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How can we make the most of death, and life? How can we overcome the fear of death and dying?

The stages of dying are seen as a great opportunity for spiritual enlightenment. In it, the author sheds a mature, compassionate light on our most basic fear and offers lucid answers to the tough questions such as:.

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Keeping in mind the fact that we are less afraid of what we can understand, Nydahl explains each stage we experience as life ends — and what continues to happen in the hours, and even days, after clinical death has been pronounced. To do so, he draws on Buddhist teachings and explains how they integrate with modern medical advances in pain management. In addition, he offers detailed instructions about how we can assist others through the dying process — from arranging their room to helpful things we can say, as well as mantras and meditations we can do.

During my year career in palliative care it became increasingly clear to me that someone had to tell the world what normal dying is like. I took early retirement to make time to speak out, in an attempt to reclaim public understanding of dying.

Buddhist Author and Teacher Uniquely Qualified to Help Us Overcome Our Fear of Death

But in my experience, once the subject is out in the open, once people know what to expect and they understand dying as a recognisable process, it is easier for families to watch at a deathbed, to understand and to learn from it. A nother story I recount in the book helps illustrate this. A young father is dying while his wife sits beside him. But the soon-to-be widow remains tranquil. I had to sit with the brother and explain things.

He told me he thought his brother was choking. Together, we observed that his brother was making no attempt to clear his throat.

Art of Dying Institute Programs

He's so deeply comatose that he can't even feel his throat. This tells us that he is comfortable, deeply relaxed. D emystifying the process is helpful for the relatives, and helpful for us all, as at some time or other we will all lose a loved one. Moreover, it can help alleviate our fears about our own death as well. The response to my book has shown me how urgently we need to start the conversation about death. Just as we need to know what to expect when we bring a life into this world, we need to know what to expect at the end.

George Harrison & the Art of Dying - Beliefnet

Shankar thought he "would have become a great sitar player if only he could have given some time," but the demands of Beatledom ruled. The spiritual quest, however, was another matter. And so he began a study of ancient Hinduism that influenced his work almost immediately.


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From onward Harrison's songs became a kind of chronicle of his ever-deepening spiritual journey. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. With music that was thoroughly Indian, the song addressed all those who thought that meaningful social change could be easily effected without a deeper inner transformation. In , Harrison again turned the world's attention to India when, at his behest, the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh for an extended stay at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's meditation center.

Transcendental Meditation is based on the Hindu practice of focusing the mind on a sacred word or phrase and repeating this word silently, relentlessly drawing the straying mind back to the word. The Maharishi offered the West a secularized, stripped-down version of Hindu mantra meditation, promising his practitioners the well-established benefits of inner calm, heightened awareness, and increased mental capacity without a theological commitment.


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Against haunting and atmospheric music, Harrison expresses his joy at finding the Lord. And the discovery Harrison sings of was, in Vedanta terms, the. The album's famous single, "My Sweet Lord," is a simple and beautiful prayer of praise and longing. Against the cultural backdrop of the entrenched anti-religious sentiment of his generation, Harrison addresses a prayer to God: "I really want to see you. In one verse he laments, "but it takes so long," and in another wishes to assure God that the sincerity of his prayers and meditation will surely speed this union.

What also won't take long is the transit through this life-but where the album's title track, "All Things Must Pass," suggests the transience of all material things, here the positive side of that transience is shown. Life is a fleeting opportunity in which, if only we seize our chance, we can very soon be reunited with the Beloved.

The song's "Hare Krishna" response alternated with the Christian "alleluia" did much to introduce to the West the maha-mantra.

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The primary goal of Vaisnavism is videha mukti. The secondary goal, tributary to the first, is to attain God realization here in the material world, while the soul is still embodied, which is achieved loving and serving Vishnu, and by meditating on him in his various incarnations.

In the "Art of Dying," Harrison reminds us that death is life's greatest opportunity.