meditation: the art of dying

Prevailing western tradition sees death as an enemy to be denied and fought against. Because of this collective denial we tend to fear death, not wanting to face or understand it until we are forced by circumstances to do so.

In this training we offer a rich and rewarding path to understanding the process of dying, to see death as natural and a coming home to our true self. In the light of current psychological understanding, of spiritual wisdom and compassionate medical science, the work of psycho-spiritual support for the dying and their families is a much needed contribution to our social life, as our society slowly understands that the dying need and deserve to be taken care of and to be supported , physically, psychologically and spiritually.

There is a growing awareness among doctors and patients that too many people die in pain and fear, cut off from loved ones and from the chances to come to terms with death and saying goodbye. But the skills can be learned.

This training is suitable for those aware that their life is coming to an end, those who care for the dying and, ultimately, for all of us who inevitably face our own death and the death of the people we love.

The training reveals that-

1. the time of dying can most certainly be a time of transformation, a time of moving from a sense of perceived tragedy to a sense of experienced grace.

2.the process of dying is a time of profound significance in the human journey. It appears to be spiritually transforming in itself.

3.the final moment of death as the end of life of a human being can be a remerging, which reflects that the soul is returning to merge into the universal consciousness, the oneness, from which it had once emerged.

In our education the issue of death is not represented. Religions feed us with beliefs that don´t help us to cope with the fact of our mortality. And they do not teach us anything about the mystery and the transformation that is possible in dying, or about the powerful teachings that death can give us. Death has become more or less invisible, which makes it impossible for us to learn something essential from the death of our loved ones. In other cultures the elder people passed their acceptance and trust and the gift of letting go on to the younger ones who learned much from them about personal awakening.

In our times old or dying people are often consigned to states of vegetation where they are already dead and ignored before they actually die, often drugged until their inner lights are so dimmed that they hardly notice their own death. These people cannot die with dignity and gratitude, with trust and openeness for the grace that is happening in dying consciously.

And there is not even the guarantee that we will die old, we cannot know when death comes to us.

It makes much difference if we die consciously or the unconscious way. It makes a big difference if we can be in a state of love in our leaving, if we can be present in the process of dissolving into the mystery of the universe, our real home.When we are present we are in a state of love.

As we grow up with fears and judgements about many aspects of ourselves, we learn to reject or repress many experiences: e.g. joy, sexuality, openess, tears, laughter, anger, grief, fear, creativity, trust, aloneness, surrender, ecstasy, and many more! Tragically we are too busy to bother about these qualities, while the suffering of our unnatural life becomes more and more.

Not surprisingly we have the same disregard toward our death. We never learn to die in an awakened state , in a state of love and gratitude, that our death can be the greatest gift, to ourselves and to our beloveds.

Something much more essential is also involved: learning to die is learning how to really live!

If we are open and patient and really in search of truth, we learn to open and to let go in life in those moments when our conditioning would have us shut down and close . Death can give us the key to be present to life. And this is the essential to be fulfilled in life! And there are so many small and big deaths happening in our lives that invite us to discover that letting go awakens us to be present, to become one with the existential reality in all possible situations and challenges!

Our society does not value presence, but getting and having more and more.Most people are obsessive about getting what they want,using power, rage and other means to go for what they think gives them happiness.The instinct to get is deeply rooted in all of us,but that is not where our personal growth should stop. Our society´s development has more or less stopped, we are destroying the planet and actively or passively involved in killing life in this world, just for the sake of getting what we think we want.

We grow up with conditionings that do not fulfill our souls - we learn to disconnect from nature, feelings, spontaneity, we are taught to be successful, comfortable and entertained , and we live in superficial conventions that keep us from ever really knowing ourselves and each other, and also from the mystery of life.

We have much to learn that nobody taught us - essentials like living our feelings, love and self-respect, compassion, awakening to our essential being ,and the most challenging of all: the fact that we will leave this body and our whole life, this world, when we die. Death is the most transforming and the most denied event in our time-obsessed lives, - but it will happen to each single being on this planet.

When we can allow death to happen, we can experience the renewal and the transformation of death. Otherwise we will be locked in our fear of death, and of life. Letting something die really opens us up to the possibility of life taking us into more trust, into the divine, into the oneness with all of existence.

When we allow death its natural place in life, it offers us many opportunities to open to the beauty of life: the unexpected, the depths, the vulnerability, the strength, the compassion, and ultimately the trust that arises when we learn that we are one with life, that there is nothing to be afraid of!

And how beautiful it can then be to sit with your dying friend,to help them to understand the mystery of dying, to relax into the silence of death, to forgive in their heart , and to transcend the old ego-barriers when they realize that death is ` The Path of Return´ into something much vaster and more divine than our physical life could ever be.

Death invites us to learn this gift of letting go. It can become the attitude of our whole lifestyle, and we will never be at a loss when we are living in let go.

Lerning to let go is learning the real meaning of liberation, personal and universal. It means to flow with life´s happenings and changes, to flow with creativity and inspiration.It opens us to our most vital and powerful potential for living authentically - not clinging to the things we are busy holding on to, but receiving the gifts of a life that finds its fulfillment in giving, sharing, trusting, loving, and being, learning to surrender to what is taken away with gratitude, and trusting that a conscious life already gives us more than we can ever ask for.

If we have learned to let go, we can still strive for whatever we would like, but without stress and greed that only create more suffering and fear.

Death can teach us to say goodbye, not as an ending, but as a welcome to the essential life that always continues. In passing through the fear of letting go do we find the key to receiving the blessings of a life in trust into our non-separation , which is already our nature.

THE DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE TRAINING

The training has 2 parts . Part 1 can be booked separately.

Part 1 is mainly a self-experience of death and dying, and of their significance for our life now. A conscious encounter with the fears of the unknown, of pain, of aloneness, and of losing everything we believe we are and have. It is also an opportunity of allowing the awareness that each one of us has to face death, of preparing consciously for our own death and that of our beloveds. An introduction into meditation, of finding clear understanding of what meditation really is, its effects on emotions, psyche and neurological system. Only through deep meditation is it possible to experience a kind of death before we die, and to consciously separate from the body and mind.Then the fear of death and the unknown will disappear from our lives.This gives us the courage to live an authentic life, in which love, creativity and consciousness are priorities, and we become free from societies pressure to accomplish power, money and security. Only a fearless person can be conscious and in touch with the reality of life.

Part 2 is about applying the insights from part 1 into the eventual situations of assisting our patients, beloveds or friends when their times comes to die. Experiencing and understanding the stages of dying, and how to be unconditionally present even with dying, fear, pain,and deep emotional states. Being with a terminally ill person through the stages of shock, denial, and chaos , supporting them to move on towards acceptance and ultimately transcendence. Methods for pain control will be taught, the possibilities of pain - medication, how to transform pain and suffering into compassion and surrender to the process of living and dying. How to give emotional support,dealing with anxiety and depression. Counseling for the bereaved.

Understanding the spiritual dimensions of living and dying.How to be present in the face of someone dying ,in deep pain or in a life crisis. How to support a person in the transition from one dimension of life to another. How to help the dying to enter into transpersonal realms of being and in this way move beyond surrender into transcendence of body and mind. Then a person can die with deep gratitude and complete trust -their death can be completely fearless

Many of these experiences and insights can be applied to everyday life, thus giving us the keys of how to make our life the best preparation for our own death, for illness, pain, old age, loss and grief.

"Time is very precious. Do not wait until you are dying to understand your spiritual nature. Then your death will be an experience of grace and transcendence ".

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