Wheel of Life, designed by Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, visible at Triten Norbutse Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Introduction

Embracing death as fully as possible is of great significance for practitioners. Contemplating the truth of impermanence and the certainty of death has matured practitioners spiritually and brought forth their positive qualities for the benefit of others. Supporting another to meet this moment is a true gift of service. 

We offer a compilation of supports from the Yungdrung Bön tradition. You can find guidance on preparing for death, the dying process, and the period after death for yourself, or for a sangha member, loved one or friend.

Whether you are new to the teachings of n, or have been a practitioner for some time, we welcome you to use whatever resources resonate with you and that you find most helpful. 

 

PREPARING
FOR DEATH

Reflecting on the truth of impermanence and the certainty of death helps us mature spiritually and increases our appreciation and joy for life. The teachings of inner refuge support us to open to each moment fully and to discover our inherent resourcefulness. Meditating on stillness, silence and spaciousness brings great comfort as we face change and death.

Included in this section are a variety of  materials and guided practices to support reflection and realization as we prepare for death.

Sharing intentions with friends and loved ones can bring peace of mind. The Dharma Will has been created as a vehicle to convey your wishes in relation to practice, environment, and belongings at the time of your death.  

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DYING PROCESS

As the moment of death approaches, inner refuge is a profound support. In the presence of uncertainty and change, the teachings of inner refuge encourage us to open. The light of awareness of the openness of our being supports us to meet change without fear, guiding us in life and in death.

For the caregiver or support person, resting in the openness of being allows you to offer the warmth of presence to the person who is dying. In navigating this profound change, the refuge of unbounded openness is an unshakable support.

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AFTER DEATH

The 49 days after death are considered a journey for the consciousness of the person who has died. In this bardo period, just as in life, the five negative emotions have a wind that produces visionary experiences. After death, one may face the confused energies of anger, greed, ignorance, jealousy, and pride. The antidotes to these are loving kindness, generosity, openness, peacefulness, and compassion. 

As practitioners, we can offer these antidotes to support the journey of the deceased. We do this through practices such as the Six Lokas, the MA TRI mantra, and the dedication of merit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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How long after the person dies can I request powa?
According to the Bon tradition, powa is performed by a lama within the first 3 days of death. But, it is possible to request powa at any time.
Can I request powa or recite mantras for someone who is not a Bon practitioner?
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Can I have my ashes sent to Serenity Ridge in Virginia?
Yes, You may have your ashes sent to Serenity Ridge. They will be spread in the cemetary located in the woods adjacent to the retreat center.
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