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
  • Helping Yourself and Others Die Happily: Instructions and Practices for the Time of Death | PDF
  • King of Prayers | PDF | Audio
  • Liberation Tools to Help the Dying and Deceased | PDF
  • Medicine Buddha Practices
    • A Brief Meditation-Recitation on Guru Medicine Buddha | PDF | Audio
    • A Very Short Medicine Buddha Practice | PDF
    • Medicine Buddha Sadhana | PDF
    • Medicine Buddha Mantras | PDF | Audio
    • Medicine Buddha Pujas
      • Extensive Medicine Buddha Puja: The Wish Granting Sovereign | PDF
      • 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
  • Rinchen Tsugtor Chen: Holy Name and CommentaryPDF | 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 Deceased: 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
  • Holy Objects to Place on the Body at the Time of Death | PDF
  • The Jangwa Practice Associated with the Medicine Guru [Buddha] Entitled Freeing the Wretched from the Chasm | PDF
  • Liberation Card for a Dying Person | ChineseEnglishFrenchSpanish
  • Liberation Cloth – to place on the body of the dying and deceased | PDF
  • 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 Ritual | PDF 
  • Sur – Aroma Charity for Spirits | German | Spanish 


  • Collections:
    • Five Powerful Mantras for Liberating Sentient Beings from the Lower Realms | PDF | Audio
    • Ten powerful mantras for the time of death | PDF | Audio
    • Mantras to Recite for the Dying | PDF
  • Individual (some of these mantras are contained in the “Collections” above):
    • 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
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

Prayers for the Sick

To request prayers for someone who is sick please email and mention the sick person’s full name. The Sangha at Rinpoche’s house  will dedicate for them during regular animal liberation practices and students in France and Russia will dedicate for them when making long life tsa tsas. If you would like to make a donation for this service please go to the Animal Liberation Fund and Stupa Fund.

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, FPMT sangha communities, and individual Buddhist practitioners with a request for their prayers. Students at Nalanda Monastery, France will also dedicate a stupa tsa tsa for them. 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.

Pujas and Prayer Services at 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 Ritual

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.


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.

Visit our Distributing FPMT Education Materials page for information about our distributing, licensing and copyright guidelines.