Buddhist Prayers for the Dying
Buddhist prayers for the dying offer can comfort through a tradition of helpful suggestions for finding peace amidst chaos and intense changes at the end of life.
As Buddhists we strive for a life as one continual prayer. Made up of many Buddhist prayers. Daily prayers. Embraced by so much respect for life. For all life. Even insects, mosquitoes, spiders and gnats.
Such kindness as the basis for all actions and thoughts. Such an understanding of the power of the "Mind" as in consciousness in contrast to "mind" as in monkey mind. Such a gentle way of being both in the world and yet not of it.
We believe in rebirth and reincarnation. We know ourselves part of the wheel. The wheel of life. Turning and turning. Until we are complete and enter into Nirvana. Many of us do not get off the wheel until everyone has done so. As our service to humanity.
Our highest goal in dying is to leave this body with a clear mind. We can be supported in that wish by having space to be quiet. Or by having someone read or recite sacred Buddhist prayers to us.
Being mindful around us and with our bodies is one of our deepest wishes.
We believe that our soul does not leave the body upon death. It stays connected for about three days. It helps to have our dead body not treated as an object, but still as a person. It also helps to move our bodies as little as possible.
May I be filled with loving kindness,
May I be well,
May I be peaceful and at ease,
May I be happy (or free from suffering.
May you be filled with loving kindness,
May you be well,
May you be peaceful and at ease,
May you be happy (or free from suffering).
May all beings be filled with loving kindness,
May all beings be well,
May all beings be peaceful and at ease,
May all beings be happy (or free from suffering).
- Loving Kindness Metta -
May all beings have happiness
and be the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow
and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated
from the sacred happiness
which is sorrowless;
And may all live in equanimity,
without too much attachment
and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality
of all that lives.
- Traditional Buddhist Prayer -
I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love
are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
- Buddha -
- Translation by Thich Nhat Hanh -
Taoist Prayers for the Dying
The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnameable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.
- Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching -
- Translated by Stephen Mitchell -
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
- Lao Tsu's Peace Prayer -
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