This toolkit is primarily for a person who is dying. It has many resources that will also be of help to those caring for someone who is dying. Carers, see our Toolkit for Carers.
Visitors to this toolkit may include:
- Those who have received a terminal prognosis that is many months or even years away
- Family and other carers of the above
- Carers for those whose death is imminent*
- The elderly who feel they would like to be prepared for their death
- Those who are seriously ill and uncertain whether they will recover
- Those in good health interested in exploring all aspects of dying
*If death is imminent see Final-Days’ Pack.
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.
Using this toolkit
How you use this toolkit will depend on whether it is you or someone else who is dying and also on your timeframe. You might like to initially read the summaries for an overview of what is available and then start where you feel is best for your situation.
Alternatively start with the Final-Days’ Pack and expand from there.
If you yourself are dying you might have your friend or carer read some of the sections and report back to you, having identified what is most needed for you in the moment.
No-one has lived your life nor can they have. In just the same way, the manner in which you pass through your dying will be uniquely yours. So rather than trying to provide a map of what your experience will be, we consider it more helpful to remind you of your existing resources and to help you develop new ones: strengths that help you respond in ways that work for you, whatever you encounter. In addition, we provide a variety of aids to help you on all levels.
The tools below are categorised very loosely in sections for your ease of use; however, there is a lot of overlap between Mind-Body-Consciousness.
Coming to Terms with Reality
This section comprises three features offering a range of resources to support you in finding your way to an acceptance of what is.
When we no longer regard death as taboo and recognise that birth and death are part of a continuum, we may appreciate how it is possible to die consciously, peacefully and even joyfully.
An overview including receiving a terminal diagnosis, the issues that may arise for a dying person and how to die consciously.
A 3-part series of articles: Should We Tell Someone They Are Dying? –The Benefits – How to have the conversation
Once you or a loved one has received a terminal diagnosis it’s natural to ask about the future. Yet doctors can and do get prognoses wrong. Why?
Meditation, Dying Consciously & Resources for Reflection
Meditation offers the easiest and most effective way of passing through living-dying. You’ll find here methods, suggestions for music, inspirational quotes and anecdotes of Zen masters on their deathbeds, and more.
The value of meditation in daily living is well known. Less commonly understood is meditation’s potential in facilitating a peaceful and even joyful death.
What exactly do we mean by ‘death’? What is it that is going to die?
Meditation methods can be used to return to a natural state of inner peace and stillness. We offer various methods for dying and for pain management, and suggestions for guiding a dying person in meditation.
A selection of meditation methods for those who are dying or who wish to use meditation to explore death whilst healthy.
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.
We have noted elsewhere the benefits of talking about death to those who are actively dying. Here we look at death in relation to the rest of us: that is, you and me!
A selection of quotes, discourses excerpts, books, audio downloads and videos.
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.
Anecdotes on the last moments of some Zen masters and others to touch us, make us laugh, and inspire.
Inspiring excerpts from Philip Gould’s book written as he was dying from cancer.
A selection of articles by Maneesha.
A selection of short inspirational quotes
A gallery of images from nature that can be used to meditate on death
A small but expanding collection of videos
Meditation and Emotions
If you are dying, or are the carer of someone who is dying, it’s natural that you’ll pass though many different feelings at this time. Browse through the many articles we’ve created in acknowledgement of the support you may appreciate.
Some guidelines, both practical and psychological, to support you through a challenging time
Includes already familiar issues, and new ones; shifting perspectives; loss of meaning, unfinished emotional business; emotional changes; pain; telling your story; acceptance and denial
Although this page is primarily addresses those who are seriously ill, much of it is equally relevant to those who are dying
Understanding some of our emotional triggers and the feelings that might accompany us in sickness and/or dying
When you are seriously ill or dying, understandably many issues can come up for you and you may go through many emotional changes. It’s good, then, to be reminded of your resources and those which you can develop.
Exploring the psychological support that we might be able to offer a dying person.
Accept it, express it, mobilise it, unfreeze it and watch it – are among some meditative approaches to support you in being with whatever feeling you have.
Moving into the vertical reality gives us an entirely new perspective on situations outside us and the changing experience inside too.
A series of articles relating to the emotions: Finding calm – Allowing the feeling – To fight or flow – Positive thinking vs vigilant realism – Choiceless awareness
What influences the way we respond to stressors and react to crisis? Identifying and accessing the strengths you have and on which you can build.
What is resilience? How to strengthen and activate it so it can help you in times of need?
Meditation as key to building or maintaining your emotional integrity and strength – in everyday life and in trying situations.
Meditation and the Body
Four chief areas are addressed here, including complementary therapies, being with pain, coma, and the signs and symptoms of imminent death.
Complementary therapies look at the whole person – including the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. We introduce some therapies particularly appropriate to use with the seriously ill or 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.
You’ll find answers to questions you may have about end-of-life care, creating a support system and points to consider about after death.
The benefits of planning ahead; the areas you need to consider and some helpful resources
Some resources to help you decide on where you would like to spend your final days; and the type of care available to a dying person and carers.
Being prepared for situations in which we no longer have capacity to communicate our wishes around our healthcare – a look at Advance Decisions and Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare
How you can allow those who love you to support you, in ways practical and emotional.
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
Advice on many aspects of dying and a directory of services in the UK
Although this section is for after a person has died, it may be helpful to skim through it to ensure that this period unfolds according to your wishes
As a carer you might like to download our e-book on visiting the dying; as a carer or someone who is dying, reading the articles on our blog, recommended reading and the value of laughter may offer you new insights.
Our free guide 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.
A summary of OSHO Sammasati and other workshops offered internationally that focus on bringing a new understanding to dying. These aim to enable participants to face their own death with equanimity and to support others in doing the same.
Check out the various categories on our blog relating to death & dying
The healing power of laughter in relieving pain, reducing stress and more
Check these out if you are in need of a good giggle
A comprehensive selection from the OSHO Sammasati ‘library’ with comments from Maneesha and/or Amazon reviews. Some books are suitable for those who are facing death in the short term; others are suitable for anyone interested in understanding death.