• Book Launch
  • Collective Grief
  • Community Event
  • Empowerment
  • Healing
  • Journaling
  • Meditation

Finding Refuge: Heart Work For Healing Collective Grief

With Lama Rod Owens in Conversation with Michelle Cassandra Johnson


A Book Event, Conversation and Q & A
Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

On this evening Lama Rod Owens will discuss with Michelle Cassandra Johnson points about her new book, Finding Refuge: Heart Work For Healing Collective Grief. In her book Michelle gives us a way to process our own grief–as well as family, community and global grief–with a sense of fierceness and openhearted guidance toward healing in an unjust world. In these unsettling and uncertain times, the individual and collective heartbreak that lives in our bodies and communities can feel insurmountable. Many of us have been conditioned by the dominant culture to not name, focus on or wade through the difficulties of our lives. But in order to heal, we must make space for grief and prioritize our wholeness, our humanity and our inherent divinity.

In Finding Refuge, social justice activist, social worker and yoga teacher Michelle Cassandra Johnson offers those who feel brokenhearted, helpless, confused, powerless and desperate the tools they need to be present with their grief while also remaining openhearted. Through powerful personal narrative and meditation and journaling practices Michelle helps us explore being present with our heart, and empowers us to see that each of us has a role to play in building the momentum needed to take intentional action and shift what is unsettled and unjust in the world.

Finding Refuge is an invitation to pick up the shattered parts of ourselves and remember our strength, wholeness and sacredness through this practice of presence and attending to our grief.

Each ticket includes your own paperback copy of the book Finding Refuge: Heart Work For Healing Collective Grief.

You can purchase a special combo ticket, which includes two paperback books: Finding Refuge by Michelle Johnson and Love & Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger by Lama Rod Owens.

Members $44/ Nonmembers $49

The book(s) will be mailed after the event to participants with the current U.S. mailing address. We cannot mail the book internationally.

If you are joining us from outside of the U.S., we have an option for you, please email to hello@opencenter.org before registering for the event.

Note: This program will be offered online. Sessions of all our online programs will be recorded and shared with registrants after each is completed for 90 days.


  • Prerequisites: N/A
  • Supplies list for the class: N/A
  • Zoom Software Requirements: This is an online course that requires Zoom webinar software. Zoom is easy to use. Click HERE to make sure your computer is set-up correctly.


“Finally, a skillful, actionable resource that addresses healing beyond merely the individual and recognizes the necessity of addressing the grief that results from impact of social and collective trauma. People both marginalized and privileged will find tangible practices to reclaim the heart and humanity that oppressive systems have sought to rob every single one of us of. Finding Refuge is an essential offering for these times.”—Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Sensei

“Too many of us try to use spiritual practices to lower the charge and weight of our grief. Michelle Cassandra Johnson wisely encourages us do the opposite—to accept, embrace, and metabolize grief’s full charge and full weight. Instead of shying away from our breaking hearts, we need to lean in and experience the breaking. Thus, we find refuge not from our grief, but in it. As Johnson wisely reminds us, ‘Spiritual practice is about awakening and becoming aware—it is not about bypassing our collective trauma.’”—Resmaa Menakem, bestselling author of My Grandmother’s Hands

“What Michelle Cassandra Johnson offers is essential–both a sacred space and pathway for our grief to move, change, and transform ourselves and one another. Here, grief is not erased or avoided, rather it is embraced as a throughway to our collective liberation. In Finding Refuge, Michelle reminds us that we have the capacity to hold both the heartbreak and the hope, and guides us back to the refuge of the heart where all healing and possibility emerge. She is both teacher and healer, as she calls us to pick up the pieces of our shattered past so that we can weave a new future in the present. It is the essential book for these times.”
—Kerri Kelly, founder of CTZNWELL and co-founder of Race and Resilience

“This book is spirit embodied. It is a prayer and a hymn. Michelle Cassandra Johnson channels a deep invitation to turn towards, rather than away. Towards our broken heartedness. Towards our pain. Towards our grief. She reminds us of the ever-present space that has infinite room for the wholeness of our experience. She illuminates the path of healing and models resting in the heart for refuge. For this, Michelle Cassandra Johnson deserves more than the title of author and teacher. Johnson is a healer in the most profound sense of the word. Finding Refuge is her medicine for us now. It’s for you. It’s for us. It’s for collective liberation. It’s born of love. It’s wake is love.”
—Caverly Morgan, founder of Presence Collective and Peace in Schools, author of A Kids Book About Mindfulness

“Social worker and yoga teacher Johnson suggests uplifting methods for processing grief resulting from cultural trauma and systemic oppression. Spiritualists interested in social justice will get much out of Johnson’s engaging stories, practical advice, and contemplative practices.”
Publishers Weekly

Finding Refuge: Heart Work For Healing Collective Grief

  • 1 Session(s)
  • Aug 17 2021 6:00 PM ET


$25 - Book Included


$30 - Book Included

Michelle Cassandra Johnson is a social justice warrior, author, dismantling racism trainer, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner and an intuitive healer.

Photo Credit: Jodie Brim

Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers.


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