On the ninth of each month we have been called to hold space in our communities on life, death and transformation by ObservetheNinth.org. Today’s vigil will hold space for coping with all of the overwhelming changes that have crushed us this past year. May it bring you peace and comfort.
Poem: by Ginny Yurich
From the trees I learned
That growth isn’t orderly.
Under the surface
Roots thrust out in ways
That are chaotic and untidy,
But they produce the solid foundation
For a lifetime of growth.
From the chick,
The butterfly and the frog,
I learned that change is possible,
Even the kind of change
That renders us unrecognizable.
And from the garden I learned
That at the end of harvest
When all looks bleak, even dead,
There remains an undercurrent
Of new possibilities.
We can look a little deeper and find
There are always things that thrive
Even in the harshest of conditions.
On the ninth of each month we have been called to hold space in our communities on life, death and transformation by ObservetheNinth.org. Today’s vigil will hold space for the rightful anger we are all dealing with right now and help us transform it to power. May it bring you peace and comfort.
Anger is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for … What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.”
Learn what steps you can take now to be ready for whatever life brings you in the future.
NOTE: This episode is dedicated to the memory of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and 7 others who died in a helicopter crash on the morning of January 26th – an unimaginable tragedy.
In this solo episode I share my thoughts on ways we might begin now to prepare ourselves for the inevitable challenges of life–when disaster strikes and death comes for those we love. Though we can never be fully prepared for the uncertainties of life there are things we can do to increase our resilience and improve our chances of surviving “the unimaginable.”
Join the team atPatreon.com/eoluand get access to the EOLU mug: “Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, your contributions make all the difference!
Learn why and how to intentionally develop your personal death-awareness in order to live your best life.
If you are a death-worker in any field you probably feel that you are highly aware of death and its many facets. But did you know that the human brain has a primal mechanism to protect us from thinking about and acknowledging our own personal death? Yes it’s true. We can be advanced teachers of death for other people and still be in denial that we ourselves are going to die. In this solo episode I’ll talk about how and why we need to strengthen our own death-awareness for the betterment of our lives and our work.
Join the team at Patreon.com/eoluand get access to the EOLU mug: “Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it)
If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest Patrons Kathryn Mattes, Kristy Lynn, and Astrid Raffinpeyloz, your contributions mean everything to me!
Learn the lesson of impermanence and why it is essential for life.
This week begins a series I’ve titled Mortal Wisdom that will explore the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Today is the lesson of impermanence … the fact that nothing lasts and everything changes, which is the ultimate reality of our mortal existence here on planet Earth, but also the reality of the entire Universe. I hope you enjoy the series!
The TAO of Death is an adaptation of Lao Tzu’s 2000 year-old book of wisdom, the Tao Te Ching. In these simple yet profound verses you will learn to see death as a normal process in the cycle of life and discover how to live fully and fearlessly.
Find more joy, love and meaning in your life throughThe TAO of Death!
If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons John Milloy, Victoria Jenkins, and Joanna D!
As an RN in the emergency room, Jonathan Bartels had seen his share of trauma and tragedy and he understood the toll it takes when grief and loss are unacknowledged and stifled. But one day, at the moment of a patient’s death following a failed resuscitation attempt, he received an inspiration to “Pause,” which would soon spread to hospitals around the world. He shares that story with us today.
Next week I’ll be celebrating the 100th episode of this podcast! I’ll have a special guest on the show so stay tuned!
Upcoming events include:
Friday July 21st: Hospice Happy Hour Hangout for all of my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu
Sunday July 23rd: Virtual Death Cafe – 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern (everyone welcome to join the conversation! Read more here.)
Tuesday August 8th isDying to Know Day and I’ll be hosting a Virtual Death Cafe at 5 pm Pacific/8 pm Eastern. (More information at eoluniversity.com)
“An Evening With Ira Byock MD” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking book Dying Well!
Monday August 21st
6 pm Pacific/9 pm Eastern
Registration information available soon. (Save the Date for now!)
Here are the benefits I’ve received from my daily spiritual practice of death contemplation:
Gratitude for every moment of life
Taking responsibility for my life
Looking within myself for answers
Finding joy in being alive
Being prepared for anything!
You can use the book The Tao of Death as a guide for a daily practice of death contemplation. Simply read one verse each day, spend some time thinking about what it means for you, then write in your companion journal (available for free download here) about the question that accompanies the verse. When you finish the book you will be well on your way to a daily death contemplation practice that you can continue for years.
I hope you find that his practice enriches your life as much as it has mine! Send me a message and let me know how it’s going for you (email email@example.com or Tweet me @spiritualmd.)
Today Dr. Karen Wyatt thanks her supporters on Patreon.com/eolu whose generous donations help keep this podcast on the air!
She talks about the Death Expo 2016 which starts this week on November 10th. You can sign up at DeathExpo.com and read about all 12 of the speaker for this FREE online event.
Next Dr. Wyatt shares some thoughts about the upcoming presidential election here in the U.S. While she doesn’t take sides or share any particular political beliefs she describes the fact that the U.S. electorate seems maximally polarized and divided over this election, with each side predicting “doomsday” if the other side wins. She goes on to say:
the day after the election will begin a period of grief for each candidate and their “teams”: the losing candidate will grieve over all the money, time, energy and life force spent in this costly battle; the victor will hardly celebrate the win because the “prize” is to take on responsibility for re-uniting the whole and to embrace those from the opposing side who now must be governed with reason and compassion.
the irony of this election process is that no matter how different others appear to be from us, we are actually far more alike that we are different. We are all mortals–human incarnations of Spirit–just trying to survive here on planet Earth. But each of us will ultimately die and that is our most powerful common bond. We each share mortality and an innate fear of death.
Death is the most uniting force we have if we look at it from a higher perspective.
Sogyal Rinpoche said, “Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.” Ultimately change is what we seem to be seeking through our political process: we want others to change, the government to change, the system to change–all so that we don’t have to change ourselves. But the only meaningful change is the change we create within ourselves.
Here is a recommendation for a daily practice:
contemplate your inner landscape and seek out the parts of you that fear change; the parts that harbor anger, hatred, negativity
seek to understand your own pain and your wounds that cause you to react with anger and fear; journal about them and spend time contemplating them
be aware of your behavior in relationships: what triggers your negative emotions? what causes you to lash out or shut down?
embrace the wounded parts of yourself so that they can heal
find the still point of equanimity within you and cultivate that; learn to operate from that place so that you can bring peace and healing to volatile situations
No matter how different you feel you are from your neighbors, family, and Facebook friends remember that Death ultimately unites us all as one. Contemplate your own death and allow the small deaths, the thousand changes that come to you every day, to move you forward. That’s how you will help the nation and our society heal again.
Check out the book The Tao of Death which has verses to help you contemplate death every day in your practice!
Sign up for Death Expo 2016 now so you won’t miss a single interview! Tune in every Monday and until next week remember: