the original kStyle blog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Death, continued
When I finish my program, I think I'd like to give shiatsu in a hospice, at least part time. I worked on a book on hospice and palliative care a few years ago, and I was touched by the thought of “midwifing the patient through death”. Recently, a massage magazine ran an article about one practitioner's experiences giving reiki and massage in the hospice setting. With his help, a dying woman found some peace with her short, troubled life and her approaching death. Newsweek just ran a blurb about a book written by a hospice minister who has noticed spiritual themes in the dreams of the dying.

This might sound even crazier than I think it does, but as I'm coming to terms with death in general and my own in particular, I've been using my sleep as an opportunity to practice for death. The Tibetan Buddhists see death as an important time when one who has mastered the cycle of death and rebirth navigates his or her way to the next life or to nirvana. Starting last week, some nights I've gone to sleep following my breath, with the intention of navigating my way through my dreams in order to practice for the bardo. I started having powerful dreams in which spiritual masters spoke to me and gave me counsel, and began waking with a feeling of deep peace. Perhaps it's only a trick of the mind…but it's a good one.


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