Death & Dying

‘Most modern societies do an excellent job of hiding away the reality of death. When on top of this we lead a busy life, we may not give much thought to death until we actually encounter it face to face. We then find ourselves overwhelmed and traumatized by the diagnosis of a terminal illness or the loss of someone close to us. We may also fear that thinking about death will make it happen or else take the joy out of living. But, in reality, when we actively think about death and prepare for it, we find more peace, happiness, and fulfilment in our lives and our fear of death disappears.’ [from FPMT’s Heart Advice for Death & Dying Course]

The resources on this page provide essential advice for the time of death and for making life meaningful, as well as practical ways for thinking about and preparing for one’s own and others’ deaths. This aims to build confidence in facing death as well as being able to help and support others before, during, and even after their death.


Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Advice to a Person Who is Dying. Recorded by FPMT

Impermanence & Death with Ven Robina Courtin

Making Friends with Death by Ven Amy Miller – recorded by Ocean of Compassion (Gyalwa Gyatso) Buddhist Center

Articles & Other Materials

The Death Process (multimedia) by Lama Yeshe, created by Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive

We Should Not Be Afraid of Death by Lama Yeshe

The Cycle of Death & Rebirth by Lama Yeshe

Powa: Transference of Consciousness at the Time of Death by Lama Yeshe

Remembering Death by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Impermanence & Death by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Certainty of Death by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

How to Help Your Loved Ones Enjoy Death & Go Happily to Their Next Rebirth: A Handbook by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Death & Rebirth (Transcriptions of the Discovering Buddhism module) by Nicolas Ribush

Analytical Meditation Guides and Forgiveness Process PDF by Ven Lozang Yönten

Designing Your Own Funeral PDF by Ven Lozang Yönten

Guided Meditations

Audio (recored at Land of Joy)


Impermanence with Ven Lozang Yönten

Eight Stages of Death with Ven Lozang Yönten

Nine Point Death Meditation with Ven Lozang Yönten

Retreats & Courses at Land of Joy

(Audio recordings of Ven Mary’s course at Land of Joy)

How do you deal with the inevitability of death? Many ignore, suppress or develop a flippant unrealistic attitude towards death. In this way, we push our awareness of death to that of some distant event. How we deal with death is an expression of our wisdom, courage and compassion.

This retreat explored the buddhist approach to death, highlighting wisdom and the methods which lead to embracing and owning our own death through a combination of teaching, discussion, Q&A and meditations.

Please click here to learn more

Other Courses

This two day online course with Ven Lozang Yönten was hosted by Kunsang Yeshe Centre and later made available by Ven Yönten on her YouTube channel.

Please click here to access the course recordings and be sure to click ‘read more’ in the description under the videos to find the course materials Ven Yönten has so kindly shared.

What You Learn: How to overcome the fear of thinking and talking about death. Awareness of the reality of your own and others’ death helps you live life in a more meaningful way. Methods to help yourself and others face death peacefully and even joyfully.

Duration: Five sessions.

How to Participate: Find Heart Advice for Death and Dying as part of the Online Learning Center. Alternatively, check whether the course is offered at your closest FPMT center.

Please click here to learn more

(Module 5 of Discovering Buddhism Online)

In this module you will explore life, death and rebirth and the nature of mind. Learn to use the fear of death to overcome the fear of death. Discover how to use the certainty and imminence of death to enhance your quality of life.

Please click here to learn more

Buddhist Practices to Help Those Who are Dying or have died

Helping our loved ones at the time of death is the best service we can offer them, our greatest gift. Why? Because death is the most important time of life: it’s at death that the next rebirth is determined. – Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Holy Name of Buddha Rinchen Tsugtor Chen – 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.

Eight Prayers to Benefit the Dead – A collection of common prayers recited by Gelug monasteries for those who have recently died.

Medicine Buddha Puja, the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel – A simple puja (set of prayers) that can be performed by anyone with faith in the Buddha

Additional practices suggested by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to benefit the dead

Aroma Charity for Spirits (Sur Offering)

The Jangwa Practice Associated with the Medicine Guru [Buddha] Entitled Freeing the Wretched from the Chasm

Liberation Box – A collection of tools to facilitate a fortunate rebirth

Liberation Card for a Dying Person (Chinese, English, French, Spanish)

Mantras to place on the body of someone who is dying or has died

Ten powerful mantras for the time of death

Namgyalma Mantra

Nyung Na: The Means of Achievement of the Eleven-Face Great Compassionate One

Requesting Prayers for Those Who Have Died

FPMT provide a service to offer support to FPMT students at the most crucial time of death, by giving the names of students who have died to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and FPMT Sangha communities, with the request for their prayers. This is a service which Lama Zopa Rinpoche specifically requested International Office to offer to all FPMT students, because death is the most critical time when students need help. []

Please click here for more information

Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery in Nepal also offer a puja service which you can use to request a lama to check which puja is best for someone who is dying or has died, which the monks then perform. Please click here for more information.

Land of Joy

We also perform pujas several times a month as well as daily practice which we are very happy to dedicate to those who are sick, dying or have recently died (within 49 days). Please email if you would like a name to be added to our daily dedication list or click here to learn about our sponsored puja service if you would like us to perform a puja for someone.