Join the author, and end-of-life caregiver, Sierra Campbell in a rich conversation exploring the many aspects of spiritual and practical preparation for aging and death. She shares her own experience as a cancer survivor, and how she got involved in this work. Sierra talks about the importance of active listening, “saging” instead of aging, and the wisdom of “waking down” at the end of life. What is the profile of those who tend to transition gracefully vs those who do not? How does one work with the death of a child, and what are the best things to say, and not to say, to someone who is dying and to family members? How honest and open should you be? Sierra talks about the importance of using small deaths during life to help with the big death, and that most people aren’t afraid of death as much as they are of suffering.
The conversation turns to medical aid in dying (MAID), how to understand the anger and fear that often arises around death, and the place of plant medicine (psychedelics) for helping people die, and for processing grief. Sierra talks about how the bardo teachings of Tibetan Buddhism have informed and transformed her own relationship to death, and her ability to help others. She shares her most effective meditations, like metta, the practice of Tara, the generation of merit, and breathwork in preparing for the end of life. It’s important not to try to fix things at the end of life, but to support the journey. See for yourself why Sierra is such a coveted speaker on some of the most challenging situations, and difficult decisions, anyone ever has to face.
About Sierra Campbell:
From Choose Nurture website.
Sierra Campbell is an elder caregiver at heart. Sierra opened a home care agency after college and it grew into a ten year commitment to caring for 100+ grandmothers and grandfathers in the last 2-5 years of their lives.
Through her work, Sierra observed that most people avoid addressing their aging needs until they’ve suffered a health crisis and loss of independence, resulting in added anxiety and stress. This led Sierra to realize a new vision for how we can prepare for aging, its unknowns, and the inevitability of death: Begin earlier in life, with a focus on joy, vitality, and COMMUNITY at the center.
Sierra began studying yoga and Tibetan Buddhism in the late 90’s and has served as a death doula for more than a quarter of a century. Sierra is a cancer survivor who understands firsthand the challenges facing patients and their families.
Sierra wanted to mention her upcoming course:
About Sierra’s Elder and End-Of-Life Doula Course
This is a 12-week learning journey into the heart of one of life’s most profound moments. She integrate essential aspects of end-of-life care and doula training with inspirational support from leading teachers in Palliative Care, Hospice, Research, Somatics, Consciousness, Self-Care and End Of Life use of Sacred Plant Medicines for increasing awareness, comfort and peace before end of life. This course is designed to provide a complete education in end-of-life literacy and coaching, blending practical skills, with the innate healing wisdom unique to each individual’s soul’s calling. Details and Registration>>>
Sierra Campbell’s background working as a death doula and elder care manager for over 25 years
Normalizing aging and death by bringing elders into our lives and homes
Preparing for death through practices like “dying before you die” and developing a “spiritual will”
The role of emotions like fear and anger near the end of life and how they can be reifying
Practices from Tibetan Buddhism that can help with the dying process like the Bardo teachings and tonglen meditation
Views on medical aid in dying and how it relates to traditional Buddhist teachings
The role of entheogens/psychedelics as a practice to face fear and let go of attachments before death