Dr. Klein describes the history of Buddhism, important figures in the movement and stories of the beginning of Buddhism. She discusses the nature of death in Buddhism, in several contexts. Death is an incentive because once one realizes one's human life will inevitably end, life becomes even more important. Motivation to make good use of one’s life exists because even though rebirth is guaranteed, the quality of that rebirth is not.
The Buddhist focus on spiritual develpment will help one recognize the inevitability of death as well as face it without fear. The goal of a Buddhist to escape cyclic existence(enter heaven and avoid hell), is the first of element of religious practice in Indo-Tibetan tradition. The idea of rebirth leads to the next element which is compassion. With the idea of rebirth, comes a concern for others. The third essential religious practice is wisdom.
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In Buddhism, the process of dying consists of eight distinct visions that correspond with the consciousness leaving the specific parts of the body. Klein notes that a skilled mediator can simulate this experience at will giving them in control of the experience. This article is well organized and is based on a variety of different sources. It is very detailed and covers a wide scope of material related to Buddhism. Klein seems very informed on the topic but does not offer opinions or personal input.
Buddhism fosters a view of personal responsibility instead of fatalism. This is a responsible concept for human beings to live by. Contemplating death to eliminate the fear is a concrete and real way to handle death. Also, not being overly dramatic when consoling the dying (as though not to cause feelings of regret) is a great idea. I think that is an interesting concept that can help the dying and the people consoling them deal with the experience in a more rational way.
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