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Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved

Since its beginning, Buddhism has been intimately concerned with confronting and understanding death and dying. Indeed, the tradition emphasizes turning toward the realities of sickness, old age, and death - and using those very experiences to develop wisdom and liberating compassion. In recent decades, Buddhist chaplains and caregivers all over the world have been drawing on this tradition to contribute greatly to the development of modern palliative and hospice care in the secular world at large. Specifically Buddhist hospice programs have been further developing and applying traditional Buddhist practices of preparing for death, attending the dying, and comforting the bereaved.

Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved contains comprehensive overviews of the best of such initiatives, drawn from diverse Buddhist traditions, and written by practitioners who embody the best of contemporary Buddhist hospice care programs practiced all over the world today.

Contributors include Carl B. Becker, Moichiro Hayashi, Yozo Taniyama, Mari Sengoku, Phaisan Visalo, Beth Kanji Goldring, Caroline Prasada Brazier, Joan Jiko Halifax, and Julie Chijo Hanada.

"Watts and Tomatsu provide an unprecedented look into modern Buddhist practices of caring for the dying and bereaved. This book is an indispensible field manual for contemplative caregivers, and a must-read for anyone drawn to end-of-life care."

– Willa B. Miller and Cheryl A. Giles, coeditors of The Arts of Contemplative Care

"A wonderful contribution to the emerging discussion on how to develop spiritual, compassionate support for the dying in our society."

– Anyen Rinpoche, author of Journey to Certainty and Dying With Confidence

"A valuable and amazing resource! These incisive accounts from different cultures offer crucial lessons on what has been lost and gained in our understanding of care of the dying over the past 100 years. This collection is a 'must' for those of us involved in chaplaincy care."

– Pat Enkyo O'Hara, Guiding Teacher, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and Abbot, Village Zendo, New York

"These authors intelligently ask how Buddhists worldwide, right now, are helping with dying, and find that there are so many ways. They also show how we can do a better job, individually, collectively, and institutionally. This book is a treasure-trove--we will most definitely use it in classes."

– Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., Professor, Naropa University Buddhist Chaplaincy program

"Inspiring. Critical insights into the actual, in-the-trenches work of caregiving--featuring numerous, rich case studies. Should be an essential text in the field."

– Sulak Sivarksa, author Conflict, Culture, Change

"A wonderfully intelligent and compassionate account of modern Buddhist approaches to death and dying."

– Gil Fronsdal, author of The Issue at Hand