"An important book for both caregivers and patients. Coberly compellingly demonstrates how terminally ill people can experience emotional and spiritual healing, even when they cannot be cured."—Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
"A much-needed, wise, and helpful guidebook."—Barbara Dossey, R.N., director of Hospice Nursing Consultants
"This is a rich and wise book that will help many people."—Joan Halifax Roshi, Project on Being with Dying, Upaya Zen Center
Description of Sacred Passage
In the West, death is viewed as a tragic and horrible event. Coberly shows us how this view generates fear and denial, which harm the dying by adding unnecessary loneliness, confusion, and mental anguish to the dying process. Tibetan Buddhism focuses on the nature of death and how to face it with honesty, openness, and courage. In this view, death is not a failure, but a natural part of life that, if properly understood and appreciated, can offer the dying and their loved ones an opportunity to gain valuable insight and wisdom. Coberly argues that the Tibetan Buddhist outlook can be a useful antidote to the culture of fear and denial that surrounds death in the West and can help caregivers become more fully present, fearless, honest, and compassionate.
Sacred Passage highlights two very practical teachings on death and dying from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and presents them in clear, nontechnical language. Readers learn about the "eight stages of dissolution leading to death," a detailed roadmap of the dying process that describes the sequence of physical, psychological, and spiritual changes that occur as we die. Coberly also presents the "death meditation," a contemplative exercise for developing a new relationship to death—and life. The book also includes a lengthy, annotated list of recommended readings for added guidance and inspiration.
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