The Grieving Tree at Pacifica

Honoring and nourishing the life systems that have flourished on the sacred land, the organic garden at the Pacifica Graduate institute houses beautiful plants and trees, both their ecological and spiritual dimensions. The Lambert campus is located in the coastal California foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and the sacred lands of Chumash Native Americans for thousands of years. 

The Lambert Campus at Pacifica Graduate Institute

Twenty-five years ago, a visionary Marshall Chrostowski and Raul Paredes planted a mulberry tree in the Lambert campus at Pacifica Graduate Institute and it has been one of the beloved trees on the campus. 

In 2019, Heesun Kim, a Depth Psychology Ph.D. program student, offered the first grieving tree ritual under this mulberry tree for three days.

Participants were encouraged to sit under the mulberry tree for personal mourning on their own time. A piece of striped handmade mulberry paper was provided for a note for their reflection, wishes, or messages to their loved ones and hung on the tree branches during the event. At the end of the last day, all the participants were invited to a closing ceremony, which transformed the individual mourning process into collective communal grieving.