Common Questions

What is the Sacred Art of Living Center?

We are a nonprofit education institute created in 1996 to provide workshops, retreats and certification programs in many areas: the spirituality of medicine, spirituality at the end of life and areas of personal-spiritual development.  Our core ‘north star’ programs, which are offered live, include the Sacred Art of Living & Dying series, The Anamcara Project, and Spirituality of the Enneagram.   The Soul & Science for Caregivers is a new online virtual education resource for professional continuing education and valuable tools for the general public.

Do I need to be a professional caregiver in order to take Sacred Art of Living programs?

No.  Many physicians, nurses, mental health caregivers, clergy and chaplains take our courses for professional development, but every one of our courses includes amply information and inspiration for the general public.  Our programs focus as much on personal growth and development as they offer valuable skills for helping others.

Is Sacred Art of Living affiliated with a particular religious faith?

True to its mission and philosophy, Sacred Art of Living Center seeks to create common ground. Our work is intrinsically inter-cultural and inter-spiritual in nature. Students who have attended courses over the years offered by Sacred Art of Living Center discover that, you can fully participate with any personal belief system, but it is important to have a respect and curiosity regarding all wisdom traditions.

Where are the programs held and are any based out of the Center in Bend, Oregon?

There are no programs held at our Sacred Art of Living Center offices. We do have a yearly cycle of Sacred Art of Living and Dying Workshops and Enneagram Programs in the Central Oregon area, but this is only a small portion of classes offered across the US, Canada, and Europe. Be sure to check out the calendar of events or the registration page to see if a workshop is scheduled in your area. Of course, you are welcome to email the Center ( or call (541-383-4179) to receive program location details.

Are the Sacred Art of Living and Dying Workshops only for professionals caring for individuals at end-of-life?

While there are continuing education credits for nurses and social workers, SALC programs are geared towards all individuals, no matter the occupation or life-situation. We believe the skills and best practices taught in our workshops enrich everyone, and that looking at the full cycle of life – birth to death- creates an emotionally healthy and hopeful world-view.

Are there scholarships available for workshops and retreats?

Occasionally we will have a scholarship donated for Sacred Art of Living and Dying Workshops and Anamcara Apprenticeships. Unfortunately, this isn’t available for every program, but please call or email if you would like to discuss financial assistance options. It has always been our philosophy not to turn-away anyone due to financial constraints.

Do you have to start with Unit One in the Sacred Art of Living and Dying Series before moving on to subsequent units?

We recommend beginning our workshops with Unit One, but sequential attendance is not required. It is quite common to start with later units, but the full wealth of teaching is found in all four units. There is no guarantee that we will be back in your area and many students choose to travel to the closest location to attend programs they have missed. We do recommend you read: The American Book of Living & Dying: Lessons in Healing Spiritual Pain by Richard Groves and Henriette Anne Klauser if you have missed any units. This will give you a useful overview of our program history and content.

Can anyone participate in the Core Education Units without committing to the entire Anamcara training program?

Yes, we strongly encourage any interested person to attend any of the educational units as a student of the sacred art of living and dying. Participants will gain much in terms of understanding the nature of the spiritual journey and how it relates to real life situations.

Do you have to take all four units of the Sacred Art of Living & Dying series before starting the Anamcara Program?

We prefer our Anamcara Apprentices complete all four units in the Sacred Art of Living and Dying series, have some introductory experience with the Enneagram, and know the basic principles of Parker Palmer’s Circle of Trust. It is possible to join the Anamcara Project if all these areas haven’t been completed, and there is an available list of personal and online study that can make up for any outstanding elements. Contact the Center for more information at or 541-383-4179.

Who teaches SALC courses?

All SALC workshops and retreats are facilitated by highly trained teachers with graduate degrees and extensive experience in the materials presented. See the SALC website for presenter biographies.

Does SALC founder Richard Groves facilitate SALC programs?  

Richard is part of a team of presenters at all Anamcara and Enneagram workshops.   He also teaches all Sacred Art of Living & Dying workshops internationally.  Some North American courses are taught by other certified physician teams.  Richard offers keynote conference addresses and other workshops based on a wide range of topics. Click here for the list of workshop options.

Do I need to be good at using the computer to be a part of the Anamcara Project?

You will need to use a computer with a high-speed internet connection if you are participating in the Anamcara Project. Course materials, webinars, and skype partnerships are all part of the apprenticeship. We recognize there is a diverse range of computer-based ability within our Anamcara program, and the SALC staff is available to guide individuals at all skill levels.

Is there any professional certification available for program completion?

Our Sacred Art of Living and Dying Workshops and Soul & Science Series provide continuing education credits for social workers and nurses. Several other accrediting bodies, such as Board of Chaplaincy Certification, recognize our continuing education contact hours. The Spiritual Discernment Track (Year Two of the Anamcara Project) provides a professional certification with Spiritual Directors International.

Do I need to have participated in other workshops before signing up for a Pilgrimage?

No, there is no prerequisite to join our Pilgrimages.

Why do you offer Enneagram workshops and retreats?  

For more than two decades the SALC curriculum has included specially designed workshops and retreats in the Enneagram.  This unique sacred psychology is a valuable tool for self-awareness and healing work with others.  For more information about the Enneagram, click here.

Do I need to know my Enneagram type to participate in the Enneagram Contemplative?

We recommend you complete a basic enneagram test and some foundational reading before attending an Enneagram Contemplative Retreat. It is best if you have gone to our Spirit of the Enneagram workshop first, but it isn’t required.

Do you offer lodging for your programs?

The only program that includes lodging is our Enneagram Contemplative Retreat. All other workshops and programs rely on participants arranging their own lodging and transportation.

What if I need to cancel my registration for a program?

Our cancellation policy depends on both the program and the timeframe. Please see our cancellation policy by clicking here.

Where can I find testimonials for your programs?  

Our testimonial page is available by clicking here.

How can I get more information about workshops or retreats?

Our website has a complete description of all our programs, as well as an online registration section. Feel free to email (info@sacredartofliving) or call (541-383-4179) if you need additional details.

Where can I purchase The American Book of Living & Dying?

The American Book of Living and Dying: Lessons in Healing Spiritual Pain by Richard Groves and Henriette Anne Klauser is available on Amazon by clicking here.

Do you have resources available at your Center?

We do have a limited number of books for sale, as well as CDs and DVDs produced by SALC. Please call for more information about these materials (541-383-4179). The Center also has an extensive lending library on topics regarding spiritual/emotional growth, end-of-life care, and international wisdom traditions. The public is welcome to visit and check out books during business hours.

Do you offer spiritual direction appointments?

No, although many hundreds of our program graduates offer spiritual direction or companionship.  While our center does not schedule appointments for spiritual direction or counseling, we recommend you visit the Spiritual Directors International website for a directory of names in your area.

Do you need volunteers?

Yes, we rely heavily on our volunteers. These friends of SALC do everything from answering phones to data input to organizing our program kits. We would love to talk to you if you are interested in volunteering at Sacred Art of Living Center.

Do you offer alternative therapies at your Center?

No, we only offer workshops listed under our Programs page. We don’t provide any alternative therapies, such as reiki or EFT, at the Center.

Is SALC a non-profit?

Yes, Sacred Art of Living Center (EIN 93-1258906) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
All gifts to the Center are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.