Death & Dying

Powerful end-of-life practices and compassionate care
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    Village Women Paid Member

    Bringing a Buddhist view to the care of the dying was the subject of five recent interviews conducted by Mary Talbot, Executive Editor of Tricycle, and combined into the following discussion. Joan Halifax, a medical anthropologist and author, began her work with dying people in 1970 at the Miami School of Medicine. She is a senior teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing, founder of the Ojai Foundation, Upaya, and The Project On Being With Dying, and a founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order. More »
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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 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. More »