top of page

Instructions for the Transitional State

A Concise Guide for Families and Friends of Vajrayana Buddhists

A copy of the TLC manual can be obtained on Vimala's website, follow this link


It is also available at Vimala's bookstore:

Orgyen Dorje Den / Tashi Choling


Instructions for the Transitional State ~ A Concise Guide

Written with the guidance of Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche and additional advice of Lama Yeshe Nyima, this manual offers instructions for assisting others and preparing for one’s own death, presented in a concise manner so not to overwhelm Buddhist practitioners or their non-Buddhist families and friends. According to our spiritual tradition, the information covers the approach of death, assisting the person in transition, preparing the body, observing appropriate behavior that will benefit the deceased, and engaging in practice. The manual is formatted so that it can be stored in a file with legal documents and kept on-hand. Within it you will find teachings by Buddhist masters concerning the time of death, an example will, a complete check list to help tie up loose ends in the world, suggestions for resource contacts and materials, and a glossary clarifying terms for the non-Buddhist reader. In the Forward, Gyatrul Rinpoche has also kindly offered additional advice for students of Vajrayana Buddhism. The manual was compiled and written by Julie Rogers and is 38 pages in length.

Endorsements for Instructions for the Transitional State

“As western practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, we are blessed with a plethora of very profound teachings and advice on how to die and how to deal with the dying and dead. However, when someone we know is dying, we are often not sure how to apply these teachings; in short, we don’t know what to do. But that problem is now solved. Julie Rogers, a diligent, long-time student of Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche, has compiled very clear, precise and detailed instructions on exactly what to do for the dying and deceased here in America. This guidance is extremely helpful and exactly what we need. There are very few books on Tibetan Buddhism that I would unequivocally say are “must-haves”; this is one.”  Bruce Newman, author of A Beginner’s Guide to Tibetan Buddhism published by Snow Lion

“Most excellent. The only treatise dealing with this subject, so far as I’ve seen.” Taylor Sloan, Ph.D., psychologist, past associate of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

About the Contributors

Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche was born in 1924 near the Tibetan border with China and was recognized at the age of seven by two great meditation masters to be a tulku of Dhomang Monastery in Tibet. In his early life, he spent many years in retreat with his root guru, Tulku Natsok, a great terton, or treasure revealer. In 1959 during the Communist Chinese invasion Gyatrul Rinpoche fled Tibet for India and during his initial years of exile there he served as an elected representative of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Requested by H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche to immigrate west in order to spread the dharma, Gyatrul Rinpoche came to America in 1972 and in 1980 established Tashi Choling, his Oregon center. Since then, Gyatrul Rinpoche has been instrumental in founding Buddhist centers for study and practice in several other locations in the U.S. and abroad, including Orgyen Dorje Den in Alameda, CA. As appointed by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, Gyatrul Rinpoche is the spiritual director and representative of all Yeshe Nyingpo centers on the west coast of the United States and invited numerous Buddhist masters from Tibet, Sikkim, and India to teach in the US. He is known for his keen understanding of western students, his profound teaching style, and his humor, humility and compassion. Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche is now in retirement.

Lama Yeshe Nyima, born in Ohio, was an ordained Vajrayana Buddhist monk who spent many years at Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies. He trained with Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche, Venerable Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche, and HE Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, and also received a vast body of teachings from many great Tibetan masters. Lama Yeshe helped to establish Dechen Ling, a Buddhist center in Ashland, Oregon,  he taught at Orgyen Dorje Den in the SF Bay Area, and later led a Buddhist group in Mexico City where he died, being cared for by his students.


Julie Rogers became a student of Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche in 1983, among other Buddhist teachers. During that time, she has been active at both Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies in Ashland, Oregon, and at Orgyen Dorje Den in Alameda, California. For several years she worked as the secretary and educational administrator at Tashi Choling. Ms. Rogers was employed for two decades as a caregiver for developmentally disabled adults, the elderly, and hospice patients, and completed training in Patient and Bereavement Care at Ashland Community Hospital Hospice and in Children’s Bereavement at WinterSpring Center in Medford, Oregon. She is the Founder and Director of TLC Transitional Life Care, and leads an online Buddhist practice group. She is also a creative writing coach, author, and poet. 

All proceeds from this publication are offered to support the Amitabha Shrine at Tashi Choling and to further fund ‘Vimala’, Gyatrul Rinpoche’s archive, for the preservation of sacred texts and teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism for future generations.

bottom of page