Although all around us we see people dying, we somehow believe that we and those we love are immune from this part of life. In a Hindu text, a wise man is asked, “Of all things in life, what is the most amazing?” He answers, “That a man, seeing other dies all around him, never thinks that he will die.” Yet, by giving ourselves the opportunity to reflect deeply our own death with clarity, understanding, and compassion, we learn to move out of denial, confusion, and fear.
With greater understanding and acceptance of impermanence and the universality of death, we move beyond apprehension and can now focus on what is important: how to prepare for being present with the dying process, our own and others. By examining the misconceptions, misplaced hopes and irrational fears that shape our relationship to death and dying, we can also reassess our life priorities and aspirations. Paradoxically, reflection on death and impermanence is the portal to living a life of true meaning and happiness.
Drawing on teachings and meditative practices of Buddhism, as well as medical and contemplative fields, the presenters will create a supportive environment for workshop participants to reflect, share, and learn.
This Workshop is open to all who are interested in the dying process, in conscious dying, or who would like to offer psychological and spiritual assistance to the dying, including family members. It is for those who are ill and for anyone who would like to look deeply into the meaning of death and dying within the framework of a spiritual path.
Alex Lerner, M.D., was in clinical practice for more than 25 years. Since his retirement, he has been studying and practiced various psychological models in different settings and cultures. He has been practicing with The Florida Mindfulness Community since 2006, where he is frequently giving workshops.
Marilyn Warlick, LCSW, C-CATODSW, is a retired Social Worker with Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). While at the VAMC, her jobs included serving as Coordinator of a Hospice and Palliative Care Program and in Eldercare Programs. Marilyn has been practicing mindfulness over 15 years and is involved with the Death and Dying Programs for Florida Community of Mindfulness.