Author Topic: A dying person last wishes.  (Read 31338 times)

Q

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 08:38:14 AM »
Do you think is important to grant the last wishes of a person whom is dieing? When you know that they are not difficult follow or to do.

If not follow. Do you think the person will have no peace when they pass away?

Why I ask these questions above is because recently I have attended a funeral and there was a lot of arguments, fight, misunderstanding and disharmony during the whole event of the funeral and even up to the day when the ashes is collected.

What can we do or the family do during these 49 days to make sure the decease is in peace.

Isn't at death, nothing actually matter anymore? Which is why we practice death meditation to hopefully get the understanding that all our hang ups don't matter anyway.

Minus everything that is legal, I don't think anything else is important unless we have promissed the deceased person. If we've promissed to carry out something, whether or not the person is dead or alive we should honour our promise, it is not for the person, but our own integrity.

Anything else outside these, I believe is not important at all... what's important is helping the deceased to transit into a fortunate rebirth for his/her next life.

This is what I personally think, I could be wrong... and if I am, someone please do correct me.

Thanks

Klein

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 09:08:03 AM »
If granting the dying person's last wish will help appease his or her mind while dying, then it should be done. As my teacher says, it's important for the dying person to let go of all worldly attachments. Otherwise, the person will reincarnate in the 3 lower realms.

Within the 49 days from the date of demise, it's advisable for the all family members to be vegetarian. Harmony is good, otherwise the demised person will not be a peace. The merits collected are to be dedicated to the demised person's good and swift rebirth.

Positive Change

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 09:30:15 AM »
Do you think is important to grant the last wishes of a person whom is dieing? When you know that they are not difficult follow or to do.

If not follow. Do you think the person will have no peace when they pass away?

Why I ask these questions above is because recently I have attended a funeral and there was a lot of arguments, fight, misunderstanding and disharmony during the whole event of the funeral and even up to the day when the ashes is collected.

What can we do or the family do during these 49 days to make sure the decease is in peace.

Isn't at death, nothing actually matter anymore? Which is why we practice death meditation to hopefully get the understanding that all our hang ups don't matter anyway.

Minus everything that is legal, I don't think anything else is important unless we have promissed the deceased person. If we've promissed to carry out something, whether or not the person is dead or alive we should honour our promise, it is not for the person, but our own integrity.

Anything else outside these, I believe is not important at all... what's important is helping the deceased to transit into a fortunate rebirth for his/her next life.

This is what I personally think, I could be wrong... and if I am, someone please do correct me.

Thanks

What you are saying is right of course.... however, I am seeing it in the context of the person at his or her deathbed and is requesting certain last wishes. I believe it is important to let the person leave in the right state of mind and affairs. Meaning, the less distractions and purely focus on his or her practice if any. If not just make sure their mind is clear of any worry...

Hence it is important that their so called "last wishes" are met or at least we promise them it will be done! So they do not have the attachment to the specific problem which would create the causes for a unwanted rebirth.

sonamdhargey

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2012, 09:37:24 AM »
If it helps the dying to have peace of mind, i think it should be done if it is not harmful because that dying person may not be able to let go and hold on to it in their mind until their last breath and that is not good for the mind stream, it will be bad for their rebirth. We can talk the the dying person and tell them to let go of everything and not hold on to anything and have a positive mind. We can tell the dying person to think of Buddha and also think of all the good things he has done to benefit others in their life. 

Within the 49 days, the family members can liberate animals and dedicate it their merits to the deceased to have a good and fast rebirth. Avoid any dispute and arguments within family members and let the decease go in peace.

jeremyg

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2012, 06:25:55 PM »
As long as those last wishes do not involve in more negative karma being created, that i don't see a reason to not fulfill them. It will give that person a last hope and an ease of mind. If it involves helping a person, than that is an even better reason to do the last wish. What would be bad, is if the action is not completed, and that person dies with the attachment to whatever he/she wanted to do. This will result in the person being reborn possibly in the ghost realm, so that they can be closer to the attachment. After all this will result in further suffering for them.

Aurore

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2012, 02:09:24 AM »
The state of mind during the time of death is the most crucial as it determines the person's rebirth whether positive or negative. If the person is able to give their wishes, their death would not have been a sudden one. Therefore, during these times, it would be good to assure this person that everything would be ok so that he or she can go in peace. Meanwhile, family members should do more than merely fulfilling world wishes. There are other things can be done to assure a good rebirth of a person if they truly care. For example, take a vegetarian vow, pujas, animal liberation to dedicate for this person good rebirth. It is preferred to be done BEFORE this person passed away. This is because the merit dedication to a person who has left the human form will be much lesser than the merits when one is alive. Always do what we can while someone is alive and not when they are gone.

kurava

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2012, 04:55:45 PM »
Yes, at death nothing else is important. However, this knowledge or realization is usually acquired by people who has been practicing spirituality while with sound mind and healthy body. Without dharma practice , most people will have strong attachment to loved ones or unfulfilled wishes. Some dying persons may have prolonged dying process as a result of unfinished or unfulfilled wishes.

