Death and Dying

Coronavirus and Suicide

Coronavirus and Suicide

In this time of COVID-19, you are not alone if you’re feeling anxious, stressed, depressed and even suicidal.  Psychologists are concerned about the connection between the coronavirus and suicide. There is a new study that recently was done that projects an increase...

Shamatha Meditation as a Preparation for Death

Shamatha Meditation as a Preparation for Death

Shamatha meditation is a fundamental form of mindfulness meditation. Shamatha means “peaceful abiding”.”Mindfulness is the meditation common to all schools of Buddhism. It is the ground meditation upon which all subsequent meditations are based. Without a solid foundation in mindfulness, all the other practices become shaky.

How Vipassana Meditation Helps Prepare for Death

How Vipassana Meditation Helps Prepare for Death

Just as shamatha meditation prepares the mind for the after death states, we can also look at how vipassana meditation helps prepare for death. One of the main themes in The Tibetan Book of the Dead is “recognition and liberation are simultaneous.” This relates to...

After Death States: The Bardos in Tibetan Buddhism

After Death States: The Bardos in Tibetan Buddhism

The central orienting view in the Tibetan tradition of “thanatology” (the study of death and dying) is that of the bardos.  This Tibetan word “Bardo” is translated as “gap, interval, intermediate state, transitional process, or in between” and usually refers to the gap between lives. According to the Tibetan teachings, there are three death bardos: the painful bardo of dying, the luminous bardo of dharmata, and the karmic bardo of becoming.

Karmic Implications of Suicide

Karmic Implications of Suicide

To address questions about the karmic implications of suicide, it helps to understand the four aspects of a fully established karma. What is a karmic action made of? How are the consequences of an act established? Even though the topic of karma has entered the public...

Relating to Suicide from a Buddhist Perspective

Relating to Suicide from a Buddhist Perspective

The difficult topic of suicide and the depression that often triggers it are complex issues. Biological, cultural, social, and psychological causes all conspire to spark these tragic events. How can we relate to suicide from a Buddhist perspective? Is there a way to...

Holding Environment for Dying

Holding Environment for Dying

There is a great deal we can do to help others as they die.  The best thing is to create a proper holding environment for dying. What is a Holding Environment? The idea of holding environments was created by the psychiatrist and pediatrician Donald Winnicott.  He used...

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