Death is a topic that we often shy away from, and its realities are hidden in our cultural context. Yet the Buddha taught that contemplating death is a practice of liberation – one that vastly enhances the quality of our life.
By looking directly at death, we access our appreciation and joy for this human life and its transformative potential. Join Lama Willa Blythe Baker, Dr. Cheryl Giles, PsyD and Chris Berlin, MDiv for a unique retreat in which we delve deeply into the liberating practices of death and dying, drawing on the profound resources of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Among topics explored include contemplative practices for facing our own death and preparing for the bardo (the in-between state between death and rebirth), spiritual care for the dying, Buddhist rites of passage for helping others at the time of death, and practical preparation for dying in our time and place.
What to have on hand
- A photograph (framed if possible) of someone you love whose death transformed you. We will set these up on a communal “benefactor shrine”.
- A container to use as a ‘death basket’: a basket, sturdy cloth bag, or wooden box). It should be large enough to hold approximately one gallon jug of milk.
- A few compact items that you would like to have nearby if you were to unexpectedly find yourself in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital for an extended stay (a statue, framed photos, a rosary for example). These are “starter items” for the death basket.
- A notebook for writing