Practice Dying to Live Better – SASM 103

Joel Zaslofsky Smiling at You Picture

“Practice Dying.” – Plato's final instructions to his disciples just before his own death

Salvador Valdovinos is an exceptionally young and vigorous ninety-one year old man who fought bravely for the U.S. in World War II.

But he's told me that his greatest achievement – bigger than proving his valor and putting his life on the line for his country – is a gift to himself that few of us ever get:

Sal found peace with death. And at the ripe old age of nineteen, no less!

Once he embraced his eventual death, he wanted to stay connected to it. But that proved tricky.

So how do you do gently invite death into your life when your demise doesn't lurk around every corner on the battle field?

Sal's solution was to practice dying.

“Leadership is found in embracing dying because you can focus your energy on everything else.” – Salvador Valdovinos

You're about to hear me recount vivid stories that Sal has told me and how he's helped me create my own practice dying, er … practice. It's a cultural tradition that dates back millenniums and is still done by Buddhists, Hindus, and others around the world.

Why would you want to do something that scares the sweet bajesus out of so many people? What kind of mindset, conversations, and emotions become possible if you give practicing dying a chance?

Press play and let's explore the thrilling, terrifying, and death-defying role that practicing dying can play for you.

You're about to Learn ...

  • How to transcend our hard-wired fear of death and dying.
  • The step-by-step process of how I practice dying.
  • What finally shattered the emotional walls between my pal Sal and his father.
  • The weird way I learned about practicing dying (and how easily I accepted it).
  • How to reduce familial mistakes and miscommunication as someone you love dies.
  • Why the Hindu practice of Samadhi is useful – regardless of your religious beliefs.
  • Why practicing dying in a specific way will help you no matter how you end up dying.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode

Timestamps and Topics

  • [04:12] How I learned about practicing dying
  • [12:07] Reasons to practice dying, even for the most skeptical
  • [21:07] The history and culture of practicing dying
  • [24:40] How I and others actually practice dying
  • [34:22] Some parting words about when we part from this world

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“I have learned and been inspired so much by this show! Joel’s guests and personal philosophy inform and encourage me and I'm grateful for this wonderful podcast.”

Sue, I receive that and I'm grateful for you, too.

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