Death and Dying

Impermanence and change is perhaps the central fact of existence and death is an inevitability for each of us. The world's wisdom traditions speak to the great mystery of death and illuminate the archetypal experiences of dying, grieving, death and rebirth.


The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa
Shambhala (1975)

Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa and scholar Francesca Fremantle provide a fresh contemporary translation of this classic Tibetan text. The book also includes an incisive commentary by Trungpa.

Who Dies?
Stephen and Ondrea Levine
Anchor Books (1982)

In this eminently practical book, spiritual teacher Stephen Levine and his wife Ondrea explore the concept of conscious living and conscious dying. Helpful guided meditations enhance our understanding of the grieving and dying process.

Japanese Death Poems
Yoel Hoffmann
Tuttle Publishing (1986)

Professor Hoffmann has collected and eloquently translated into English hundreds of poems written by Zen monks and haiku poets on the verge of death. These short but powerful poems capture the fearlessness with which death can be approached when one's spiritual eye has been opened.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Sogyal Rinpoche
Harper Collins (1993)

Based on the rich Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Sogyal Rinpoche presents a manual for awakened living and dying. He discusses the nature of mind, karma and rebirth, and compassionate love and care for the dying in this inspiring book.

Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die
Sushila Blackman
Shambhala (1997)

Shortly before her own death the author compiled 108 stories recounting the ways in which Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist and Zen masters have confronted their impending death. The stories provide inspiration and spiritual nourishment to anyone concerned with the fundamental issues of life and death.

The Zen of Living and Dying
Philip Kapleau
Shambhala (1998)

Renowned Zen teacher Philip Kapleau explores the subject of death and dying on a personal level, revealing how we can learn to live fully at every moment and die serenely. His perspective is nonsectarian, practical and compassionate.

No Death, No Fear
Thich Nhat Hanh
Riverhead Books (2002)

The acclaimed Buddhist teacher and poet Thich Nhat Hanh examines our concepts of death, fear and the nature of existence. Through Zen parables, guided meditations and personal stories he shows us a way to live a life unfettered by fear or regret.

Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth
Tulku Thondup
Shambhala (2005)

Tibetan Buddhist scholar Tulku Thondup presents a guide to the journey through life, dying, death, and beyond. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including the Tibetan near-death experience, he shows to what extent the quality of our life, death and rebirth all depend upon our consciousness and mind.

Life After Death
Deepak Chopra
Harmony Books (2006)

Deepak Chopra examines the greatest mystery of existence: What happens after we die? He integrates cutting-edge scientific studies and the world's great wisdom traditions to provide a map of the after-life which relates to our present, here and now experience.

Preparing to Die
Andrew Holecek
Snow Lion (2013)

The author presents the Buddhist view of life, death and beyond from a perspective that blends the ancient wisdom of the East with modern knowledge from the West. The volume is a practical guide for those facing death and their caregivers, and a source of useful advice on navigating end-of-life issues.