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Frank Ostaseski’s ‘Five Invitations’

The Five Invitations shares Frank Ostaseski’s decades of experience helping hospice patients and their loved ones turn their grief and loss towards a fuller life. Written from the heart, Frank’s experiences and observations are invaluable.

Death is a hard thing to cope with. I do not know that I have ever done it well. Years ago, I met Frank Ostaseski, we were next door neighbors for a few years and become friends. I’d always been curious about Frank’s work, as it struck me as a common sense, but revolutionary idea: to understand and view death as a part of life, rather than hiding from it. I’ve known Frank is glad to answer any questions I may have, as he is one of the warmest, nicest guys I’ve ever met, but I’m thrilled he has finally put his experiences into print. I like books.

In 1987 Frank founded the San Francisco Zen Center’s Zen Hospice Project. In addition to working with over a thousand patients and their families, Frank and the SFZC have trained dozens, if not hundreds of volunteers who aid patients with non-medical care. In 2004 Frank’s work expanded to found the Metta Institue, where he helps train end-of-life care givers and guides. Frank’s mission has been to connect eastern spiritual practices with westerners seeking to understand, and live with the knowledge that they or a loved one will soon pass away.

The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project and Metta Institute, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distils the wisdom gleaned from death and a lifetime of service, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path of transformation.

The Five Invitations:

-Don’t Wait

-Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing

-Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience

-Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things

-Cultivate Don’t Know Mind

These Five Invitations show us how to wake up fully to our lives. They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis; they guide us toward appreciating life’s preciousness. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret. The Five Invitations is a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying has to impart to all of us.

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