Art of Dying Art of Dying_Volume III_joomag | Page 52
People who are
drawn to this calling
are like moths
drawn to flame.
into a holistic way of life.
My work is based on this principle: When we
experience care, love and healing, the nature of our
heart is to give back what we have received.
The doula learns to give in ways we all used to give
to one other when we were living closer together,
when families and neighbors were connected. It's
the gift of creating a healing environment. We can
always make it better.
People come to learn how to be with people who
are dying, but it’s essentially about human-to-
human connection in all circumstances. Students
complete our training and can better communicate
with family and friends. End-of-life communication
is about elevating human-to-human communication
in all circumstances.
My program cultivates sensitivity to the myriad of
energies surrounding death. My students learn to
provide emotional and spiritual support as stewards
of conscious living and and conscious dying. We
learn the importance of authentic presence and of
integrating the unexpected revelations that death
I teach a practice called “Reading the Field.” Reading
the Field heightens a doula’s sensitivity to changes
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in their patient and environment. Reading the Field
allows a doula to enter subtle energy realms that
expand awareness of how best to perceive and
support a person’s death process.
People who are drawn to this calling are like moths
drawn to flame. The flame is our work in that precious
last few hours when the veil is lifting, revealing the
transformational portal of death. The moth is the
doula who is drawn to these moments when they
share the rarified, exquisite subtle energy field of the
person who is moving from form to formlessness.
Another practice I call “Witnessing the In-
Between.” This is a time when the dying are
between worlds, a little ways off-shore, but not
fully launched on their voyage to the other world.
The doula knows how to relax into this period
when we don't know when the final moment –the
last breath— will happen. Doulas learn to invite
loved ones to witness the beautiful experiences
that take place during this “in-between time.”
Our doulas are also trained to protect the time of
crossing over, to “Gate Keep.” Every person has a
different labor of breath that lasts as long as it takes
to get them from where they are to where they need
to be. The doula knows from the patient’s breath
when there is no turning back. The doula protects