Enjoy your video!
Living & Loving with Death As Our Ally
1.Think back over the last two months. Reflect for a moment:
- What did I learn or discover about myself that is important or essential?
- What if anything, opened up in me – a new realization or a new understanding or level of compassion or something that touched or moved you?
- What did you learn or discover about what is most meaningful to you, what matters most or brings you most joy?
- What became clear to you or what new decisions did you make?
2. Now focus on an area that has been difficult over the last while: a conversation you’ve avoided, a conflict that has cycled, a big life transition you’re struggling with, new realizations or edges that are hard to face, or a loss you are going through. Something that you’re wrestling with.
3. Put all of that aside for the moment.
4. Let yourself drop out completely. Let yourself “die” now as in: Relax; let everything go, like you’re entering a timeless zone. Flow with whatever comes up. Give the weight of your body over to the earth, let your body get heavy, and allow your spirit to float, to be weightless and let that weightless state move your body, like kelp in the ocean. Stand up, lie down or while sitting in your chair, let your body move a little – or imagine it being moved.
5. From that place, look back at the issue you picked as something that’s been difficult. Let yourself ‘wrestle’ with this difficult issue from the ‘timeless zone’ by asking yourself questions like:
- How would I want to look back at this scenario?
- What’s most important or most meaningful for me about it?
- What would I most regret in how I engaged or did not engage with it?
- Given all of that, what advice would you give your ordinary self from the ‘timeless zone’ about how to deal with this issue?
6. Potential questions if you wanted to go deeper:
- What are some of the edges that may hold you back? (Think of an edge that if you crossed it, has the potential of expanding, enriching or transforming something that’s important and meaningful to you.) What’s against crossing that edge? What’s hard or scary about it? What’s the risk in crossing that edge?
- If you were to cross your edge, what in you may need to die, as in: dropped, let go of and/or transformed?
- And, what in you might want to come alive or be born in that process?
7. Take notes and switch.
8. Click HERE to access and download the google document.
Death as an Ally Throughout the Ages
We are of course not the first ones living through very difficult and extreme circumstances where the notion of ‘Death as an Ally’ takes on heightened relevance. There’s so much to learn from people who have traveled this road before us and how they’ve ‘lived and loved with death as an ally’, in different forms and manifestations.
Here are some examples of people who have inspired us in how they wrestled with ‘Death as an Ally’ and through that process, embodied a transcendent perspective and power.
Nelson Mandela (at his trial where he was sentenced to lifelong imprisonment):
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” (20 April 1964 Rivonia trial)
Martin Luther King (his last speech)
“I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to with me now, because I’ve been to the mountain top. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life – longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Etty Hillesum – ‘Mystic of the Holocaust’ (written while living under Nazi occupation)
““Unimpeded my growth continues, day by day, even with this possibility of destruction before my eyes. I have rendered account of life. Nothing can happen to me. It’s nothing personal.
There is no big difference between me going or some other human being. Death simply is the case. I mean with ‘rendering account of life’: the possibility of death has totally been accepted in my life. My life is as it were expended with death, with looking death right in the eye and accepting death and destruction as belonging to life itself. It sounds paradoxical: by excluding death from our life we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we enlarge and enrich it.”
“ought we not, from time to time, open ourselves up to cosmic sadness? … Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that it is due, for if everyone bears his grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge-from which new sorrows will be born for others-then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply.”
“We should be willing to act as a balm for all wounds.”
“I know that a new and kinder day will come. I would so much like to live on, if only to express all the love I carry within me. And there is only one way of preparing the new age, by living it even now in our hearts.”
“We have left the camp singing.” (Words on a postcard Etty threw out of the train that took her and her family from Westerbork Transit Camp to Auschwitz)
Etty Hillesum, from her Journals written while living in Amsterdam under Nazi occupation, between 1940-1943. (Etty was killed in Auschwitz age 29)
Ho Ka Hey
Today is a good day to die
Fear of death often occurs during social and world tensions. Death is terrible; but the threat of death does not just suggest that you protect yourself, it can also suggest a shift into phase 4, into the deepest timeless experience.
(The Leader’s 2nd Training: for your life and our world, p. 54)
The wailing of broken hearts is the doorway to God.
Click HERE to access and download the google document.
What does it mean to
live and love
with death as our ally?
In this recorded workshop, we’ll explore ‘Death as an Ally’ as a window into new possibilities and what this means for how you live and how you love.
Living & Loving With Death as Our Ally
Wherever we turn these days, there is some form of profound heartbreak and loss. Death is happening on multiple levels, and in multiple ways – it is the river we swim in. Since death is all around us; how can we engage with that process of ‘death and dying’ in a way that deepens our lives and our relationships and our sense of meaning? There’s something about being closer to death that can awaken us, break us open. Death can be our ally in that it has the potential to connect us with the essence of things, with what’s most important and most meaningful.
What does it mean to live and love with death as our ally?
What does ‘facing our mortality’ mean for how we create intimacy and how we resolve issues? For how we relate emotionally, sexually and spiritually? What does it mean for how we engage with our dreams and desires and our sense of purpose? How does it influence our personal path and our creative expression?
Living in Shelter – alone or together – can bring us to our core edges.
Engaging with our process using Death as our Ally can be like entering a portal. Often, new possibilities open up, such as connecting to our creativity and to our shamanic and spiritual paths; going deeper and becoming more real in our relationships; bringing out our love and our desire, our vulnerability and our power; developing greater intimacy, aliveness and better ways of doing conflict.
While many spiritual traditions talk about death as an awakening force, the literal term of ‘Death as an Ally’ came to us through Arny Mindell, who quoted Don Juan. Because this class is inspired by an indigenous concept and because Native Americans are amongst the hardest hit by Covid-19 as well as being one of the most invisible and forgotten groups, we wanted to give back to a Native organization that supports Native people in this time, as a way of saying Thank You. And, we see you. We have not forgotten you and we’re with you.
Hear Niyati speak about what she learned from her ancestors about
death as an ally and it’s relevance for our times
About Your Teachers
THERAPIST with INDIVIDUAL & Couples
Niyati Evers, MAPW, is an international facilitator who has worked in South Africa, Israel, the Netherlands and the U.S. Niyati is originally from Amsterdam. She is a trained Tantric practitioner and has facilitated Tantric Workshops throughout the Netherlands. Niyati and Robert have an international therapy practice and they facilitate workshops in the realms of communication, sexuality and intimacy.
areas of expertise
THERAPIST with INDIVIDUAL & Couples
Robert King MSW, Diplomate in Process-Oriented Psychology, has been a practicing therapist for 40 years. He’s been a faculty member of the Process Work Institute in Portland since 1992. He has taught both in the U.S. and internationally on a variety of topics, such as relationships, sexuality, dreams, bodywork, addictions and conflict resolution.
areas of expertise
Visit the Seminar Library
Browse the Course Library
Subscribe to our Newsletter and Stay Updated!
Wherever you are in the world, you can be a part of our vibrant learning community! Contact us with questions or to host your own event through Processwork Online.
Join our Facebook Group!