Following your purchase of this online course, you will
receive an email with a link to a webpage to download a PDF document that contains the enrollment key for the course and instructions on how to
access the course on the FPMT
Online Learning Center.
Heart Advice for Death and Dying is an online FPMT introductory
course that provides practical ways for thinking about and preparing for one’s own
and others’ death. It is suitable for anyone—non-Buddhist, beginner student of Buddhism,
or senior Buddhist practitioner—interested in thinking about and preparing for death
in a deeply personal way. Ven. Sangye Khadro, a senior American teacher of Tibetan
Buddhism, teaches this course in her usual engaging, gentle, and down-to-earth style,
making death into an immensely important and practical topic for contemplation.
Having completed this course, you will feel much more confident in facing your own
death and also in your ability to help and support others as they are dying.
This course is presented as a
series of five sessions. Each session consists of teachings by Ven. Sangye Khadro (available in both MP3 and written
formats) supplemented by two guided meditations on related topics
and two mindfulness practices. These are complemented
by and elaborated upon by teachings and meditations by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the
course book, Heart Advice for Death and Dying.
Each session concludes with some points for reflection
intended to encourage a personal reflection and analysis of the topics taught. Additional
supplementary materials are provided to help prepare for one’s own and others'
The five sessions of the course cover the following topics:
Session 1: Death and Rebirth
Session 2: Working with
Emotions Regarding Death
Session 3: Preparing for
Session 4: Practicing Tonglen
and Experiencing Death
Session 5: Helping Others
The meditations guided by
Ven. Sangye Khadro can by done either by listening
to the audio file, reading the corresponding transcript, or reading a summary
of the meditation:
The mindfulness practices consist
of reflecting on a passage from Ven. Sangye Khadro’s teachings throughout
The online course materials consist of the following resources:
The course book Heart Advice
for Death and Dying contains Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s essential instructions on
impermanence and death, an overview of the death process, guidelines for
preparing for death, and, in particular, a detailed explanation of how to practice
the five powers at the time of death. This book is included in the course materials
for online reading and in PDF format for download.
Also included in the course material in PDF format is the
companion book Heart Practices for Death and Dying,
which contains Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice on preparing for death and assisting
others through that time. It also contains practices for the time of death, such
as the Medicine Buddha Puja and the traditional eight prayers recommended by Lama
Zopa Rinpoche to help others at the time of death. It also includes mantras to say
for those who are dying or who have died, teachings on their benefits, and a sheet
of mantras to place upon the body of one who has died.
The recommended additional reading, How
to Enjoy Death: Preparing to Meet Life’s Final Challenge without Fear by
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, is a step-by-step
instruction manual with detailed advice on how to prepare yourself to face the end
of your own life and your loved one’s lives with the confidence that comes from
knowing what to do. It contains most of the practices Lama Zopa Rinpoche
recommends be done before someone dies, as they are dying, and after their death.
the books Heart Advice for Death and Dying and Heart Practices for Death and Dying along with Ven. Sangye Khadro’s
teachings and meditations are combined with the book How to
Enjoy Death, you
will have all the information and practices you need to be able to face your
own and others’ deaths with confidence and serenity.
Note: The entire course was revised in 2019 to provide the option of
either reading and listening to the teachings and meditations online or to
download all the audio and text files and make use of them offline. Many
supplementary materials were newly created for this revised edition.