The Five Invitations Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-03-14
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books

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Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most in life.

So begins Frank Ostaseski’s stirring book, The Five Invitations, an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present awareness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. In his thirty-plus years as a companion to the dying, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. A renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project, Ostaseski has distilled the lessons gleaned over the course of his career into The Five Invitations: a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying has to impart to all of us about how to forge rich and meaningful lives. The Five Invitations—Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing; Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience; Don’t Wait; Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things; and Cultivate a Don’t Know Mind—show how death can be the guide we need to wake up fully to our lives. This stunning, unforgettable book offers a radical path to transformation.

Author Biography

FRANK OSTASESKI, founder of the Zen Hospice Project and the Metta Institute, is a Buddhist teacher, international lecturer and a leading voice in contemplative end-of-life care. He's been honored by the Dalai Lama and AARP named him one of The 50 Most Innovative People. He consults for healthcare and spiritual institutions, like the Mayo Clinic and Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and his work has been featured on programs such as PBS series With Eyes Open and The Oprah Winfrey Show, among others.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
Introduction: The Transformative Power of Death

The First Invitation: Don't Wait
The Doorway to Possibility
At Once Here and Disappearing
The Maturation of Hope
The Heart of the Matter

The Second Invitation: Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing
As Is
Turn Toward Your Suffering
Love Heals

The Third Invitation: Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience
Don't Be a Role, Be a Soul
Taming the Inner Critic
The Raging River
Hearing the Cries of the World

The Fourth Invitation: Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things
The Calm in the Storm
Mind the Gap
Courageous Presence

The Fifth Invitation: Cultivate "Don't Know" Mind
The Story of Forgetfulness
Not Knowing is Most Intimate
Surrender to the Sacred

Epilogue: Dying Into Life

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