We all face death, but how many of us are actually ready for it? Whether our own death or that of a loved one comes first, how prepared are we, spiritually or practically? In Preparing to Die, Andrew Holecek presents a wide array of resources to help the reader address this unfinished business.
Part One shows how to prepare one’s mind and how to help others, before, during, and after death. The author explains how spiritual preparation for death can completely transform our relationship to the end of life, dissolving our fear and helping us to feel open and receptive to letting go in the dying process. Daily meditation practices, the stages of dying and how to work with them, and after-death experiences are all detailed in ways that will be particularly helpful for those with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism and in Tibetan approaches to conscious dying.
Part Two addresses the practical issues that surround death. Experts in grief, hospice, the funeral business, and the medical and legal issues of death contribute chapters to prepare the reader for every practical concern, including advance directives, green funerals, the signs of death, warnings about the funeral industry, the stages of grief, and practical care for the dying.
Part Three contains heart-advice from twenty of the best-known Tibetan Buddhist masters now teaching in the West. These brief interviews provide words of solace and wisdom to guide the dying and their caregivers during this challenging time. Preparing to Die is for anyone interested in learning how to prepare for death from a Buddhist perspective, both spiritually and practically. It is also for those who want to learn how to help someone else who is dying, both during the time of illness and death as well as after death.
“If we really want to include something as overwhelming as dying in our spiritual path, we need a way to gradually get closer to the reality. Preparing to Die will help us do that. It offers generous spiritual and practical guidance to help us develop confidence and compassion wherever there is fear—our own or others’—confronting death. A significant contribution to the continued transplantation of the Buddha’s wisdom in Western culture. May all beings benefit!”—Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, author of Mind Beyond Death
“A welcome addition to the literature on the Buddhist approach to death and dying. What is remarkable about this book is the way that Holecek intermingles profound spiritual insights with practical and up-to-date advice for people facing death or taking care of those who are dying.”—Judith L. Lief, author of Making Friends with Death
“There is much in this book that will appeal to anyone who has an open mind and is interested in a non-materialistic approach to death. Particularly inspiring is the ‘heart-advice’ drawn from interviews with Tibetan masters, all of whom emphasize the fundamental importance of one’s state of mind: for those who are dying, letting go, and for those who attend them, love.”—Francesca Fremantle, translator of The Tibetan Book of the Dead