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What to practice while dying

49 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Analyzing when death occurs
  • What carries karmic seeds from one life to the next life
  • Engaging in virtue and avoiding non virtue when we are alive
  • Practicing generosity, ethical conduct, and fortitude
  • Avoid disturbing the mind, help recollecting virtuous thoughts
  • Recollecting familiar practice during death
  • Taking refuge at the time of death
  • Description of Reappearance by Aspiration sutta

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 49: What To Practice While Dying (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Are you prepared for helping a relative or friend who is dying?
  2. Are you confident in the practices that you’d like to apply to your mind when dying? What are they? If you haven’t determined what practices you feel drawn toward, make a list now.
  3. Write a Dharma Will that states what Dharma practices you would like to have done as you die, knowing that it’s very natural for those practices to change over the years.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.