Page 91

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Some of the almost 100 pages in this Healing section are below, to see the links to all of the pages please go HERE

The Spiritual Care of the Dying
By Marila

There is the feeling to start a new thread about "death and dying". I will add topics under this
thread from time to time - how it feels appropriate: practical things, more information about
death and about dying.

"Learn to die and thou shalt learn how to live. There shall none learn how to live that hath not
learned to die."
From the medieval Book of the Craft of Dying

"Because if we can only learn how to face death, then we´ll have learned the most important
lesson of life: how to face "ourselves" and so come to terms with ourselves, in the deepest
possible sense, as human beings."

"What is the most important thing when we come to help a dying person, or a living one, for that
matter? To give our love. With all our heart, without any conditions, and as free as possible from
attachment. (...) Our task is to find that pure love, and curiously it is death, or rather
impermanence, that can help us. (...) What the teachings of all spiritual traditions offer us is the
knowledge that even when the worst tragedy and suffering befalls us, there is still hope, there is
something that nothing can destroy, or take away from us. There is a fundamental truth, a
spiritual essence which lies within us all: (...)"

"All of us need to give our love to a dying person, but if we have come in touch with the nature
of our mind, stabilized it through our practice of meditation, and integrated it into our lives, then
the love we have to give can only be deeper, because it comes from a different source: from our
innermost being, the heart of our enlightened nature. It has a special quality of freedom. This
kind of love, beyond all attachment, is like divine love. It is the love of all the buddhas, the love
of Christ, of God."
(All quotations from Sogyal Rinpoche)

Recommended Reading...

"While the major religious traditions of the world affirm that there is some form of existence
after the death of the physical body, Tibetan Buddhism describes in great detail the possible
forms of this existence and the myriad experiences which are part of the journey through the
bardos (steps of transition) after death. These teachings increase our understanding of what the
person who has died might be experiencing, and how family and friends can offer him invaluable
spiritual support."

This is from the book of Christine Longaker, who also helped to build the first hospices in
America, too. She is teaching how to accompany people during their death process - and also
after "death". Her book "Facing Death and Finding Hope. A Guide to the Emotional and
Spiritual Care of the Dying" holds a lot of information, practices and help - for own
development, too. She also describes (a bit shorter than the following book) how the dying
process takes place, the different steps, and what happens after the "clinical death" and before we
are born again (if this has to happen)...

Another book, which describes the death process in its details and also the steps after death and
how we are born again (if this has to happen) is the book from Sogyal Rinpoche: "The Tibetan
Book of Living and Dying." It is full of love and knowing and understanding - with a lot of
practical help, too

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross - several books: On Death and Dying; Death Is of Vital Importance;
Questions and Answers on Death and Dying; Death: The Final Stage of Growth; On Children and Death

There are many other books, too - for special areas as "Children and Death", "Hospice and Home
Care", "Bereavement", "Near-Death Experiences" - and about "Dying and Death". If you have
any special questions (special titles for special areas) you might want to inbox me - I might give
you some more titles, if possible. (Even if I have to admit that I have not all read.) But we might
try to find something that helps you to walk on, then.

In my own work with dying and with the death I found it very helpful to know more about the
steps we are going through in our dying process. When a person does not want to eat any more,
or when drinking is refused, when people hear the loved ones around - but no longer (can) react -
all this helps me to understand and to respect what is going on. There will be no "forcing" them
to eat ("Awww - he/she SHOULD eat!" or "He/she SHOULD drink!"...) At certain steps, when
the essence is floating back to the main spinal in our body, preparing to leave and to go on, these
needs of the body step back. "Forcing" people then may disturb important spiritual processes that
are taking place. Also injections may "hurt" in a special way. It is very important to be able to
have the possibility of distinction when still help is needed and when the spiritual and very
natural processes are taking place. All this to offer the appropriate help. Also to allow some time
after the body is declared as "clinical dead" - what is going on the next about 20 minutes after

In the books we also get hints how to offer support during these processes, how to support the
soul after death.

We also get to know "that it is NEVER too late" to help people - also after death - to move on in
a beautiful spiritual way.

Love to you all - and may we see the Beauty and the possibility of learning - in order to grow -
from the dying. I am so very thankful from deep from my heart for the Beauty I was/am allowed
to learn from them. They are some of the best teachers I ever had. Even during this so important
time in their lives they were willing to share - in words and in silence - and to teach me - as an
innocent student who was allowed to learn from these beautiful light souls.
From time to time I will offer more information here (also taken from other posts I made here
before to put things together...)

(Also see the book from Christine Longaker for further information; the practice given here is
taken from her book; if it is not appropriate to give this practice, then please let me know. It is
given here in the best sense...)

Some of the most common reasons we have "unfinished business":
We are afraid of being hurt again, or of being rejected
The other person has already refused to forgive us
We feel that what we have done is unforgiveable
We want to punish the other person with our anger
We do not want to let go of our attachment to the person or the past
We are afraid to have our part of the problem revealed
The other person has gone from our life, or has already died.
Christine Longaker says that "yet our unfinished business is our responsibility to resolve, and we
can finish it whether or not the other person is present or willing to communicate and forgive us."

It is not necessary to meet the other people in person. (But, and this is interesting, sometimes
after having gone through the following practice people might want to meet - or "it just happens -
and then it is fine...).

There is a kind of method to work in situations like this (I am working with this - and I learned it
from the Buddhist training "Spiritual Care" for the death and dying, Christine Longaker and
Sogyal Rinpoche). I will give you the method how I am using it (a bit modified according to my
Native American teachings, too).

You also might want to write down what comes during the session - first writing your words to
them - then writing down what you get from them. (It is recommended to write the dialog down,
may be you want to read it again, later...Create a sacred space for this session in your way you
use to do this (may be sheltering, cleansing, inviting the helpers...) Sit in silence and find in your
heart the willingness to communicate your problem one last time and let go of it. Also make
clear that you really want to feel heard and to listen to and hear the other person´s perspective on
this problem. Visualize the person you have unfinished business with. Imagine this person sitting
in front you - you will be addressing to her best inner self. Imagine their light inside, the best
they have, the Light of God they have inside - talking to their inner best Self - to their Spirit.

Consider that she is more open and receptive than ever before, and this person can REALLY
hear everything you have to say. Speak as your heart wants you to speak. You can be sure - their
best inner Self will hear you. You will feel what is with you - allow you to talk free from your
heart, speaking to their BEST SELF, to their INNER BEST SELF, to the Light of God in them.

Reflect on what has been the difficulty for you, without rekindling the emotions attached to it.
Imagine that you are now telling this problem to the person in front of you, remembering that she
is very receptive and able to hear you. If you feel that all is said - address to the best inner Self of
them in thanking them to have listened to you.

Now be open to listen to them - listen to their best inner Self, to the Light of God within them.
Allow the other person to express her side of the problem. Since you have been speaking to her
best side and your feelings have been heard, her response probably won´t be what you expected.
Listen to what they have to tell you. Remember that you are sheltered and that you are
talking/here listening now to their best inner Self. You might be astonished what comes
through...You might want to answer them after they spoke to you. You can talk and listen as long
as you feel it is needed and helpful - continuing the dialog as long as it is needed... Talking -
listening - talking - listening... Sometimes it only takes one "round", sometimes more...If the
other person had hurt you, you might want to see if you can extend forgiveness for her. If you
realize that you have hurt the other person, ask her forgiveness. You might reflect that the best
part of the other person would understand you and would not hesitate to extend her forgiveness
to you. Allow yourself to receive the healing love of his forgiveness, and let go of any feelings of
guilt or self-condemnation, too.

You might want to look into your heart again and feel if there is any love for this person, a
positive feeling which you have not expressed yet. Express your love openly and in a free way.
Then thank the other person, say good-bye. You can also envision her turning and leaving. As
she leaves, look inside: Are you really letting go now and wishing her well? When you conclude
this practice, you can finish it with dedicating this meeting to God/All-that-Is - that it may come
to the best output that is possible in this situation. With the dedication the process will be brought
to a higher level - helpers will take care/God will take care... :o)) And with this dedication you
also make sure that this process is "closed" - in a friendly way. This closing may hold the wish
that the other person(s) and you may be healed of all emotional pain or past traumas, that your
relationship, now and in the future, may be one of mutual benefit, and that all others with whom
you have contact in your life may share in the healing power that comes from this resolution.
(With this you give that, what happened, a wider sense - you integrate it in your path of learning
- not "fighting" it, but taking the lesson that came...)

Once we have healed our own pain (or anger or...) we may find we now have the confidence and
clarity to communicate directly with the other person(s). This practice helps us to integrate even
hurt or trauma onto our spiritual path. If we fight the situation AND the learning - then we have
two situations to deal with. What you see in the other people may be "ignorance" - they do not
know it better, now. With practicing as described above you may help them to develop - and at
the same time you develop your own spiritual skills. It also may help to look at our own
weakness (why could we be hurt).. We might ALL come out of this in Beauty - and stronger in
walking the path of Beauty...

Please let me end this post with a quote from Geshe Langri Thangpa: "When even my dearest
friend, whom I had helped, Unexpectedly turns against me, May I view him as a great treasure,
difficult to find."

