Frank Ostaseski
Co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project, Director of the Metta Institute

Frank Ostaseski is an internationally respected Buddhist teacher and visionary leader in end of life care. In 1987, he co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. He guided that groundbreaking work for almost 20 years establishing a longstanding model for mindful and compassionate care. In 2005, he founded the Metta Institute training countless healthcare clinicians and caregivers and building a national network of educators, advocates, and guides for those facing a life-threatening illness.


He has lectured at Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, Wisdom.2.0. He regularly offers keynote talks at national and international palliative care conferences, universities, business network organizations and teaches at major spiritual centers around the globe.


His groundbreaking work has been featured on the Bill Moyers PBS series On Our Own Terms, highlighted on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and honored by H.H. the Dalai Lama. AARP magazine named him one of America’s 50 most innovative people over 50.


He is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. The book distills the lessons learned sitting on the precipice of death with over 1000 people and a lifetime of service. Five Invitations has been published on five continents in a dozen languages including German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic.


Photo by Cira Crowell

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The Five InvitationsDiscovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully
Flatiron Books

Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. Click here to read an excerpt.

Being A Compassionate Companion When a loved one is dying, how should you support them? Frank explains how to care for your loved ones as they come to the end of their lives, and ways to care for yourself in the process.
What Death Has To Teach Us About Living Fully In this talk, Frank examines what it means to die in a society that strives to prolong life and how death itself adds insight and depth into our lived experiences.
Striving in Times of Great Uncertainty and Change Dealing with a changing or uncertain future can add a strain on anyone. Frank discusses how to succeed during these times and not give way to worry.
What Matters Most Sometimes, life becomes governed by work, and we run the risk of simply going through the motions. In this talk, Frank helps identify what is truly important in life and work: finding meaning and purpose.
Mindfulness in a Chaotic, Rapidly Changing World Life is stressful from work to the national news. Oftentimes, we can get caught up in the chaos and forget to pause, realign, and reflect. Frank offers strategies to remain mindful and present in this world.

Listen to Frank on Sam Harris’s Podcast episode #104 – The Lessons of Death

Check Frank’s interview with Sean Illing on Vox

Watch Frank speak in The Long Now’s seminar on “What the Dying Teach the Living”

Learn more about Frank in Maria Popova’s article on

Read “Dying in the Fix-It Society” on The Huffington Post

Watch the book trailer for The Five Invitations

Get to know Frank and read about The Five Invitaitons

Read “Doulas, Who Usher in New Life, Find Mission in Support for the Dying” in The New York Times

Read Q&As with Frank at Spirituality & Health and InTheirShoes

Take a look at the Metta Institute website

Follow Frank on Twitter and Facebook

Praise for The Five Invitations: “Frank is a pioneer in mindful care at the end of life. He embodies the wisdom and compassion he shares in these magical and compelling pages. You feel it instantly, because it is real, and it is really about you and your life.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR and author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses

"This book distills a compassionate shepherd's lifelong experience with death and dying."
— Bill Moyers, journalist, social commentator, and producer of On Our Own Terms

“These moving teachings can open your heart and change your life. For decades, Frank has been a compassionate guide to thousands of people facing death. In The Five Invitations, he shares his timeless wisdom, beautifully, as a blessing to all.”
— Jack Kornfield, international Buddhist teacher and author of A Path With Heart

“As a physician, I often work with people who view death as the ultimate isolating experience, solitary confinement for eternity—the ultimate dark terror. In this extraordinary, eloquent, and powerful book, Frank Ostaseski reveals how we can transform this darkness into a bright light (brilliant in every way), a return to the source, the ultimate in intimacy, healing, and meaning—the essence of love. What could be better than that?”
— Dean Ornish, M.D. and New York Times bestselling author of The Spectrum

"This book is an inspiring, comforting and accessible gift.”
— Sogyal Rinpoche, spiritual master and author of international bestseller The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

“Frank Ostaseski is one of the great contemporary teachers of ancient Buddhist wisdom and practice. Over the years, his teachings have informed both my meditative and clinical practices. Now, through The Five Invitations a broader audience can benefit from Frank’s insights, soulful perspectives, and practical guidance. What a gift!”
— Ira Byock M.D., international leader in palliative care, Chief Medical Officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services and author of The Four Things That Matter Most