Mankato Blazes the Trail for Compassionate Towns USA!

YOUR’RE INVITED: Compassionate Community Presentation and Town Forum
Nov 2, 3-5pm, Verizon Reception Hall. Please RSVP

We’re on the move to show America how community is the future of end of life care. “End of life?” you ponder, “Not now.” And yet, we experience death all the time. Each breath and each sleep is a death of sorts, every sunset and first snow is the last of its kind. Dreams die, as does our youth. There can be the death of trust in a relationship and the death of lost opportunities. And the death in goodbyes, even if it’s just out the door in the morning. I think you know already about the big deaths in life, the ones we deeply fear or those that break hearts.

End of Life includes all the endings, loss, and caring we experience in our shared adventures of being human; death is part of the human condition. If there is meaning in life, then there must be meaning in death. In our authentic connection with every day experiences and with each other, we can search for the lessons in endings. We can find ways to grow, to learn wholeness, and to practice compassion – for self and others. Imagine a whole town opening to the fullness of being, and of being there for each other.   

Compassionate Mankato:

  1. Harnessing existing resources and strengths.

  2. Building greater capacity for compassionate citizen engagement.

  3. Forging Partnerships: People + Health Institutions + Faith Communities + Arts + Media + Schools + Workplaces.

    We all have a role to play…and we all need each other.

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My son, Deva, died 36 years ago. I have grieved and do still. Night dreams continue to come and go: I’ve lost him, I’ve found him, I hold him, he’s gone. Deva still teaches me and I’m still learning to open all the gifts of his life and death. Here is a gift that took me by surprise - an invitation to participate in healing from One Bright Star and Twin Rivers Arts.

“Seven Artists have been paired with seven families who have each lost a child, to capture the essence of their child through an original work of art.” Thirty six years after his death, I’m invited to share the essence of my child. Yes, I cried. Overwhelmed with the honor of the community recognition and embrace of my son. Connection. Compassion. Community. Thank you.


An Evening of Discovery - Sept 6, 2018

You're invited to experience live music, guided conversation, hands-on art activities, and a keynote address by Conscious Dying Institute founder Tarron Estes at Mankato’s FIRST “conscious dying” awareness event. Join us on Thursday, September 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center Reception Hall (1 Civic Center Plaza, Mankato, MN). $25 per person. 

Immerse yourself in a new voice & vision for 'love at the ending'...


  • Tibetan Singing Bowl Sound Healing
  • Musical Devotion of Kirtan
  • Folk Guitar with Cajun Drumming
  • Visual Poetry and Guided Conversations



The End of Life Doulas are here!

People are hearing more about End of Life Doulas... what are they? The End of Life Doula movement is modeled after the Birth Doulas movement that has been enormously successful after it's creation approximately 50 years ago.

Deva Nation is helping to lead the national movement for End of Life Doulas, in the community and within health systems. Join us for Minnesota's first End of Life Doula Training in Mankato, MN Sept 7-8-9, 2018.

How Hospices Can Work with End of Life Doulas...

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A paper released last week by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) includes the "Top 10 Benefits of Hospice/End of Life Doula Collaboration".

What is an End of Life Doula? "End-of-Life Doulas (EOLDs) are non-medical companions to the dying, their families and their constellation of friends and helpers." 

Deva Nation and the Conscious Dying Institute are on the cutting edge of the future of end of life care delivery.  September 7-8-9, we bring the first EOLD Training to Minnesota! The Sacred Passage Doula Certificate Program prepares caregivers from all disciplines and care settings to befriend death, surrender and trust deeply in each moment and restore death to its sacred place in the beauty, mystery and celebration of life. It builds communities of care and healing, benefiting all those involved in care at end of life. We will be offering the 3-day Phase I and 5-day Phase II in fall of 2018 and offer the training again in 2019. 

Minnesota's First End of Life Doula Training: Mankato, MN (Sept 7-8-9)

Peaceful Living in the Sky World

Theresa Bear Fox, the songwriter, dedicates "Sky World" to those who have lost a loved one.

There is a sacred peace I find when I watch the Sky World Video and reflect on the life and death of my son. It feels right that he is now part of the Sky World living with the same strength, flow, beauty, and joy as I experience in the power of this performance. —Mary Ann

Let’s put our minds together as one
And remember those who have passed on to the sky world
Their life duties are complete they are living peacefully
In the sky world, in the sky world
They will never be forgotten, no more pain, no more suffering
In the Sky World, In the Sky World

Ha io ho we iaa
Hana io ho we ia he
Io ha io ha io ho we
Hana io ho we ia he
Ha io ha io ho we
Hana io haioho we ia
Iooho we ia
We hana io ho we ia he

Their life duties are complete
They are living peacefully
In the Sky World
In the Sky World

Teio Swathe is the singer and the dance is performed by Christian Parrish Takes the Gun, an Apsáalooke rapper and dancer known professionally as Supaman. Supaman will discuss Native American issues through looping art and rap Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. 2018 in the Mankato State University’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom. I'm thrilled that he is coming to Mankato and hope to bring him back next year for a performance of the Sky World. Supaman is a master of engagement with powerful rap lyrics that inspire personal growth and community compassion. 


What is my job now?

 Déva, Bernadette & Whiskers

Déva, Bernadette & Whiskers

Our son’s death was a difficult one. A room full of machines with tubes entering so many parts of his small body. He’d been diagnosed at two years old -- after many brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy – with only two weeks to live. So why, 12 years later, were we so unprepared to let go? Over those years we had looked death in the face so many times but still did not have the strength (or support) to understand how to prepare for anything but the next surgery. His last few days in the ICU, I remember trying to hold the oxygen mask onto his little face. It hurt and he continually pushed it away. Through my tears, I continually pushed the painful apparatus back. It was my job to keep him alive. Could he have gone home months earlier to be with his sister, his cat, and his loving family? Death came to Déva, as it will come to us all. What is my job now? To invite us to hold close the face of our mortality, so that we become skilled, familiar and better prepared to accept when it is time for our journey to end. To invite us to have the courage to imagine and prepare for how we’d like to achieve the fulfillment of our work here. To explore and practice befriending death as the sacred and beautiful mystery of life into which we all eventually surrender. Déva was a shining one. The gift of his death to me is the light that never dies.   -- Mary Ann, Déva's mom