Preparing to Die

  • by Andrew Holecek, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche (foreword)
  • Narrated by Karen White, Neil Shah
  • 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

We all face death, but how many of us are actually ready for it? Whether our own death or that of a loved one comes first, how prepared are we, spiritually or practically? In Preparing to Die, Andrew Holecek presents a wide array of resources to help the reader address this unfinished business. Part One shows how to prepare one’s mind and how to help others, before, during, and after death. The author explains how spiritual preparation for death can completely transform our relationship to the end of life, dissolving our fear and helping us to feel open and receptive to letting go in the dying process. Daily meditation practices, the stages of dying and how to work with them, and after-death experiences are all detailed in ways that will be particularly helpful for those with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism and in Tibetan approaches to conscious dying.
Part Two addresses the practical issues that surround death. Experts in grief, hospice, the funeral business, and the medical and legal issues of death contribute chapters to prepare the listener for every practical concern, including advance directives, green funerals, the signs of death, warnings about the funeral industry, the stages of grief, and practical care for the dying.
Part Three contains heart-advice from twenty of the best-known Tibetan Buddhist masters now teaching in the West. These brief interviews provide words of solace and wisdom to guide the dying and their caregivers during this challenging time. Preparing to Die is for anyone interested in learning how to prepare for death from a Buddhist perspective, both spiritually and practically. It is also for those who want to learn how to help someone else who is dying, both during the time of illness and death as well as after death.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wisdom & compassion for life's toughest challenge

Would you listen to Preparing to Die again? Why?

Yes, as we need to prepare for death while we still have health and are relatively free from the pain & suffering that often accompany the process of dying.


What other book might you compare Preparing to Die to and why?

Robert Thurman's Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between: Living with the Tibetan Book of the Dead and Sogyal Rinpoche's The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying both of which are essential listening for those interested in how Tibetan Buddhism can help us deal with death & dying.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but you will need to listen to it repeatedly to gain the maximum benefit as the book (13 hrs and 48 mins) contains a great deal of valuable information and insights


Any additional comments?

I hope Audible makes available as Audio Books more Tibetan Buddhist classics for those who are blind or have other visual handicaps. Thank you to Andrew Holecek, the narrators and Audible for making these precious teachings available on audio.

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- John Welch

Good book, badly read.

What did you like best about Preparing to Die? What did you like least?

Preparing to Die is a comprehensive and thorough book on what to do in order to die in a peaceful and meaningful manner. It has chapters on concrete practices which can be helpful for everybody, and others which are directed more specifically towards those practicing Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism of all lineages. These are further divided into what to do for oneself and for others both before, during and after the individual has died, and has suggestions from a number of Tibetan teachers as to what is most important in each circumstance. It also has discussions on a number of ethical, and legal, questions around death and dying. One caveat is that the book is written by a US citizen and the discussions around some of the legal issues may not necessarily apply in other countries.


Any additional comments?

The reason I have been motivated to write this review is to point out something which I found disturbing in the reading. I haven't heard the whole book, although I have read it through. I downloaded this book because I was using it as the basis of a course and needed to reread it while travelling. In paper form it is a thick and heavy book to carry around, so I thought this would be a convenient way of refreshing my memory. Unfortunately, I found it disturbing that the reader did not know how to pronounce Buddhist words and names. I suggest that one of the criteria in choosing someone to read a book which uses terms from a particular discipline, is that the reader is or has been involved in some way in that discipline, and has some way of checking with those who are directly involved on the pronunciation of words that are not commonly used in English.
Another thing was that the chapters in the audio version did not correspond to those in the hard copy.

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- kahali

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-09-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios