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Rumi Center for Spirituality and The Arts Presents:
A YEAR TO LIVE: Die Before You Die
This year-long program, based on the book A Year to Live by Stephen Levine, is designed for people of all walks of life and stages of life. In community, we will focus on waking up and living life more fully through the exploration of death as a spiritual practice.
Most aspects of our largely death-denying modern culture discourage us from actively contemplating the inevitability of our death, or that it may meet us at any time. The prophets and sages recommend a very different approach to the fact of life's transience: that we use remembrance of death, not to put us in a state of anxiety or morbidness, but as a contemplative practice to assist us in our journey to awaken to that which does not die but lives beyond the ephemeral nature of our lives in this world. Their lives bear witness to the fact that there is a way to die to the attachments and distortions of the ego and come to the realization of a deeper self that transcends death and the perishing realm. This is reflected in the prophetic injunction, "die before you die." This core teaching of all wisdom traditions—that we can realize that which is eternal and transcends our physical bodies—paradoxically provides the means to live more fully and more presently while savoring the gift of each precious breath on earth.
Ultimately, this is a year-long practice in living with presence and intention; as well as forgiveness and gratitude, while letting go of what no longer serves us on our journey. Through reflections from sacred texts, the prophetic teachings, and the great sages—as well as guided meditations, inquiry and small group discussions— we will journey with the support of community, through a process of living this year as if it were our last. All are warmly welcome!
Teachings: Monthly (12) large group sessions
Community support: Monthly (12) micro-cohort sessions
Home practices: Guided meditations, readings, journaling
Access: Video and audio recordings
Attend at least 9 of 12 monthly large group sessions – must attend the first session. (The first session is required) to establish the safety of the container and respect the shared commitment of the group.*
Participate in home group sessions as engaged as possible (full participation with video)
Complete homework assignments, practices, and readings
*If you are unable to make this commitment at this time, please wait and join us for a future offering.
Session 1: The Prognosis: In this introductory class we will focus on imagining ourselves receiving the prognosis. This first session will also provide space for us to connect and introduce ourselves to the larger group. (Attendance is required for month 1*)
Session 2: Fear of Death and Dying: Explore the difference between fear of death and fear of dying.
Session 3: Grief: What is it and how do we befriend it?
Session 4: Softening to fear: Fear is a natural response to loss, and sometimes part of a grief process.
Session 5: Loose Ends and Forgiveness: This month we will look at how we often fall into patterns of postponing dreams, leaving loose ends, and not forgiving ourselves and others.
Session 6: Life Review - Making Peace: We will do a “life review” practice where we begin to use narratives and storytelling to make peace with our lives.
Session 7: Sacred Space and Service - A look at the importance of creating sacred, safe spaces in our own lives. We will also embark on a service project as a group.
Session 8: Who or What Dies?: A deeper dive into beliefs and understanding the
afterlife from the Islamic tradition.
Session 9: What Comes Next? A deeper dive into beliefs and understanding the
afterlife from the Islamic tradition. We will also explore views on the body after death
Session 10: Reflections and Logistics: We will work on our epitaphs and a memorial to our lives. Writing wills and filling out advance medical directives.
Session 11: We Are Not Alone: What do we believe as we depart this world? Building community to aid us during our transition to death.
Session 12: Saying Good-Bye: 1 year later, we say goodbye.
$750 for the entire year if paid in full in advance. Monthly auto payments of 70$ are available and the total cost is $840. Payment can be made as a one-time registration fee or by monthly auto-payments. Payment is due whether you complete the year or not. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for monthly auto-payments or inquire about payment.
Registration closes at the end of the day on January 15, 2021 (Pacific Time) unless it fills prior to this time. A waiting list will be created if it fills early.
PROGRAM DATES & TIMES:
10:00 AM PST - 1 PM EST, third Saturday of each month.