Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved
Since its beginning, Buddhism has had as one of its hallmarks an intimate understanding and acceptance of death and dying. Over the past forty years Buddhist chaplains and caregivers have drawn on that tradition to contribute greatly to the development of modern palliative care. Buddhist hospice programs bring the application of traditional Buddhist practices of preparing for death, attending the dying, and comforting the bereaved to the secular world at large.
Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved contains comprehensive overviews of the best of such palliative care programs, drawn from diverse Buddhist traditions, and written by practitioners who embody the best of contemporary Buddhist hospice care programs practiced all over the world today.
Contributors include Carl B. Becker, Moichiro Hayashi, Yozo Taniyama, Mari Sengoku, Phaisan Visalo, Beth Kanji Goldring, Caroline Prasada Brazier, Joan Jiko Halifax, and Julie Chijo Hanada.
"Watts and Tomatsu provide an unprecedented look into modern Buddhist practices of caring for the dying and bereaved. This book is an indispensible field manual for contemplative caregivers, and a must-read for anyone drawn to end-of-life care."
—Willa B. Miller and Cheryl A. Giles, coeditors of The Arts of Contemplative Care
"A wonderful contribution to the emerging discussion on how to develop spiritual, compassionate support for the dying in our society."
—Anyen Rinpoche, author of Journey to Certainty and Dying With Confidence
"These authors intelligently ask how Buddhists worldwide, right now, are helping with dying, and find that there are so many ways. They also show how we can do a better job, individually, collectively, and institutionally. This book is a treasure-trove—we will most definitely use it in classes."
—Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., Professor, Naropa University Buddhist Chaplaincy program
"Inspiring. Critical insights into the actual, in-the-trenches work of caregiving—featuring numerous, rich case studies. Should be an essential text in the field."
—Sulak Sivarksa, author Conflict, Culture, Change
"A wonderfully intelligent and compassionate account of modern Buddhist approaches to death and dying."
—Gil Fronsdal, author of The Issue at Hand
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jonathan Watts practiced in Thailand throughout the 1990s at the renowned Buddhadasa Bhikkhu's Suan Mokkh temple under one of his principle disciples. A research fellow at Jodo Shu Research Institute in Tokyo since 1999, he has been studying death and dying issues since 2005. As a staff member of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists since 1990, he has been an executive board member since 1990. Watts has also been a research fellow at International Buddhist Exchange Center since 2006. Watts is the co-editor, with Yoshiharu Tomatsu, of Never Die Alone: Birth as Death in Pure Land Buddhism and Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin.
Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu became a fully ordained Buddhist priest in 1978. As a temple abbot, he has presided over thousands of funerals and memorial services while attending to spiritual needs of lay people. He received his masters of divinity at Taisho University, Tokyo, in 1979 and his masters of theological studies at Harvard University Divinity School in 1991. Rev. Tomatsu has been the coordinator of Jodo Shu Research Institute Study Group on Bio-Ethics since 2000, an associate professor at Keio University School of Medicine since 2005, and the founder and director of Jodo Shu Research Institute Ojo and Death Project since 2005. Tomatsu is the co-editor, with Jonathan Watts, of Never Die Alone: Birth as Death in Pure Land Buddhism and Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin.