You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Death Cafe’ tag.

Philippe de Champaigne, Still Life With SkullThat there is a relation between thinking about death and happiness is undeniable because some thoughts about death make almost all of us unhappy.  Thinking about the deaths of those we love – both retrospective and prospective – leaves normal people with sadness.  Experiencing the death of a loved one is an unhappy time.  Contemplating the unjust and preventable deaths in the world is enough to evoke melancholy in even the most stoic of us.  Contemplating our own immanent death is a mixed emotional situation at best (unless one strongly wishes to die, but that is a different issue).  So, what sense is there in which thinking about death could be construed as a method of increasing happiness?

Karen Wyatt draws from Tibetan and Taoist traditions in a recent article; “How Thoughts of Death Can Be A Key to Happiness.”  She considers specific techniques used in mystical practices that may both lessen the impact of our anxiety about death and even raise our spirits in conceiving of death altogether.

In effect, the six death thought techniques that Wyatt summarizes include:

    • Ritualize
    • Relax
    • Enjoy
    • Improve
    • Broaden
    • Record

The techniques are practical and easy to employ.  If one has strong negative feelings about death, then more therapeutic and perhaps guided approaches may be appropriate.  Still, we can all gain value from these practices.

I’ll add a seventh technique to Wyatt’s list;

  • Dialog

Finding open and intelligent people who will listen and discuss your ideas about death is a powerful way to address the emotional impacts of those ideas.

Death Café Corvallis is all about open dialog about death.  I find the participation in conversational liberty to be a strengthening and spirit lifting activity in its own right.  When related to to concepts of death, the impact is often pronounced.  You are invited to Death Café Corvallis gatherings and to join the Facebook Group in order to get event announcements and online dialog.

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. is the Author of “What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying” and “The Tao of Death.”

death_cafe_corvalis_jon_dorbolo_88x31

 

 

Image Acknowledgements

ddd4ce5d782d3ea8a359677c1a4101ad.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/354517801894454820/

Atul_GawandeAtul Gawande is a surgeon and writer for New Yorker magazine.  His 2014 book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters at the End, is the basis of a Frontline program, Being Mortal, that will air on PBS tonight.

 

The book and program sound fascinating and will likely make for lively Death Café Corvallis conversation.

death_cafe_corvalis_jon_dorbolo_88x31

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 319 other followers

RSS thought currents

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.