TLC offers informal, additional support to those approaching death, throughout the dying process, and to their families, friends, and caregivers. We aspire to provide spiritual encouragement in the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism, and present programs to assist with end of life preparation for everyone. This includes opportunities such as educational events, Transitional State Forum workshops, ‘Deep Chat’ support groups, our ‘Teachings of the Masters’ film series, bedside companionship and assistance, care of the body at death, assistance with planning cremations and memorial services, and resource material.
We are motivated by 1) a desire to ease suffering and offer comfort and support to those who have entered the dying process, and their loved ones, and 2) a desire to acknowledge and facilitate the opportunity for spiritual understanding and practice, the essence of the transference of consciousness.
Organization and Structure
We are a volunteer based, grassroots group of Vajrayana Buddhists working independently of any particular religious organization, and are unaffiliated with any hospital or hospice. The seed for TLC was planted many years ago with the strong encouragement of Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche, an esteemed Vajrayana Buddhist Master. The program provides educational events several times annually to better equip ourselves in preparation for our own deaths and to offer assistance to others. When requested, our aspirations include providing counsel and pre-arranged visits by one or more TLC associates offering spiritual support. When death occurs, we will assist with preparing the body, participating in Vajrayana practices for the deceased, and planning funeral and memorial services. We do not charge for these services but will gratefully accept donations for TLC Transitional Life Care. Please see our “Donate” page for information on how to help.
Support Literature and Education
We utilize TLC’s end of life manual ‘Instructions for the Transitional State’, written by TLC Director, Julie Rogers, with the advice of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche. We host Vajrayana masters and teachers, medical professionals, hospice workers and hospital chaplains to lead our educational programs, engage in discussion on the topic, and we encourage study of available literature on the subject. In addition, we will offer and provide support.
This program is authorized by Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche. As of 2020, TLC has been supported by the teachings and advice of many Vajrayana teachers including His Holiness Getse Rinpoche, Lingtrul Rinpoche, Chamtrul Rinpoche, Tulku Jigme Wangdrak Rinpoche, Lama Sonam Tsering Rinpoche, Lama Drimed Rinpoche, Khenpo Paljor Gyatso, Lama Gyaltsen, Chagdud Khadro, Loppon Yudron Wangmo, Lama Pat Berube, Drubpon Pema Rigzin, and Lama Les Collins.
Additionally, TLC’s guest speakers have included medical professionals and other knowledgeable educators such as hospice medical director Dr. Benjamin Boblett, Dr. Peter Candell, Tibetan physican Thinley Gyatso, Alistar Shanks from Zen Hospice Project, educator and translator Paloma Landry, hospital chaplain Liz Hammil-Howard, hospital chaplin Jamie Kimmel, hospice nurse Joshua Hayes, ICU nurse Buffy Plante, therapists Rose Kaufman and Fran Anderson, Cindy Abel of East Bay Conversation Project, Nirabhra Taylor of Pema Osel Ling’s ‘Magical Display of the Arts’, author Sarah Beasley, and artist Nancy Hom with Open Heart Mandala.