Embracing the Cycle: Rejoicing in the Wisdom of Death

Embracing the Cycle: Rejoicing in the Wisdom of Death

Discovering the Wisdom of Death  

Bruno Rizzi is an accredited 16 Guidelines Facilitator. His professional background is in hospice work. He was inspired to develop a course applying the methodology and techniques of Universal Education to the experience of death. Angela Sanchez joined his course in Spain and shares what she learned:-

Picture this: a sunny weekend in January, 14 vibrant souls gathered near Alicante, Spain at the Nagarjuna Centre, surrounded by the picturesque charm of Campello, a coastal town with a delightful seafront promenade and a steady stream of year-round tourists. You may wonder, why spend such a lovely weekend by the beach delving into the profound topics of death and impermanence?

For this group of life-loving individuals, the exploration of mortality was not about dwelling in darkness but rather about uncovering the hidden wisdom that accompanies the inevitable. Some participants had undergone training with the Asociacion Potala Hospice in Spain, becoming volunteers ready to accompany advanced chronic and palliative patients during their final moments. Others sought answers to life’s pressing questions or craved clarity to forge ahead, while some were simply curious about the unique perspective the workshop promised.

Under the guidance of Bruno Rizzi, a seasoned nurse from Christophorus Hospice in Munich, the weekend unfolded with lively discussions and engaging activities. Bruno emphasized that the wisdom gained from contemplating death is a valuable tool for living a more meaningful life. It may sound paradoxical, but as Bruno pointed out, the ingredients that ease our transition in our final moments are the same elements that can enrich our everyday lives.

Throughout the workshop, Bruno presented various models illustrating the different needs of those facing the end of life. Compassion and wisdom, akin to the two wings of a bird, emerged as crucial elements. Dying individuals, like everyone else, require self-love and acceptance. Through gentle meditations and thoughtful activities, Bruno guided the participants to confront their own mortality.

As the weekend unfolded, the radiant sun mirrored the newfound lightness within the group. By the end, many reported feeling calmer and shedding fears that had once held them captive. Sunday afternoon arrived, leaving the participants not only inspired but determined to continue exploring the profound topic that had unexpectedly brought comfort and deeper self-knowledge.

Heartfelt thanks echoed through the air, extending gratitude to everyone who played a role in making this transformative course possible. Bruno, with his skilful guidance, warmheartedness, and expertise, was praised for leading the journey. Kiko received appreciation for the seamless translation and infectious sense of humour. Last but not least, Nagarjuna Alicante was acknowledged for gracefully hosting and caring for the participants throughout the weekend.

In the embrace of life’s fragility, this weekend became more than a mere exploration of death; it evolved into a celebration of the beauty inherent in every fleeting moment.

Bruno’s Journey

Facilitator Bruno Rizzi shares his journey and how death motivates him to live life with more wisdom and joy:-

Coming from a large Italian family, the topic of death has always been close to my life. Over the years, rather than fear, I developed a deep curiosity about it that evolved into a real investigation. This exploration led me to Tibetan Buddhism, where I found not only reasonable, interesting, and inspiring explanations about death but also its connection to life. This marked a turning point in my life, guiding me into deeper studies.

When I had to make decisions about my professional life, once again “death” played a crucial role in my choice. I became a nurse because I wanted to be close to dying people. For the past 20 years, I have been working at the Christophorus Hospice in Munich. During a visit to friends at Oseling, the director at the time, Isabel Aracena, upon listening to my story, asked me on the spot to offer a course about death and dying. After some thought, I accepted. It was 15 years ago, and since then, I have been regularly leading retreats and workshops.

I was inspired by Lama Yeshe’s vision for Universal Education, Lama recognised the need to transmit Buddha’s wisdom in a secular way without using religious terminology, so I adopted the Universal Education approach. I find this approach very effective and helpful to combine insights from the Buddhist tradition, including meditation, with the profound experiences that dedicated doctors and nurses have gained in hospices and palliative care over the last 60 years.

During my workshops, the investigation is interactive, with practical experiences that are relevant. When we decide to confront our mortality creatively and courageously, we might surprise ourselves.

We recognise that life is not only fragile but also extremely precious and full of potential. Our priorities start to shift, focusing more on meaning and quality and less on consumption and exaggerated ego ambitions. One might find more satisfaction in life and the needed confidence and trust when the moment comes.

Death is indeed a great adviser.

Testimonials from participants of Bruno’s course in Ontinyent, Spain 2023

“Bruno’s course has a profound impact and offers experiences on the topic of death. It brings awareness of one’s own death and that of others, providing inner tools for a dignified and spiritual passing. Thank you.”

“A great course, with marvellous explanations on such a sensitive topic. Bruno is an expert in uniting theory and practice. What surprised me was the secular approach, as everything was explained in a universal language accessible to all.”

“It offered me the chance to look deep inside myself, to explore my feelings about death, and to face it directly. I look forward to continuing this work that brings meaning to my life.”

For more details about Bruno’s Death and Impermanence course and to invite the course to your community, please contact us.

Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW)

At FDCW we are committed to a more compassionate, wiser world. We provide resourcescourses and training to develop qualities such as kindnesspatience and honesty – qualities which are essential for meeting the challenges of the world we all share.

The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) was established as a global charity based in London in 2005. Since then we have provided secular training, programmes and resources across many sectors of society – schools, universities, hospices, workplaces, healthcare, youth groups and community centres. Our courses have reached thousands of people across the world through our dedicated and growing network of facilitators in more than 20 countries.

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