As the last thought at death is the preceding thought to the bardo state which in turn will be the condition as to what rebirth the deceased takes, it is therefore important for us to give a peaceful environment and/ or mental peace to the dying person. As some of us had shared that provided fulfilling the last wish does not result in negative karma, we should try our best to fulfill the last wish of a dying person so that he/she may die in peace.

Within the next 49 days things that can be done and dedicated to the swift & good rebirth of the deceased are :
1) sponsor a puja at the monastery and dedicate the merits to the deceased
2) light up candles as offering to the 3 jewels
3) the deceased's family can do prayer or chant mantra for the deceased
4) dedicate merits arise from animal liberation to the deceased
5) or dedicate merits arising from any other offerings made to the 3 jewels

yontenjamyang

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2012, 05:22:08 AM »
Yes. Marginally speaking the dying person's last wishes should be fulfilled to "satisfy" the attachment of the dying person and avoid (again marginally) a less fortunate rebirth.

In the dynamics of Karma, things are not as simple. First, the dying person should have cultivated some form of renunciation or at least taken refuge before death and should have generated merits so that at the point of death he/she will be protected. In this line of thought then before dying, there should not be any "last wishes". Any last wishes to me are delusions of the self cherishing mind. Most often then not, it causes more delusions on those left behind ie the family and friends as in the example given by VajraD.

Secondly, from the side of those left behind, the wishes should be fulfilled for the simple reason of offering peace to the deceased.

Thirdly, this makes me think, if any high lamas ever has any last wishes before passing or do they "complete" their  tasks/wishes before passing. I think, high lamas are not attached to worldly concerns and even if there are tasks that are not completed, they simply come back in their future incarnation to complete the work.

Finally, this reminds me that we should generate merits by following our Guru's instruction NOW! Them, when we die, we do not have any last wishes ie attachments to this life.

brian

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2012, 08:10:21 AM »
I think granting a wish to a dying person if its not a difficult thing to do then it is fine, if the action of the person is to want to harm another person which is not Buddhistic at all. and i feel that if a person who is dying, who is still so attached, if you are granting him a wish, maybe it will be a good idea to grant him his last wish before him taking the last breathe.

Tammy

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2012, 09:43:18 AM »
http://www.buddhanet.net/deathtib.htm

At the time of death (clear light stage) the consciousness (very subtle mind) leaves the body and the person takes the body of an intermediate state being. They are in the form that they will take in their next life (some texts say the previous life), but in a subtle rather than a gross form. As mentioned previously, it can take up to forty-nine days to find a suitable place of rebirth. This rebirth is propelled by karma and is uncontrolled. In effect the karma of the intermediate state being matches that of its future parents. The intermediate state being has the illusory appearance of its future parents copulating. It is drawn to this place by the force of attraction to its parent of the opposite sex, and it is this desire that causes the consciousness of the intermediate state being to enter the fertilized ovum. This happens at or near the time of conception and the new life has begun.

One will not necessarily be reborn as a human being. Buddhists describe six realms of existence that one can be reborn into, these being the hell realms, the preta (hungry ghost) realm, the animal realm, the human realm, the jealous god (asura) realm and the god (sura) realms. One's experience in these situations can range from intense suffering in the hell realms to unimaginable pleasures in the god realms. But all of these levels of existence are regarded as unsatisfactory by the spiritual practitioner because no matter how high one goes within this cyclic existence, one may one day fall down again to the lower realms of existence. So the aim of the spiritual practitioner is to develop his/her mind to the extent where a stop is put to this uncontrolled rebirth, as mentioned previously. The practitioner realises that all six levels of existence are ultimately in the nature of suffering, so wishes to be free of them forever.

The state of mind at the time of death is regarded as extremely important, because this plays a vital part in the situation one is reborn into. This is one reason why suicide is regarded in Buddhism as very unfortunate, because the state of mind of the person who commits suicide is usually depressed and negative and is likely to throw them into a lower rebirth. Also, it doesn't end the suffering, it just postpones it to another life.

When considering the spiritual care of the dying, it can be helpful to divide people into several different categories, because the category they are in will determine the most useful approach to use. These categories are: 1) whether the person is conscious or unconscious, and 2) whether they have a religious belief or not. In terms of the first category, if the person is conscious they can do the practices themselves or someone can assist them, but if they are unconscious someone has to do the practices for them. For the second category, if a person has specific religious beliefs, these can be utilised to help them. If they do not, they still need to be encouraged to have positive/virtuous thoughts at the time of death, such as reminding them of positive things they have done during their life.