May all that is said be said in the appropriate way. May all that is said in the sense of All-that-is.
Practice for developing Compassion, Loving Kindness - “The Good Heart“ - and for
transforming suffering (See more and very deep practices in the books from Sogyal Rinpoche
and Christine Longaker.)

During a time where we are challenged very much it may help to have an easy practice to walk
through the day - to be able to be with our loved ones who need our care, to do our work also -
and also to transcend the ego-centered heart in a very natural way. This practice may help to
balance over-floating, burning conditional love, "burn out“ and cold-hearted, closed in emotions
(by fear or...), shadows over our view...We might know these steps of the practice from
ceremony (start, middle, end) - a kind of circle...There are practices to help us to develop our
„Good Heart“ - even in our daily actions, even if we are challenged. And - to be honest - we also
need care and a spiritual hug from time to time... :o)) These practices are soft, simple and
powerful - they may help us to develop our Good Heart in a soft way - and with this step by step
bringing a new dimension to our life: pure, profound and limitless compassion and loving
kindness that is beyond ordinary, limited and conditional compassion. With these practices each
action in our daily life may get a new dimension and become a tool for spiritual development.
To begin the day with an intent...When we begin the day we can arouse an intent, a motivation
that takes us through the day. It does not have to be something complicated - it can be very
simple, coming from the heart, may be: “During this day, may all my actions, may all my words,
may all my prayers and may all my thoughts be helpful for All-that-is - the way that is
appropriate in the sense of All-that-is. “With this intent we connect with a compassion that is
beyond ego. With creating an intent when we start into our day we connect deeply with our
profound compassion. Starting with an intent of profound compassion like this we show that we
acknowledge that all beings are connected, that all beings are worthy of respect and compassion.
(To make things very uncomplicated and easy - for the uncomplicated daily routine: one may
want to be with the intent before brushing the teeth or after the shower…)

To live the intent during the day...Remembering our intent during our daily life may help us to
approach every situation with more friendliness, generosity, ease, and humor. Even if we do not
consciously remain in this intent all the time it has its effect. (We may want to remember it
consciously especially when we face difficult situations - just to help us through.) It may help us
to connect and to deepen our connection with our Good Heart and it may help us to keep an open
and loving attitude - no matter what we will go through during the day. We simply remember our
sacred motivation in life and toward all beings we started with at the beginning. (For the
uncomplicated daily routine: one may want to wear a stone or a bracelet or to hang up a picture
to remember the intent if needed…)

At the end of the day - the dedication to something that is bigger than we...At the end of the day
we may want to dedicate the spiritual benefit of our actions to the ultimate benefit of all beings.
When we dedicate the merit to others at the end, then whatever we have done becomes a
meaningful part of our spiritual path. And we reaffirm our intent and motivation. It helps us to
see a benefit even in normal daily practices and actions and to see the sacred in everything we do
- and in everyone we meet. We might want to dedicate the spiritual benefit like this:
“May the power and the truth of all the actions and may all that happened serve in the best way
for all beings, may it be helpful for all beings in the best sense - the way that is appropriate in the
sense of All-that-Is.“(For the uncomplicated daily routine: one may want to practice it when
coming home or after brushing the teeth…)

Dedication may be helpful when painful things happen, when mistakes occur…We may come
easier through difficult or painful or hurting situations when we show responsibility and
understanding - may be in dedicating these situations, too. With the dedication we allow the
situation to be in a wider and deeper context and not only to be in our limited mind. We connect
with our Good Heart this way, too. May be we want to dedicate it with the words: “May that
what happened serve for the best of all beings involved. May it help all to develop in the best
sense, to learn and to grow in the appropriate way. May All-that-is guide our ways. “With these
practices the normal ego-centered basis of daily life may be balanced through the deeper
dimension that transcends ego. It is a kind of "spiritual hug" for ourselves - and for All-that-Is...”

Understanding the path of a disease...
I learned in my Shamanic Practitioner Training that a disease takes this path: First on the Spirit
level then on the Mind level then on the Heart level then on the Body level. Our Soul always
stays intact. Healing has an effect on all levels. In the Shamanic tradition one might now start to
work to "see" on the Spirit level what started the illness, why this happened and why this the
weakening of the system on all levels took place - may be via a journey or other techniques.
When the illness showed up as a certain illness then this is the "weak point" where the illness
comes through now that started on the Spirit level. The point where the illness shows gives us
hints about the key for healing, too. It might be helpful to "feel" on a deep level what weakened
your system. You might feel and get the information what caused your weakness you
experience.... You will be able to work with this, then.

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