A healing Altar workshop reflection


Healing Altar’s Workshop takes a surprising turn

Reflections and more stories! 

In my Sufi community it is said that our inner work is always dancing around us. We plan, we execute, we reflect and through it all we dance. My dance is helping me this very moment, a way to process in the writing of this blog post. My initial impression was to simply share a number of first-hand testimonials but recent events added a new layer, a deeper more personalized reflection of my own healing journey.

As I write I prepare and I pray for my own healing journey, which is to be with my fantastic daughter Eva as she readies for a major liver surgery on March 25 at City of Hope in Southern California. Up until last week I had no idea her cancer had returned with such severity until we saw the results of her scans that surgery seemed the course she needed to take. Altar work is healing work. It is fashioning matter into consciousness, energy or prayer. Matter into the spirit so that we become informed, giving us a means to healing. Now that I've had a chance to process and reflect on our workshop of a few weeks ago I thank everyone who shared their journey, who shared their hearts, compassion, stories and for creating their healing altars. I especially am in the deepest gratitude for Debra Roberts and her rich storytelling and natural gifts for co-facilitating our sweet offering.

Finding oneself in the center of a dance related to healing journeys either for self or friends has a mystical quality in bringing to light what one needs at the exact time one needs it. Certainly this has been my case. I believed that I was the giver of the workshop when I was in the dance being gifted by healing altars as well! When we see we see deeply the guided imagery patterns of healing consciousness.

 "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."          - Crowfoot

Briefly, our work into the weekend’s altar healing workshop centered around our inner narratives regarding states which called out for healing and then taking that call inside and allowing the creative intelligence to manifest as ritual, an altar experience. A healing for a loved one, a lost one, or simply answering a call a beckoning to show-up and access our creative intelligence as a healing energy and create an altar. My studio was the resource and materials were there in abundance and everyone brought their things as well.

Story Telling

My story is but one of a handful of other stories which are being shared here. Please stay a bit longer and hear their stories as well. We all are altars and healing altars are our dance with creative intelligence as it unfolds into love harmony and beauty.

Said Osio,  March 11,2011

There is snow on the ground this morning and the spring peepers down by the creek are still peeping.  Forsythia and daffodils bloom while the skies seem inclined towards winter.  The wind has calmed down from the night and Joe just came in to tell me that Japan has had the worst earthquake in 300 years.  One of the happiest people I know is battling breast cancer. The jury’s out about which way it will go.  But daily, she gifts herself with such a deep dive into the Present that she is finding a center that speaks more to Life than all the so-called healthy days of her almost sixty years.  And so it goes … the everywhichway of life is astonishing … on some days it’s a real calorie burner and on others, a soft inhale and exhale.

You have all become part of my family.  I feel I met you by way of your shrines, the way friends commune who have known each other for decades … and more.  Something so magical happened for me that weekend that I feel the eternal got invoked and has left its blessing in how you all reside in my mind and heart.  Your altars linger in my consciousness like a bright field of perennials.  I will never forget any of you. And I count myself blessed in that not forgetting.

Since our holy altar communion, I have had a wild ride with my own health and today as I write this to you, I feel more on solid ground than I have in years.  I have friends who are teetering on the brink of challenges that almost take their breath away … literally.  And I have others who are blooming in such a wild vital fashion that even sunlight appears to be at their feet.  

And then there is my beloved friend and brother, Said, whose loving, generous heart expresses itself so eloquently in holy conversation, art, altars, fellowship, healing consciousness … and now, through his journey as a father. Blessed Father of Eva. His beloved Eva has become our beloved Eva.  We have all shared such intimate time together that somehow, by grace, we have become an altar by association. And now, on this altar of Us, I invite us to place Eva there in the center, as only we know how … as this sacred clan we have now become.

I am not overly familiar with Trungpa Rinpoche but I love his words of invitation.  He talked of living life by taking down our walls and walking openly brokenhearted.  In our time together, I feel like we laid down some of the bricks and mortar as we tended to our shrines … and in doing so, we flowered both our individual and the collective consciousness … and added to the wealth of this world.  I thank each of you for making time to give yourselves the gift of that weekend.  I am immeasurably changed by each of you and I remain, always, at your feet.

