Friends Mtg House
4312 SE Stark, Portland
By donation; all are welcome.
Our Living/Dying Conversations series invites us to consider death, from the practical, physical complexities and legalities, to the far more profound questions and challenges that death presents.
Shifting these conversations out of the institutions of medicine, academia, and organized religion shifts our reliance toward community. As the incubator of culture, when community nurtures conscious awareness of death and the practices and services related to death, life becomes more vibrant and more precious, even as death becomes less fearful. We become more creative, more compassionate, and, in a sense, more alive.
In Western culture, death is feared, held at bay by a constant stream of distractions and denial. Dread of death contributes to profound problems for us personally and as a society – alienation, fear, greed, anger, and aggressive consumerism, to name just a few. We shun death, oddly enough, at our own and our children’s peril.
If contemplative practice or spiritual inquiry offer anything, it is the invitation to open to the mysterious relationship between consciousness – essence, or spirit – and form, our condition as living beings here and now. That Mystery is at its most potent as we approach the cusp between life and death.
Our Living/Dying program is an invitation to let down our guard, to soften to our fears and uncertainties, and begin coming into conscious relationship with death. As in all spiritual traditions, this invites us to embrace the truth of mortality and the ineffable mystery of living and dying. No matter where we are on the living/dying spectrum, we find that, doing this work, we experience a vibrant sense of being freshly, fully alive and a quickened sense of how precious, fragile, and ephemeral life is.
Living/Dying Conversatons encourage a deep, safe, conscious awareness of death as the central, shared fact of all life. In time we will offer a range of resources for those who are dying – practical information and materials, creative expression, and spiritual practices – as well as personal support and spiritual care for those who are dying, their caregivers, and loved ones.
We welcome you to join this conversation.
This program was initiated by Living Earth members who are hospice professionals, educators, and volunteers, chaplains, and individuals who have faced or are currently facing terminal diagnoses.