Learning Programs

Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying

Key Learning Points

Advice for caregivers

Guided meditations for carers, families, and the sick or dying

Practices to arouse compassion and avoid burnout

Practical tips on preparing for death

Noble Living, Noble Caring and Noble Dying describes the outlook we can bring to our human experience. This resource center results from many conversations with Phakchok Rinpoche, Tulku Migmar, and experts in the caring profession. We invite you to explore how our Buddhist practice informs our living, caring, and dying so that they are noble: filled with dignity and grace.


Noble Living, Noble Caring and Noble Dying describes the outlook we can bring to our human experience.

Most of us will receive care and give care to others at some point in our lives. And all of us will die. How do we care for the present moment? Welcoming everything, pushing away nothing? A complete acceptance and openness to all situations, emotions, and people. Experiencing everything including birth, old age, sickness, and death.

In the past few years, we sat with Phakchok Rinpoche several times and began a discussion on this topic that is so important to many of us.  We began with a basic question:

How do we age and die with dignity?

Phakchok Rinpoche responded:

 We need to learn how to live with dignity. Live without regret, live with compassion, (just a little bit of compassion), live with contentment… live with no regrets. Then you are going to find some degree of dignity, I think that is the only way to die. No regret. Whether you are spiritual or not spiritual it is important to have no regrets.  And don’t do “blaming”.

My concern is that when you focus on living and dying with dignity too much, you lose your focus on living. Then sometimes we have no time to think of dignity when we are dying. How we are going to die? You never know. Whether we die very gently or whether we die very suddenly, we don’t know. Are you going to have everybody with you? Or have no body with you ? You never know. This is my sharing.

Noble Living: The Ground of Practice

For this reason, we emphasize that this resource center aims to remind us first of living nobly. For only if we truly engage with that practice, can we prepare ourselves to care for others, and for ourselves in the process of aging, sickness, and death. We can engage in this process by asking ourselves questions with a sense of natural and open curiosity.

In what ways can our Buddhist practice inform our living, caring, and dying so that they are noble: filled with dignity and with grace?

Can we care for others who are sick and dying and care for ourselves as well?

Can we embody the practice of caring?

How do we train in love and kindness that are aspects of noble caring?

How do we preserve and cultivate our respect for human dignity?

How do we enter the healing space between two people and ease the physical, spiritual, and emotional distress?

Intention and motivation are key in caring and in dying. We benefit ourselves and others by being clear and steadfast. These traits increase our self-awareness and aid us in deep listening at the bedside. Caring is integrating knowing and not knowing. The emphasis of caring is on being, not doing. Exchanging self for others is part of the practice of caring.

Together we embark on the journey, the bond of caring is established, is shared, and unfolds.

Note on Guided Meditations

We offer a small selection of guided meditations within this resource center. You may find these meditations helpful in many situations. Some of them may help you relieve any stress or tension that you carry when caring for others, and thus can be an aid for self-care. And others may be useful for use at the bedside, or for families. We encourage you to download and make use of the audio recordings in whatever context works for you.

Noble Living, Noble Dying

In addition to the units here, we encourage you to explore Samye Institute’s offering, The Noble Wisdom of the Time of Death Sutra.  This home study program features a line-by-line discussion of this classic Mahayana Sutra. For those who are interested in practicing meditation and contemplation to prepare for death, this presentation can be very beneficial.

Course Curriculum

Noble Living: Study and Reflections
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying FREE 00:00:00
Conversation: How We Live is How We Die FREE 00:00:00
Four Reminders for Noble Living FREE 00:00:00
Taking Hold of Bodhicitta FREE 00:00:00
Conversation: Preparing For Our Own Death FREE 00:00:00
The Six Bardos, Powerful Opportunities for Liberation FREE 00:00:00
Conversation: Tulku Migmar on the Bardo FREE 00:00:00
Physical Health: Advice from Phakchok Rinpoche FREE 00:00:00
Instant Liberation through Supplication FREE 00:00:00
A Liberation Upon Hearing FREE 00:00:00
Noble Caring
Noble Caring and Compassionate Heart FREE 00:00:00
Cultivating Kindness FREE 00:00:00
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Noble Caring FREE 00:00:00
Conversation: Pure Motivation FREE 00:00:00
Motivation and Dharma as Medicine FREE 00:00:00
Medicine Buddha Visualization and Mantra FREE 00:00:00
Noble Caring at the Bedside
Practicing Compassionate Presence at the Bedside FREE 00:00:00
Noble Caring for Children
Caring for Children FREE 00:00:00
Caring for Children Part Two FREE 00:00:00
Body Scan and Favorite Place Practice with Children FREE 00:00:00
Never Stop Communicating FREE 00:00:00
Noble Self Care: Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others
Let Go: Simple Self-Care Practices For the Caregiver FREE 00:00:00
Applying the Paramitas to Care-giving FREE 00:00:00
Conversation: Helping Others Prepare FREE 00:00:00
Noble Caring through Pain
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Physical and Mental Pain FREE 00:00:00
Noble Dying: The Final Steps
Practical Matters: Death and Paperwork FREE 00:00:00
Active Dying
Conversation: Physical Signs: What’s Happening at Death? FREE 00:00:00
Buddhist Reading on Dying and Care-giving FREE 00:00:00
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Prayer and Phowa FREE 00:00:00
Noble Grief
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Grief and Guilt FREE 00:00:00
Grief: A Contemplative View FREE 00:00:00
Guided Meditations
Body Scan Practice FREE 00:00:00
Power of The Pause: Three Minute Breathing Space FREE 00:00:00
Practicing Calm Presence FREE 00:00:00
Long Version of Guided Compassion Meditation FREE 00:00:00
Compassion Guided Buddhist Meditation: A Casket of Sacred Dharma FREE 00:00:00
Creating Spacious Natural Awareness Guided Meditation FREE 00:00:00
Sound Healing: Tibetan Singing Bowls FREE 00:00:00
Meditation To Reduce Caregiver Stress FREE 00:00:00
Guest Blog
Noble Living Blog: My ALS Adventure FREE 00:00:00
Being with and Caring for Those Who Are Dying FREE 00:00:00
Continue the Conversation: A Meeting Place
Continue the Conversation FREE 00:00:00
Supplementary Resources
Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying : Supplementary Resources FREE 00:00:00

About the Instructor

Andrea Sherman

Andrea Sherman, PhD, is a gerontologist, educator, trainer and End of Life Doula. She is a graduate of the New...

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Program Details

102 Students Enrolled


Duration: Lifetime Access

Price: Donation Based