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Book Study Insight

The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski

 

Author bio: 

Frank Ostaseski is cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, founder of the Metta Institute, a Buddhist teacher, and a leading voice in end-of-life care. He lectures internationally and his groundbreaking work has been featured on the Bill Moyers PBS series On Our Own Terms, highlighted on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and honored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Excerpt: Page 13 of Introduction – The Transformative Power of Death

“The Five Invitations is my attempt to honor the lessons I have learned sitting bedside with so many dying patients. They are five mutually supported principles, permeated with love. They have served me as reliable guides in coping with death. And as it turns out, they are equally relevant guides to living a life of integrity. They can be applied just as apply to people dealing with all sorts of transitions and crises—from a move to a new city, to the forming or releasing of an intimate relationship, to getting used to living without your children at home.

 

I think of these as five bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened. They have little value as theories. To be fully understood, they have to be lived into and realized through action.

 

An invitation is a request to participate in or attend a particular event. The event is your life, and this book is an invitation for you to be fully present in every aspect of it.”

  1. Don’t wait.

  2. Welcome everything, push away nothing.

  3. Bring your whole self to the experience.

  4. Find a place of rest in the middle of things.

  5. Cultivate don’t know mind.

Detailed Schedule

1 – January 16, 2024: Getting Acquainted, Foreword and Introduction (pp v-26)

2 – January 23, 2024: First Invitation – Don’t Wait (pp 27-72)

3 – January 30, 2024: Second Invitation – Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing (pp 73-114)

4 – February 6, 2024: Third Invitation – Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience (pp 115-180)

5 – February 13, 2024: Fourth Invitation – Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things (pp 181-231)

6 – February 20, 2024: Fifth Invitation – Cultivate Don’t Know Mind, and Epilogue (pp 232-282)

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