Discovering what death can teach us about living fully: Retreat with Frank Ostaseski

Course Description

Reflecting on death can have a profound and positive impact on how we live. When we contact life’s precarious nature, we can also come to appreciate its preciousness. Then we don’t want to waste a minute. We want to enter our lives fully and use them in a responsible way. Death is a good companion on the road to living well and dying without regret. Death the secret teacher hiding in plain sight. She helps us to discover what matters most. The good news is that we don’t have to wait until the end of our lives to realize the wisdom that death has to teach.

The retreat will include practical tools and practices for exploring our personal relationship with death and learning how to be a compassionate companion to others through their dying process. We will use storytelling, inquiry exercise and periods of silent mindfulness practice to learn how awareness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves and help us be function more compassionately in our work. The intention of this retreat is to foster both personal and professional development emphasizing experiential learning and pragmatic application in hospice and palliative care work.

At its core, good medicine is built on the practice of wise relationship. Patients want more than expertise — they need a human face on the medical care they receive. Continuity, trust, and communication matter. The retreat is designed to enhance clarity and confidence, increase stability and resilience, foster inclusiveness and compassion, thus enabling you to inspire, support and connect in a more authentic way. The retreat offers an approach to care that is mindfulness-based, compassion-focused and relationship-centered.

Videos of Frank Ostaseski

Articles by Frank Ostaseski
The Five invitations: Introduction Chapter (Ostaseski, 2017)



Death and life

Exploring the importance of a life affirming relationship to death


Being present

Learning ways of increasing the capacity to remain present when accompanying people who are suffering

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Mindfulness as a renewal practice

Experiencing how cultivating mindfulness contributes to rest, renewal, receptivity and responsiveness


The 3 center listening method

Learning through interpersonal exercises the “three center listening method” with the head, heart and body


Emotional regulation and somatic sensitivity

Developing skills for self-regulation of attention, emotional balance and somatic sensitivity


Grief and growth

Exploring how the journey through grief can be a path to wholeness


The five invitations

Discovering ways of applying Frank Ostaseski´s "Five Invitations " when accompanying the dying


Dealing with obstacles

Learning how to address the primary obstacles of isolation, projection, debilitating self-judgment and exhaustion

Who should attend?

This retreat is open to hospice and palliative care professionals and volunteers and people interested in learning ways of being with dying.

Important: If you are doing Nirakara´s program Accompanying the dying: Mindfulness in Hospice and Palliative Care (MHPC), you DO NOT need to sign in again for this retreat.  Your space for the retreat is automatically saved when you join the program.


Thursday Oct 12, 2017

17:00-19:00-Opening session

19:00- Dinner


Friday Oct 13, 2017

9:00-13:00- Session II

13:00-15:00-Lunch & break

15:00-18:00- Session III



Saturday Oct 14, 2017

9:00-13:00- Session IV

13:00-15:00-Lunch & break

15:00-18:00- Session V

19:00- Dinner


Sunday Oct 15, 2017

9:00-13:00- Closing session

13:00-15:00- Lunch



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