For a spiritual practitioner, it is helpful to encourage them to have thoughts such as love, compassion, remembering their spiritual teacher. It is beneficial also to have an image in the room of Jesus, Mary, Buddha, or some other spiritual figure that may have meaning for the dying person. It may be helpful for those who are with the dying person to say some prayers, recite mantras etc. - this could be silent or aloud, whatever seems most appropriate.

However, one needs to be very sensitive to the needs of the dying person. The most important thing is to keep the mind of the person happy and calm. Nothing should be done (including certain spiritual practices) if this causes the person to be annoyed or irritated. There is a common conception that it is good to read "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" to the dying person, but if he/she is not familiar with the particular deities and practices contained in it, then this is not likely to prove very beneficial.

Because the death process is so important, it is best not to disturb the dying person with noise or shows of emotion. Expressing attachment and clinging to the dying person can disturb the mind and therefore the death process, so it is more helpful to mentally let the person go, to encourage them to move on to the next life without fear. It is important not to deny death or to push it away, just to be with the dying person as fully and openly as possible, trying to have an open and deep sharing of the person's fear, pain, joy, love, etc.

As mentioned previously, when a person is dying, their mind becomes much more subtle, and they are more open to receiving mental messages from those people close to them. So silent communication and prayer can be very helpful. It is not necessary to talk much. The dying person can be encouraged to let go into the light, into God's love etc. (again, this can be verbal or mental).


Referring to the above extract (please refer to the URL for complete article), it is very important to keep the mind of the dying or newly death person very calm and stable. As he or she is going thru bardo. This is exactly why in Tibetan tradition, there is certain rituals to be done to help the mind in its transitional stages from one life to another.

That's all I know with regards to hospice, maybe its time to pre-plan my funeral now to make sure everything goes on smoothly and update my will (not that I have a lot to be given away.. haha)
Down with the BAN!!!

Manjushri

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2012, 07:35:43 AM »
Definitely, if the wish is not hard to fulfil, and if it would put the person more at ease, then I don't see why not. I think it is important if you have the capabilities to fulfil the wish(es) (of course it has to be reasonable wishes) then one should, as whilst the person is leaving their body, they would feel more at peace and less attached.

Whilst leaving the body, if the person is still very encumbered and attached to what they have or haven't done, their acquisitions or whatever, then they will be reborn as a spirit. Therefore, if there's something that you can do to at least try to minimize this possibility of it happening to the dying/deceased, then I think that yes it is important to fulfil their last wish, or at the very least, put their minds at ease.

For the living, it could be out of selfish reasons - i.e. you haven't done your part whilst the person was alive, then at their death, you feel that to put both parties at ease, you fulfil your promises and step up to do what is expected. Yes it may be too late, and nothing really matters anymore as you lose a friend, a family member your partner, but if you can do something at the very end, to comfort both the dying and yourself, then it is better than nothing.

Big Uncle

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2012, 07:44:45 AM »
I guess it would be good to fulfill the wishes of the newly deceased if it is not a bad wish. Prayers and pujas are necessary to help the newly deceased because his mind is confused and wandering about. It would be good to have the family members and loved ones do the prayers and also talk to the deceased and reassure him that they will be alright and they will do what they can do fulfill his wishes. This is so that the wandering mind of the deceased will let go and take a good rebirth. I think that is absolutely essential.

Carpenter

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2012, 01:17:28 PM »
I guess it would be good to fulfill the wishes of the newly deceased if it is not a bad wish. Prayers and pujas are necessary to help the newly deceased because his mind is confused and wandering about. It would be good to have the family members and loved ones do the prayers and also talk to the deceased and reassure him that they will be alright and they will do what they can do fulfill his wishes. This is so that the wandering mind of the deceased will let go and take a good rebirth. I think that is absolutely essential.

Yes, I agreed, dying is a person’s final destination, after this, they will set out a new journey to another life. What’s important is no longer the samsaric wishes, because this is not important to them anymore, what’s important is a prayer and dedicate for their swift rebirth.

I once heard a Lama said, someone who is related to the deceased member to do the prayer is even more powerful than a lama who does it. Because of the blood related, when we do a prayer with a very strong mind to dedicate to the deceased, he will received it better.

biggyboy

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2012, 05:59:00 AM »
When a person is dying, it is important to make the environment and condition as comfortable and peaceful as possible.  At point of death, one’s thought at that moment matters most. Why? It will determine their next life. It is good to grant the dying their last wish and to assure them that it would be carried out. This hopefully will help them, at the time of death, to be at peace.  Prayers and pujas are extremely important and are dedicated to the deceased for a good rebirth.

