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Lama Zopa Rinpoche with ‘How to Enjoy Death,’ Osel Labrang, Sera Monastery, India, December 2015.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has given extensive advice and instruction for caring for ourselves and others during death and dying. FPMT Education Services would like to remind students of all the materials available to them for this critical time of transition. 

Immediate Help

While Rinpoche’s advice on the subject has been vast, Medicine Buddha pujas and “Eight Prayers to Benefit the Dead” are the most recommended practices to do, should you need help immediately. 

How to Enjoy Death

How to Enjoy Death: Preparing to Meet Life’s Final Challenge Without Fear brings together all the extensive commentary from Lama Zopa Rinpoche as well as a number of essential prayers, practices, and other materials that Lama Zopa Rinpoche has compiled over the years.

“We Buddhists all know about death and impermanence, but when death comes into our lives we often panic and don’t know what to do to help,” said Ven. Robina Courtin, the editor of How to Enjoy Death. “Rinpoche lays out all the instructions so clearly, one step at a time, for how to help our loved ones: what to do in the months and weeks before death, what to do in the hours before death, at the time the breath stops, and in the three days as well as the forty-nine days after death, including transforming our loved one’s ashes into a holy object.”

The condensed book of Rinpoche’s advice, Heart Practices for Death and Dying, contains the essential practices to do at the time of death. 

The Five Powers

Practicing the Five Powers Near the Time of Death by Lama Zopa Rinpoche contains advice and commentary to help ensure a peaceful death and positive rebirth. Although this book was intended for use by those facing imminent death, it is a deeply profound teaching on how to live life for anyone who wishes to make their life and eventual death most meaningful. 

Rinpoche explains, “When you practice the five powers, every single thing you do is only for numberless sentient beings and therefore, everything you do only becomes the cause for achieving the peerless happiness of full enlightenment. This is the greatest profit that can be achieved with this life and so this practice is the most beneficial one for achieving peerless happiness. It means that every single action you do, whether it is meditation and prayers or doing your job, becomes the cause of happiness for all sentient beings. This means that you will have the best, happiest life now and also the best, happiest life in the future—like the sun shining in this world and eliminating all darkness.”

Heart Advice for Death and Dying

Heart Advice for Death and Dying is a collection of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s essential advice and commentaries for the time of death. Teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche include, “The Nine-Point Meditation on Death,” “The Process of Dying,” “Preparing for Death,” “Practicing the Five Powers,” “Caring for the Dying and the Dead,” “Essential Activities at the Death Time,” and “Mantras to Benefit the Dying and Dead.” This collection also includes an MP3 CD of eleven hours of teachings on death by Ven. Sangye Khadro. In addition to the book and CD, this material is also available as a program for students more interested in structured study. 

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The Liberation Box contains many resources recommended by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to help at the time of death.

Liberation Box: Protection Tool for a Fortunate Rebirth

This invaluable collection of holy objects and essential blessed materials was put together on the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

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FPMT Education Services hopes that you will take full advantage of the resources available to you. Preparing for death is a wonderful service to offer oneself and our loved ones. 

The FPMT Death and Dying Heart Practices and Advice webpage is kept up to date with all of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s latest advice and materials concerning death and dying. 

Through comprehensive study programspractice materialstraining seminars, and scholarships, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.

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