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‘Grief in a Time of Global Pandemic:
Exploring a Path of Healing’
with Lama Choyang
via Zoom on Sunday June 7, 2020
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
$20 - $40 sliding scale
No one will be turned away for lack of funds
and options are available when you register.
Thank you for supporting TLC!
Please register here by Sat. June 6
Grief is not a problem to be solved, but a deep encounter with an essential experience of being human...To honor our grief, to grant it space and time in our frantic world, is to fulfill a covenant – to welcome all that is, thereby granting room for our most authentic life. Francis Weller
We are living in unprecedented times. All of us are facing the truth of uncertainty and loss as we live with the presence of COVID-19 in our world. Lama Choyang will draw from her experience as a hospice chaplain and dharma teacher to share reflections on the path of grief and healing. She invites us to consider grief not as a problem to be solved or emotion to be transcended, but as an experience to be supported, witnessed and loved. A consciousness that includes and honors grief is of vital importance to our healing and awakening in these times. The program will include meditation and shared discussion.
Lama Choyang (Allison Rader) is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher and was a hospice chaplain for five years with Hospice of Humboldt. Her root teachers are Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and his Dzogchen lineage holder, Lama Drimed Norbu. She completed seven years of retreat under Lama Drimed's guidance and was ordained by him in 2009. Lama Choyang currently teaches dharma and offers grief counseling, spiritual mentoring and end of life support in Arcata, CA on Zoom!
5-16-20 'The Healing Nature of Presence' with Amita Lhamo. Program Focus: Former hospice chaplain, spiritual care director, and award winning author of 'Dandelions Blooming in the Cracks of Sidewalks: Stories from the Bedside of the Dying,' and a forthcoming book, 'Wisdom Moon: Presence in Dying', Amita Lhamo shares four qualities of presence available to us in each moment, including times of fear, illness or death. She offers advice and practical tools for remaining present with one another, honoring both our vulnerabilities and our capacities for kindness, with Q & A.
1-20-19 ‘Experiencing the Bardos through Dreaming’ with Khenpo Paljor Gyatso, translated by Jacob Archuletta. Program Focus: Utilizing the teachings of dream yoga and transforming the dream state into Buddhist practice in preparation for death; instructions about the dream bardo, or intermediate state, that takes place during the transition of death, when “clear light” is experienced, with Q & A.
3-10-19 ‘The Practice of Sur Chö–Offering the All-Pervasive Desirables’ with Loppon Yudron Wangmo. Program Focus: Instructions for a concise traditional Tibetan smoke offering ritual (Sur chöd). This simple, important practice benefits all beings, especially those in the Bardo, hungry ghosts (pretas), and those who have had traumatic deaths. Participants will receive the transmission, teachings, and hands-on instruction for preparing the offering, concluding with the practice.
4-21-19 ‘Understanding the Neydren Ritual for the Deceased’ with Khenpo Paljor Gyatso, translated by Kersten Ancheta. Program Focus: Teachings on the Neydren ritual that guides those in the intermediate state following death to the Realm of Great Bliss, Sukhavati, and higher rebirth; explanation of this essential practice in steps easy to understand, including locating & relaxing the consciousness, gathering accumulations & purifying obscurations, instructions, transference to the pure realm, cremation, and dedication and aspirational prayers. [This film is available in TLC’s Film Archive.]
6-30-19 ‘Receiving the Lama’s Guidance During Transition’ with Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, translated by Cyril Kassoff. Program Focus: Practical instructions about the preliminary practices and how daily practice and awareness of impermanence will prepare us for end of life.
8-25-19 ‘Preparing for a Meaningful Death & Rebirth’ with Chamtrul Rinpoche. Program Focus: Heart instructions about contemplation, practice, and living with awareness to bring the path to fruition in this lifetime, in order to prepare for death.
9-29-19 ‘Transforming Suffering into Compassion’ with Khenpo Paljor Gyatso, translated by Jacob Archuletta. A Reimagine Event Hosted by TLC Transitional Life Care at UCSF Helen Diller Cancer Center, San Francisco. Program Focus: A simple overview and instructions about how to do the Buddhist meditation practice known as ‘Tonglen’.
11-1-19 ‘Clearing the Way: Meditation on Vajrasattva’ with Khenpo Paljor Gyatso. A Reimagine Event Hosted by TLC Transitional Life Care at SF Dharma Collective, San Francisco. Program Focus: Instructions for Vajrasattva practice, a Buddhist method using mantra and visualization, that assists in transforming negativity, challenging habits, difficult attitudes, and anxiety into positive states of mind, especially helpful at the end of life.
