THEM TO ACCESS THEIR EMOTIONS MUCH MORE EASILY
➢LAMENT = PERMISSION TO CRY!
➢TEACHERS, DEATH CELIBRANTS, NURSES, DOCTORS AND CARERS WHO ATTENDED
FOUND IT WAS A PERFECT WAY TO FACILITATE SELF CARE

Here are some common issues that Lament can address:
• Loss of self
• Loss of friend/loved one
• Loss of community
• Loss of ritual & rites of passage
• Loss of flow (EMBODIED GRIEF)
• Loss of tradition and longing for belonging
‘We looked at the content of this workshop and immediately resonated with the
theme. It’s exactly the kind of retreat we are passionate to plan. This retreat is about
re-discovering a useful ‘in-built’ skill, which naturally helps people to negotiate
modern life. We are already practicing Keening, since our introduction to it as a tool to
embody and let go!’.
Tanya, who’s jumped at the opportunity to host this technique/workshop, went on to
highlight what an opportunity this revival is. ‘At a time when people are feeling so
disconnected, wired and anxious, this technique can help us to remember how it is we
traditionally always used music and vibration in the past, to express ourselves. This
approach is married with symbolism and emotion to release our deepest sadness’. We
draw all these strands together to offer us a new contemporary way to cope with grief.
As a new business, who aims to bring the public retreats that focus on integrity and
reality – we had to get involved – it’s such an exciting project!’.

You can find out more here.

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