The Transfomation from Life

I don’t usually write so many blogs in so few days, but I’ve been stumped with my novel writing. I was listening to a broadcast this morning about death and how it can help us live mindfully. And no, before your fingertip clicks that mouse, this is not a morbid 300 or so words about dying. The opposite, in fact! It’s about the best discussion I’ve heard on how to relate to death.

It’s important to start each day with a fresh perspective and insight so while sipping my coffee I listened in.

I realised the key to happiness is in my hands. I have the choice to live a happy life or, on the other hand, to play the victim. Why spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself and being miserable. Luckily, that just isn’t me. And the information provided on this day left me with food for thought. The best thing to do is share it.

The interview I listened too with Frank Ostaseski, author of “The Five Invitations”, was on the topic of what death can teach us about living mindfully.

Frank Ostaseski is a Buddhist teacher, an international lecturer and a leading voice in end-of-life care. In 1987, he co-founded of the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2004, he created the Metta Institute to provide innovative educational programs and professional training that foster compassionate, mindfulness-based care. He is a extremely versed man.


Thanatophobia, the fear of death, this apprehension to the process of  dying is a common feeling in our culture today. But what if we look at it as a transformation? And this is the thought that really impressed upon me.

download (1)The analogy that life is a transformation to death, just as a Caterpillar’s life ends, so to speak, and a new life as a butterfly begins, is not only comforting but also intriguing. A transformation.  We experience transformations when we discard old ideas, beliefs, or habits, to allow for a new personal chapter of spiritual and emotional rebirth. A new beginning. So, why fear death? It can be seen as a new beginning, right?

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.  Frank Ostaseski

The ultimate revelation is death is an integral part of life. And we need to learn to see it as such. Life and death go hand in hand. We can learn from it by not seeing death as an enemy but as the dawn of a new beginning.


Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path to

The Five Invitations:

-Don’t Wait

-Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing

-Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience

-Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things

-Cultivate Don’t Know Mind

These Five Invitations show us how to wake up fully to our lives. They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis; they guide us toward appreciating life’s preciousness. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret. The Five Invitations is a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying has to impart to all of us.

The Five Invitations can be purchased at  Amazon and all good bookstores



Melissa Coleman View All →

I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and impressed by the influence it has on people and the decisions they make in life. I love engaging with the projects I work on, diving headfirst into the research, investigation, and production of stories and articles I feel are worth writing about.

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