Over the past 30 years I’ve witnessed over 1,000 deaths. I’ve realized life’s precarious nature, and appreciate its preciousness. AMA!
Hi reddit, my name is Frank Ostaseski. I’ve spent the past 30 years sitting bedside with a few thousand people as they took their final breaths. In 1987, I cofounded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2005, I founded the Metta Institute to train healthcare clinicians and family caregivers in mindful and compassionate approaches to end of life care.
Some people that I companioned came to their deaths full of disappointment and turned toward the wall in hopelessness. Others blossomed and stepped through that door full of wonder. All of them were my teachers. These people invited me into their most vulnerable moments and made it possible for me to get up close and personal with death. In the process, they taught me how to live. I wrote about those lessons and more in my book The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. You can read more about it here if you’d like www.fiveinvitations.com
If you want the tl;dr of the book, the main points are:
- Don’t Wait
- Welcome Everything, Push Nothing Away
- Bring Your Whole Self To An Experience
- Find A Place To Rest in the middle of Things
- Cultivate a ‘Don’t Know’ Mind
Happy to explore those in more detail or anything else you’d like to talk about. AMA!
My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/kcxN9
UPDATE: Thanks everyone for the great questions. This has been a ton of fun, but I've got to sign off for now. Thanks again!