SuttaCentral

Wanted - Meditations to ease the dying process


#1

Greetings :slight_smile:

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.

Any suggestions warmly appreciated :anjal:


#2

I’m sorry for such an imprecise suggestion, but I haven’t read it all yet, so am not able to point you to anything specific that might be useful to you, but I wonder if you might find something in Ven. Analayo’s Mindfully Facing Disease and Death: Compassionate Advice from Early Buddhist Texts.

Much metta to you and your friend.

:anjal:


#3

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 :slight_smile:

So something easy and gentle :slight_smile:

It is an interesting perspective to contemplate overall - how to have a good death, in the midst of pain, fear and grief :slight_smile:


#4

Pehaps this Sutta.

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.

https://voice.suttacentral.net/scv/index.html?r=0.9627701412251397#/sutta?search=mn97


#5

Stephen Levine – Beatnik poet, worked with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Buddhist practitioner and teacher – books, in particular “Who Dies” and “Healing into Life and Death”.


and Google search on “Stephen Levine books”.

He was also quite good at guided meditations, many recorded on cassette tapes and CDs. Probably some available on-line, and/or videos of his workshops / teaching.

Sample:


#6

:anjal: Thank-you very much @SarathW1 and @cjmacie (I’ll definitely be checking that out)

I’ve also spent the day discovering the ‘private’ sector of meditation … :open_mouth:

It seems there is no lack of resources here - just a process of sorting out what seems most helpful :slight_smile:


#7

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?


#8

That’s a great idea :slight_smile: Many thanks @Leon :slight_smile:

I also found some nice stuff on forgiveness - of self and of others, which may help to ‘resolve’ all the unfinished business, and regrets etc :slight_smile:

:anjal:


#9

I think mettā is at the heart of all the above, practices and it’s important to develop it deeply…!


#10

I recently heard of the Living/Dying Project (via an interview of its founder Dale Borglum on Batgap)

I don’t have a first hand experience with them but they seem to have lots of resource on their website, including meditations and articles that might be relevant to what you’re looking for…

Good luck and best wishes to you and your friend.


#11

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.

:pray:

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:


#12

In fact, I contemplate on emptiness most of the time. It has become my life companion now.


#13

The Zen Hospice Project website may have some useful material.

:blossom:


#14

I’ve always admired this talk by Ajahn Chah.


#15

Thankyou @Nadine :sparkling_heart: and @DKervick :sparkling_heart:

I’ll be checking those out :-), and I think I know the talk you’re referring to at Amaravatti Dan, great reminder!

:smiley: