Death and Dying: Practices and Resources

Practices, Advice and ServicesBooks and Study ProgramsObituaries

The Most Essential Practices

Lama Zopa Rinpoche recommends various practices to perform when someone is dying or has died. However, the most essential practices to do are:

  • The Array of Sukhavati Pure Land: A Concise Mahayana Sutra – PDF | Audio
    This sutra can be recited three times and then tap the sutra on the head of the dying person three times 
  • The Eight Prayers PDF
    A collection of prayers which is commonly recited in the gelug monastic communities for the recently deceased
  • King of Prayers – PDF | Audio
  • Medicine Buddha Practices
    • Medicine Buddha SadhanaPDF
    • A Brief Meditation-Recitation on Guru Medicine Buddha – PDF | Audio
    • Medicine Buddha Puja – The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel – A simple puja (set of prayers) that can be performed by anyone with faith in the Buddha – English | Sinhalese
    • Extensive Medicine Buddha Puja – The Wish Granting Sovereign PDF
    • Medicine Buddha Mantras PDF | Audio
  • Rinchen Tsugtor Chen: Holy Name and Commentary – PDF | Audio
    During the 2010 Light of the Path retreat, Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised that this verse is the very first thing to recite in a person or animal’s ear when they are dying or dead.
  • Recite OṂ MAṆI PADME HỤ̄M and Request to Chenrezig – PDF | Audio
Other Practices and Resources
  • Additional Practices to Benefit the Dead: Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche – PDF
  • Amitabha Pure Land Prayers – PDF | Audio
  • Benefits of Medicine Buddha Mantra and Practice by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
  • Blessing Medicine
  • The Jangwa Practice Associated with the Medicine Guru [Buddha] Entitled Freeing the Wretched from the Chasm – PDF
  • Liberation Box: A collection of tools to facilitate a fortunate rebirth – PDF
  • Liberation Card for a Dying Person – ChineseEnglishFrenchSpanish
  • Mantras to place on the body of someone who is dying or has died – PDF
  • Nyung Na: The Means of Achievement of the Eleven-Face Great Compassionate One – PDF
  • Recitations for the Time of Death – Audio
  • Recitations for Alleviating Pain – Audio
  • Sur Offering – Aroma Charity for Spirits  – English | German

Mantras

  • Five Powerful Mantras for Liberating Sentient Beings from the Lower Realms – PDF | Audio
  • Kunrig Mantra – PDF | Audio
  • Lotus Pinnacle of Amoghapasha Mantra – PDF | Audio
  • Mantra from the Sutra of Great Liberation – PDF | Audio
  • Milarepa Mantra – Audio
  • Mitrugpa Mantra – PDF | Audio
  • Namgyalma mantras – PDF | Audio | Video | Card | Benefits
  • Sarvanivaranaviskhambhin – The Exalted Zung Called “Eliminating Obscurations” – Contains the mantra to be recited every day to not have pain at the time of death.  PDF
  • Ten powerful mantras for the time of death – PDF | Audio
Other Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche

*Additional information and advice is available to FPMT centers, projects, and services in the Death and Dying Resources section of the FPMT Affiliates Area.

Request for Prayers

Prayer Services for People Who Have Passed Away in the Past 49 Days

You can request prayers for people who have passed away in the past 49 days. The names of people who have recently passed away are given to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, FPMT sangha communities, and individual Buddhist practitioners with a request for their prayers. You can also subscribe to the prayer list so that you can contribute your own prayers to those who have died in the past 49 days.

Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery offers free prayer services as well as opportunities to sponsor pujas for those who are dying or have passed away.

Jangwa Pujas

The following FPMT centers offer jangwa pujas to benefit the dead, please contact them directly for more information:

Hospice Services

There are also many FPMT hospice services that help provide end of life care for those in need.

 

Books and Study Programs

Further resources are available to learn how to prepare for your own death, and how to help others who are dying.

Books and Reading Materials

Books and Reading Materials

FPMT Education Programs

FPMT Education Programs

  • Heart Advice for Death and Dying
    An FPMT introductory course available online and in some FPMT centers. The course provides practical instructions for the time of death to anyone who is interested in learning about death and dying from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective.
  • Discovering Buddhism, Module 5. Death and Rebirth
    An FPMT foundational-level course available online and in many centers. It explores life, death, and rebirth and the nature of mind. Students learn to use the fear of death to overcome the fear of death. They discover how to use the certainty and imminence of death to enhance their quality of life.

Obituaries

We invite you to visit our Obituaries page to read obituaries of teachers and community members. You can also submit an obituary for someone in the FPMT community that has passed away recently.


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