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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. Supporting another to meet this moment is a true gift of service. 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.

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

Whether you are new to the teachings of Bon, or have been a practitioner for some time, we welcome you to use what resonates with you and that you find most helpful. 

 

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PREPARING
FOR DEATH

Reflecting on the truth of impermanence and the certainty of death can mature us spiritually and increase 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.

Sharing our intentions with our friends and loved ones can bring peace of mind. Vehicles for communication include preparing a Last Will and Testament, Advance Directive, and writing a Dharma Will. 

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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. It is the light of awareness of the openness of our being that 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 dying person. In navigating the winds of change, the refuge of unbounded openness is an unshakable support.

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 AFTER DEATH

The 49 days after death is considered a journey for the consciousness of the deceased. In this bardo period, just as in life, the five negative emotions have a wind that produce visionary experiences. As we practitioners engage the confused energies of anger, greed, ignorance, jealousy, and pride and offer the antidotes of loving kindness, generosity, openness, peacefulness, and compassion to the deceased, we can support their journey. We do this through practices such as the Six Lokas, the Ma Tri mantra, and the dedication of merit.

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