1-28-18 ‘Why Hospice: A Doctor’s Perspective’ with Dr. Benjamin Boblett, MD and Medical Director at Mission Hospice & Home Care. Program focus: Information and guidance in an open format sharing professional and personal experiences about what palliative and hospice care can offer.
3-25-18 ‘Relaxing with Impermanence & Change’ with Lama Pat Berube, RN, MA, dharma teacher and Director of Clear Light Institute in Fairfax, CA, a Vajrayana Buddhist program supporting contemplative approaches to dealing with illness, death, and dying. Program focus: Meditations that support awareness and the direct experience of our innately pure and open nature, which help us meet the challenges in life, including our own mortality, with equanimity and ease.
4-24, 25 & 26-18 ‘Teachings for the Transition–Preparing for the End of Life’ with Chagdud Khadro. Program focus: Teachings and advice for the end of life and Amitabha empowerment with p’howa teachings and practice. Esteemed American lama p’howa master Chagdud Khadro draws on thirty years of experience teaching p’howa and guiding the dying and deceased, as authorized by her teacher and husband, HE Chagdud Rinpoche. [Two films from this event are available in TLC’s Film Archive.]
5-20-18 ‘Bridging East and West: How Buddhism is Vital to Modern Healthcare’ with Lama Frederico Trancoso and Liz Hamill-Howard, Hospice Chaplains. Program Focus: Understanding how to provide spiritual and bedside support to those in transition, and their loved ones; hospital chaplains committed to the Buddhist tradition offer a bridge between the spiritual and medical worlds.
7-29-18 ‘The Bardos During Transition’ with Khenpo Paljor Gyatso, translated by Shashi Reitz. Program Focus: Instructions for and about the experience of dying and what occurs during this process; explanations and clarification about what takes place during the transitional state, or bardos; Q & A.
8-26-18 ‘Open Heart Mandala – A Creative Mandala Workshop’ with Artist Nancy Hom. Program Focus: Construction of a large mandala onsite, incorporating photos, prayers and offerings for deceased friends and loved ones. This guided, hands-on workshop is an exploration of creatively working with loss and bereavement.
1/29/17 The Zen Hospice Project: ‘Reflections on Volunteering with Zen Hospice’ with Hospice Educator Alistair Shanks. Program focus: Alistair Shanks’ storehouse of experience with serving the dying and training others allow him to share a unique viewpoint and keen insights; Q & A and group discussion related to helping others as we live into dying with dignity, grace, and awareness.
3-26-17 ‘End of Life Decisions-Making Hard & Loving Choices’ with Lama Pat Berube, RN, MA, dharma teacher and Director of Clear Light Institute in Fairfax, CA, a Vajrayana Buddhist program supporting contemplative approaches to dealing with illness, death, and dying. Program focus: Screening of the film: ‘Fear of Death’ / Review of 5 Wishes Document & Legacy Letters.
5-21-17 Tsa Tsa Workshop PART 2/ Working with Clay w/Nirabhra Taylor, head of the department at ‘Magical Display of the Arts’ at Pema Osel Ling Vajrayana Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Program focus: Working with traditional Tibetan Buddhist tsa tsa molds using clay; enshrining cremation ashes and creating iconographic forms in the shapes of stupas.
7-23-17 ‘Speaking from the Heart – Spiritual Care in Times of Need’ with Jamie Kimmel, Hospital Chaplin. Program focus: practical advice about creating trust to open the topic of death for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, and how the teachings of interdependence and emptiness can be applied to ordinary situations at an extraordinary time of life.
8-20-17 ‘Preparing for Death’ with HH Kathog Getse Rinpoche, Dzog Chen Master, Head of the Nyingma School of Vajrayana Buddhism, “heart son” of HH Dalai Lama, translated by Dr. Robert Clark. [This film is available in TLC’s Film Archive.] Program focus: Teachings from a Buddhist sutra, and heart advice, embracing the end of life and how to prepare the mind for transition.
9-24-17 ‘Meditation as Sustenance for Death & Dying’ with author Sarah C. Beasley. Program focus: A conversation with participants to discover the opportunities for sustenance offered by Buddhist practice in order to support ourselves and others during the dying process, and how to live more fully.
11-19-17 ‘Death & Dying – A Tibetan Medical Perspective with Dr. Thinley Gyatso. Program focus: Both a Tibetan doctor and Registered Nurse, Thinley Gyatso offers perspectives from both ancient and modern healing systems regarding what happens during the dying process, including an examination of the dissolution of the elements at death.
