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Day 16 - Daily Sharing of: Gratitude, Concern, Prayer/Inspiration

A friend and fellow Hospice Chaplain introduced me to Frank Ostaseski’s book, “The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully”. Frank Ostaseski is co-founder of the Zen Hospice Center in San Francisco, as well as a Buddhist teacher. I found the book helpful, as I accompanied people and their loved ones at end of life; and I found it helpful personally, as I grappled more and more about the meaning of my life. Today I had the privilege of attending a webinar led by Frank. In this time of uncertainty, I found comfort in revisiting the five invitations which are:

1. Don’t wait 2. Welcome everything, push away nothing; cultivate fearless receptivity 3. Bring your whole self into the experience 4. Find a place of rest in the middle of things 5. Cultivate don’t know mind We broke into small groups to discuss how we can implement one or more of the invitations into our life right now… in the midst of the pandemic. And we were also asked to share what we were grateful for today. My small group included people from Canada, Scotland, Argentina, France and one each of us from the East and West Coast of the USA. My gratitude today was having a chance to be in touch with people around the globe about our unifying concerns. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore transformation in this time. We are all dying from the second we are born. Often it is not until the end we question how we lived. What transformation could occur if people do as the book suggests… “wake up fully to our lives.” In the here and now. One of my favorite vignettes Frank shared today was about that feeling when you wake up in the morning ... all cozy. He was saying how he likes to stay in that moment, readjust the comforters and sink in and savor. But there comes a point when you realize you have to go to the bathroom and you have to get up… And you do so. And when you return to bed you cannot re-create that moment.  there is more about impermanence and living in the moment in his book… Again I highly recommend it. My prayer this night is a poem from Rumi:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill Where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep. — Rumi
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