Buddhist monasteries and Dharma communities traditionally offer prayers and perform rituals on behalf of those who are sick or experiencing trauma, as well as for the dying and deceased. The resident monastics and staff of Rangjung Yeshe Gomde California perform the reading of names of those in need of healing, who are in the process of dying, or who have recently passed away. The reading of names is included in our evening meditation session so that the merit from our communal practice may aid those in need, as well as their families and loved ones. Names remain on the prayer list for as long as needed, and in the case of those who have recently passed, for the traditional 49 days following death.
In your message, please specify: their name, and whether they are currently sick, dying, or have recently passed away, so that we can properly direct our prayers. If your loved one has recently passed, be sure to let us know the date of passing, so we can continue our prayers for the full 49 days of practice.
Offer Support For These Prayers
It is traditional, but certainly not required, to make a personal offering on behalf of the deceased as an act of merit, and to support the ritual practices in which the names are read. You can sponsor a prayer by making a one-time donation for this purpose in the form below.
If you have trouble setting up a donation or need more information, please email our treasurer Jeri Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for the Sick, Dying, and Recently Deceased
In addition to adding your loved one to Gomde California’s prayer list and making offerings on their behalf, you may also wish to request the monks of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery and the nuns of Nagi Gompa in Nepal to perform practices and make prayers for them. Monlam.org has been developed under the guidance of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche to connect our community members with the ordained Sangha, so that we can expand our merit through the sponsorship of authentic Dharma practice.
Typically, prayers that remove obstacles and support health are sponsored for the sick. You might sponsor the prayers under the heading Medicine Buddha Puja, 21 Taras Practice, or any of the Overcoming Obstacles pujas.
For the Dying & Deceased
Special rituals are performed for those have passed beyond this life. On Monlam.org, you can sponsor the Kunzang Tuktig Puja, found under the Bardo, Dying, Rebirth section. You may also request Five Prayers to Benefit the Living & the Dead, a series of revered aspirations for rebirth in the pure realms of the buddhas.
Develop Your Spiritual Care Directive
So many of us live far from established monastic communities and spiritual teachers, and so lack a ready-made support for dying according to the Buddhist tradition. The Spiritual Care Directive aids us in planning for our loved ones to care for us when this time does come, according to our personal wishes. Developing and sharing a such a directive has the potential to generate precious merit—it is an of kindness for both ourselves and those who will care for us.
Below you will find a downloadable Spiritual Care Directive, designed to encourage practitioners to write down their Dharma wishes for the time of dying.
If you would like any assistance in developing your Spiritual Care Directive, please contact email@example.com.