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The Jodo Shu Research Institutefs

Ojo and Death Project

 

Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved in the Modern World:
Global Perspectives




Edited by Jonathan Watts and Yoshiharu Tomatsu

Jodo Shu Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

 

available from Wisdom Publications (Boston)
in Japan (from Amazon Japan); rest of Asia (from INEB in Bangkok)

 

Buddhist understandings of death and practices developed for dying and the moment of death have been hallmarks of the tradition since its beginning in India 2,500 years ago. Over the last forty years, they have been an important part of the global revival of Buddhism, especially in the West\from the popularization of the Tibetan Book of the Dead to Zen poetry about death to Theravadan meditation on the decaying body to belief in the welcome of Amida Buddha on onefs deathbed. Relatively little is known, however, about the number of Buddhist based initiatives for caring for the dying and bereaved through the development of trained professionals and the building of facilities that have mushroomed since the late 1980s.

 

The Buddhist hospice movement marks a recovery of these aforementioned practices of Buddhism towards death and their application in new, modern conditions and societies. Indeed, the Vihara Movement in Japan has consciously named itself using the traditional and ancient Buddhist term for temple, vihara. Many Buddhists today are drawing upon this long and deep tradition to find their own models for developing forms of Buddhist engagement that not only confront but also transform the many problems facing people dying in the world today. In this volume, we have culled over five years of research some of the best and most inspired examples of Buddhist care for the dying and bereaved from all over the world, covering the entire Buddhist tradition with essays from the Theravada tradition in Thailand and Cambodia; the Tibetan tradition in the Rigpa Spiritual Care Program, which functions primarily in Europe and the United States; the East Asian Mahayana tradition in Taiwan; and the Lotus Sutra, Pure Land, and Zen traditions in both Japan and the United States.


On the links below, you can preview short excerpts of the chapters.

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction – Jonathan Watts

 

 

Notes

Author Profiles


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