Frank Ostaseski

‘The habits of our lives have a powerful momentum that propels us toward the moment of our death. The obvious question arises: What habits do we want to create? Our thoughts are not harmless. Thoughts manifest as actions, which in turn develop into habits, and our habits ultimately harden into character. Our unconscious relationship to thoughts can shape our perceptions, trigger reactions, and predetermine our relationship to the events of our lives. We can overcome the inertia of these patterns by becoming mindful of our views and beliefs, and by doing so, we make a conscious choice to question those habitual tendencies. Fixed views and habits silence our minds and incline us towards life on automatic pilot. Questions open our minds and express the dynamism of being human. A good question has heart, arising from a deep love to discover what is true. We will never know who we are and why we are here if we do not ask the uncomfortable questions.’ (The Five Invitations)

It has taken me a while (mainly due to needing to read other things for my recent talks and classes) to dive back into this book, but I am glad I have. It is a wonderful reflection on how being close to death (in both senses of the phrase) can show us how to live, while reminding us that we can learn these lessons any time.

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