Death Fair 2019: Let’s Talk About Death

with Mary Lang, Maryl Schapiro, Nealy Zimmermann, Cathy Brennan

October 26th

Date details +
  • $50 Patron
  • $35 Sustaining
Price description +
Room: Main Shrine Room

(photo courtesy Wonderlane on Flickr)

For Buddhists, the moment of death and how we prepare for that moment is a critical opportunity on our path of awakening. As practitioners trained to let go, bear witness, and extend compassion, we have much to offer to the national conversation about death, and much to learn from our own contemplation of death itself. Holding a loving environment while supporting a friend or family member’s end of life is a powerful spiritual practice.

"We all need all of this. We all die. We all have our part in the ongoing conversation, in the support, discovery, learning, and maturing.” -Angela Lutzenberger, MDiv

Join us for our sixth annual Death Fair! 

Led by the Shambhala Center’s End of Life Committee Members: Mary Lang, Maryl Schapiro, Cathy Brennan and Nealy Zimmermann, with a facilitated discussion and exploration of Medical Aid in Dying, in the form of a dialog between Sarah Kimball, MD and Angela Lutzenberger, MDiv

This interactive workshop will explore the topic of death in a variety of ways. The morning begins with open-ended, personal conversations about death, and includes meditation practice and contemplation, an experiential exercise, and group discussion. This year we are fortunate to have Sarah Kimball MD and Angela Lutzenberger, MDiv as our guests for the discussion.

Medical Aid in Dying:

How do we find meaning and quality of life at the end of life?  What is Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) and how has it been working for those facing terminal illness in states such as Oregon, and now Maine?  We will explore the medical, legal, ethical and quality-of-life aspects of the Massachusetts End-of-Life Options Act now being considered by the state legislature.  This bill would give mentally capable, terminally ill individuals with a prognosis of six months or less to live, the legal option to end their lives in a painless way at the time of their choice. This will be a facilitated exploration of this topic.   The discussion will be appropriate for a general audience, with ample time for questions and answers.

Sarah Kimball MD is a board-certified internist, an Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine and the co-director of the Immigrant and Refugee Health Center at Boston Medical Center.  In addition to her love of primary care, Dr. Kimball's main interest is in teaching social justice in a medical setting. She has been practicing in the Shambhala community since 2007 and is a teacher and Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor.

Angela Lutzenberger MDiv is a board certified Interfaith Chaplain and End of Life Doula and the founder of Good Ground Great Beyond. She received a Master of Divinity in 2008 from Naropa University. She started volunteering for Hospice in High School and since 2011 has worked as a Hospice chaplain throughout Western and Southern Maine. As a practicing Buddhist since the mid 90s, she has also been part of a tradition where caring for one’s own dead at home, with the support of community, is common practice. 

The Center’s End of Life Committee members include hospice volunteers, social workers, longtime Buddhist practitioners and senior teachers in Shambhala, all of whom have direct experience with death and dying.

A resource packet will be provided with information on advanced directives; traditional Buddhist practices at the end of life; the Boston Shambhala Center’s Spiritual Directive; as well as hospice, home funerals, reading lists and toolkits for further exploration.

Cost: includes a light breakfast and a take-home resource packet

8:30 - Registration and coffee
9 – 9:30 – Introduction, welcome, brief meditation
9:30 – 10:30 – Open-ended small group discussions about death, large group debrief
10:30 – 10:45 – bio break
10:45 – 11:30 – experiential exercise/contemplation, debrief
11:30 – 12:30 – Facilitated Conversation on MAID
12:30 - 1 - Take-away circle, resource packets