A man of great compassion and wisdom, whose service in medicine and in teaching touched the hearts and minds of many people.
It is with some sadness that I found out yesterday that on September 20th, a great leader in medicine, mindfulness, and living life fully present – Dr. Lee Lipsenthal – died of cancer.
Although I’d only “met” Lee through e-mail, and had spoken with him only twice on the phone, he presented himself as someone who enjoyed every moment, every sandwich. His presence was palpable in our phone conversations and in our brief correspondence.
His review of my book, at at time when he was dealing with his own very internal and sacred process, was no less than an act of altruistic kindness. Certainly, the generosity of heart and mind that he offered those who knew him will be sorely missed.
Why then do I say that it is with “some sadness” rather than “extreme sadness?” Why not resolute regret and sorrow?
I only knew Lee in his last nine months of his life, not through the many years that he was able to serve others and inspire them with his words and wisdom. Yet, in the brief interactions that I had with him, I witnessed a courage of spirit and mind that demonstrated comfort and ease with “what is,” and a sense of preparation for his death based on having worked with his mind. So, I only say “some sadness” because through the sharing of his dying process, he has blessed so many with his insights and wisdom. And while his loss must certainly have left his family with an immeasurable void in the absence of his presence, and my heart goes out to them in this time; his sharing of his experience in preparing to die has been a gift to so many. May his words benefit countless others in their own journeys on the path.
In this YouTube video, in preparation to launch his book, Enjoy Every Sandwich, you can sense the presence of a man at peace with “what is,” rather than “what should be.” Please watch this video, buy his book, support his work, and learn from his mind. Such is the homage that we may pay for having had the good fortune to have read his words, worked with him, or shared even a moment in his presence. Though I didn’t really know him, he touched my heart and – it is my hope – that he’ll do the same for you. Thank you.