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Meeting Life's Challenges

Amogasiddhi Buddha image.

The Wisdom Buddha Amoghasiddhi

"May all our actions be grounded in fearlessness."

Amoghasiddhi Buddha, the “Lord of Action”, is associated with fulfillment by completion and accomplishment. His right hand is held in the Abhaya mudra gesture of fearlessness which represents reassurance and safety from our fears. This page is dedicated to providing resources for successfully managing life’s changes.

Recommended reading:

Bokar Rimpoche. Death and the Art of Dying in Tibetan Buddhism.  San Francisco: ClearPoint Press, 1993. For those interested in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this book is an excellent resource. Bokar Rimpoche provides guidelines for dealing with death and ways to help others in dealing with the inevitability of death.

Chodron, Pema. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. Boston, Shambhala, 1997. How to discover love and truth in the midst of chaos: Pema Chodron teaches a Buddhist perspective on how to approach suffering and achieve a positive outcome. She is one of the most read Buddhist teachers of our day.

Levine, Stephen. Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying. New York: Doubleday, 1989. This book shows the reader how to open to the immensity of living with death, to participate fully in life as the perfect preparation for whatever may come next. Levine provides calm compassion rather than the frightening melodrama of death.

Levine, Stephen. Healing into Life and Death. Anchor Books, 1987. This book is an excellent resource for the terminally ill. It explores the phenomena of achieving a new balance of heart and mind through using meditation to heal into life and death.

Thomas, Claude Anshin. At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey from War to Peace. Shambhala, 2006. This is the moving story of a highly decorated combat veteran and his struggles in returning to civilian life. Studying first with Thich Nhat Hanh and then with Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, he became a Zen Buddhist monk dedicated to helping other soldiers and their families.

Resources for the returning warrior:

‘Mindfulness’ Therapy May Help Veterans With PTSD. Many returning veterans suffer from anxiety and PTSD. This is quite common but can be alleviated, to some extent, by the use of therapy rooted in Buddhist beliefs. Read this interesting and helpful article by Brett Smith for

Claude Anshin Thomas, a highly decorated combat veteran, suffered from PTSD and subsequent drugs and self-medication. His life story, as related in Wikipedia, may provide useful information for veterans who have shared similar difficulties. As a Zen Buddhist monk he found a way to cope with his problems and to grow spiritually.

The Zaltho Foundation regularly works with combat veterans, victims of war, and their families. Programs include meditation retreats and visits with veterans in prisons, hospitals, on war zones. Veteran retreats provide a unique and supportive environment for veterans.

Resources for end-of-life changes:

Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice is a not-for-profit agency serving Kansas since 1983. Rev. Harney is currently providing volunteer work with this Hospice.

Ostaseski The Zen Hospice Project: (ZHP) provides a spectrum of collaborative services in end-of-life care, including residential hospice care, volunteer caregiver support, and public education events. Buddhist teacher Frank Ostaseski has been one of the leading voices in contemplative end-of-life care since the 1980s. In this video, he talks with Lion’s Roar’s Lindsay Kyte about the lessons he’s learned at the bedsides of thousands of dying people.

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Watch BJ Miller's fascinating TED Talk:
"What Really Matters at the End of Life".

In this TED Talk, BJ Miller, a palliative caregiver at the Zen Hospice Project, describes how he wants to see death “redesigned.”


Caring Connections: An excellent resource for learning about advance directives and other options for end-of-life services and care.

Funeral Consumers Alliance: a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting a consumer's right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral.

Final Passages: A model project offering education for personal and legal rights concerning home or family-directed funerals and final disposition (burial and cremation). It is our intention to re-introduce the concept of funerals in the home as a part of family life and as a way to de-institutionalize death. We are dedicated to a dignified and compassionate alternative to current funeral practices.

amogasiddhi buddha