Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying
Noble Living, Noble Caring and Noble Dying describes the outlook we can bring to our human experience. This resource center is the result of 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, Noble Dying: Introduction
In this introduction, Samye Institute’s Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying team talk about how we can learn to live with no regrets.
Noble Living: Study and Reflections
The Buddhist tradition offers innumerable resources that encourage us to live a noble life. All the masters and adepts advocate an active, lifelong learning process. We open our hearts and minds to the realities of suffering and death. When we stay present with our vulnerabilities instead of ignoring them or pushing them away, we can face challenges with courage and curiosity. And we can be a powerful support for our loved ones and for all those who suffer.
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying
Phakchok Rinpoche answers questions about facing death and care-giving.
Conversation with Tulku Migmar: How We Live is How We Die
Tulku Migmar Tsering speaks with Tsunma Jamyang Donma and Andrea Sherman about how we can work to live a meaningful life.
Four Reminders for Noble Living
The Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying team shares precious insights on the Four Mind Changings.
Taking Hold of Bodhicitta
In order for one to be inspired with bodhicitta, it is essential to train oneself in the attitude of the four immeasurables: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
Conversation: Preparing For Our Own Death
Tulku Migmar Tsering talks with Tsunma Jamyang Donma and Andrea Sherman about how we can make preparations for death.
The Six Bardos: Powerful Opportunities for Liberation
We can use the term bardo also metaphorically to describe times when our usual way of life becomes suspended, as, for example, during a period of illness or during a meditation retreat.
Conversation: Tulku Migmar on the Bardo
Tulku Migmar talks about the bardo, the space between rebirths.
Physical Health: Advice from Phakchok Rinpoche
Phakchok Rinpoche provides some valuable advice on maintaining our physical and spiritual health.
Instant Liberation Through Supplication
Phakchok Rinpoche explains that unshakeable confidence in the guru can actually liberate us at the moment of greatest need.
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.
When we train in loving-kindness, compassion, and equanimity, we can truly care for ourselves and others. Our noble caring manifests with no agenda, and with pure love for all sentient beings. If we embrace this practice, we can avoid burnout, and instead face challenges with courage and dignity. We can become a rock for others who need support.
Noble Caring and Compassionate Heart
Your compassion needs fuel, so that it can generate more and more. So how do we do that? Through aspiration.
Cultivating Kindness: Advice from Phakchok Rinpoche
Phakchok Rinpoche shares his advice on how to cultivate bodhicitta in our daily lives.
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Noble Caring
Listen to Phakchok Rinpoche discuss how we can best offer care-giving to the dying.
Conversation: Pure Motivation
The Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying team discuss the vital importance of pure motivation during care-giving.
Motivation and Dharma as Medicine
If we truly wish to free others from all suffering, we must regularly reset our intent.
Medicine Buddha Visualization and Mantra
As the embodiment of healing energy, the Medicine Buddha manifested for the benefit of all beings. His healing powers are transmitted in manifold ways, through all sense perceptions.
Caregiving At a Distance and the Paramita of Generosity
Andrea Sherman shows how we can utilize the six paramitas to touch the human spirit through virtual technology.
The Paramita of Patience and Caring For People with Dementia
In this article, Andrea Sherman shows how commitment to the paramita (perfection) of patience can be an antidote to anger and frustration when we care for those with dementia.
Noble Caring at the Bedside
Phakchok Rinpoche often reminds us to have no expectations. Nowhere is this advice more important than when we engage in intimate caring. To care nobly, we approach each situation with a willingness to witness and to be present with whatever arises.
Practicing Compassionate Presence at the Bedside
The Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying team talk about how we can generate a compassionate presence at the bedside.
Being With and Caring for Those Who Are Dying
Caregiving is being a warrior, being brave and fearless, with dignity, and with curiosity and compassion.
Addressing Chronic Pain with Moment to Moment Awareness
In this video, Tsunma Jamyang Donma shares her experiences caring for those suffering with chronic pain.
Noble Caring for Children
Beings of all ages experience suffering. And children may approach serious illnesses with open curiosity. We can care for children most effectively when we listen deeply and honor their experiences. Then we may offer our young friends the opportunity to communicate their own concerns or wishes.
Caring for Children, Part One
This article is the first of Tsunma Jamyang Donma’s guide to caring for very ill children.
Caring for Children, Part Two
Tsunma Jamyang Donma continues her discussion of caring for very ill children.
Body Scan and Favorite Place Practice with Children
Tsunma Jamyang Donma shows how body scan and favourite place practices can help very sick children re-frame their physical experience.
