Death and Dying Workshop Level 2

By popular demand, 16 Guidelines facilitator Bruno Rizzi led his first Level 2 course focusing on Death and Dying at Tushita Retreat Centre in Spain in September 2013. Based on his extensive experience in palliative care, brought together with several decades of Buddhist study, these courses combine The 16 Guidelines with ‘end of life’ training.

FDCW Training Manager Marian O’Dwyer participated in the course and shares her experiences:

Bruno has created a course which is warm, intimate and spacious. His professional expertise and hands-on experience as a palliative care nurse, as well as his past experience as a contemplative, brought a particular quality of intimacy and connection to the participants.

The course presents models of death and dying from a variety of professional approaches, which Bruno explained in a clear, contemporary and secular way. He gave a clear and helpful explanation of the stages of death, following the Tibetan Buddhist model, using contemporary, secular language. The course also placed clear emphasis on the human experience of life, during which we all experience many ‘small deaths’. Bruno elaborated this point with reflective exercises which were very helpful for participants.

Bruno’s style and presentation allowed participants to have a deep and personal experience of the phenomena which we call ‘death’ as well as offering an understanding of how to best support others through terminal illness and the death experience. The explanations were thorough and Bruno responded to participants’ concerns and requests with much empathy and clarity.

Two painting exercises, based in spontaneous expression, produced a deep experience of the subconscious. Meditation periods included calm abiding/ mindfulness, guided reflections, walking meditation and a ‘secular style’ tonglen (a Tibetan Buddhist meditation on compassion). The small group discussion was framed within mindful listening, developing the participants’ capacity for a non-judgmental mindful listening presence with others. We had some extended periods of silence, and each participant contributed one hour of community work daily.

Thank you Bruno! Highly recommended!