Death & Dying

Powerful end-of-life practices and compassionate care
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    The Long Shadow Of Good Intentions Paid Member

    IN THE WAKE OF THE HOSPICE and "conscious dying" movement, caring for the dying has been identified as an inspiring stimulus to spiritual development—more akin to a calling than a job. Spiritual methodologies, particularly Buddhist ones, have informed these efforts to bring compassionate care to the dying. And while much has been written about consciously being with the dying, very little has been said about the shadow of this work. More »
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    Dissolving Into Blue Sky Paid Member

    MY MOTHER HAD PLANNED TO DIE AT HOME. But she died in the hospital, near her home in Maine, because m that moment, when her growing shortness of breath so frightened and unnerved her, the hospital was where she chose to be. It was the right decision for her, and she was glad to have made it. More »
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    Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's Last Teaching Paid Member

    "Even if death were to fall upon you today like lightning, you must be ready to die without sadness and regret, without any residue of clinging for what is left behind. Remaining in the recognition of the absolute view, you should leave this life like an eagle soaring up into the blue sky."—Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche More »
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    Standing Up In Silence Paid Member

    Maruyama, Japan, March 3, 1990 I RECEIVED A CALL FROM ISABEL, who had been with Katagiri the night before he died. She and another disciple of his, a male nurse, had turned him over the night before. One of his feet was cold. They knew he didn t have long when they felt the cold foot. "I remember once he said, 'When the time comes to die, just die.' But he didn't want to die," she said. "He hung on and changed his diet and took all the treatments. He didn't give up till the very end. And then he followed his own advice beautifully." Tomoe-san, his widow, was exhausted and grieving, but surrounded by friends, fellow students, and family. Preparations for the funeral were underway. Nishiki would fly over to conduct it. Calls and cards were coming in from all over the Buddhist world. More »
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    What Does The Body Dream At Rest? Paid Member

    If the heat of one body restingEquals seventy lotus flowersWhat does the body dream at rest? The boy fell into the sea and it swept him awaySaid those who watched him tumble off the cliff;Of course, they could not feel what he feltAs his legs, like scissors, cut the waves. The boy entered the green fold of the seaAs water raced up his heels and thighsBared his belly and chestSalted his lips and tongue.So he sunk beyond the gaze of thoseWho stood panicked against the skyShuffling the pebbles at their feet. Divers dove into the surfAnd later rose to bring the body backTo where the mother and fatherWaiting on the boatBegan to rub his hands and feetTo render him alive again.But his eyes stared at the empty skySo they closed his lids and wailed a whileBefore they tossed carnations into the sea. More »
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    In Light Of Death Paid Member

    Rick Fields, poet, writer, student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and other teachers in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1995. Currently editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal and a contributing editor to Tricycle, Fields lives in Fairfax, California, with his partner, Marcia Cohen. He is the author of several books including How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America (Shambhala) and Code of the Warrior (Tarcher). This interview was conducted by Helen Tworkov in California, in May 1997.TRICYCLE: When you were first told that you had cancer, what did you do? More »