Never Stop Communicating
No matter how bleak the situation, we can always communicate our love.
Self-care is crucial on the path. Before we help others, we take time to set our intentions and to check our own physical and mental health. Simple practices, such as pausing before we enter client rooms, bring us back to the present moment. We move purposefully, and with calm awareness. We take time to rest and eat nutritious meals. We practice supplication and guru yoga, reminding ourselves of our pure basic nature.
Let Go: Simple Self-Care Practices For the Caregiver
Andrea Sherman shares some simple self-care practices that caregivers can use to avoid stress, fatigue or burnout.
Applying the Pāramitās to Care-Giving
Andrea Sherman discusses how we can apply the six paramitas to provide courageous and patient care-giving.
Conversation: Helping Others Prepare for Death
The Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble dying team talk about how we can prepare for death.
Noble Caring Through Pain
Most of us will experience physical or mental pain. And almost all of us will care for others who suffer. We can learn how to approach pain with curiosity and kindness. When we choose to investigate pain rather than fight against it, we may discover a new relationship!
Noble Caring after Receiving a Diagnosis
Samye’s NLNCND team coordinator, Andrea Sherman, has written a poignant and very helpful article about her approach to a new diagnosis.
Noble Dying: The Final Steps
We can help our friends, families, and caregivers by planning ahead. Conversations about our final wishes may seem awkward or pessimistic. But death is certain; we know that from our own experience. So we can plan our final steps with love, thinking to ease the burden of those we leave behind. If we adopt the practice of noble living, we can see this process as a meaningful gift for others.
Spiritual Care Directive – A Buddhist Plan for the Time of Dying
This group offering is presented from a Buddhist perspective inviting a unique conversation and exploration in planning and training as a practitioner for the time of dying.
Delighted to Die
My father Malcom lived until age 87. He embodied the essential instructions on how to die found in The Mirror of Mindfulness by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, a great and learned Tibetan Buddhist master.
Practical Matters: Death and Paperwork
If we have a loving discussion about practical matters about dying now, we can avoid putting more stress on those who might be grieving later.
Noble Dying: Active Dying
The dying process unfolds as a series of dissolution of the physical elements of the body. Although each death is unique, we can explore the journey ahead and thus approach our own deaths fearlessly and with awareness. If we know what to expect, we can prepare ourselves and welcome death without regret, confident in our own pure nature and in our practice. We can also take the opportunity to direct our prayers and practice as the consecutive stages occur.
Conversation: What’s Happening at Death?
Here, Tulku Migmar discusses the signs of death—the actual physical dissolution of the body as it is explained in the Tibetan tradition.
Buddhist Reading on Dying and Care-Giving
A collection of books about dying and care-giving in the Buddhist traditions.
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Prayer and Phowa
Phakchok Rinpoche discusses the benefits of prayer and phowa with Samye Institute’s Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dyinf team.
Awareness and Vigiling at the Bedside
In this article, Andrea Sherman discusses vigiling, or being present at the bedside during the final hours of a person’s life.
The Five Invitations: Teachings on Death and on Living Fully
In this post, Andrea Sherman introduces the Five Invitations, powerful teachings on death that can help guide us through the dying process.
Grief arises when we encounter suffering. But grief does not need to incapacitate us or block our ability to love or care. Here we share reflections on how to skillfully work with grief.
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Grief and Guilt
Phakchok Rinpoche discusses how we can best help those who are going through the grieving process.
Grief: A Contemplative View
In this essay, Andrea Sherman explores the nature of grief.
In this resource section, we share a selection of audio meditations. Some of these can be practiced by both the caregiver and the care recipient, as well as with their friends and family. Others are particularly helpful for the caregiver as regular practices to develop compassion and equanimity in the face of suffering. We encourage you to browse the library and to download the audios for your convenience.
Our contributors share their stories of navigating the caring and dying process with dignity and grace. Their very personal stories can touch us, and, we hope, inspire us on our journey. If you would have a story to share or would like to contribute, please contact us!
Continue the Conversation
We hope that you have found the materials presented in our program helpful. As we all face the reality of sickness and death, we can learn from each other along the way. We encourage you to join our Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying forum. Feel free to post your questions or your personal tips. We look forward to sharing together in this beautiful journey!
Continue the Conversation
Samye Institute team wishes to encourage all participants to join in contributing to this resource center.
Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying: Supplementary Resources
Please find a selection of supplementary resources prepared by our Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying team.
Our translation team at Lhasey Lotsawa offers translations of prayers and practices relevant to the dying process.