Frank Ostaseski is a well-known and much-loved teacher of meditation, mindfulness, and compassionate service. The author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully, Ostaseski cofounded the Zen Hospice Project, and has helped more than a thousand people on their way to dying.
In July 2019 a serious stroke affected his brain’s capacity. In the ensuing two months he had four more strokes, and as many aspects of daily life became more difficult, Ostaseski found strength and refuge in love, compassion, and curiosity. He also found his practice still very much alive through the whole experience—and his ability to communicate the nuance of what we discover when we welcome everything remains intact. Here, he shares some of what he learned and leaned on with his longtime friend, Mindful’s founding editor Barry Boyce
Barry Boyce: Frank, can you describe what the experience of your strokes and seizures has been like for you?
Frank Ostaseski: The first stroke woke me with severe pain that felt like someone was taking a welder’s torch across my skull. My wife, Vanda, was amazingly calm and resourceful. She called the hospital and they said she should get me in right away. So,…