Does anyone have any specific guided meditations or short readings/reflections that can be used to give comfort or ease for those in the later stages of the dying process? It is for a non-buddhist friend of mine.
I have a couple of 30 min guided metta meditations from Bhante @sujato , which are lovely and calming, but am looking for some more resources.
Thank-you @Aminah It is a great book, but I found it rather too technical from a textual point of view, to provide much practical assistance in providing ‘comfort and ease’.
In particular I’m looking for things to contemplate, either together or on her own, that can incline the mind to peace, serenity and away from fear and loss. She really got into radiating and feeling the warm golden glow of metta
So something easy and gentle
It is an interesting perspective to contemplate overall - how to have a good death, in the midst of pain, fear and grief
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates spreading a heart full of compassion … They meditate spreading a heart full of rejoicing … They meditate spreading a heart full of equanimity to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of equanimity to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. This is a path to companionship with Brahmā.” “Well then, Master Sāriputta, in my name bow with your head to the Buddha’s feet. Say to him: ‘Sir, the brahmin Dhanañjāni is sick, suffering, gravely ill. He bows with his head to your feet.’” Then Sāriputta, after establishing Dhanañjāni in the inferior Brahmā realm, got up from his seat and left while there was still more left to do. Not long after Sāriputta had departed, Dhanañjāni passed away and was reborn in the Brahmā realm.
A couple of months ago I attended a mettā day led by the wonderful Ayya Canda (https://anukampaproject.org). She talked of encouraging a dying friend to practice reflecting on generosity (cāgānussati).
I’ve heard another mendicant encourage people to keep a journal of generous acts they perform. The idea being that, if one is fortunate, one might read through these books when the end seems near.
Could you encourage your friend to recollect some of the kindness and generosity they’ve shown in this life as a way of gladdening and brightening their mind?
The only sutta I would want to hear when dying is MN121. It always brings tears of joy to my eyes along with peace and certainty:
There is only this modicum of stress, namely that associated with the six sense fields dependent on this body and conditioned by life.
And so they regard it as empty of what is not there, but as to what remains they understand that it is present. That’s how emptiness is born in them—genuine, undistorted, and pure.
If your friend connects with MN121, you might consider recording yourself reciting MN121 for your friend and others. Here is Amy. We have no human recordings yet: