Issue # 84 - December 2021

Dec. 11-12 - ONLINE
Online Conference


Dec. 28 - ONLINE
See related story, below

Jan. 14 - 16 - ONLINE
with Olivia Bareham

Jan. 30- ONLINE
A Professional Symposium
(see related story, below)

Feb. 23 - 27 - ONLINE
(see related story, below)

Solstice Greetings!

Welcome to our holiday season issue!

Because this time of year can be difficult for those who are grieving, in this issue you’ll find an article about grief and resilience (which we repeat every year, because it's so helpful for the bereaved. You'll also find content about Christmas mythology, holiday season commercialism, and related themes.

On that note, we found a very interesting we page called "Liberal Reasons for Not Celebrating Christmas" that some of you might enjoy. We're not specifically advocating that the winter holidays be ignored, but we are suggesting some creative alternatives (see "Conscious Christmas" article, below)

BTW, I am thrilled to announce that I've been invited to speak at a conference hosted by Tibet House, the cultural center for the Dalai Lama. I hope you will attend (see details at the end of this newsletter on The Art of Dying to Live).

Rev. Dr. Terri Daniel, CT, CCTP
End-of-Life Advisor, Interfaith Chaplaincy, Bereavement and Trauma Support
Join the conversation in our
Death, Grief and Belief Facebook Group

Coming January 30!
The Second Annual Symposium on
Death and Bereavement Studies
Six CE Credit Hours Available
The theme for this year's symposium is Positive and Negative Religious Coping, and in this rare learning environment, you'll work interactively with some of today's most respected leaders in death and bereavement studies. Join us for a day of unique content, experiential processes and interactive group exercises covering critical issues not generally addressed in traditional counseling or support group settings.
The content offered in this program is designed for mental health, end-of-life and spiritual care professionals (there are six CE credit hours available), but it also suitable for bereaved individuals.
Twelve Steps for a More Conscious Christmas
Some of you know that I’ve been hosting an annual Solstice Ceremony and Celebration since 1990. I began this tradition the year my son was born, because I didn’t want him to see Christmas as a time for greed and commercialism (not to mentioned misguided religious narratives), but still wanted our family to enjoy the secular festivities of the season.

I began to research the origins of modern Christmas practices, and when I learned about the nature-based milestones on which many of our popular celebrations are based, I was delighted to find a way to make seasonal holidays more meaningful for me as a non-Christian. READ MORE...
Grief and Resilience During the Holiday Season
For many bereaved individuals, the holiday season is a time of sadness because their loved ones aren't present in physical form. We all respond to that sadness in different ways, and methods of coping can span a vast spectrum. Some choose to skip the holidays altogether, abandoning traditional family customs that are painful reminders of holidays past. Others continue -- and enhance -- those traditions by including departed loved ones in new rituals specifically designed to bring their presence into the festivities. READ MORE...

A New Episode of Ask Doctor Death!
This month Doctor Death interivews Pesach Eisen, MCH-LP, who was born and raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community from which he escaped as an adult. The interview covers a lot of fascinating topics, including: 

  • Do we really have a choice about our inherited religion if we're never taught to develop critical thinking skills or inner resources?

  • Can grief be managed by customs and traditions rather than allowing it to follow its natural trajectory toward healing?  

  • Do the benefits of living in a supportive community outweigh the cost of suppressing our authentic self?
Santa Claus and God Almighty
Like Clark Kent and Superman, you never see Santa Claus and the god of the Old Testament in the same place at the same time. Could that be because they're the same guy?

The article linked here (written by a very astute 24 year-old), explores the similarities between these two figures:

  • "This year in particular I watched an array of Christmas movies with my family and noticed a peculiar similarity I had not paid attention to before, the link between the Christmas figure ‘Santa Claus’ and the Christian God. Maybe this is something other people have thought about before, but in my 24 years of life, growing up in a Christian household I had never seen a relation between the two. God was God, and the basis of the true meaning of Christmas (Well, Jesus). From a Sociological perspective I decided to investigate the link further to try to fully determine whether Santa is based on the Christian God." READ MORE...
Dreaming of a White Supremacy Christmas?
"Fisher-Price’s deluxe Little People Christmas Story playset features a light-up star, a musical stable, three wise men and a number of animals, all fashioned in their beloved round-bodied figures that are easy for little hands to hold.

The playset also features a white holy family.

Faithful America, an online community of Christians of all denominations advocating for social justice, is encouraging Fisher-Price to change its depiction of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus before the start of the 2021 holiday season, saying it 'fuels white supremacy.'" READ MORE...
A Special Discount to our 2022 Conference is Still Available
for our Subscribers... but only Until Dec. 15!
As we mentioned in last month's issue, we've opened registration for our 2022 conference, and as
as a special offer for our newsletter subscribers only, we've set up an "exclusive earlybird" ticket that gives you a $75 discount on the live conference.
This is a very limited offer... it ends on December 15, and it's not published on our regular ticket page (because it's for your eyes only). The only way to find it is to go through the back door via THIS UNPUBLISHED LINK. Choose the ticket called "exclusive early bird," and remember, after Dec. 15, you will no longer be able to access it.
In answer to questions we anticipate you asking,... yes, you can share this link with your friends and family. And yes, if Covid causes a cancellation next year, all live tickets will be refunded.
Help us Test Our Conference Software!
For our 2022 conference, we're trying something new... a "virtual exhibit area." And we need your help to take it for a test drive.

If you're free on Tuesday Dec. 28 at 9:00 am Pacific time, please help us out by registering for our test event at THIS URL (it's free... it will cost nothing but an hour of your time). Nothing terribly exciting will be happening. You'll just be part of a test audience to make sure all the bells and whistles are working correctly, but you'll be able to interact with us through chat and video!

Important note: The registration button says "join the event" (rather than "register for the event"). This is one of the confusing things about this new platform that we're trying we're trying to figure out. We really appreciate your help!
The Art of Dying to Live
An Exploration of Life, Death, and the Afterlife
Dr. Terri Daniel invites you to join her -- and a stellar list of esteemed teachers -- to explore ancient and modern understandings of dying and living through a variety of cultural and spiritual lenses, including Tibetan and Zen Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaic, and Shamanic traditions. In this extraordinary conference, you will explore the nature of death as part of life, and compare all visions of possible afterlife experiences from existential to theistic to shamanic. CLICK HERE for details and registration.
Contact us: