'When death happens, be silent. Watch! This is not the moment to talk about (death), this is the moment to be with it.'(Osho: And the Flowers Showered)
If you come to this website at a time when your loved one has only a few days left to live, you’ll find here those resources likely to be of most benefit to your loved one, and to you as the person supporting them.
Please let us know if there are other resources that you would find helpful to be included here.
Guidance from Osho
Aids to stay aware in dying
Osho has spoken of certain devices or ‘props’ that can help the dying person remain aware even as they are dying.
‘There can be many ways of keeping a dying person awake. For example, special kinds of aromas can help a person stay conscious, just as certain kinds of aromas, odours, can make a person unconscious. Incense and benzoin were discovered mainly because they help to keep one awake.
A kind of music can be created around a person to make him stay conscious. And there can be music that can make a person fall asleep. You come across music that can put you to sleep – there can be music that can keep you awake as well! Certain words, certain mantras can be uttered which can help the person stay awake and not go to sleep.
Certain parts of a dying man’s body can be tapped in order to stop him from falling asleep and keep his consciousness alive. He can be made to sit in a certain posture to prevent him from falling asleep, to let him stay conscious.
(Osho And Now And Here)
To the dying person, Osho suggests:
‘Simply let go of everything on your own accord. Relax, and accept death without any antagonism as a culmination of life, as a natural phenomenon. It ends nothing. Remain conscious and watch what is happening – how the body starts becoming more and more distant from you, how the mind starts falling into pieces as if a mirror has fallen and broken into pieces, how your emotions, sentiments, moods… everything that made your life starts disappearing.
(Osho The Path of the Mystic)
It can be very helpful to the dying person to have you lead them into a space of peace and stillness.
You may also want to download OSHO Bardo – a guided meditation for relaxation suitable for every day use and particularly for those in the process of dying. More on OSHO Bardo
Some of Osho’s suggestions relevant for a support person – relative or a friend.
* Be silent, respectful and watch
‘The first thing: when death is there you have to be very respectful because death is no ordinary phenomenon; it is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the world. Nothing is more mysterious than death. Death reaches to the very centre of existence, and when a man is dead you are moving on sacred ground. It is the holiest moment possible. No, ordinary curiosities cannot be allowed. They are disrespectful.
‘You have to be silent. If you can be silent when death is there you will suddenly see many things, because death is not just a person stopping breathing. Many things are happening. When a person dies his aura starts subsiding. If you are silent you can feel it – an energy force, a vital energy field, subsiding, getting back to the centre…. When it reaches the navel it becomes a concentrated energy or a concentrated light. If you are silent you can feel it and you will feel a pull. If you sit near a dead man you will feel as if a subtle breeze is blowing towards the dead man and you are being pulled. The dead man is contracting his whole life, the whole “field” that he was.’
(Osho And the Flowers Showered)
* The recognition of being consciousness
Osho has said that when you are with a friend or with a relative as they are dying, help them to realise that they are not the physical body – which is very simple for a dying person to do – and that they are pure freedom and pure consciousness.
This is the moment when the dying person should be made fully aware of death – ‘so acutely and so impeccably aware that pure consciousness is experienced.’ When the dying person is aware that the body is dying but that he or she is separate from that experience, there will be no death for them but, rather, eternal life.
(Osho The Razor’s Edge)
* Surround the dying person with meditative energy
‘When someone is dying and his death is very very imminent…people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. When somebody disappears into nothing, great energy is released. The energy that was there surrounding him, is released. If you are in a silent space around him, you will go on a great trip. The man is naturally releasing great energy; if you can absorb that energy, you will also kind of die with him. And you will see the ultimate – the source and the goal, the beginning and the end.’
(Osho The Heart Sutra)
‘One of the easiest ways to meditate by a dying person is to lie down on the bed or just to sit by their side. Put your hand on the person’s head; become very quiet and silent and meditative.
‘You can explain to the other that they should just watch the breath – the breath going in and the breath going out. If they can do that they will become aware that they are neither the body nor the breathing. They are the one who is watching.
‘If in the last days or hours you can help the dying person to watch, that will be the greatest gift that you can give before they leave because then she can leave in perfect silence, in absolute cool and collectedness – and that is the real way to die.’
