A$17

Zen & the Art of Dying screening & meet Zenith Virago/Q&A

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Maleny Neighbourhood Centre

17 Bicentenary Lane

Maleny, QLD 4552

Australia

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description

Description


This evening offers a full length screening of the documentary, Zen and the Art of Dying (75mins), followed by a live Q&A with Zenith Virago. There will also be the opportunity to learn and enquire about the resources, information and training facilitated by the Natural Death Care Centre.




Documentary: Zen & the Art of Dying (Synopsis)
From her origins as a young mother in the UK, to her present day identity as a lesbian, activist, and self-described deathwalker in the idyllic seaside town of Byron Bay, Australia, Zenith (Zen) Virago’s personal and professional experiences quietly challenge our core assumptions about life and dissolve our fears around death. The most sought-after marriage celebrant in an increasingly commercialized wedding destination town, Zenith is also co-founder of the Australian Natural Death Care Centre, an organization that provides end-of-life decision planning and DIY funeral alternatives to residents of Australia’s North Coast. Zenith’s work models a growing international Natural Death Care Movement that is gaining momentum as Baby Boomers begin to retire and are demanding more personalized, empowered, and meaningful choices around end-of-life matters, just as they did with the natural childbirth movement. Her example, and the willingness of Byron Shire’s citizens to join her cause, invite each of us to reexamine and reclaim a more active role in how we live, love, and die.

What is Natural Death Care?
Reliance on a funerary industry to care for our dead and the removal of death and dying from our homes and communities are startlingly recent developments within the last century. Our modern approach to death has devalued the elderly and infirm and has left us blind to the extent to which we’ve forfeited our most personal, vulnerable, and significant life moments to medical, funerary, legislative, and commercial pressures.

Natural death care offers education and tools for individuals and communities to become empowered around dying and death. Emerging in the 1990s from the same baby boom generation that launched a natural childbirth movement, the natural death movement now spans the UK, Australia, the United States, and Canada.

Zen & the Art of Dying highlights and models many natural death care principles including:
• Extending palliative care to include death care and bereavement.
• Making municipal end-of-life counseling and non-profit funerary services community standards.
• Producing stronger communities via intercultural and interdenominational exchange of death traditions .
• Personalizing and decommodifying bereavement through DIY coffin making and home funerals.
• Returning the wisdom of the infirm and elderly to the cultural conversation.
• Training and counseling medical and palliative care professionals to experience and process death.
• Developing alternative eco-burial and bio-cremation techniques that are chemical and byproduct-free and use no fossil fuels.
• Making bereavement a natural and supported aspect of community life through collective memorial and celebration of the dead.

In addition to organizations such as Zenith Virago’s Natural Death Care Centre in Australia, there is an increasing network of individual natural death practitioners who draw from a wide range of cultural traditions and methods in their work. These professionals range from death midwives, Buddhist Lamas, and eco-burial product manufacturers, to specialized attorneys, physicians, and social workers.

Zenith Virago
Zenith Virago has worked as a Deathwalker since 1995 in Byron Shire, Australia. She brings together presence, experience and familiarity, along with legal, practical and spiritual backgrounds, to guide, assist and support the dying, their families and freinds, and those bereaved through loss.

For Virago, natural death care covers a spectrum of stages and experiences: Wellness – Illness – Dying – Death – Body Care – Ceremony – Disposal – Bereavement. She believes that everyone has the inherent capacity to deal with death and dying, and that her work involves reconnecting individuals to these capacities. Much of her work is now done through the Natural Death Care Centre, where she advises individuals and trains groups on:
• Legal documents, Enduring Guardianship, Power of Attorney, Advance Health Care Plans and Wills.
• Options around the quality end of life care, in hospital, hospice or at home, to be able to die with dignity. Choices around a natural death, without invasive medical intervention.
• A more conscious approach to embracing death and dying well.
• Plans for the funeral or a life celebration.
• Components of the ceremony: coffins, locations, intention, music, readings, speakers.
• Environmental considerations, burial on private ground, cardboard or handmade coffins, biodegardable urns.

Virago is also the co-author of the book The Intimacy of Death and Dying. Listen to an interview with Virago about her work on ABC Radio’s The Spirit of Things with Rachel Kohn.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Maleny Neighbourhood Centre

17 Bicentenary Lane

Maleny, QLD 4552

Australia

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved