helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

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helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby kiss » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:15 pm

greetings to all,

i recently read this book by Ven. Aggacitta and was pondering on Theravadin's perspective and guidelines in helping and preparing death for the dying. i try to do some searching but still couldn't find any yet. hope the Sangha members and well-read lay Theravadins can provide me with some resources and guidelines in helping the dying. (such as bardo guide for vajrayanists; recitation of Buddha's name for purelanders etc...)
thank you :smile:

metta
keep it simple, stupid~ my lifehack

keeping it simply said: 'i'm learning from Buddha to be wise and kind'

Bhikkhu Tissa dispels some doubts - an invaluable piece of advice to learn from, time to time.
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:32 pm

Here is a free e-book on the subject:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/dietolive.pdf

and you may be able to find some other e-books (free PDF downloads) here:

http://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Category:E-books
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby Guy » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:40 pm

Hi Kiss,

Peace of mind is probably the most important thing at the time of death. There are many ways to establish peace of mind, I don't know that there is a "best" way, or at least what is best for one person might not be the best method for another person. If they are concerned about unfinished business then it is important to make peace with that and let it go. If they have done a lot of kind and generous acts in their life then perhaps it is suitable to recall the good deeds they have done. If they are really interested in the Dhamma then perhaps it would be nice to read them some of the Suttas, in particular...

Anathapindikovada Sutta: Instructions to Anathapindika (MN 143)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. And on that occasion Anathapindika the householder was diseased, in pain, severely ill. Then Anathapindika the householder said to one of his men, "Come, my good man. Go to the Blessed One and, on arrival, pay homage to his feet with your head in my name and say 'Lord, Anathapindika the householder is diseased, in pain, severely ill. He pays homage with his head to the Blessed One's feet.' Then go to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, pay homage to his feet with your head in my name and say 'Venerable sir, Anathapindika the householder is diseased, in pain, severely ill. He pays homage with his head to your feet.' Then say: 'It would be good if Ven. Sariputta would visit Anathapindika's home, out of sympathy for him.'"

[EDIT: The rest of the text can be found via the link below. Please do not quote entire suttas or articles where it is not necessary to do so. Thanks - Retro.]



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.143x.olen.html

Dying is very much an individual thing, I don't know if there is a "right" way to do it, but if there is peace and non-clinging I think that is most beneficial.

If you let go a little
You will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot
You will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely
You will have complete peace and freedom.

—The Venerable Ajahn Chah


Please take my own words with a grain of salt, the Buddha and monks like Ajahn Chah are more articulate and more qualified to talk about such things than I am.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:37 pm

Guy wrote:Peace of mind is probably the most important thing at the time of death.... If they are concerned about unfinished business then it is important to make peace with that and let it go. If they have done a lot of kind and generous acts in their life then perhaps it is suitable to recall the good deeds they have done. If they are really interested in the Dhamma then perhaps it would be nice to read them some of the Suttas

This is my answer as well.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby cooran » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:45 pm

Hello kiss,

This is worth considering:

Notes on a Theravada Approach to Spiritual Care to the Dying and the Dead
(Originally written for people offering Buddhist Spiritual Care)
~ Gil Fronsdal
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... ndDead.pdf

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby zerotime » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:28 am

read this. It's clear, simple and useful:

When the time of death arrives let this feeling be present. You should remember that close to death the mind will gradually slip away. As the body runs down nearing its end, consciousness will gradually disappear. You will forget more and more until you forget everything. Yon won't know what time it is, whether it's day or night; you won't be able to tell where you are or whose house you're in, you won't even be able to remember your name or even the most basic daily chants properly. But the way for you to stay as the companion of the mind until the end is to be aware that nothing is worth having or being. Volunteer for the remainderless extinction! Let that feeling of volunteering for the remainderless extinction, that readiness to accept it be a partner of the mind until the very end. With this skilful means the mind will be able to dissolve itself into the emptiness that is Nibbana. This is the practice at the moment of physical death for those of little knowledge. With it an unlearned grandma or granddad can reach the final extinction. We call it the skilful means of turning a fall from a ladder into a measured leap.

[EDIT: The rest of the text can be found via the link below. Please do not quote entire suttas or articles where it is not necessary to do so. Thanks - Retro.]

HEART - WOOD FROM THE BO TREE
by
BUDDHADASA BHIKKHU

http://www.pathandfruit.com/Books/Bhikk ... _EMPTINESS

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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:31 am

Guy wrote:
Anathapindikovada Sutta: Instructions to Anathapindika (MN 143)

There is a nice reading of this Sutta here: http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/index.html#mn.143
And a talk about it by Ajahn Sister Vayama here: http://www.bswa.org/audio/podcast/SuttaStudy.rss.php

Metta
Mike
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby kiss » Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:55 pm

thank you everyone, i'm grateful for your replies. i have taken some time out to read the links you guys have provided me and have learnt alot from them. thank you to chris especially for the article on care for dying and dead by Gil Fronsdal was particularly useful for me. thank you again everyone. any furthur recommendations is still welcome. i will continue to learn as long as there are furthur suggestions for readings.

with much metta :namaste:
keep it simple, stupid~ my lifehack

keeping it simply said: 'i'm learning from Buddha to be wise and kind'

Bhikkhu Tissa dispels some doubts - an invaluable piece of advice to learn from, time to time.
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby Guy » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:47 pm

Hello,

Here is a recent Dhamma talk (mp3 format) given by Ajahn Brahm in memory of Dr. Robert Disspain, a lay supporter who died while talking to Ajahn Brahm a week ago. http://www.bswa.org/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?cid=4&lid=850

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby sattva » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:23 pm

Hello Kiss,
i have quite a few articles, talks, and books i could recommend on the whole subject of dying from a Buddhist perspective. First though, i would like to ask you if this is abstract, hypothetical questions (nothing wrong if it is) or if you know someone who is dying and want to be of help? The reason i ask this is because dying with a calm mind is the most important thing one can do from a Buddhist perspective. For this reason, it would be unwise to cause a person to question his/her beliefs when drawing close to death. A Christian should be reminded of their good deeds and focus on a loving Jesus. A person who is an atheist might find music or nature to be calming. A clean and peaceful environment is always important. The important thing here is to speak to the individual and to not do anything that remotely causes a mind of unrest. For a person who is Buddhist, reading, reciting, or hearing meaningful verses, chanting, and taking refuge are all important elements to help the dying process. Letting go of possessions and mending any fences can be helpful, but again, it is important NOT to force anything. Most Buddhist teachers of any tradition will probably tell you that the best thing you can do is to focus on your practice right now. If you are fortunate enough to have some awareness that you are about to die you should do your regular practice as best as you can. So, if you are working on a breath meditation, do that. If you are doing metta, do that. Sometimes, a person can't do these practices themselves because of pain, medications, or a comatose state and it helps to have a teacher or other person there who can help them. This is why i believe living near a Sangha and having a supportive environment is important.

Remember though that many many people have no knowledge that they are about to die. Death can come in an instant. All the practice you do now and all the wholesome qualities that you develop will serve you well when you are dying. I recently listened to this talk and found it interesting.

http://www.bswa.org/modules/mydownloads ... 12&lid=183



kind regards,
sattva

ps. i have quite a few articles and books from various Buddhist traditions, plus a powerpoint i did , etc. Send me a PM if you want me to email any of these to you.
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Re: helping the dying ~ need Theravadin's perspective

Postby andrewuk » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:27 pm

I have two files in my folder but I haven't read it yet.. So I'm not sure how relevant it is to your question...

1) LEARNING HOW TO DIE - Sayadaw U Uttamasara
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/uttama2b.htm

2) Aging and Dying - Bhikkhu Prayudh Payutto
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Agin ... dh_Payutto

With metta,

Andrew
Meditate, don't be negligent, lest you may later regret it!
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