Buddhist Philosophy

~ March 15, 2016 ~

Talking with Children about Death

Buddhist Philosophy • video

Death is Real

We all will experience death. Those that we love and those around us will die. And we ourselves will definitely die. Buddhist teachers repeatedly emphasize reflection on impermanence. This awareness includes the reminder that all living beings die–it is the nature of things. In this video, Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche once more urges us to think about impermanence regularly. Rinpoche responds to a common question–how should we talk to children about death?

Reflect on Our Own Attitude Toward Impermanence

Rinpoche says that before we explain something to children, we should first consider our own reaction and experience. First, think about how awareness of impermanence changes us. How do we think about and react to the idea of death? If we really consider impermanence, then we should change our character for the better. We won’t then spend so much time on useless activities like quarrels.

Before we talk with our children we should first understand how acceptance of death can make us spend our lives in a more meaningful way. Once we have absorbed this lesson, then we can be helpful when we speak to children. We should learn to be truthful and gentle as we explain the reality of impermanence.

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