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Helping the Dying a Big Responsibility Posted 15 Jan 2018
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, in his book How to Enjoy Death says that a good rebirth depends upon dying peacefully, with virtuous thoughts. If we die with anger, strong attachment or fear, our births will only be in the lower realms.
Lama Zopa: “Therefore the people surrounding the person who is dying – friends, family, professional caregivers – have a big responsibility. I will put it this way: Whatever arises in your loved one’s mind, whether their thoughts are virtuous or non-virtuous, very much depends on you and the other helpers, how you behave toward them. It is a great responsibility. If you are not careful, if you do not have this education – that the way you behave affects the mind of the person and therefore their future life – you will only harm them, not help them.”
For more on this topic see Helping the dying a big responsibility.
Book Review – How to Enjoy Death by Lama Zopa Rinpoche Posted 2 Jan 2018
How to Enjoy Death
Preparing to Meet Life’s Final Challenge Without Fear
by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
compiled and edited by Robina Courtin
Wisdom Publications: Somerville USA 2016
Sooner or later, you will come face to face with your own death. And maybe before then, someone who is near and dear to you will die. Today you may say, “Oh, I’ll deal with death when the time comes. I’m not worried.” But when the end is near, for you or a loved one, chances are you will be upset, afraid, regretful of lost opportunities, unable to think straight, and not sure what to do.
That is when you can turn to this marvellous book, How to Enjoy Death, and easily find some simple advice, distilled into everyday language by Robina Courtin, from forty-five years of wise and practical teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
However, it may take a close brush with death for you to realize then that it may be too late to wait till the Lord of Death knocks on your door, and that what you really need to do is to prepare yourself now, without delay. With that positive motivation, there is no better reference book to guide your investigations and your actions than How to Enjoy Death.
It is a beautifully presented book, with gold edges to the pages and the feel of a precious resource. Why is it precious? Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains why from the Buddhist viewpoint, death is important: “Helping our loved ones at the time of death is the best service we can offer them, our greatest gift. Why? Because death is the most important time of life: it’s at death the next rebirth is determined.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche begins by teaching us how to think about death and rebirth, the stages of the death process, and the spiritual opportunity that occurs as you die. Next, Rinpoche gives targeted advice on what to do before death, including what to see and touch, what to think about, what to hear, what to meditate on, and what to do when the breath stops. Next are clear instructions about what to do after the breath has stopped but the mind is still in the body. Lastly, Rinpoche explains what to do after the mind has left the body.
To sample the clarity and wisdom in Rinpoche’s book, follow the link to We Must Prepare for Death