Peaceful Death Project

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Project Introduction

          Death is certain for all living creatures while at the same time it lies on uncertainty in the sense of time, place and cause.

          Even executed prisoners and patients with terminal illness can die with unexpected causes. Due to its certain and uncertain nature, death has become more dreadful particularly for those who want to take things under control. Because death is fearful, we try to ignore our own death (instead, with curiosity and influence of mass media, our interest tends to be attracted very easily by other people’s tragedy). Finally, we forget (or pretend to forget) that we are unavoidably subject to death.

          Death is the most important test of life. Unlike other tests which can be retook over and over, the test of death occurs only once in a life time with no chance to correct or do it again. It is very difficult to handle as it can come to us any moments unknowingly and unreadily. We are hardly able to control anything in time of death even our own body and mind.

          However, most people have never cared about getting themselves ready for this test, wasting their life with other sensual matters, for example earning a living, seeking happiness etc.; we are always ready to devote months and years in worldly trainings and practices like career, singing and dancing; we spend unlimited hours for shopping and surfing the internet, but never once have we concerned about preparation for death or during our dying state. We live our life as if we will never die. Nothing is as careless as throwing away the chance to familiarize ourselves with death when we are still equipped with time and energy. 

          Without preparation, our body and mind suffer immensely when we are in time of illness and death, lacking enough assets to help ourselves in this critical situation. Many people struggle to survive, putting all their hope on technologies. However, the more we try to postpone the time of death, the more our suffering is prolonged. All of our attempts are to no avail.

 

Death Avoidance Behaviors :

Death is viewed as…

  • the end of life.
  • a dreadful experience which need to be avoided.
  • what need to be postponed as long as possible.

          Modern medicine focuses on physical aspect, relying only on medicine and technologies while overlooking mental and spiritual aspects. Death is devalued as organic disorders. Based on the modern medical treatment, dependent roles among patients, their families and communities disappear. Viewing death as a dreadful experience and lacking of ability to see all dependent aspects in unity, our understanding on hospice care is lessen and there is no spiritual way to help us confront death peacefully.

 

Why do we need to be mindful of death?

  • Most people view death as the end of life, something dreadful and should be avoided or postpone as much as possible.
  • Modern medicine focuses on physical aspect, relying only on medicine and technologies while overlooking mental and spiritual aspects. Death is devalued as organic disorders. 
  • Based on the modern medical treatment, dependent roles among patients, their families and communities disappear.
  • Viewing death as a dreadful experience and lacking of ability to see all dependent aspects in unity, our understanding on hospice care is lessen and there is no spiritual way to help us confront death peacefully.

          The main problem lies in the death avoidance behavior shown through attitude and action.

          With more concern for life and death, the Buddhika Network for Buddhism and Society has launches the ‘Peaceful Death’ project, emphasizing on spiritual assistance through practical processes of learning, case study analyzing and group discussion among related individuals from different fields including religion, philosophy, society and culture, nursing and medicine together with workshops, event activities and handouts available in books, CDs, cyber community and video online. 

 

 

Objectives:

  1. To give guidance and method to confront death peacefully both for self-practicing and for helping other people
  2. To improve spiritual aspect as well as giving understanding on life and death
  3. To contribute network of palliative care team

 

Main Activities:

  1. Peaceful death workshops 
  2. End-of-life care Voluntary Projects for Patients
  3. Distribution of educational materials 
  4. Group Discussion 
  5. Improve End-of-Life caring system in Buddhism way
  6. Sunset: News letters for good death and life.
  7. Peaceful Death Consult

 

Partners

Buddhika Network for Buddhism and Society / Sem Sikkhalai / Komol Keemthong Foundation / Palliative care team of King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Songklanagarind Hospital, Siriraj Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital

 

Articles

The Seven Factors of a Peaceful Death:
A Theravada Buddhist Approach to Death in Thailand

Ven. Paisal Visalo 
New year blessings
The gift of inner calm 

Phra Paisal Visalo 
Every moment is new 
Open-mindedness and staying in touch with the present always brings a new experience 

Phra Paisal Visalo 
Global warming vs dharma cooling 
Phra Paisal Visalo 
On living mindfully 
Greet the new day with a smile and mindfulness 

Phra Paisal Visalo  
Embrace death
In order to deal with the suffering when the moment of death arrives, always be prepared.

Phra Paisal Visalo  
Helping Dying Patients the Buddhist Way
Phra Phaisal Visalo 
Making the best of bad situations
A booklet of Buddhist reflections encourages readers to recognise what is truly important in their lives 

Phra Phaisal Visalo 
Spiritual Care for the Dying
Phra Paisal Visalo
Spiritual Care for the Dying (short version)
Phra Paisal Visalo 
The happiness of giving
Story by PHRA PAISAL VISALO  
The happiness that you can grow
Phra Paisal Visalo
The practice of happiness
Phra Paisal Visalo  
Think of death, Be happy
Phra Paisal Visalo