One Year Ago October 17th

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Words most frequently used to describe Death:OK. Click image to read full report from the 250 participants who provided feedback.

One year ago, on October 17, we gathered 500 strong for a day-long event we called Death:OK (Let’s Talk About It).

From my reflections, two weeks later:

Keynoter Stephen Jenkinson alerted us to “Coping, hoping, and – when all else fails – doping,” the three-headed hydra that slays any possibility of a sane relationship with dying, grief, and death. He reminds us that if conversation about death is like every other comfort-seeking measure in North America, we’re at risk of turning a wolf into a poodle so it will sit on our laps. He invites us to consider that death will not be domesticated, that the new fifth column of “death hipness” could well be the new boss, same as the old boss, as The Who warned in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

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Threshold Choir + Festival of Shorts Oct 25

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image courtesy of Portland Threshold Choir

Join us Tuesday, October 25 for Death Talk Goes to the Movies‘ 2nd annual Festival of Shorts, featuring a live performance by the Portland Threshold Choir and harpist Michael Sasnow, a musical thanatologist.

The Threshold Choir will offer personal “song baths,” a chance to be surrounded by the soothing power of song, beginning at 6:30pm. Admission is by donation, suggested $5.

The film program begins at 7pm. Content covered by our shorts ranges from the science of near-death experiences to the craft of pine coffin making. Read More

Taps for Babies

flyer“The day my second daughter, Marina, was born, was the second happiest day of my life,” Tamara Wedin says. “But it was also the second most heartbreaking. She was beautiful and perfect and had the deepest blue eyes you’ve ever seen…ten perfect little piggy toes…but she was not breathing. She had died two days prior, which we were fortunate enough to watch on ultrasound as her last heartbeat showed on the monitor.”

Tamara has channeled her family’s agony – grief that came close to taking her down – into Taps for Babies, a support program for other veterans who’ve experienced pregnancy loss or the death of an infant. Read More

Healing at the Edge: Living & Dying

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 8.30.35 PMEarly bird pricing extended to Oct 15!

The edge – you know the one?  Where illness, grief, trauma, loss, spiritual yearning, or a combination of crises, arises. Where our beliefs are upended; our perception of what is true is ruptured. Where questions about living, dying, healing, and what we hold to be sacred become urgent.

Life at this edge is the focus of Dale Borglum’s work, built on nearly four decades of experience as a counselor, spiritual advisor, and guide. Co-author with Ram Dass and Daniel Goleman of the classic “Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook” and longtime collaborator with the late Stephen Levine, he continues to speak and teach widely on the subject of dying with Ram Dass, Roshi Joan Halifax, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein,  and many others.

Death Talk Project is pleased to cosponsor an evening talk and day-long workshop with Dale Borglum in Portland, October 28-29, presented by the wonderful organization Living Earth.

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Death: An Oral History

deathcover_digitalPortland journalist Casey Jarman is winning praise for his eclectic collection of interviews, including one with yours truly.

Of all the conversations I’ve had amidst the current crest of death talk, the one I had with Casey stood out: wide-open, willing to wonder, curious, candid.

Death: An Oral History, available this month, is described by the usually restrained Publishers Weekly as a “profound collection of essays . . .Through Jarman’s discerning curation, interesting thought patterns emerge. Even those dealing with death professionally discuss it with remarkable candor and intimacy.” Read The Guardian review.

Join me at Casey’s October 27 reading, Powell’s on Hawthorne, 7:30 pm. Read More