For most people the thought of death evokes feelings of fear, sadness, anger and anxiety. Despite daily proof of human mortality, death is a taboo in our society, and as a result there are many who face their final days unprepared emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually, and very much afraid. The Zen Hospice Project, featured on Bill Moyers special PBS series On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying, has been changing how Americans view death, and helping people pass from life with dignity and grace. In the fall of 2000, the Institute on Dying, a program of Zen Hospice Project, presented a series of lectures and workshops with some of the leading spiritual teachers, artists, storytellers and psychologists for an in-depth exploration and re-visioning of dying in America. In this special collection of highlights, we learn from these death and dying counselors how we can return death to its honored and sacred place in our lives and in our culture.
Michael Meade is a renowned storyteller, scholar of mythology, and author of many audio sets and books including The World Behind the World: Living at the Ends of Time (Greenfire Press 2008). His website is www.mosaicvoices.org. Marion Woodman, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst and author of many audio sets and books included Bone: Dying Into Life (Penguin 2001). Her website is www.mwoodmanfoundation.org. Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., is cofounder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California, and author of many audio sets and books and audio sets including My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging (Riverhead Books, 2000) Kitchen Table Wisdom: 10th Anniversary Edition (Riverhead 2006). Her website is www.rachelremen.com. Lama Sogyal Rinpoche has taught Tibetan Buddhism in the West since the early 1970s and is the founder of Rigpa centers world wide including the Lerab Ling Buddhist Retreat Center in France, he’s the author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (HarperSanFrancisco 1994). His website is www.rigpa.org.
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- Why death is part of the process of life
- How rather than running from death, you can dance with death
- How death lives in the psyche and affects the soul
- How the medical establishment is learning to live with the mystery of death and what lies beyond
- How you can live a more compassionate and meaningful life
Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 11/1/2000 Program Number: 2905