Here’s an interesting profit and loss analogy on how one’s mind be at the last breath of life.
http://www.buddhanet.net/cbp2_f7.htm

The situation is analogous to a businessman who starts his business at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, he has to account for his profit and loss, repay all his debts and get back what others owe him. This process repeats the following year, and every year thereafter. The closing of everything. The businessman plans to accumulate long term profits and increasingly valuable assets year after year. But this is not an easy task to fulfill!.

How should we handle this problem? We can be more confident about the following year’s financial position if the current year’s business is profitable. Everything will run more smoothly next year. However, if this year results in a loss, then next year’s financial position will be tight. We may have to borrow from here or there, causing a lot of frustration, worry, and suffering for ourselves.

Life is the same. When there is birth, there will be death. During this process of life and death, we have to consider our profits and losses. If we do not put in an effort to uplift ourselves, we may lose our human status in the next life, and this will certainly be a loss! If we improve ourselves and become a better person in this life, then we will create good prospects for our future.

Although our "End of Year (life) Account" may show an unfavorable "financial (karmic) position", if we can justify ourselves skilfully, we may still get through the last difficult period. Thus, a practicing Buddhist should pay attention to the moment of their last breath. We should behave well, think positively, and be mindful at the moment of our last breath.

When we talk about life and death, some think that death means the end of everything. Thus, we must first clarify these misunderstandings about "death" before we discuss "life". People normally have a fear of death. In fact, death is nothing to be afraid of. This is analogous to the businessman who runs a good business at all times and manages it well until the closure of the financial year. When the New Year comes he will certainly enjoy a comfortable life. Therefore, as long as we have prepared well during our lives, we should be happy when we are healthy, and should not be frightened when sickness or even death comes.

Vajraprotector

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Re: A dying person last wishes.
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2012, 05:42:51 PM »
I think granting a wish to a dying person if its not a difficult thing to do then it is fine, if the action of the person is to want to harm another person which is not Buddhistic at all. and i feel that if a person who is dying, who is still so attached, if you are granting him a wish, maybe it will be a good idea to grant him his last wish before him taking the last breathe.

I agree with what Brian said, that it depends on what the last wish is. I think when it is at the point of death, we should not focus too much on the person's last wish, but rather help the person prepare for death.

Dying persons should be helped to relax, since tension and discomfort can easily lead to negative emotions. Surrounding the dying person with religious images and chanting mantras and prayers into her ear can help turn the mind toward positive thoughts.

Religious images are said to have a calming effect on the mind, and they prompt positive associations for devout Buddhists. Mantras of Buddhas are particularly effective, since they help either to create or strengthen a karmic link between the Buddha invoked by the mantra and the dying person. If a person is a religious practitioner who has a root lama, reciting the name mantra of the lama is particularly effective, since it should induce feelings of love and devotion toward the lama. A religious practitioner should see the lama as being inseparable from the Buddha, and so hearing the name of the lama at the time of death should awaken strong positive associations.

When the outer breath ceases, we should read The Tibetan Book of the Dead or text of another lineage to the person who has died. We should remind our friend of the signs that will now appear and to not be attached to them, saying "All appearances are arising from your own mind." We should also continue to do phowa and read any oral instructions on the nature of mind that our friend has received, if we are qualified to read them. We can recite mantras as well.

Buddhist texts instruct us to leave a person's body unmoved for 3 days after the outer breath ceases. It may be difficult in modern society for this to happen (eg dying in a hospital). If there is very little time for some reason, then at elast the refuge and bodhisattva vows, daily practice, and phowa should be done. If the person was a good practitioner, they will recognise these practices and be able to use them. When these practices are complete, the body can be washed and moved.

If our friend is at home, or the hospital is willing to let family and friends have time with the deceased, then the following can be done for up to three days. This is when the inner breath is considered to have ceased.

If a lama is present, he or she will perform pujas, rituals, such as bardo practices, Avalokiteshvara or Amitabha practices, though a lama is able to do this whether or not he or she is with the body. If a lama is not present, friends sould recite the mantra of Avalokiteshavara, the Vajrasattva hundred-syllable mantra, and Amitabha Buddha's mantra ( Om Amitabha Hri).

If the body is not cremated, it is still possible for a lama to perform a fire offering if a lock of hair and nail clippings are sent to a monastery, and arrangements for that ceremony have been made. This acts as a purification for the deceased, by "burning" the non-virtuous actions and karma.

After the burial or cremation, families can do something virtuous for their loved one. It is meritorious to make charitable contributions in their loved one's name. The family can also decide to observe the vow of not killing and become vegetarian for a week or for the 49 days .