Meditation for death and dying.

The family have gathered and are speaking in hushed tones. The women have bought casseroles, home made biscuits and are dressed in somber colours, the men gathered in small groups. A loved one is dying. A sense of hopelessness and futility, what can we do to ease the passing? How can we help those who will live on? How do we throw them a life line as they flounder.We follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before and found solutions.

Practice the presence of peace. The more you do that, the more you will feel the presence of that Power in your life.

Paramahansa Yogananda. author of Autobiography of a Yogi


Perhaps you are the carer and watch the process with a sense of unreality and pain. Know that as you calm your breathing you calm the atmosphere around you, helping your loved one, Like perfume,meditation infuses the wearer, the immediate atmosphere and all who pass by.

The body deteriorates and the mind and spirit  often remain strong. With the stilling or inactivity of body, mind  becomes restless, searching the past for regrets and reasons, old wounds often surface to wake as nightmares. Pain is real in body and mind.

While we have breath we are able to know the healing balm of stillness, the doorway to meditation.Below I have broken down the steps.

Meditation for the end of a life or for the process of grieving.

Step 1 . Preparing for the journey.

Creating the environment, a place of calm.
Even the time of day, can make the process more pleasant and therefor easier.
Early morning and in the evening ,dusk. Times of day when the world is quieter.The tyranny of thought has not fully intruded early in the morning.

Step 2 Relaxation

This is truly the key, learn the art and joy of a relaxed body. You may wish to purchase my Turquoise C.D. created to calm the body mind. I recorded this when my Mother got bowel cancer ,( she will celebrate her 90th Birthday February next.)
And on the request of my students who often asked could they take my “voice “home with them.

Step 3 Pranayama Breathing for a still mind.

The focus of the mind is now on breath, deepening it . Slowing breath.
Saying quietly in your mind “This breath is slower, this very next breath is slower.” As you do this the mind will slow, observe this, noticing if thoughts or feelings rise to distract. Then go back to breath. Don’t worry if the mind flows back to a worry or concern, guide it back to breath.Mind needs an anchor- it is breath.

Step 4. Mindful To no mind.

The process of breath deepens, slows and grace enters, we become the stillness we seek to be. A wellspring of silence is contacted within. When the chatter of thought ceases we experience Peace. Now the essence of stillness. Body and mind still.

Tips and tricks.

Remember  practice for a few minutes until you form the habit.

When we lie down the mind often thinks “Oh good I have your attention now” and up come the painful memories. Remove all clutter from the bedroom,

Set the scene for sleep. Low  soft lighting,  lamps maybe candle light (  See previous Blog for Candle Gazing Technique.)

Herbal tea  sometimes helps, drink that before sleeping. ( no coffee or tea as the tannins and caffine in both are stimulants.)  When mum cannot sleep, she takes the advice given her in hospital, to drink a cup of warm milk or  herbal tea, this takes the focus from the mind, by warming the stomach and the body is then busy with digestion.

Remove all clutter including Televisions and all electronic devises, these are not conducive to healing sleep.

Limit any visitors and surround your self only with positive people.

For those who grieve Kahil Gibran reminds us

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
and the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was often filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven.”
“The prophet” by Kahlil Gibran.


About lorraine

After a nasty fall from my bicycle, coming home from high school, I began suffering from migraines. After a term of Chiropractic adjustments, which helped but did not entirely stop the migraine headaches, my parents in desperation sent me to yoga classes, The only available evening class in our area was filled with pregnant women. I felt out of place as a shy teenager, but persevered. adjustment,breathing, meditation and yoga proved the only therapy that bought relief from the headaches. Feeling well I got on with life, married moved from my home town and forgot the daily yoga practices and there benefits. Coming back to Yoga and meditation helped me manage during the time of my father's Cancer. and death. Later when my Husband became ill the natural decision was to qualify as a Yoga, meditation teacher to further assist others through the difficult times of illness and recovery or death. I have now been benefiting from the science and art of Yoga, Meditation for well over twenty five years.
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