Welcome to Watering the Seeds of Soul

Gardening the Gates of Grief and Apprenticing with Sorrow

Welcome, applications are open:


About Watering the Seeds of Soul

“When your heart is broken, you plant seeds in the cracks and pray for rain.”
Andrea Gibson

We warmly invite you to join us in Watering the Seeds of Soul where we'll be exploring the gates of grief and six elements of an apprenticeship with sorrow over 6-months. This is deep work, slow work, soul work, and we approach it with reverence, tenderness, and respect for the beauty and nourishment that can blossom when skillfully tended. With four 2-hour sessions each month, we'll use embodiment practices, creativity, poetry, storytelling, ritual, and community-sharing to move through each of the gates and elements.

This offering is co-facilitated by Erin Geesaman Rabke and Holly Truhlar. Together, we have over 40 years of facilitation experience, including 20 years in professional grief tending. We refer to the six gates of grief and the six elements of an apprenticeship with sorrow as articulated by our dear friend, mentor, and colleague, Francis Weller. We're offering this course and expanding on his teachings with his blessing and encouragement.

Ready to join us? Please apply

What's Included

This course includes live zoom gatherings 4x/month over six months; most sessions will be co-facilitated by both Holly and Erin (bios below). Here's what you'll have access to as a member of Watering the Seeds of Soul:

  • Four 2-hour zoom gatherings each month with large and small group sharing.
  • Recordings and transcripts of each session made available within 48 hours.
  • A monthly micro-ritual and vigil for each gate of grief.
  • Shared poetry, resources, and embodiment practices.
  • An online forum through Mighty Networks where you can connect with other course members.


Our live sessions start on February 8th and end on July 25th, 2024. We'll gather for live sessions most Thursdays, 1:00 - 3:00pm Mountain Time. Our monthly rhythm will typically look like this:

1st Thursday: PLANTING the seeds of soul, gardening a gate of grief.

2nd Thursday: WATERING the seeds of soul with a vigil and ritual practice.

3rd Thursday: ROOTING into our apprenticeship with sorrow, deepening an element with embodiment practices.

4th Thursday: HARVESTING the wisdom gleaned together with community conversation, poetry, and Q & A. 

Monthly Topics

February: Introduction to Soul Work & Apprenticing with Sorrow,
Everything We Love We'll Lose & Practice as a Form of Ballast
March: The Parts of Us That Have Not Known Love & Self-Compassion
April: The Sorrows of the World & Staying in our Adult Presence
May: What We Expected and Did Not Receive & Remembering our Wild Entanglement
June: Ancestral Grief & Growing a Relationship with Silence and Solitude
July: The Harms We've Caused & Developing Right Relationship with Sorrow,
Closing, Goodbyes, & Aftercare

Ready to join us? Please apply: 

Who This is For

Those of us bearing witness to these turbulent times must come together in soul-centered spaces of care. As we descend further into the "Long Dark," grief will be the keynote for the foreseeable future. We believe soul and sorrow can elder us in this time of climate and culture crisis. This course is for:

  • People with heavy hearts and those anticipating heavy-hearted times ahead.
  • Those who yearn for something radically different than the typical numbing and denial of the over-culture. The ones who want to seed and inhabit the under-culture,  deepening life-giving relationships with soul and sorrow.
  • Those of us continually becoming ripened adults and elders in these threshold times.
  • Tender and brave souls who want to transmute sorrow, over time, into medicine for ourselves, our families, and our communities. 
  • Healers and helpers who want to soulfully support others in cultivating intimacy and right-relationship with the heart-softening guest of grief.

*Participants will need internet access to log into the Mighty Network and a basic understanding of Zoom to attend the live weekly zoom gatherings. There will be closed captions which can be translated into many different languages.


We offer two payment options for Watering the Seeds of Soul, when you sign up you can choose between:

  • $649/USD if paid in full OR
  • 3 payments of $220/USD (1x/month for the first 3 months)

Applications are open, please apply:

*Discounted Tuition for BIPPOC participants: We offer discounted tuition to Black and Indigenous People and People of Color. In doing this, we are acknowledging the generations of stolen land, lives, and resources, as well as ongoing systemic oppression, that impacts Black and Indigenous People and People of Color. Please email us at [email protected] for more information about our BIPPOC discounted tuition rates.

About the Facilitators

Holly Truhlar (she/they)

Hello there friend, I'm Holly Truhlar. I'm a grief therapist, ritualist, and community organizer. 

I'm most known for my work in collapse psychology and politicized grief tending. In my search for what's just and holy I earned a Doctorate in Law and Masters in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology; yet, I found more Soul, more of what mattered, in witnessing grief and spending time with animal-kin. For over a decade, I've facilitated small and large groups (700+) using ritual, storytelling, creative processes, and Deep Democracy work.