Blessed be.  Blessed bees.

Debra Roberts, March 11, 2011

Healing Altar Workshop Testimonials February 18 & 19, 2011

DIANE: BEE activist

I signed up for the workshop spontaneously, not sure why, just called to join in. Months passed and I was not aware of giving the workshop much thought.

Then I showed up, with few expectations, open to the process, not (consciously) having made an altar before except for the bookshelf of assorted ephemera. I walked into Said's house and figured I'd fallen down the rabbit hole.

Sentences don't hang together to adequately describe, but words are easy: intimate, womb-like safety, beauty everywhere in out around, generous talented facilitators (co-creators), honest openhearted tender lovelies, divine and sacred.

Now I see altars everywhere. I haven't transformed so much as I'm conscious of transforming and I now know opportunities are always available for me to move into safe, sacred spaces, wholly holy. Places and spaces to rest, restore, worship and wonder. Such a pure and lovely time with such truly dear, sweet souls. Thank you one and all.

TRICIA: RN Psychiatric Nurse

Thank you, for the grand and endless gift of the sanctuary of place, the precious rituals, the on and on invitation to come forth in the midst of such Creative Intelligence and Wisdom through you. I agree with Mary Margaret there is something very special about our convergence, our souls drawn at this time to the uncovering of beyond words altars in sacred sacred space. Deep bow.   With gratefulness and love to all. 


"I had a vision of Mike (her uncle) and my four year old self and my adult self.  At first the four year old was in Mike's arms and she got up and came to my adult self. It was profound: the gift of the weekend. I feel as though I've opened a new expansive part of my Heart.  The weekend was a huge opening/transition for me.  I want to do it again."

For me there is a new level of reverence and courage.  It is as if a new portal is opening, a Way for Big Love and Expression.


I too found this weekend amazing, healing and full of magic ... I truly felt transformed by the experience.  Thank you many times over … for all of the love that you shared.  And the convergence of all of us during this sacred time truly touched my heart.  Blessings upon everyone's week and I hope that we all stay in touch.  Take care and be well.

SHERRI: Artist, jeweler, health practitioner

I woke on Sunday morning with an innocence and freshness in my heart. I felt that I had experienced some kind of shift; something had re-awakened inside my soul. I truly believe it was the time spent in sacred fellowship with each of you. I felt at home in the midst of our merging spirits. There was an allowance and an opening; to which grace filled the air. I would give many of my days to have them filled with the likeness of each of you.  Thank you for sharing your generous hearts, your inspiration and your creative spiritual energy. I am honored to have been a recipient of your selfless, loving service. 

I know all our hearts will mingle again, another day, another time, another dream.



For starters, wow!   As I look back I see you really were quite a busy little pollinating bee throughout the workshop, offering bits of story and inspiration to the garden of sacred altar building gals (and guy), with just enough flair and orange to brighten and stimulate the unfolding and flowering of whatever surprises were in store.

Thank you so much for your warm words & images that I received as a most beautiful gift of support and acknowledgement!  Briefly, I wish to express my gratitude for all the sharing and merging and melding and growing that went through and around us all over the course of a day and an evening.  It was remarkable, joyful and a highly charged atmosphere following on the heels of the full moon in Leo, a most creative sign.  How brilliant … to have chosen those days for us!  And how brilliant of us to have said yes!

And muchas, muchas gracias, for your special magnetism as well as the tasteful and artful environs that helped anchor us wimmen as we swam, floated and thrashed about in the collective sea of healing and creativity that so fed us all.  And of course, the fabulous visuals and quotes presented though your skillful way with the computer and camera, as well as your own paintings and collages that helped launch the creative spirit within us all!  I could tell you put a lot of heart & soul into making this event function smoothly and magically and it did. Lucky all of us that got to experience you both!

Many Blessings and continued connections…


Thank you all for your reflections and so there we all are, glad you stuck around to have a peek into our Healing Altars workshop. Posting workshop slides on creative prayerful art site … http://www.nadazul.org/8.html !

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