Daylong Saturday, June 1, 2013: The Gifts of Grief with Nancee Sobonya and Daniel Doane

Please join us on Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 10am to 5pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, 2172 Kiernan Ave., Modesto, CA, for a daylong with film maker, teacher, and grief counselor, Nancee Sobonya, and meditation and yoga instructor, Daniel Doane, and on The Gifts of Grief.

I saw Grief drinking a cup of sorrow and called out, “It tastes sweet, does it not?”

“You’ve caught me,” Grief answered, “and you’ve ruined my business. How can I sell sorrow, when you know it’s a blessing?”     – Rumi

This daylong explores the powerful and mysterious nature of grief, using Nancee’s film The Gifts of Grief as a supportive guide in identifying; the physical, emotional and spiritual impact of grief and the various outer resources that sustain us, as well as those inner places where we find strength, love, connection and support. We will be joined on this journey by Yoga/Meditation Instructor Daniel Doane.

During this daylong, we will create a safe environment in which our grief will be honored and held as sacred through the sharing of our personal stories, exploring how loss impacts and transforms our lives and working with the emotions of grief through meditation, yoga, poetry, artwork and ceremony. We will practice a gentle movement sequence throughout the day which will facilitate the personal process of healing. No previous experience is necessary. The practice will be gentle and modified for each individual.

Participants are encouraged to bring photos and other objects of remembrances to place on a group altar that we will create in the course of the daylong to honor our losses.


The Gifts of Grief is a compelling documentary that explores how seven remarkable people embrace their pain, learn to live with their loss and now engage in life with more compassion, courage and awareness. The personal and moving stories include those of author, Isabel Allende; Reverend Cecil Williams; Zen Monk/ Vietnam Veteran, Claude AnShin Thomas; filmmaker, Lee Mun Wah, celebrate and inspire healing and transformation. The film invites us to open to pain, learn from loss, and reminds us of the preciousness of life.

Workshop Objectives:

1) To demonstrate and validate that grieving is a natural, healthy process from which we can not only recover, but be changed by in deep and profound ways.

2) To identify how loss impacts and transforms our lives, including the spiritual, emotional and practical resources that support us through the grieving process.

NanceeNancee Sobonya, MA is an ordained minister/teacher of the Diamond Approach guiding people on their inner journey of self-discovery in the Bay
Area and Europe. She is also a Grief Counselor and Educator and the producer/director of The Gifts of Grief. She offers workshops and screenings of this highly acclaimed educational documentary at conferences, churches, retreat centers and hospices worldwide. Nancee has been working in the field of death and bereavement for the past 28 years and began practicing vipassana meditation in 1983. Her website is

DanielDaniel Doane has been a student of vipassana meditation since 1983, and has taught meditation groups and practice days since 1997. He is also a yoga instructor and currently teaches several classes and groups in the East Bay.

This day is freely offered to all. Donations are gratefully accepted to support the teachers and Insight Meditation Central Valley’s future offerings. Please bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share for lunch, if you would like. For additional information, please contact Lori Wong at 209-343-2748. Here is a printable flyer.

If you plan to attend, please fill out the form below to let us know you’re coming.  Thank you!