Synopses & Reviews
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.
Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining and ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate care-giving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostasteski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points a radical path to transformation.
The Five Invitations:
• Don't Wait
• Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing
• Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience
• 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.
"Our capacity to live and love fully awakens as we open our hearts to death. Frank Ostaseski guides us in this opening with a luminous wisdom derived from his own full immersion in the journey. Please give yourself to The Five Invitations; these teachings reveal the mystery and beauty of our essential Being." Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
"As a physician, I often work with people who view death as the ultimate isolating experience, solitary confinement for eternity — the ultimate dark terror. In this extraordinary, eloquent, and powerful book, Frank Ostaseski reveals how we can transform this darkness into a bright light (brilliant in every way), a return to the source, the ultimate in intimacy, healing, and meaning — the essence of love. What could be better than that?" Dean Ornish, M.D. and New York Times bestselling author of The Spectrum
"These moving teachings can open your heart and change your life. For decades, Frank has been a compassionate guide to thousands of people facing death. In The Five Invitations, he shares his timeless wisdom, beautifully, as a blessing to all." Jack Kornfield, international Buddhist teacher and author of A Path With Heart
"This book distills a compassionate shepherd's lifelong experience with death and dying." Bill Moyers, journalist, social commentator, and producer of On Our Own terms: Moyers on Death and Dying
"Frank is a pioneer in mindful care at the end of life. He embodies the wisdom and compassion he shares in these magical and compelling pages. You feel it instantly, because it is real, and it is really about you and your life." Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR and author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses
About the Author
Frank Ostaseski has dedicated his life to service. He is the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, founder of the Metta Institute, a Buddhist teacher, an international lecturer, and a leading voice in contemplative end-of-life care. He has been honored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and AARP named him one of America’s Fifty Most Innovative People. He has offered seminars at Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, and Heidelberg University, and he teaches at major spiritual centers around the globe. His work has been featured on the Bill Moyers PBS series On Our Own Terms and The Oprah Winfrey Show, among other programs.