Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche: How to Benefit the Dying and the Dead
During the illness the main thing is to take care of the dying person’s mind. Many others can take care of the body, but we can take care of the mind.
The most worthwhile thing to do is to inspire the person to think of others with loving kindness and compassion, to wish others to be happy and free from suffering. If a person dies with the thought of benefiting others, their mind is naturally happy and this makes their death meaningful.
You can teach the person taking-and-giving meditation (tong-len; taking upon oneself others’ suffering and giving others one’s happiness) or loving kindness meditation (metta), according to the capacity of their mind. If the person has a more strong nature of compassion, a “brave mind,” they will be able to do tong-len, to take others’ suffering and give out happiness. If the person can do tong-len, it’s the best way to die, as it means dying with bodhicitta. His Holiness the Dalai Lama calls this a “self supporting death.” For those who don’t think others are more important than themselves, wishing others happiness and to be free of suffering is easier. Continue reading