What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?

RE: How Do You Want to Die?

“I don’t want to die. But I guess I’ll live as long as I need to.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico
10 years old

“I want to be ready to completely let go of this form, and ready to plunge into whatever is next.”

Lee Moore
Kent, Ohio
24 years old

“I would like to die peacefully—anytime—it doesn’t matter when. I don’t know if I will be able to do that, but now I am at peace. Hopefully I will be peaceful when true pain comes.”

Thay Gniac Hanh
Plum Village, France

“I want to die consciously, so I shall know that I am dying. I want to die mindfully, with awareness. I have no fear of dying.”

Venerable Bimal Tishya
Bodhi Carya Vihara
Calcutta, India

“I would like to die in a natural way, even from a sickness. I want to die in a human way. The modern school of medicine of prolonging the process of dying, is that one cannot die in his or her own time, one cannot die with dignity. I also want to be of support to those who are dying.”

Nakagana Roshi
Daihizan Fumonji

“I would like to die knowing I am dying.”

Chan Hoi
Maple Village
Montreal, Canada

“Alone. Somewhere isolated and beautiful north of the tree line. With my dogs.”

Gretel Ehrlich
Gaviota, California


Harrison Hoblitzelle
Cambridge, Massachusetts
74 years old

“I want to die like the lady I was caring for who died two weeks ago. She was an ordinary person. But she had the privilege of dying of old age, without sickness, with a perfectly clear mind, and surrounded by her family and her sangha. In the last three weeks of her life, she exhibited the most extraordinary clarity, like she was in the presence of the guru. She accommodated everybody’s needs, which is always how she was. And she was always grateful.”

Ani Lodro
Samye Ling Monastery, Scotland
63 years old


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