24 April 2021: Death and dying from a Buddhist perspective

Join us for this EBU online conference on Saturday 24 April 2021 with a variety of talks, panel discussions and sharing groups. 

The Buddha taught that death – just as life – is a part of existence and our life cycle.

But in our western world, death and dying are often traumatizing events, especially when it happens close to us.

In these times of the pandemic, many of us experience the value of health and life itself differently than before and ask questions to which qualified answers are not easy to find.

This is why the European Buddhist Union will hold a one-day event dedicated to the topic of “Death and Dying from a Buddhist perspective”, featuring these well known international keynote speakers: Koshin Paley Ellison, Joan Halifax, Dario Doshin Girolami, Kirsten DeLeo, Lama Dondrub and Claudine Carayol.

In talks, panel discussions and “sharing groups” we will interactively explore topics and questions like: Do we need to be afraid of death or could it be the one thing that gives meaning to life? Is our existence finished when we die or do we go on to another stage of reality? And if so, what does it look like? Is dying a process we should prepare for and what happens in this particular moment?

In this way we want to enable the participants to discover the rich Buddhist perspective on these complex topics to get (new) inspiration and examine ways to lose anxiety and gain hope – for themselves and others.

The event will be held online, on Saturday April 24th, from 10am to 7pm CET.

There will be simultaneous translation available in French, Spanish and Italian!

Conference Schedule:

9.30 – 10.00 Opening

9.50 – 10.00 EBU Video; Introduction of translators

10.00 – 10.15 Presentation of the EBU and the topic. Council members, Patrick (Moderator), Ron.

10.15 – 10.35 Talk by Kirsten DeLeo

Present Through The End: Accompanying the dying, whatever our role, challenges us to be authentically and compassionately present and face the uncomfortable truth of our mortality. What can we say or do when nothing can be done?

10.35 to 11.30 Panel Discussion (including questions from the audience): Kirsten, Dario, Lama Dondrub

11.30 – 11.45 Tea break

11.45 – 12.30 Talk by Claudine Carayol – sharing group

Offering the Dharma in order to soothe dying and dead people

12.30 to 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 to 15.00 Talk by Sensei Koshin – sharing group

15.00 – 16.00 Talk Dario Girolami – sharing group

“When a Blossom Falls – A course in meditation for parents who have lost a child”

16.00 – 16.20 Tea Break

16.20 – 17:00 Talk Lama Dondrub – sharing group

Dying, a great opportunity: The closer death comes, the more valuable life becomes. Reflecting and meditating on death and preparing to help others in that process is an excellent way to practice the Dharma. Everything becomes meaningful.

17.00 to 17.30 Talk Joan Halifax

Compassion in Care of the Dying

17.30 – 1820  Panel Discussion (including questions from the audience): Dario, Lama Dondrub, Joan Halifax

18.20 to 18.30 Wrap up and goodbye


18.30 – 19.00 Dalai Lama: Recorded teaching


Ven. Lama Ngawang Dorje Dondrub

Sakya Buddhist teacher for more than 15 years, expert in the application of Buddhist philosophy in personal development, both in individuals and in organisations and companies.

Through his monastic life he has developed a special skill in unravelling the dharma to positivise the individual in the face of everyday difficulties and to transform ordinary conflicts into wonderful challenges. –  “If you grow you help and if you help you grow”.

Dario Doshin Girolami

M.Phil., is a Soto-Zen priest and a Dharma Teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Former Adjunct Professor of “Zen” at John Cabot University and of “Comparative Religion” at the American University of Rome, he currently teaches “Buddhism” and holds regular seminars at the Faculty of Psychology at Sapienza University of Rome, and teaches Meditation at Rebibbia Prison – Rome.

Roshin Joan Halifax

American Zen Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, ecologist, civil rights activist, hospice caregiver, and the author of several books on Buddhism and spirituality.

Claudine Carayol

President of Reiyukai Spiritual Friendship Buddhism. As a translator of the Lotus Sutra, other Buddhist sutras and texts, she devotes herself to the practice and transmission of the teaching of Reiyukai while maintaining her activity as a painter. She was EBU president from 2005 to 2008.

Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison

Author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and Certified Chaplaincy Educator.

Kirsten DeLeo

Meditation teacher, author (“Present Through The End. A Caring Companion’s Guide For Accompanying The Dying”) and trainer in the field of contemplative care offering training programs and retreats worldwide. ​​


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