"How you live is how you die," Dr. Scott Eberle — a physician specializing in end-of-life care — tells us in today's interview. Having spent many years at the bedside of the dying, Scott has learned some important lessons from those participating in their final rite of passage, and he's here to impart a bit of that wisdom with us today, inspiring us to live and die more consciously.
Dr. Scott Eberle is a medical director of Hospice of Petaluma in Petaluma, California, as well as an experienced teacher and author, and a wilderness guide. Together with Meredith Little of the School of Lost Borders, he co-created “The Practice of Living and Dying,” an innovative wilderness curriculum exploring the human experience of being a mortal animal.
In this interview, we explore the practice of living and dying and what it means to be a mortal animal. Consciously approaching life and death calls for us to "confront the difficult questions" and "have the difficult conversations" right now, and Scott shares how he has integrated these practices into his own life. We discuss Scott's experiences working in hospice, thoughts on death acceptance, the common regrets of the dying and much more. If you’re a mortal animal, you’ll want to hear this conversation!
- Show Introduction:
- Hunt + Gather updates: Transitioning to autumn, wild cherries & trout fishing
- Reflecting on the Moon Dance
- Q&A: Beard-scaping
- Introducing Dr. Scott Eberle
- What is hospice and how Scott came to work in this field
- What it’s like to interact with people in their dying time
- Denial of death
- Lessons learned from the bedside of the dying
- The top five regrets of the dying
- What led Scott back to the natural world
- Experiencing the AIDS epidemic
- The practice of living and dying
- Blending holistic wellness with our modern healthcare system
- Being a mortal animal
- Confronting the difficult questions and conversations now
- Thoughts on the soul and life’s purpose
- What Scott has come to hope for his own dying time
- Scott’s prognosis for the future of the human species
Subscribe to ReWild Yourself Podcast
ReWild Yourself Podcast is brought to you by:
America’s Indigenous Stimulant is Back! Did you know that Yerba Mate’ has a North American sibling? Yaupon (pronounced yo - pawn)––North America’s only native caffeine plant––was revered by the native peoples of the continent’s southern regions. Nearly forgotten, the “Black Drink” as it was called, has re-emerged amidst the movement toward sustainably-harvested local-food.
RESOURCES FROM THIS SHOW:
- ReWild Yourself Podcast: MovNat, How to Get Involved Now — Danny Clark #148
- Meredith Little
- The Practice of Living and Dying
- The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
- The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society by Henri J. M. Nouwen
- The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing by Bronnie Ware
- Spirit Rock
- The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman
Supplementary ReWild Yourself Podcasts:
- Ancestral Amnesia & the Village Mind - Stephen Jenkinson #151
- Ask a Mortician - Caitlin Doughty #146
- Dying Wise in a Death Phobic Society - Stephen Jenkinson #34
- The 4 Stories We Tell Ourselves About Death - Stephen Cave #38
Connect with Scott:
Dr. Scott Eberle is a physician specializing in end-of-life care, medical director of Hospice of Petaluma in Petaluma, California, an experienced teacher and author, and a wilderness guide. Together with Meredith Little, he co-created “The Practice of Living and Dying,” an innovative wilderness curriculum exploring the human experience of being a mortal animal. More recently Scott co-created another new kind of School program with Cazeaux Nordstrum, these ones combining time alone in nature with meditation. To learn more about this new work, read his article, “The Red Thread.” Scott also has a book out called “The Final Crossing: Learning to Die in Order to Live.” In it he writes, “So now I am a physician who specializes in supporting life transitions. I am a hospice doctor who sits with the dying in their homes, and I am a rite-of-passage guide who sits with ‘the dying’ out in the desert.