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An evening with a gravedigger and a Tibetan Buddhist.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
When Sam Hayes was 21 his father passed away – and it was Sam who found his body. “I was full of hubris at the time and moved into his room the next week because I wanted people to think I was strong,” he says. But within a year, Sam was experiencing severe anxiety. “I became obsessed with death and the ‘not-knowing’. Oblivion and aloneness scared me the most. Six years later I was lowering bodies into the earth for money. The fact that these people, and my Dad, and every person throughout our time had made that journey comforted me a little. I buried Muslims, Buddists, Zoroastrians, Christians and Atheists. Death doesn't keep me awake anymore.”
A gravedigger from 2007–11, and now a performing arts student based in Perth, Sam has shovel-loads of stories, observations and musings to share about the way people deal with death.
As a Tibetan Buddhist and yoga coach, Fleur believes our 'ego' attachment to life causes much suffering. “Our attachment to the idea of self is why we fear death so much in the first place,” she says. While studying Tibetan Buddhism in India, Fleur attended many teachings on death. She will discuss some of the Buddhist beliefs and practices related to death, including sky burials, the rainbow body and how the Buddhist response to death compares to our approach in the Western world.