Death & Dying

Powerful end-of-life practices and compassionate care
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Living Organs & Dying Bodies Paid Member

    Organ donation presents a conflict for many Buddhists. On the one hand, we strive to attain the bodhisattva ideal of compassionate action whenever possible. Nine people die in this country every day waiting in vain for donors. On the other hand, according to some Buddhist teachings, death comes when the consciousness leaves the body, not with the last breath, and it is generally believed that the circumstances of clinical death and the period following it, before the consciousness is released, are critical in helping to determine one's rebirth. According to that view, it is best not to cut into the body for three days following clinical death or risk disturbing the process. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    In the Between Paid Member

    The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo thos grol), written by the great master Padmasambhava, organizes the experiences of "the between"—(Tibetan, bar-do) usually referring to the state between death and rebirth. Padmasambhava hid the text for a later era, and it was discovered by the renowned treasure­finder Karma Lingpa in the fourteenth century. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    The Body After Death Paid Member

    Methods of caring for the body after death vary from culture to culture. What follows are some suggestions that come from my experience as a Buddhist and a caregiver of dying people. IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH Keep the atmosphere around the deceased simple and peaceful. If possible, do not disturb or touch the body immediately after death. If the body must be touched, do so very gently. Pray for peace and freedom for the one who has died. If appropriate, read sacred texts or conduct any practices or death rituals from the deceased's tradition. BEFORE THE ONSET OF RIGOR MORTIS More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Who is About to Die? Paid Member

    DOKYO ETANDied on the sixth day of the tenth month, 1721, at the age of eighty Here in the shadow ofdeath it is hardTo utter the final word.I'll only say, then,"Without saying."Nothing more,Nothing more. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    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 »