From The Enneagram Institute® Newsletter, October 2017
The Enneagram Institute® students offer amazing and innovative work in a variety of fields and practices around the world. This month, we highlight author and thought leader Patt Lind-Kyle, who recently published Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening to critical acclaim. Brian Taylor offers the following book review:
“The study of death – the only certainty that life holds for us – must be central, for an understanding of death is the key to liberation in life.” This seemingly paradoxical quote, from Dr. Stanislav Grof, is cited by Enneagram Institute student Patt Lind-Kyle in her latest book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening (Llewellyn Publications, 2017). It also encapsulates the fundamental two-fold approach that Patt employs in her overall structure of this book. The first part is a moving contemplation on preparation for the inevitability of death that each of us will ultimately face. The second addresses the inner journey that we must pursue in our day-to-day lives to overcome resistance to the inescapable reality, and perhaps constant nearness, of our own death – an encouraging reminder to strive to live our lives now with mindfulness and awakeness.
In a thoughtful, warm, and non-threatening voice, Patt gently invites the reader to address the natural feelings – conscious or unconscious – of fear, pain, and separation that many of us may associate with the process of dying – the loss of all that is precious to us during our lives. Through a series of tender and compassionate exercises, practices, and meditations, Patt provides suggestions for reflection about death, suffering, and the meaning each of us searches for in life. The stages of the journey she shares, in many ways, reflects the process of true spiritual growth: acknowledging the constrictions and restraints we have that accompany our resistance to reality, enabling us to learn to let go, and, ultimately, to release and transcend those fears and restraints. As Patt puts it, “to surrender your physical life is to let go of the constricted self, this personality identity that you’ve created and lived with all your life.” It’s the path to the ultimate “letting go”. As Don used to say to me, the process of life is a gradual and necessary release of everything we possess, and, ultimately, of all that we think we are and an acceptance of all that we actually are.
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My newest book Embracing the End of Life incorporates the fundamental principles of the Enneagram and the Enneagram Institute. I extend my deepest appreciation to Brian Taylor and the Enneagram Team for the gracious review of Embracing the End of Life in their October 2017 Newsletter.