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 subject 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 this 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. (moderated by Michael Toms)
Michael Meade is a renowned storyteller, scholar of mythology, and author of many audio sets and books including The World Behind the World (Greenfire Press 2008). His website is www.mosaicvoices.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 including My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging (Riverhead Books, 2000) and Kitchen Table Wisdom 10th Anniversary (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 Centres world wide including the Lerab Ling Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Centre 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 include:
- 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
From Album: In My Life
Artist: Kevin Kern
1999 Real Music RM 2588
Tracks – Bittersweet, To Sleep with Angels, In My Life
From Album: Tantra Drums
Artist: Al Gromer Kahn
1998 Soundless Music Publishing and GEMA New Earth Records NE 9803-2
Track – Conga Jog
From Album: Compassion: A Millenium Music Production
Artist: Erik Harris
2000 Harmonic Station
Track – Prayer of Compassion