The Sacred Gateway: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying, and the Journey Beyond

04/26/2019 - 04/28/2019


The Sacred Gateway: Conscious Living,
Conscious Dying, and the Journey Beyond
~Creating Death Caring Communities~

April 26, 27, 28
Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School
Ghent, NY

Click here to register today! $280 Supporter/$195 Standard/$60 Youth 
(Limited scholarships available. Email 

  • Bring a new consciousness to your own life and death
  • Support those who are crossing and who have crossed over 
  • Expand your practice and knowledge of working with the dying

Through interactive workshops, triad sharing, keynote discussions with Rev. Julia Polter, Lisa Romero, Linda Bergh, and Marianne and Dennis Dietzel, as well as experiential and artistic activities, we will consciously explore the spiritual and practical aspect of human life and death. 

Conference Schedule 
(Note: Workshops Subject to Additions/Minor Changes)

Pre-conference Activities: 

Thursday, April 25th at 7pm
Screening of Living While Dying  at Hawthorne Valley School Auditorium- Open to the public!  $10 Suggested Donation 

 Friday April 26th between 12-3pm
Supporting Elder Care In An Intentional Community at Camphill Ghent Elder Community 
Tour, Talk and Lunch (Salad, entree, and dessert $10.) 
Please register in Advance with your full conference registration. 


Friday, April 26 
3:30 Screening of The Art of Natural Death Care Hawthorne Valley School Auditorium- By Donation  
5:00  Registration 
7:00  Welcome and Introduction
7:15  Keynote Discussion with Rev. Julia Polter: Befriending Death 
8:30  “Poems of Birth, Poems of Earth and a Fairy Tale for our Time” with Eve Olive and Joanna Carey

 ~ followed by a light reception ~ 


Saturday April 27 - All workshops chosen on site
8:15-9:00 Choose your artistic activity (Eurythmy or Singing)  
9:00-10:30  The Container of Community with Linda Bergh and Marianne and Dennis Dietzel 
11:00 - 12:15 Concurrent workshops: Choose during conference 
   Hands-on-Body Care with Jonitha Hasse and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes (Session 1 of 2. Participants must attend both sessions.)
   Life Review: Biography for Conscious Dying Preparation with Sandra La Grega & Jennifer Fox
Befriending Death with Rev. Julia Polter 
   Container of Community Follow-up session with Linda Bergh and Marianne & Dennis Dietzel

   When Active Dying Begins...What To Do? with Ben Matlock   

12:30 - 2:00  Lunch

2:15 - 3:45 Concurrent workshops
    Hands-On Body Care with Jonitha Hasse and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes (Session 2. Participants must attend both sessions.) 
    The Story Continues: Journeying Between Death and Rebirth with Signe Schaefer
    Creating Death Caring Communites with Deana Darby

    Aging and Dying Well with Camphill Ghent Facilitator
    Vigil Room and Hearthholders: The Work of Holding the After Death Time with Tra-Ling Tu

4:00-5:00 Experiential Afternoon Workshops 

   Co-Creating a Festival For The Dead Practice session for evening activity 
   Reaching Beyond- Working with the Human Gesture Art Workshop with Laura Summer
   The Journey of the Soul After Death: An experience in Eurythmy with Eve Olive 
   Music at the Threshold  with Cate Decker and Channa A. Seidenberg 

   Writing Our Connections to those Across the Veil with Maureen Flannery
   Reading for the Dead with Joanna Carey
   Nature Walk  

5:30 - 7:00 Dinner With Your Dinner Table Groups 

7:30 - 9:00 Festival For The Dead

Sunday, April 28- All workshops chosen on site

8:15-9:00 Choose your artistic activity (Eurythmy or Singing) 

 ~ light brunch reception ~  

9:00-9:15  Singing, Poetry and Reflections on the evening

9:30 - 11:00 Concurrent Workshops: 
    The Enigma of Suffering: Meeting Our Humanity At The Threshold with Dr. Steven Johnson  
    Meditation for Connecting with the Dead with Lisa Romero
    Connecting With Our Loved Ones Through Nature and Art with Marianne Dietzel and Linda Bergh
    Green Burial: A Natural Return to the Earth with Herb Engman 

11:30-12:30 Plenum with workshop presenters and friends  

12:30-1:00 Closing 

2:00-4:30 Post Conference with Lisa Romero
Open to the Public. $10-$25 Suggested Donation. No fee for SG participants. Please register with your main conference registration.  

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE FULL CONFERENCE! $280 Supporter/$195 Standard/$60 Youth 

Note: Schedule subject to minor addtions/changes. 
Limited financial assistance is available.  Please click here to fill out our scholarship application.


Transportation and Lodging 

The nearest aiport is Albany Airport, which is one hour away. It is a small, manageable airport. Contact to book your ride.  (Rides not available after midnight through this contact.) 

Click here for a general transportation FAQ.

Rooms reserved at the following locations: 

Inn at Green River, Thyme in the Country, the Vanderbilt Lakeside
Some homestays available by emailing 

Want to share a ride or room? You can post your request or respond to requests at our shared room/ride board here. 



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