I'm a queer abolitionist and two time sibling loss survivor (Ivy & Brett 🩵). My "positive obsessions" are liberation-based community and culture, donkeys and mules, and the color turquoise. My deepest gratitude goes to my ancestors, mentors, and teachers who've guided me in my work and life, including Desiree Adaway, Kai Cheng Thom, Aftab Erfan, and Francis Weller. I've also been deeply influenced by many poets, authors, and activists, including adrienne maree brown, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Joy Harjo, Linda Hogan, Harriet Tubman, ALOK, Octavia Butler, Audre Lorde, Fannie Lou Hamer, bell hooks, Craig Santos Perez, and Jennifer Mullan. 

Erin Geesaman Rabke (she/her)

Hi, I’m Erin Geesaman Rabke. I am a Somatic Naturalist and Embodiment Mentor.

I have spent the past 30 years studying & teaching in various lineages of somatics and embodiment. For the past decade, I've been weaving somatic practices with deep ecology, grief tending, praise practice, anti-oppression, & soul work. I am committed to courageous kindness and have a heart vow to live a life of benefit & to steward refugia of many kinds. I have been practicing for 30 years in the Tibetan Buddhist meditation traditions of Dzogchen and Lojong. I’m grateful to be mother to a 13-year-old boy wonder. I’m also a podcaster, a permaculture gardener, a writer, a collector of books and plants, & am a lucky partner to my beloved Carl. I'm a feral Buddhist animist ritualist, home herbalist & beekeeper. I am a lover of poetry, good coffee, big red wine, long walks, and all facets of growing, cooking, sharing and eating food. I'm dedicated to using my skills to ripen mature human beings and to nurture sane and soulful culture. I aim to be grounded, spacious, and gracious. I love being an Earthling with my whole heart.


"The stories, practices, and presence you each brought to this session moved me in such a profound way. I found myself with (many) tears of gratitude mid-session for the richness, generosity, and care that comes from you. You have so skillfully crafted this container and I so appreciate the inspiration and deepening it allows me. Thank you from the depths of my heart."
—Courtney Rae Forti

"I continue to be blown away by how incredible this class is in every way - so well put together, so much wisdom and sacredness, so many resources, and you guys' skills.  You are presenting in a clear, deep, embodied way. I'm in awe. So much gratitude!"
—Eva Bigonet

"You are like intertwined parts of the same tree and you move so beautifully together it is as though you are one. Seamless presentations, wonderful resources, fabulous exercises."
—Diane McCann

"The supportive synergy between you is a blessing filled container to continue to deepen into Francis’s work."
—Jeanelyse Doran

6 Gates & Elements

Each session we'll bring in soulful inquiries and practices, including poetry, storytelling, writing prompts, and embodiment practices. Every month, we'll be gardening a gate of grief; here's the Six Gates of Grief we'll be covering:

  1. Everything we love we will lose.
  2. The parts of us that have not known love.
  3. The sorrows of the world. Grief over destruction of the planet and injustice.
  4. What we expected and did not receive. Loss of village and connection.
  5. Ancestral Grief from the trials and tribulations of our lineages.
  6. The harms we've caused, both personal and collective.

We'll also be embodying an Element of an Apprenticeship with Sorrow each month; here's the Six Elements we'll be working with:

  1. Practice as a form of ballast.
  2. Self-compassion.
  3. Staying in our adult presence.
  4. Remembering our wild entanglement.
  5. Growing a relationship with silence and solitude.
  6. Developing right relationship with sorrow.

Applications are open:


Thank you for your interest in Watering the Seeds of Soul. Please fill out our application if you'd like to join us. We're looking forward to deepening in Soul and sorrow, together. Please email us with any inquiries at [email protected].

"the seeds are watered by the tears of each survivor and the half of the world who believes in their existence // the seeds dance diasporic grief into a drum that only knows the rhythm of the heart // the seeds are full of freedom, the only fruit which can grow everywhere — even now, between us // the seeds will free everyone, one day — even those who pressed them into the dirt"
adrienne maree brown, from even now, between us

"The beauty of a seed is that it multiplies exponentially. It is a wonderful example of the natural abundance of the Earth and I think it is also a beautiful expression of the gift economy... The seeds teach us to be generous and to share our abundance with other people and this is really the true nature of things. We live in a society where the dominant narrative is based on scarcity and austerity, so we need to start paying attention to seeds because they remind us of the inherent generosity of the Earth and of our own inherently generous nature." 
Rowen White