Open Death Conversation

Open Death ConversationOpen Death Conversation

At Zen Hospice Project, we want to change the way we die in our culture. We do this by supporting persons at the end-of-life with mindful and compassionate care. Through conversation, we bring death out into the open.

We dare to look at death directly and consider what we want for ourselves.  We consider how we might prepare for not getting what we want when our time comes.  At Zen Hospice Project, we trust in the value in contemplating one’s own death, as a way of embracing life fully.

The Open Death Conversation is a forum for discussing the many aspects of death and dying.  We are not attached to any outcome.  We do not direct the conversation.  Everyone is invited; we only ask that participants show up with an open heart and open mind, and allow themselves to go where they need to go. People from all backgrounds attend our conversations, young, old, many people who have not had experience with death, some people who are facing their own end of life. 

We have no agenda other than to generate meaningful, energetic conversation free from judgment. 

Drawing inspiration from the thousands of heartfelt conversations that Zen Hospice Project has had over the years of caring for dying persons and their families, we invite you to join us through two different programs:

Open Death Conversation: End of Life Contemplations

In this workshop we get in touch with the final stage of life. Doing so enables us to more completely prepare for our eventual end of life experience, from emotional reactions to practical considerations. Like dying, this session is not easy... but it is necessary.

Expanding on our Open Death Conversation: Evening Gathering, this workshop incorporates guided meditations and experiential exercises that in turn guide the discussions.

ODC:End of Life Contemplations is a guided journey into our own dying process. It is a wake up call to the reality of death, and serves to make more intimate our relationship with our own mortality. These practices help us view the full arc of our lives in a realistic way. They also promote compassion towards others who are going through the end of life experience.

Like the ODC: Evening Gathering, conversation remains the vital element of class. After each exercise we sit, integrate, and share our experiences one-on-one, in small groups, and together as a whole. As the day progresses, our discussions get deeper and our connections grow stronger.

Before the session closes we address Advance Directives and practical issues around end of life care. We consider what we may want for ourselves, how to assist others in receiving the care they prefer, and tools to get prepared.

The Open Death Conversation: End of Life Contemplations is special in serving as a peaceful retreat, a chance to deeply bond with like-minded people, and an opportunity for profound personal growth.

Topics explored include:

  • Preparing for Death Meditation 
  • Loss Exercise 
  • Walking with Mortality 
  • Guided Death Contemplation
  • Advance Directives
  • Group Meditation

Return Students Encouraged

Each meditation, exercise and discussion is never the same twice. In taking the workshop again, you will notice what arises in you THIS time as you change and grow. Most importantly, the group is always new. Much of our learning comes from the diverse perspectives of each other, connecting through mindful conversation.

These one-day programs are held from 10:00am until 4:30pm.

The cost of admission to our End of Life Contemplations is based on a teired basis. Please contact us at to request a scholarship.


We now offer Online End of LIfe Contemplations.  Anyone in the world can join us for this engaged workshop exploring mortality and end of life. 

Topics explored include:

  • Loss Exercise 
  • Guided Death Contemplation
  • Advance Directives
  • Group Meditation

These 3 hour workshops are held from 10:00am until 1:00pm Pacific time. 

The cost of admission to our Online End of Life Contemplations is based on a teired basis.  Please contact us at to request a scholarship.



Open Death Conversation: An Evening Gathering

Our Open Death Conversation: An Evening Gathering is an excellent way to explore conversations dealing with end-of-life.  An informal evening, brings people together from across the world to discuss topics relating to death and end of life.  

The cost of admission to our Evening Gathering is $25 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact us at to request a reduced fee.



Open Death Conversation: A Custom Gathering 

Zen Hospice Project is happy to work with you in designing an Open Death Conversation that meets the needs of your organization or community. From exploring death and end of life, to discussing issues broaching into our culture, we provide a selection of topics catered to fulfill your particular goals. Our expert instructors will visit your facility at a time that fits into your team's challenging schedule. Contact us at to learn more.