of course, it is not possible to leave the body alone for the

three-day period that was customary in Tibet, but every support

of silence and peace should be given to the dead to help

them begin their journey after death.

Try and make certain also that while the person is actually

in the final stages of dying, all injections and all invasive procedures

of any kind are discontinued. These can cause anger,

irritation, and pain, and for the mind of the dying person to

be as calm as possible in the moments before death is, as I

will explain in detail later, absolutely crucial.

Most people die in a state of unconsciousness. One fact we

have learned from the near-death experience is that comatose

and dying patients may be much more aware of things around

them than we realize. Many of the near-death experiencers

reported out-of-the-body experiences, from which they were

able to give surprisingly accurate detailed accounts of their surroundings

and even, in some cases, of other rooms in the

same hospital. This clearly shows the importance of talking

positively and frequently to a dying person or to a person in a

coma. Conscious, alert, and actively loving care for the dying

person must go on until the last moments of his or her life,

and as I will show, even beyond.

One of the things I hope for from this book is that doctors

all over the world will take extremely seriously the need to allow

the dying person to die in silence and serenity. I want to

appeal to the goodwill of the medical profession, and hope to

inspire it to find ways to make the very difficult transition of

death as easy, painless, and peaceful as possible. Peaceful

death is really an essential human right, more essential perhaps

even than the right to vote or the right to justice; it is a

right on which, all religious traditions tell us, a great deal

depends for the well-being and spiritual future of the dying


There is no greater gift of charity you can give than helping

a person to die well.

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