Our community deepest trust in the need of grief and rage work as well as confidence in facilitating grief-rage rituals comes from guidance and tutilage of Beth Garrigus. Beth’s work with grief began in inner-city 4th grade classrooms many years ago. Inspired and empowered by indigenous elders, she has been facilitating “sacred lodges of the heart” at Lama Foundation and elsewhere for the past 30 years, engendering a deep sense of connection, healing and renewal.

Beth is a humble “carrier of prayer” and “keeper of tears” and literally carries a box with the names of people and places all over the earth who who are carrying indescribable trauma and grief. She has tended to broken hearts and wings of hundreds of people, including lodges to honor our sacred grief, rage, fear and confusion, for the past forty years.

She has said of her life that she has been schooled by the prairies, mountains, forests, marshes and riverbanks along which which she has lived, by her relationships with family, colleagues, neighbors and friends, those with whom she has worked, and the boards of the neighborhood centers, Rochester Challenge Against Violence, Education for Peace and other community initiatives on which she has served.

She says that her greatest teachers have been the youth and their families who have left deep footprints on her heart:
— the young adults who shared food and sacred conversation at the William Street House in Champaign;
— the young friends in Salisbury, Maryland, who watched with great delight as baby sea turtles made their way to the river on the full moon; the members of successive Room 23 Learning Teams at Prince Street School, many of whose ancestors were immigrants and slaves, who chose to spend countless afternoon recess periods around a table in the back of the classroom, sharing their uncertainties, challenges and fears, her first experience of the transformative power of a circle;
— the 6 and 7-year old class at Roots and Wings Waldorf Initiative in Honeoye Falls who described themselves as “the light that flows through all things, teachers of the New, helpers of the world and Gardens of Love,” rushed to offer comfort to others whenever it was needed, and set up displays at regional craft fairs to raise money for the purchase of land through the Nature Conservancy;
— the mothers, daughters and grandmothers who gathered for many years in Fishers, New York, partially in response to Judith Duerk’s question, “How might your life have been different if there had been a place of women to help you learn the ways of women, where you were nurtured from an ancient and steadying flow as you sought to become yourself?” to share teachings and experiences-explorations of the natural world, talking circles, wisdom stories from many cultures and traditions, ceremony and songs through which daughters might come to know their own ground, trust their intuition and guidance, and feel supported at some of the more vulnerable times in their lives;
— and the youth who came to Lama Foundation seeking, in their words, “another way,” “to strengthen their connection with Spirit,” “shed some of their armor,” “explore and integrate less lived parts of themselves,” “walk with a deepened self-knowing and intent,” and develop some of the practices, insights and skills of living with others that are so needed in the world in this time.

She has stood on the shoulders of many humanitarians and visionaries in this life, among them the spiritul lineages of Black Elk, Sun Bear, and Hazrat Inayat Khan, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Thict Nhat Hanh, Desmond Tutu, Harriet Tubman, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Wendell Berry, Joanna Macy, Ken Carey, Terry Tempest Williams, Bernice Johnson Regan, LilyYeh, Miriam Macgilis, Pat McCabe, Vandana Shiva, Bernie Glassman, Derrick Jensen, Linda Heron Wind, Jalaja Bonheim, Jane Goodall, Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Llewellyn and Emmanual Vaughan-Lee.

Her life’s work has been deeply informed by her respect for and sense of kinship with the natural world, by the value of non-violence, awareness of the sacred that is foundational to the wisdom traditions of many indigenous cultures, and by a spiritual lineage that has often served at the edges of Life, walked alongside the heart-break and the fear, attending to what is emerging and what is falling away, looking for points of healing, helping to restore beauty, and, in Paul Hawken’s words, “connect Life with more of itself.”

A lineage of spiritual shepherds from many cultures who have “carried the cradleboard of a New Dream in their hearts,” the Dream of a world that cherishes its children and responds to their needs at every stage of their growth with deep nurturing presence; a world that, in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s words, “is shaped by new ways of being, new species of knowledge,” in which every breath is love.

Beth has walked inner-city neighborhoods with Grandmothers in Black, creating zones of safe passage for young children to and from school with song and with prayer. She has collaborated with schools and community organizations to expand opportunities for inner-city youth to develop leadership skills, find voice through writing and public-speaking initiatives, create neighborhood gardens and mural projects and learn how to prepare simple foods from the neighborhood cultures in which they live.

Of her life, Beth says that, in the words of Angeles Arrien, she “is a member of the scar clan,” schooled by a life-time of loss, both personal and collective; by the circles in which she sat at the Rockland Family Shelter in New City, New York, and later at ABW in Rochester that gave both witness and voice to the volatile woundedness within families in this and many cultures.


— Poems by Beth 
— Ritual passed on by Beth
— Healing and Renewal Songs by Beth
— Healing and Renewal passages curated by Beth
— Hey Climate movement! Deal with trauma: Article by Kritee Kanko
— Grief and rage ceremony (modified Truth Mandala)