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Celebrating This Precious Life 2021 - Monthly Conversations about Death and Dying - with Wendy

Event is held on Zoom, connection details will be emailed.

What's Alive for You about Death and Dying? 

This gathering is for the wider community to share honest conversations about death and dying and will include a reflection and empathy circle. I will be the guide for the session. 

Throughout this gathering our basic foundation will be that of empathic or deep listening. Authors of the program, Ongo: Everyday Nonviolence, Catherine Cadden and Jesse Chu, write, 'Empathy turns the listening up in our heart and quiets the mind by engaging our sense of curiosity about ourselves and others. We consider empathy to have five components in this order: curiosity, mindful presence, intention to connect, focus on universal needs and confirmation.'

First Thursday of the month at 6.30pm - 8pm AEDT (Sydney, Australia). There is no need to make a regular commitment just register each month so I know who will be coming. Thank you.

You will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link to join the meeting. This link is right at the bottom of the email. 

About the 'process' of the gathering.


In our sessions there is an invitation for everyone to speak - there won’t be an official timekeeper so it’s important you feel into this so that everyone's voice including your own can be heard. If you feel you’d like a timekeeper ask if one of the members of the group would be happy to do that for you. 

The following guidelines may seem complex however, the basics for listening are simple: listen with curiosity, mindful presence and intention to connect with the person speaking. Please refrain from asking questions, analysing or fixing, advising, etc. Deep listening, holding space and offering your presence. I will introduce this in the group at the start and, if you have any questions, please give voice to them. 

From our last group one of the participants asked for more detail on NVC and deep listening in this circle space... 

When it’s your turn to speak, notice if your attention is getting caught up in your own thoughts about what you are saying – for example, judgements of whether or not it’s a good response, whether we are talking too much or too little or even whether or not your response makes sense to the group. Simply notice, breathe and return to presence with whatever wants to be spoken through you. 

When its your turn to listen - please listen in silence, be curious about connecting fully with what is being said and shared, connect with the person speaking. If you notice your mind wander to what you will say or other thoughts about what is being said, simply notice and bring your attention back to the person speaking. My request is that we practice deep listening and refrain from asking questions or furthering the process. If someone gets saddened or upset. Take a breath together. Hold the space, breathe and refrain from fixing, advising, analysing, interpreting, judging, sympathising etc. Connect and hold space for whatever is happening.

As the speaker, when you are finished - you might feel that being heard was enough and thank the listeners OR you may wish to ask for a reflection from one of the listeners or request a 'shower of needs'. These requests can really ensure you feel heard and seen.

Four options:

  • To be heard was enough.
  • Reflection: one of the listeners will offer a brief reformulation of what you heard - again we come back to the request for no analysing or fixing, dismissing, correcting, advise giving - and offer a guess at a few needs you may have heard being spoken to. See attached needs wheel. i.e. "I heard you say that you feel distressed about the conflict between your sister and yourself and I am guessing you need harmony, connection and to know you matter."
  • Shower of needs: Reflecting over the attached needs wheel (you may want to print it out) Four or five people can offer one need that they feel moved to offer the speaker. No explanation rather a simple guess or offering. "I'm guessing you might have a need for connection". "Belonging". "To know you have been heard". etc. The speaker just receives connecting with how the offer lands, breathing into any response and opening to the life energy of that need. 
  • Or, you may wish to honour and speak to the group the needs that you connect with. 

When you have finished, say thank you or offer a bow, or show some way that you have finished. Then someone in the group may suggest, 'let's take a breath together' before the next person speaks. 

Brief overview of NVC

Great bigger picture:



Category Community