(Osho The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment)
*The transmission of peace
‘If somebody is dying to whom you are closely related – your father, your mother, your wife, your husband, your child or your friend – and you would like to do something to take part in it…. The person is dying and you are alive – you can sit by the side of the person; you can put your hand on his heart or hold his hands and just be silent and peaceful. Your peace and your silence will be transferred, transmitted. If you can help the person to die peacefully and silently, you have done a beautiful act and a virtuous act. You may feel a little weak, tired or exhausted but that is nothing; just a little rest and you will be perfectly okay.
‘… The basic thing is that if you love the person, if you have a feeling for the person, then you can pour your energy into him. This is the time and the last time; you won’t have another opportunity to give him a gift. There cannot be a better gift than this, because this gift can change his whole future journey.
(Osho The Transmission of the Lamp)
*Music, light and laughter
[Osho spoke the following in response to the questioner, whose father was dying]
Help him to die meditatively. Meditation is a bridge between life and death. So just go and help him to be silent. Put music on – classical music will be of immense help – and tell him just to listen to the music. Tell him just to watch his breath. Tell him to relax and not to fight with death, because death too is divine.
Tell him to relax. Tell him to allow death to possess him. Tell him to invite death; tell him to think of death not as a foe but as a friend.
Be as happy as you can be by his side; that is the only way to say good-bye to somebody who is dying. The man needs a little light. The man is going on a long journey – he needs people to give him a good-bye in celebration. Let there be music, let there be light and let there be laughter. Sing songs, be loving and help him feel that he is moving into another kind of life – death is only a door. Only old garments are being discarded and he will have better garments. If he can go laughing, then you really helped him. Be by his side and help in any way you can.
(Osho Don’t look before you leap)
* Be loving
[Osho spoke the following in response to a woman talking of being with her seriously ill mother]
These moments can become of immense revelation. So be loving! All that we have is love. Everything else is immaterial because everything else is on the outside; only love comes from the inside. Everything else – we can give money and things and presents…. We have not brought them with us; we have collected them here. We come naked but we come full of love. We come empty of everything else but we come full of love, overflowing.
So when we give our love, then only do we give. That’s the gift, the real gift, and that can be given only when death is standing there. So never miss the opportunity.
Death is a great opportunity. It throws you back into your love source.
So be around her and shower your love energy. If she dies, she dies in a great loving space; if she survives, she survives as a new being. Both ways it is perfectly good. Death doesn’t matter – all that matters is love.
So be loving…. and when there is love there is no death. Who cares about death? One can die laughing! If one knows that one is loved, one can meet death with great celebration.
(Osho The Tongue Tip Taste of Tao)
If you can transform a death into a moment of celebration, you have helped your friend, your mother, your father, your brother, your wife, your husband. You have given them the greatest gift that is possible in existence.
(Osho The Razor’s Edge)
Selected tools from the Dying Toolkit
See the full Death & Dying Toolkit.
Some general and specific suggestions.
Some additional considerations including the person’s physical and mental state, dealing with a hospital environment, meditation as a rehearsal for dying and final words of guidance as a person dies.
A series of articles: How to Die Consciously – Staying conscious in the moments of dying – Signs to know the time of death – Fear – Knowing ourselves beyond the body and mind – Watching your own death.
Complementary therapies look at the whole person – including the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. We include some therapies particularly appropriate to use when someone is dying.
Some suggestions of methods to practise, complementary therapies, and Osho quotes on pain
Visiting a friend or family member in coma has particular value. What exactly is coma and how can we connect to a person in coma?
Much of our fear around dying is caused by our not knowing what to expect and/or being troubled by specific symptoms. Here we take a brief look at the biology of dying.
A simple suggestion for facilitating communication with friends and family of the ill or dying
A list of resources and services in the UK and some in the US
Our free eBook offers suggestions for connecting with loved ones at the end of life. Based on the understanding that many of us are fearful, insecure and awkward around meeting with death in this way, it provides simple guidance, tips and resources to help us be there for our loved ones.
Selected meditations from the meditation library
Any meditation from the Dying section of the Meditations Index can be used. However, as your loved one becomes weaker, it may be more appropriate that you guide them in meditation – see Leading a Guided Meditation for Someone who is Ill or Dying.
Includes: Practicalities after a death – Care of the body – Burial, cremation or other – Funerals – Celebration – Bereavement and grief Read more