Helping The Dying

Revised edition published in May 2003 Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery Publication, Art & Design Department 88 Bright Hill Road Singapore 574117 Tel (65) 6552 7426 Email publication kmspks.org www.kmspks.org 10,000 books, September 2003 ISBN 981-04-8920-X Sangye Khadro (Kathleen McDonald) 1999 Although reprinting of our books for free distribution is encouraged as long as the publication is reprinted in its entirety with no modifications, including this statement of the conditions, and...

Cultivate A Spiritual Practice

As we are dying, we may find ourselves experiencing physical discomfort and pain. In addition to this, we may also experience disturbing thoughts and emotions, such as regrets about the past, fears about the future, sadness about having to separate from our loved ones and possessions, and anger about the misfortunes that are happening to us. As mentioned above, it is very important to keep our mind free from such negative thoughts, and instead to have positive thoughts at the time of death....

Finding Forgiveness

Sogyal Rinpoche, in The Tibetan Book ofLiving and Dying (pps.212-213), says that two things that are very important in helping a dying person are giving hope and finding forgiveness. When dying, many people experience guilt, regret, depression or a sense of hopelessness. You can help them by allowing them to express their feelings, and by listening compassionately and non-judgementally. But encourage them to remember the good things they have done in their life, and to feel positive about the...

Inevitable Part Of Life

People sometimes think of death as a punishment for bad things they have done, or as a failure or mistake, but it is none of these. It is a natural part of life. The sun rises and sets the seasons come and go beautiful flowers become withered and brown people and other beings are born, live for some time, then die. One of the principal things the Buddha discovered and pointed out to us is the truth of impermanence that things change and pass away. There are two aspects of impermanence gross and...

Live Ethically

Painful or frightening experiences that occur at the time of death and afterwards are the result of negative actions, or karma. To prevent such experiences, we need to refrain from negative actions and do as many positive actions as we can. For example, we can do our best to avoid the ten non-virtuous actions (killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, harsh speech, lying, slander, gossip, covetousness, ill-will and wrong views) and to practice the ten virtues (consciously refraining from killing,...

Caring For The Dying

Robert, I Don't Know What to Say How to Help and Support Someone who is Callanan, Maggie and Patricia Kelley. Final Gifts Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying. New York Bantam, 1992. Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying. New York Collier, 1970. _. To Live Until We Say Goodbye. Englewood Levine, Stephen. Who Dies An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying. Garden City, NY Doubleday, 1982. Longaker, Christine. Facing Death and...

From Death And Rebirth

Dying and taking rebirth are two of the symptoms of ordinary, cyclic existence (samsara), the state of continuously-recurring problems, dissatisfaction, and non-freedom which all of us are caught in. The reason we are in this situation is because of the presence in our mind of delusions chiefly attachment, anger and ignorance and the imprints of our actions (karma) performed under the influence of delusions. The Buddha was once like us, caught in samsara, but He found a way to become free, and...

How To Help

'The main thing is to take care of the dying person's mind. Many others can take care of the body, but we can take care of the mind.' Lama Zopa Rinpoche 'The body has its own language of love, use it fearlessly, and you will find you bring to the dying comfort and consolation.' Sogyal Rinpoche 'When you do social service, and from the very beginning what you have in your heart is to offer service to others, because others are most important, then of course you enjoy the work because of the pure...

Helping Others Who Are Dying

It is said in the Buddhist teachings that helping another person to die with a peaceful, positive state of mind is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can offer. The reason for this is that the moment of death is so crucial for determining the rebirth to come, which in turn will affect subsequent rebirths. However, helping a dying person is no easy task. When people die, they experience numerous difficulties and changes, and this would naturally give rise to confusion as well as painful...

Who Is Not A Buddhist

If the dying person belongs to another religion, make an effort to understand what they know and believe, and speak to them accordingly. For example, if they believe in God and heaven, encourage them to have faith in and pray to God, and to feel confident that they will be with God in heaven after they leave this life. And have a respectful attitude towards the person and their beliefs and practices. Remember, the most important thing is to help the person to have positive thoughts in their...

Death And Dying

Death and the Art of Dying in Tibetan Buddhsm. San Francisco ClearPoint Press, 1993. Kapleau, Philip, ed. The Wheel ofDeath. New York, Harper & Row, 1971. Lama Lodo. Bardo Teachings. Ithaca, NY Snow Lion, 1987. Lati Rinpochay and Jeffrey Hopkins. Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth. Ithaca, NY Snow Lion, 1985. Loden, Geshe Acharya Thubten. Path to Enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism, pps.225-253. Melbourne Tushita Publications. Mullin, Glen H. Death and Dying The Tibetan...