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.
Held in the foothills of the White Mountains, this residential retreat delved deeply into the liberating practices of death and dying, drawing on the profound resources of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Among topics and practices explored include Transference of Consciousness (poa), the bardo (in-between state), and the contemplative practices of death. Spiritual care for self and others at the time of death, and practical preparation for our own death was explored.
What to have on hand
- A photograph (framed if possible) of someone you love who has passed away. We will set up a shrine with their photos. It might be a photo of someone whose death deeply affected you and shaped your life, which is good. We will use these memories as a basis for exploring our relationship to death and dying.
- A container to use as your ‘death basket’: a basket, wood box, sturdy bag, etc. (with lid). It should be large enough to hold approximately two-gallon jugs of milk.
- 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. Your death basket will hold these items.
- A notebook for writing