Somehow the topic of death just kept coming up in different ways over the last few weeks, and it all came together in this new special event on Facing Death. It still is a taboo topic in our Western societies, and in the news, it comes up in the context of war, crime, or recently that of the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. In those contexts, death tends to be seen from the perspective of survival, as a loss of life that could have been avoided. And for sure the refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea did so because they wanted to escape suffering and death in their native countries, and their deaths could indeed have been prevented.
I do not in any way want to belittle the suffering in these situations, and I hold the people in it and affected by it with much compassion. And yet there is a different aspect to death, a different perspective and understanding of it that highlights the preciousness of it as a human experience. Just like birth, it brings us face to face with the mystery and paradox of human life, arising from the unborn and returning back to it, whilst remaining unborn all along. Experiencing death consciously -- the possibility or reality of one's own death or that of others -- can change our life forever. It tends to point us to what is ultimately real and true. This is what this special event is all about.
As you will see on the Facing Death event page, there are two parts to this event: a pre-recorded conversation with Joan Ruvinsky, a non-dual spiritual teacher who has terminal cancer; and a live panel of speakers (Jane Duncan Rogers, Nishkala Jenney, Susanne Marie, and myself) who have faced death in the passing of loved ones and/or in facing our own mortality through illness.
Joan Ruvinsky's willingness and openness to share with us her experience of her life coming to an end due to terminal cancer is such a gift to all of us. Her clarity in witnessing this consciously, and the 'radical joy' with which she does so, is a rare opportunity to hear the non-dual understanding and perspective on life and death as they are alive and lived in a human being who is facing death. My own teacher Gangaji is fond of saying how we 'catch' truth from one another... well, here's a very special occasion to do so!
Following that, the live panel will give you a sense of the depth of experiences, shifts, and insights that the conscious experience of death has the power to provoke in us. As I see it, it is such a blessing to come in touch with death, even as there may also be major fear, grief, or rage. It is in this spirit that the speakers of the panel will share their experiences. And, as always during live events, you are welcome to ask questions or share and inquire into your own experience by coming onto the hangout.
The links to the conversation with Joan and the live panel will be published on the event page. You will also find more information about the event, including the bios of the teachers and panel participants on the event page. There is no need to register. If you like, you can join the facebook event and invite your friends to it.
I so look forward to sharing this special event with you -- thank you for being here and appreciating these offerings!
In love and gratitude,