1-31-16 Understanding the Bardos with Lama Les Collins, student/teacher of Ven. offering bardo study and practice opportunities at ODD and other centers. Program focus: How Buddhism became the religion of Tibet and the concept of Six Bardos.
3-20-16 Extending Life with Buddhist Practice with Lama Drimed, resident teacher at ODD and at Dechen Rang Dharma Center in San Jose. Program focus: Life Release and the three traditional Vajrayana customs that can lengthen life.
5/22/16 The East Bay Conversation Project & Atul Gawende’s film ‘Being Mortal’ with Dr. Peter Candell, formerly w/Alameda Family Physicians, Asst. Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Family & Community Medicine, currently w/The East Bay Conversation Project & the ACCMA Physicians Group dedicated to Physician’s Advanced Care Planning and End of Life Care Conversations. Program focus: exploring what matters most to patients facing terminal illness, their families, and doctors, and taking control of one’s own health care decisions.
7-31-16 Tsa Tsa Making Workshop with Magical Display of the Arts & Nirabhra Taylor, head of the department at ‘Magical Display of the Arts’ at Pema Osel Ling Vajrayana Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Program focus: learning to create Tsa-tsas, small clay forms (Tibetan Buddhist sacred objects of art) and their molds to be utilized after death.
8-7-16 Caring for the Body After Death & Instructions for Cremation, Part 1 with Lama Sonam Tsering Rinpoche, a Nyingmapa Ritual Master of Tibetan Buddhism and resident teacher at Pema Osel Ling in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Program focus: caring for the body after death, including spiritual and practice advice, and instructions in preparing for traditional Vajrayana cremation.
9-25-16 A Buddhist View of Grief and Loss & Lama Tsultrim Allione’s film ‘Taking Grief on the Path’ with Fran Anderson, retired Clinical Psychologist, and Rosie Kaufman, retired Marriage and Family Therapist, both from Tara Mandala Bay Area Sangha. Program focus: discussion about loss and grief, sharing experiences, exploring how to work with loss as Buddhist practitioners, and an overview of Tara Mandala Sangha’s ‘Bay Area Resource Guide for Death & Dying’.
11-12 & 13-16 Caring for the Body After Death & Instructions for Cremation, Part 2 with Lama Sonam Tsering Rinpoche, a Nyingmapa Ritual Master of Tibetan Buddhism and resident teacher at Pema Osel Ling in the Santa Cruz Mountains, translated by Joshua Duncan. Program focus: caring for the body after death, including spiritual and practice advice, and instructions in preparing for Vajrayana cremation. [A short film demonstrating wrapping the body for cremation will be available from TLC.] Kick off for TLC’s monthly ‘TEACHINGS OF THE MASTERS’ film series, starting with ‘Advice For Death & Dying’ taught by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.
3-8-15 Introductory Gathering: Program Launch and Overview Discussion with TLC Founder and Director, Julie Rogers, long-time student of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche, hospice volunteer and caregiver educated in hospice and bereavement training, and author of ‘Instructions for the Transitional State’, the TLC program manual.
5-17-15 Living Fully, Dying Meaningfully/End of Life Decisions with Lama Pat Berube, RN, MA, dharma teacher and Director of Clear Light Institute in Fairfax, CA, a Vajrayana Buddhist program supporting contemplative approaches to dealing with illness, death, and dying. Program focus: stories about end of life; preparing end of life paperwork: Spiritual Wills, Advance Directives, Power of Attorney, POLSTs, and The Five Wishes Document.
7-26-15 Nursing Perspectives on the End of Life with Buffy Plante, critical care nurse, and Joshua Hayes, hospice nurse, both long-time Vajrayana practitioners. Program focus: Dying with comfort and dignity versus saving life at all costs.
8-23-15 Death and Dying from a Buddhist Perspective / The Conversation with Paloma Landry, Tibetan/English translator. Paloma has presented programs on death and dying for over twelve years in twenty-five Buddhist communities. Program focus: Having the necessary conversations with our families about our end of life wishes, and how Westerners address death and dying from both spiritual and practical perspectives.
9-27-15 Teachings on Phowa - Transference of Consciousness with Venerable Lingtrul Rinpoche, the reincarnation of Ling Lama Chökyi Dorje and an emanation of Longchenpa, translated by Cyril Kassoff.Program focus: Vajrayana practice at death; instructions for phowa, reading transmission.
11-22-15 Caregiving at the End of Life with Buffy Plante and Joshua Hayes (asked to return due to popular demand.) Program focus: How to know the signs and provide comfort, support, and optimum circumstances for those entering the end of life transition.