Being with Dying

Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death

Being with Dying

The Buddhist approach to death can be of great benefit to people of all backgrounds—as has been demonstrated time and again in Joan Halifax’s decades of work with the dying and their caregivers. Inspired by traditional Buddhist teachings, her work is a source of wisdom for all those who are charged with a dying person’s care, facing their own death, or wishing to explore and contemplate the transformative power of the dying process. Her teachings affirm that we can open and contact our inner strength, and that we can help others who are suffering to do the same.

Being With Dying

Being With Dying

A Practical Approach To Serving Others Through Times Of Illness And Death. Death–Of Our Loved Ones And Ourselves–Is An Experience Most Of Us Fear But All Of Us Have To Eventually Go Through. Drawing On Amma’s Teachings And The Author’s Firsthand Experiences Of Serving As A Hospital Chaplain, Being With Dying Addresses Our Fears And Reveals How Being With Our Loved Ones During The Process Of Dying Can Be A Profound Spiritual Gift For Them-And For Us. The Most Important Gift That We Can Offer To Another Who Is Dying Is To Be Present, Writes The Author. It Means Actively Listening And Giving Our Full Attention To The Person Accepting Them Where They Are In Every Changing Moment. Filled With Practical Advice, Powerful Stories, And Great Love And Gratitude For Life, Being With Dying Helps Us Develop A Truly Peaceful, Accepting Approach To Death. Published By The Disciples Of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Affectionately Known As Mother, Or Amma The Hugging Saint.

Waking, Dreaming, Being

Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

Waking, Dreaming, Being

A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate—either in the waking state or in a lucid dream—we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self. Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.

Being-In, Being-For, Being-With

Being-In, Being-For, Being-With

This text examines a series of pervasive themes of human existence and the challenges of being and relating. Areas investigated include: the nature and meaning of being different; possessiveness and being possessed; and dimensions of loneliness, mystery and self-disclosure.

The Arts of Contemplative Care

Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work

The Arts of Contemplative Care

Powerful and life-affirming, this watershed volume brings together the voices of pioneers in the field of contemplative care--from hospice and hospitals to colleges, prisons, and the military. Illustrating the day-to-day words and actions of pastoral workers, each first-person essay in this collection offers a distillation of the wisdom gained over years of compassionate experience. The stories told here are sure to inspire--whether you are a professional caregiver or simply feel inclined toward guiding, healing, and comforting roles. If you are inspired to read this book, or even one touching story in it, you just might find yourself inspired to change a life.

Thrive

The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Thrive

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today's world. Arianna Huffington's personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye--the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group--one of the fastest growing media companies in the world--celebrated as one of the world's most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like? As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success--money and power--has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we're losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward. In a commencement address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we're going to topple over. We need a third leg--a third metric for defining success--to truly thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive, includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving. As Arianna points out, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success. They don't commemorate our long hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb up the career ladder. They are not about our resumes--they are about cherished memories, shared adventures, small kindnesses and acts of generosity, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh. In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters--of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her "aha moment." Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.

Die Wise

A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul

Die Wise

Die Wise does not offer seven steps for coping with death. It does not suggest ways to make dying easier. It pours no honey to make the medicine go down. Instead, with lyrical prose, deep wisdom, and stories from his two decades of working with dying people and their families, Stephen Jenkinson places death at the center of the page and asks us to behold it in all its painful beauty. Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Die Wise is for those who will fail to live forever. Dying well, Jenkinson writes, is a right and responsibility of everyone. It is not a lifestyle option. It is a moral, political, and spiritual obligation each person owes their ancestors and their heirs. Die Wise dreams such a dream, and plots such an uprising. How we die, how we care for dying people, and how we carry our dead: this work makes our capacity for a village-mindedness, or breaks it. Table of Contents The Ordeal of a Managed Death Stealing Meaning from Dying The Tyrant Hope The Quality of Life Yes, But Not Like This The Work So Who Are the Dying to You? Dying Facing Home What Dying Asks of Us All Kids Ah, My Friend the Enemy

The Theology of Suffering and Death

An Introduction for Caregivers

The Theology of Suffering and Death

This book offers a theological foundation for engaging with the realities of suffering and dying. Designed particularly for practical theology students and trainee caregivers, it introduces the spiritual and theological issues raised by suffering and dying. The chapters consider: how Christian theology deals with the problem of suffering and how the Bible treats these difficult issues post-biblical interpretations of Jesus’ suffering and the Cross modern instances including ecology, poverty, discrimination and war comparative religious approaches and the depiction in popular culture. Natalie Weaver relates theology to practical issues of caregiving and provides a ‘toolbox’ for thinking about suffering and death in a creative and supportive way.

Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices

Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Delivers the collective wisdom of foremost scholars and practitioners in the death and dying movement from its inception to the present. Written by luminaries who have shaped the field, this capstone book distills the collective wisdom of foremost scholars and practitioners who together have nearly a millennium of experience in the death and dying movement. The book bears witness to the evolution of the movement and presents the insights of its pioneers, eyewitnesses, and major contributors past and present. Its chapters address contemporary intellectual, institutional, and practice developments in thanatology: hospice and palliative care; funeral practice; death education; and caring of the dying, suicidal, bereaved, and traumatized. With a breadth and depth found in no other text on death, dying, and bereavement, the book disseminates the thinking of prominent authors William Worden, David Clark, Tony Walter, Robert Neimeyer, Charles Corr, Phyllis Silverman, Betty Davies, Therese A. Rando, Colin Murray Parkes, Kenneth Doka, Allan Kellehear, Sandra Bertman, Stephen Connor, Linda Goldman, Mary Vachon, and others. Their chapters discuss the most significant facets of early development, review important current work, and assess major challenges and hopes for the future in the areas of their expertise. A substantial chronology of important milestones in the contemporary movement introduces the book, frames the chapters to follow, and provides guidance for further, in-depth reading. The book first focuses on the interdisciplinary intellectual achievements that have formed the foundation of the field of thanatology. The section on institutional innovations encompasses contributions in hospice and palliative care of the dying and their families; funeral service; and death education. The section on practices addresses approaches to counseling and providing support for individuals, families, and communities on issues related to dying, bereavement, suicide, trauma, disaster, and caregiving. An Afterword identifies challenges and looks toward future developments that promise to sustain, further enrich, and strengthen the movement. KEY FEATURES: Distills the wisdom of pioneers in and major contributors to the contemporary death, dying, and bereavement movement Includes living witness accounts of the movement's evolution and important milestones Presents the best contemporary thinking in thanatology Describes contemporary institutional developments in hospice and palliative care, funeral practice, and death education Illuminates best practices in care of the dying, suicidal, bereaved, and traumatized

Dying: What Happens When We Die?

A Selection from Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

Dying: What Happens When We Die?

In the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata, the Lord of Death asks, "What is the most wondrous thing in the world?", and his son answers, "It is that all around us people can be dying and we don't believe it can happen to us." This refusal to face the inevitability of death is especially prevalent in modern Western societies. We look to science to tell us how things are but biomedicine and neuroscience divest death of any personal significance by presenting it as just the breakdown of the body and the cessation of consciousness. The Tibetan Buddhist perspective stands in sharp contrast to this modern scientific notion of death. This tradition conceives dying not as the mere termination of living processes within the body, but as a rite of passage and transformation of consciousness. Physical death, in this tradition, initiates a transition from one of the six bardos ("in-between states") of consciousness to an opportunity for total enlightenment. In Dying: What Happens When We Die?, Evan Thompson establishes a middle ground between the depersonalized, scientific account of death and the highly ritualized notion of death found in Tibetan Buddhism. Thompson's depiction of death and dying offers an insightful neurobiological analysis while also delving into the phenomenology of death, examining the psychological and spiritual effects of dying on human consciousness. In a trenchant critique of the near-death experience literature, he shows that these experiences do not provide evidence for the continuation of consciousness after death, but also that they must be understood phenomenologically and not in purely neuroscience terms. We must learn to tolerate the "ultimate ungraspability of death" by bearing witness to dying and death instead of turning away from them. We can learn to face the experience of dying through meditative practice, and to view the final moments of life not as a frightening inevitability to be shunned or ignored, but as a deeply personal experience to be accepted and even embraced.