going. Going! GONE?: Death in three (conversational) acts

When: 7 p.m. October 20, November 3 and 17, 2011artistic tree
Where: Nalanda West, at 3902 Woodland Park Ave. N., Seattle, Washington
Tickets: Cost is $18 for general admission or $12 for seniors or students through Brown Paper Tickets.

Dying is the No. 2 fear of Americans, public speaking is No. 1. Of course, you can always avoid the latter. However, in this three-part series, host and fearless public speaker Warren Etheredge (of The Warren Report and The High Bar) will tackle both phobias, inviting three fellow mortals — a seeker, a physician and a spiritual leader — to join him on stage for three separate, frank, funny and enlightening conversations about the nature of our existence and a better understanding of our alleged ends.

October 20, Act 1: "going"

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life. — Bertolt Brecht

If you can read this message, you are dying. Hate to break it to you, but Death is one of Life’s unavoidable side effects. The grace with which we address our mortality and that of our loved ones is critical to our experience of our living days. Of course, for some, ignoring the inevitable is difficult and, arguably, unwise. So, how do we best proceed with our own lives knowing they may come to an end at any moment while watching those around us perish? How we find peace in the transitory? Is there a better Life before Death?

Featured guest: Sonya Lea, who began writing award-winning essays after her husband of 23 years went into surgery for a rare appendix cancer and came out without a memory of their life.

November 3, Act 2: "Going!"

You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face. — Ian Fleming

This is the end, my friend. The doctor will call the time of death and it will be official. But is this transition as definite as science and bureaucracy register it or is the line between Life and Death fuzzier than politicians’ math? For someone who faces death daily and, briefly, has journeyed beyond, what should we know about those final moments and those thereafter that might bring us comfort, wisdom and love?

Featured guest: To be announced.

November 17, Act 3: "GONE?"

We sometimes congratulate ourselves the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death. — Nathaniel Hawthorne

Turn out the lights, the party’s over. Or, is it? World religions prescribe many different itineraries for our after-lives, whether reunions with our loved ones, penance for past sins or the (environmentally sound?) recycling of our spirits. Should the promise/threat of an alternate reality or a second go-round alter our behavior in this Life? Can we count on one more chance or resign ourselves, as Woody Allen feared, to sitting through the Ice Capades once again?

Featured guest: Rabbi Ted Falcon, a spiritual guide, author, teacher and therapist, who has been a student and teacher of Jewish meditation and Kabbalah for over 40 years. Rabbi Ted had his own near-death experience after a car accident.  

Posted by Cindy Butler-Smith on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 2:23pm


The Center for Mind, Body, Spirit and Nature was created in November 2009 to support Bastyr University's commitment to a multidisciplinary exploration of the deep questions at the heart of spiritual and scientific inquiry.

As an expression of Bastyr's mission and vision, the Center hosts conversations devoted to illuminating the interfaces, connections and congruence between spirituality, science, nature and medicine.

The Center shares resources in this field and develops collaborative relationships with other organizations and people who work at the frontiers of this exploration. The primary ambition of the Center is to contribute to the cultivation of wisdom and wholeness in the practice of medicine.