Death & Dying

Powerful end-of-life practices and compassionate care
  • Tricycle Community 12 comments

    Between Two Mountains Paid Member

    For all the horror and trauma that terrorism creates, its lasting power resides in the largely irrational fear we create and then magnify with our minds. Today, statistics show that airplanes are twenty-two times safer than automobiles, yet many people have stopped flying because of the fear that the September 11 attacks engendered. The anthrax scare has caused a widespread reluctance to handle mail, yet only five deaths have resulted from anthrax letters among 30 billion pieces delivered nationwide. We are afraid of death by biological attacks, yet in America some 20,000 people die of the flu each year, and only half of those most at risk get vaccinated. Clearly, the fear of terrorism will not be appeased by providing information, rationalizations, or statistics. It resides in a deep aspect of our consciousness. In order to work with it, we need to understand how it develops. More »
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    Aging Into Dying and Death Paid Member

    Buddhist writer Larry Rosenberg maintains that “we’re not really afraid of dying—we’re afraid of the idea of dying.” The discussion of ideas about dying has become quite fashionable—though they are not usually recognized as anymore than ideas. The Tibetan Book of the Dead and its famous variant, Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, have become bestsellers. At any public meeting on Buddhism you can be sure of at least one question about rebirth. In meditative inquiry it is important to distinguish between ideas and personal experience. Buddhist ideas about death are an expression of the experience of highly evolved yogins, raised in or living in traditional, spiritually saturated cultures. Such ideas can sustain faith. They are also valuable in that they may contain specific meditation and visualization instructions, which, in gifted and advanced practitioners, can lead to altered states of consciousness. More »
  • Tricycle Community 17 comments

    The Day After You Die Paid Member

    Even if resembling, while alive, the    children of the gods,Once dead they are more frightful than a    demon horde;People of Tingri, you’ve been deceived by    these illusory bodies. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    Like a Hair Pulled Out of Butter Paid Member

    Not long ago, your consciousness was wandering alone. Swept along by karma, it took this present birth. Soon, like a hair pulled out of butter, Leaving everything behind, you'll go on again alone. Be careful—a powerful enemy is approaching. Not an ordinary enemy, but an invincible one: death. No plea, however eloquent, can persuade death to hold off for a few years—or even for a second. Not even the most powerful warrior, at the head of all the armies of the earth, can make death turn a hair. Death cannot be bribed by wealth, however vast, nor stirred by even the most enchanting beauty. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Good Death Paid Member

    "Your mind state at the time you draw your last breath is crucial, for upon this hinges the subsequent direction and embodiment of the life force. Only with a disciplined and spiritually prepared mind can you hope to resist the pull of old patterns of craving and clinging as your final energies are slipping away. The impulses of thought, feeling, and perception all gather together in this last breath with great potency ... " —Philip Kapleau Roshi So exactly which last breath is the roshi talking about here? The last breath taken before lapsing into coma or vegetative state? The last breath taken before being placed on a respirator? Or the last breath taken when a court orders the respirator removed, one year later? More »