Death & Dying

The Death Process and Dharma Practice: for Self and for Others

9 Week Self-Paced Course with Lama Justin Von Bujdoss

This course includes nine two-hour video recordings of a live class that took  place in Spring 2023, digital dharma texts, and additional resources to support you in your continued study and practice.

Video recordings are available for viewing for one year (view only, not downloadable). All other course content is downloadable.

Lama Justin Von Bujdoss is available for one on one teaching and consultations through the Pure Land Farms online clinic. LEARN MORE & BOOK HERE

About the Course

In every faith tradition and every culture, death and the mysteries surrounding it holds a tremendous amount of energy and meaning. In the Buddhist tradition this is also the case. In fact, one of the most profound places of practice that we find in the Vajrayana tradition is bringing the process of death and the bardo experience into the spiritual path. 

In this class we will journey together into this unique and powerful way of bringing insight and wisdom into our own eventual experience of death. We will also develop skills around caring for loved ones who may be entering into the death process, and hone skills that are useful for professional caregivers including chaplains, social workers and other clinicians who wish to go deeper into the intersection of Vajrayana spiritual formation and their respective caregiving modalities. 

There will also be an additional optional in-person retreat at Pure Land Farms centered around an intensive practice of the meditation practices which serve as time-tested spiritual training and intervention for self and other when it comes to bringing death on to the path.

This class is a wonderful way to deepen the relationship of dharma into caregiving and how we can understand caregiving to be a profound spiritual practice. During our 9-weeks together there will be weekly teaching sessions which Lama Justin will offer practical instructions and personal insights from clinical experience for the following unique program of study:

Week 1: Understanding death, dying and the post death state from the Vajrayana perspective as well as our own personal experience to dive deeper into what is alive for each one of us in working with what death and dying brings us.

Week 2:    Teachings and practical guidance on the inner processes that occur leading up to physical death including active dying.

Week 3:    Teachings and practical guidance on the inner processes that occur immediately after physical death and the Bardo process – description of relationship of Yangti practice to the bardo experience.

Week 4:    Teachings on Bardo Yoga and Bardo Practice that can be performed for others.

Week 5:     Introduction to, and instructions on, Phowa Practice from the Yuthok Nyingthik Tradition. 

Week 6:     Instructions on using Ati-Yoga and Mahamudra as an essential-phowa and how these practices aide us in developing non-judgemental presence.

Week 7:    Bringing difficult emotions into practice including grief, fear, anxiety and the work of being present with others in their loss. Instructions on using Yuthok Nyingthik chöd for self and other in these contexts.

Week 8:     Exploration of additional supportive practice modalities and spiritual interventions including guided visualizations, how to help set up meaningful bedside shrines, the use of taktrul, sound, designing funerals, practicing for others and group discussion.

Week 9:    Practical considerations: organ donation, how to work with medical staff to in preparation for Buddhist needs at the time of death – what do you need for preparation. Advice for people who may be considering chaplaincy.


Nine Week Course

IN PERSON RETREAT September 24 - Oct 1 2023

Immerse yourself the practices presented in this online course. This retreat will be livestreamed for those who are not able to attend in person at Pure Land Farms.

Lama Justin von Bujdoss

Lama Justin von Bujdoss is an American Vajrayana Buddhist teacher, writer, and the is a co-founder of Bhumisparsha an experimental Buddhist sangha along with Lama Rod Owens. He is the author of "Modern Tantric Buddhism: Authenticity and Embodiment in Dharma Practice" published by North Atlantic Books, and contributor to "Buddhism and Whiteness: Critical Reflections published by Lexington Books". From 2016 until December 2021 Justin served as the Executive Director of Chaplaincy and Staff Wellness for NYC Department of Correction where he also served as Staff Chaplain supervising over 30 chaplains and guided wellness programming for staff. Justin also has professional experience in home hospice and hospital settings as a pastoral caregiver. Justin was ordained as a repa, a lay tantric yogin in the tradition of Milarepa, by His Eminence Gyaltsab Rinpoche, one of the heart sons of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa. Lama Justin has presented on Buddhist practice at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, University of Chicago, Wellesley, Columbia University, has been a visiting instructor at Union Theological Seminary, teaches at Pure Land Farms. Justin is passionate about helping to create the conditions for authentic embodied tantric Buddhist spiritual practice in the West.

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