Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Supporting Others in the Death and Dying Process.

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I mean it's a big subject supporting people going through the dying process

and what we might be able to do for them with our meditation is probably only a

fraction of the support we we could be providing them with, so I suppose we

should really separate it out into what we could ask them to do to support

themselves and what we can do to support them. The single most important thing, as

somebody approached the dying process is to be as calm as possible and to have

surrendered as much as possible prior to that moment, and the single most positive

quality we could have in our mind at the point of death is gratitude. So if we are

trying to encourage somebody, I mean we talked about meditation, let's talk more

about in general entering to a positive mental state. If you are with somebody

who's had a fortunate life and in them and they are struggling to come to terms

with the fact that it's going to come to an end and they feel that there's

something wrong with that then the most positive thing you could

do would is to ask them to turn towards the good fortune that they've

experienced and generate a profound sense of gratitude for it.

And then get to the place where this extraordinary, precious thing that we

have is absolutely certainly going to end and it's a certainty for everybody,

it's the only certainty we have in our life is the fact that one day we're

going to die. So try to help somebody get beyond the point where they would still

even in the last days and weeks of life be pretending to themselves that it

might not happen because that frequently does happen. If you've got if you're with

somebody who's had a challenging life and would not necessarily see their life

as fortunate, then the most noble thing that they could do, and if you could help

them to do it, is to get to the place of delighting in the good fortune of others,

and in some way transform their suffering into their rite of passage

because if you can embrace the hardship that you've been through, in some way it

it's the pathway or the doorway through which we are able to become a

more noble person in some way. So rather than rejecting their hardship and their

suffering, see if they can find some way to transform it to turn it into an

uplift, so if we can't get to the place of gratitude because we felt our life

has been hard then to delight in the good fortune of others is a tremendous

expression of generosity of spirit in one who's been afflicted in the life, and

anyway somehow if we can get them to the place of seeing that life, even if it's

full of hardship, it's just an extraordinary thing. So these two things

and then of course the third most important thing is forgiveness. So if

people are carrying a sense of shame or guilt or blame, anything that you

can do to help them let go the sense that they are they've wronged and that

they aren't worthy of forgiveness because that is something that shrinks

the mind so dramatically as we approach the end of the life and anything that

we can do to help people free themselves with their sense of regret and remorse

and if they can turn regret and remorse into forgiveness of themselves and also

if we're holding grudges or resentment or ill-will towards others, if we can turn

that into forgiveness that is a profound transformation of our mind in that moment

leading up to death and quite often the stump that might take us years to

achieve on the cushion through our vipassana practice can be achieved in this

very challenging time at which we approach death. So the point is encourage

somebody to be brave because they have before them in the last period of their

life a real opportunity to free themselves.

So that's if you feel somebody has a latent capacity to work with the

challenge that they've got in front of them, you encourage them as much as you

can to bring about as much transformation in that process so that

they die as liberated of the things that they're carrying that's possible now

other people who aren't capable of uplifting themselves through

their own endeavor and then what we have to do is to do everything we can to

create an uplift in the ambient environment that's surrounding them and

hope that through resonance that that works from them at an unconscious level

that they may not be able to recognize because being surrounded by love and

kindness, feeling held and supportive not feeling alone, it can help tremendously

someone who doesn't feel they've got the courage to face what's ahead of them, to

slowly, in their own way, walk up to it, gradually

open up to the the truth that they are going to die, and this is when by doing

meditation with people... but also of course to sit and practice

loving-kindness meditation with somebody and for them can be a tremendous support

having groups of people practicing meditation for someone who's suffering

will actually help their own heart to settle. So there's the

energetic support we can give at a conscious level for them which they

receive by transference so loving-kindness practice

of course, but the other thing is to look at the person and see what it is with

the noun that creates their own uplift for example you might find that to play

a piece of music, a sacred piece of music that somehow reconnects into some sense

that there's something sacred in life even if they're not religious, you'd be

surprised how many people will reach out to religion in some way in the last

moments of their life and it doesn't matter that they haven't lived a

Christian life or Muslim life or a Buddhist life the point is if they start

to open up through one of these channels to something that's beyond them that's

part of the process by which they find ways of surrender. So you know playing

sacred music and Christian music to somebody even if they're not, you'd be

surprised the power of paying a beautiful piece of sacred Christian

music to somebody who's come from a Christian background but hasn't lived a

Christian life .There's something profoundly soothing about the

entering into the space that thousands millions of people over hundreds and

hundreds of years have found solace even if at a religious level hasn't made

sense to you, it will still, it still has a capacity to nourish. So music can be as

powerful as sitting and comforting with words or meditating for

them and the other and the other way that music can work is the fact that you

can lead somebody in on their own with it and all the support that we're giving,

we can give to people around their bedside the really deep transformation

happens in those moments of solitude when you're really facing what's going

on for you alone because we are alone when we die. W e're comforted by

those around us but that actual transition is something we do alone so

helping them get comfortable into in a space of solitude where their own a

heart opens in their own way and they make their own

sense of things is is really key, so to creat create an environment that is is

nurturing and and peaceful, not too much hectic, not much much

fussing around them and leaving them this space because the incredible things

happen to people in that space that they get left in. And then of course you know

the big the big challenge is fear, you know then we look at where they are

at with fear, and we maybe talk about that as a there's something else, but

looking for ways to help them to approach fear prior to the actual point

of which they go through death. I mean the thing is death itself is the final

dismantling of the ego. It's our final wrap rite of passage. If we haven't

managed to let go the ideas of ourselves that were clung to as an active choice

through the through the life, then we will let them go whether we struggle to

or not we will, they will be broken apart in a dying process so you know this

process of dying is the process of being relieved of what it is that's afflicted

us in this life, yeah. Now that can be a fraught process or that can be a profound

and beautiful process so the more you can do to get somebody into a place of

surrender, the less they're going to feel it broken apart in the dying process the

more they'll feel that relieving dissolution of the very things that have

afflicted them because after that we've died moment that we've died we then

start a whole new process, a whole, another phase of the process of dying

once we once we've actually physically died here our consciousness now goes

through a whole new cycle of transformation which is really the

dying process and then new things, different things

start to come into play once the actual it going clinging to this very life has

been broken down. So it's a complex and multi-levelled thing and there's many

aspects to it and it's a very important service to give, to provide

careful, thoughtful support to those that are close to us as they approach the

dying process, it's a duty it's a responsibility to do what we can for

those who are dear to us and as they approach their death.

The Description of Supporting Others in the Death and Dying Process.