The Five Invitations: Lessons On Life
from those who work with the dying
new book from Frank Ostaseski with hospice community
Looking to be a more supportive person? A new book to read with deep wisdom to share? A tool you can use to better serve your clients? An opportunity to better understand those who have passed? If so, there's a new book I'd like to introduce and recommend -
If you've ever read the book, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, this book I want to talk about today is that, but in the reverse. It talks about the five lessons you learn from those very same people, but just before they get there.
In the 1980's Frank Ostaseski worked with the terminally ill in the AIDS community, eventually co-founding the Zen Project in San Fransisco, a Buddhist hospice healing center still in operation today. This work was and is incredibly challenging, and it fundamentally changed his life and the way he viewed it, from that point forward.
Since then, Frank Ostaseski has been teaching, formulating and putting these lessons together for the hospice community and those he knew the information would serve best. Then, MacMillen Publishing asked if he could distil this information into a book, and naturally, he said yes. Then finally, fhis book found its way to me by means of the author's son.
If you're familiar with the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, this book takes things one step beyond, giving you a more intimate portrait of what happens emotionally, mentally and physically when someone dies. My favorite lesson comes in Chapter Eight, where Frank discusses the role of caregivers in the healing of the dying and of those left in the afterward.
The book explores the feelings of the dying, not just how we feel can about them, but what we can learn from the dying process of others, and how we can be better humans because of it and from it.
If you work in any capacity with those who death has touched, this book is going to be for you.
It'll make you a more compassionate listener, give you a better understanding of your clients and their emotions, and it's something I would recommend for the continuing education of all hospice workers, death workers, mediums, spiritual healers, and grief counselors.
If you know someone who has passed away in the care of hospice or if you have sat with someone who had prior knowledge of their death, this book is going to give you a deeper understanding of the feelings they had.
Death and life go hand in hand.
Too often, too many of us stray from the teachings of death, because we're afraid if we get too close, we won't be able to go back. With this book, not only can you go back, but you come back, and you'll come back a much wiser person with the wisdom from this.
To learn more about this book, I highly suggest taking a look at and sharing its trailer:
And one last thing, the reason why this book is so important:
So much of what the dying have to say they save from our ears because they don't want to see us hurting nor do they want to scare us away.
Because our family members, our sisters, our fathers, want to protect us, we often loose these messages we would otherwise hear, but in The Five Invitations, Frank Ostaseski, with the permission of all he served, brings this wisdom back.
I suggest it to anyone who death has touched - and you can now order this book on Amazon.com. One tip: take it down in chunks. Each lesson is a big one and takes some time to process.
Taken from 35 years of life with the dying, this book is like the new Tibetan Book of the Dead, teaching us the lessons of the afterlife, before any of us actually has to go there just yet. Thank you, Frank! For such a wonderful book.
It's a heart-opener, so get ready.
Amanda Linette Meder
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