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, a 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 30-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, Ostaseski has distilled the lessons gleaned over the course of his career into 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.
"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)
"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)
"Frank Ostaseski is one of the great contemporary teachers of ancient Buddhist wisdom and practice. Over the years, his teachings have informed both my meditative and clinical practices. Now, through The Five Invitations a broader audience can benefit from Frank s insights, soulful perspectives, and practical guidance. What a gift!" (Ira Byock, MD, international leader in palliative care, chief medical officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services)
" The Five Invitations is a remarkable book, one that is deeply needed by all of us. Five invitations to live our lives fully, in the present, all the way through. Frank Ostaseski, whose journey spans over three decades of creating and participating in the hospice movement, imparts timeless wisdom that should inform our every day: How to embrace uncertainty and live with joy, peace, and acceptance. This is not a book about death, it's a book about life and living. Buy it, share it, live it I know I will." (Henry S. Lodge, MD, Robert Burch Family Professor of Medicine and coauthor of the Younger Next Year series)
"A powerful book by my good friend Frank Ostaseski, who has brought together wisdom and compassion in his life and his long years of work with the dying. We will all be enriched, inspired, and edified by his extraordinary book on how facing death can enrich our life." (Joan Halifax Roshi, PhD, founder and abbot at the Upaya Zen Center and author of Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death)
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A book for life (and death)
Couldn't take the narration
I am full of admiration for Mr Ostaseski's work and I was truly interested in hearing what he had to say. I found his narration impossible to take. The half-whispering "spiritual teacher"-style tone does a great injustice to the book and to the wonderful and impressive work that is described. I'm off to buy the book and read it to myself. Sorry about that.
Wonderful man and probably a wonderful book. Next time hire someone else to do the narration.
- peter gilbey