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Transitions, a workshop on Living and Dying

Transitions, a workshop on Living and Dying


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Published by DrBillRamos
Powerpoint presentation for a workshop called TRANSITIONS, a workshop for Living and Dying.
Powerpoint presentation for a workshop called TRANSITIONS, a workshop for Living and Dying.

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Published by: DrBillRamos on Oct 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A Reflection on Cherry Blossoms

“They look like normal trees except one week a year, then the horizon explodes with white, looking like a snow-covered expanse, so vivid, you think you’re dreaming. A week later the trees are just trees again, like it never happened. They signify, as they do to the Yakuza, a short, sweet beautiful life.

They tell us of the importance of the ephemeral, passing beauty that we have to enjoy and be ready to let go quickly…

…because life is a collection of moments.” - m. a. chip childers

Accepting Our Mortality, Appreciating The Mystery  

wonder of life is often overlooked. The preciousness of being alive, of accepting
The ourselves, each other, and our world, is sometimes the last thing we remember in our rush to handle the details of daily life. Yet remembering the fragility of our days awakens us to the truth that in every moment we are dying to something, and ultimately we, and everyone we know, will leave this world entirely.

“Graceful Passages”

“the bright side of the moon”, those
Our culture has this obsession on attributes of youth, good looks, and success that buffers us from facing the moonless night of

loss and mortality.
For those of us who have lost our jobs, experienced the breakup of a loving relationship, been diagnosed with a serious illness, or have had to face the death of a loved one, the


side of the moon is not far away.

Acknowledging the

inevitable can be

As reluctant as we may be to approach the subject,

accepting our mortality is an important step toward embracing life on its own terms, and recognizing the moment-by-moment gift that is LIFE.

Waning into darkness each month, the lunar cycle reminds us of a natural constantly repeating itself. We may not want


summer to end, yet


comes, revealing a different landscape altogether. Even the most glorious day turns to night, requiring us to adapt to a different kind of light.

To ask for what we want is human.
To be willing

to receive what comes is


While we cannot resist the natural course of change, we can choose to pass through it gracefully.

With every loss, we are faced with the fragility of our situation. We die a little every day. In countless minor and sometimes major ways, we lose control over and over again.

How we respond to this continuous process is our preparation for how we will face our own eventual death, as well as how we meet
others during their times of transition.

enfold the process of dying in the embrace of living is a challenge that faces us,
To both individually and as a society.

“Graceful Passages”

Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral in San

dying every day so we can be fully alive.”
Francisco, says, “We practice

facing our fears of dying, and making peace with our own life journey, we can have a more spacious, free, and joyful existence.

Embracing our losses, our little deaths, rather than resisting them, strengthens
our courage to more easily accept when surrender is the only option.

“Graceful Passages”

How do we bring

beauty and dignity to our

How do we best honor sacred traditions, and yet leave room for the mystery beyond any pathway? How might we meet each other during our times of dying – whether they are emotional, physical, or spiritual – in the deepest way possible

allowing whatever is happening to take place without intruding or assuming?

The love will endure, never fear. In fact, beyond the personal self, love just gets stronger, purer, freer, deeper.


Healing in Death and Dying
Resistance to Discussing Death and Dying

A culture that is more fear-based – death not seen as a natural course of living Fear of

unknown is human nature

Family’s avoidance of topic of death due to
discomfort and concern of giving up hope Brings up personal loss and grief issues for

counselors and caregivers
-Lora Matz

THE ROSE It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live 

On Fear…
“Our greatest fear is that when we die we will

become nothing.
Many of us believe that our entire existence is only a life span beginning the moment we are born or conceived and ending the moment we die. We believe that we are born from nothing and that when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with fear of


There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is. When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Death, No Fear”

On Impermanence
“Our true nature is the nature of

no birth



We do not have to go anywhere in order to touch our true nature. The wave does not have to look for water for she is water. We do not have to look for God, we do not have to look for our ultimate dimension or nirvana, because we are nirvana,

we are God.

You are what you are looking for. You are
already what you want to become.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Death, No Fear”

Impermanence Makes Everything Possible “We are often sad and suffer a lot when things change, but change and impermanence have a positive side. Thanks to impermanence,

everything is

possible. Life itself is possible. If a grain of corn is
not impermanent, it can never be transformed into a stalk of corn. If the stalk were not impermanent, it could never provide us with the ear of corn we eat.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Death, No Fear”

Taking New Forms
“When we lose someone we love, we should remember that the person has not become nothing. “Something” cannot become “nothing”, and “nothing” cannot become “something”. Science can help us understand this, because matter cannot be destroyed – it can become energy. And energy can become matter, but it cannot be destroyed. In the same way, our beloved was not destroyed; she has just taken on another form. We can see our loved one in everything. And smiling, we can say, “Dear one, I know you are there very close to me. I know that your nature is the nature of no birth and no death. I know that I have not lost you; you are always with me.” If you look deeply at every moment of your daily life, you will see that person. Practicing like this, you will be able to overcome

your grief.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Death, No Fear”

“Where was Jesus before He was born?”

- Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Death, No Fear”

“Everybody is doing everything for themselves…. When you understand that this is true even about dying, you will never fear dying again.” “Dying is something you do for you.”


are the cause of your own death. This is always true, no matter
where, or how, you die.”
-Neale Donald Walsch, “Home with God”

“Do you think that dying is something that occurs against your will

You cannot die against your will.”
Why in the world would I choose to die, ever? Oh that’simple. Because you’re done. Finished.

questions you’ve ever had about death, you’ll have answered most of the questions you’ve ever had about life.”
“Once you answer most of the

“All souls find peace after their death. Not all souls find peace before it.

never a tragedy. It is always a gift.”
Death is

-Neale Donald Walsch, “Home with God”

“You are different from God but you are not divided from God. That is why you can never die.

You and God are one. There is no
separation between you.”

-Neale Donald Walsch, “Home with God”

“Death does not exist, but the perceptions and perspectives from which they arise.

Life is eternal.”

-Neale Donald Walsch, “Home with God”

“The timing and the circumstances of death are always perfect.

No death is wasted, and all death
brings a message to those who leave the earth and to those who remain. The death of every person always serves the agenda of every other person who is aware of it. That is why they are aware of it. Therefore, no death (and no life) is ever “wasted”. No one ever dies “in

-Neale Donald Walsch, “Home with God”

“In death you will be greeted by all your loved ones – those who have died before you and those who will die after you. These souls will comfort you as you

release your attachment to the
physical world, gently guiding you into the spiritual realm. You need never be

alone, ever, nor are you ever alone now.”
-Neale Donald Walsch, “Home with God”

never do die. We merely change form,
We In short evolve into a form that human eyes can no longer see. The reason why people change form is that the ultimate purpose of the soul is to feel the

grandest feeling called

- Marq Dollentes

REFLECTION on the tranquility of Falling Cherry Blossoms


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