Death and dying part 1

July 6th, 2013

Welcome to a podcast that took a long time to write! Tonights show is about death and dying from a Buddhist perspective. My lecture is based on President Ikeda’s lecture in Unlocking the Mysteries of Life and Death. I am also very grateful to Donna and Dash for sharing their experience!
Subjects include:

  • Nobody believes they are going to die
  • How do you want to feel when you die?
  • Near death experiences
  • 5 stages of dying
  • 3 paths into 3 virtues
  • And then there was one
  • Nam myoho renge kyo is not constrained by death
  • Eagle peak and mystical rendezvous
  • We are responsible for how we die

Of course we have some music on the show. First up we have the Canadian, Christie Grace, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, playing her version of Joni Mitchells track, Both Sides Now. Beautiful voice! We also have the one and only Howard Jones, singing Building our own future. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. Have an amazing week!


  1. What an amazing show, everything discussed resonates with what I have been seeking recently in my practice and where I am with my faith. Thank you so much for your wonderful hearts and contribution to kosen-rufu for everyone’s benefit, I feel so grateful. Thank you and I hope you are settled, happy and enjoying your new home in Canada. You both sound very well! Take care. Warmest wishes, Cat x

    Comment by Cat MacGregor — July 9, 2013 @ 9:00 am

  2. Dear Jason,

    I am a 26 year old living in Mumbai, India. Living in a fast paced city where true compassion and altruism is very rare, i was always looking for something like SGI to come my way. Not to say, that i am perfect, ofcourse, i have instances when i get angry,lazy, hungry and move towards the lower worlds. However, when i used to see people not smiling, pushing each other in a crowd, spitting on the road and dirtying the city without morals and ethics, i wondered if there was something that could create change or a revolution withing each individual- A Human Revolution. Then my mind would say that i was too naive and this would be impossible even in a hundred years.

    I was always looking for a source to quench my spiritual thirst, to learn , practice and share a form of Buddhism. In fact, i reached out to a few people also, especially NGOs in Nepal and friends living in Bhutan, so that i could meet Buddhist monks, meditate and learn more about the middle path. I wanted a way by which i could find peace and more importantly find myself and my purpose. However, my work and my sense of reality always brought me back to where i was- in the hustle bustle of the city.

    Then i took certain steps, to meet and connect with like minded people. I took steps to improve my communication skills and public speaking skills, and there i met a friend who introduced me to SGI. At once, i was immersed in the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and Daisaku Ikeda. I spent a lot of time reading articles on the website and listening to podcasts on The people of this community have been so warm and welcoming that it is almost like a dream. More importantly, i have 2 blocks withing 5 minutes from my home; This, in my opinion, is a big blessing for me. I cant believe that i have finally found a practice that is embedded in practicality and reality while at the same time helps you connect with the universe and all things living and non living. I long to chant in the morning and evening, and read about stories that will motivate me and drive me to achieving success. Since i have love listening to podcasts on itunes, i finally stumbled on this treasure called ‘A buddhist Podcast’. Out of the 3 podcasts i have heard till now, each and every moment has been relaxing, inspiring and wonderful to say the least. Especially, your story about how you went to Hawaii with no money practically but just your faith, and finally found your purpose. I also loved your story about Sessen Doji.

    To be frank, it has been less than 2 months since i have gotten to know about SGI, and i am getting to know more each day. The best part of it all is that the more i chant, the more wise i become, the more ideas i get and the more fulfilled i become.

    Both Karen and You are doing everyone such a favor by taking your precious time out and sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    Thanks a million and God bless you!



    Comment by Aditya — July 12, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  3. please do sGi believe that there is God there, I am new to sgi and a friend direct me to this page and I hope you will help me to build my faith well

    Comment by amadu ishark — July 14, 2013 @ 1:20 am

  4. Another terrific lecture, and well worth waiting for!
    Lately I have become fascinated by NDEs (near death experiences), and I’ve been struck by how the experiences people describe are closely related to Buddhist views on death and rebirth.
    Looking forward to the next one!

    Comment by Roland Jones — July 17, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  5. Dear Jason,
    Thank you for tackling death and dying in a straightforward way, as is your wonderful style. It is a subject too frightening for most of us to discuss yet we contemplate it ceaselessly. I decided to come to terms with it this year. Prior to hearing your lecture I read the book, The Last Frontier by Julia Assante based on interviews with those who have passed on, she writes that karma is not carried over into future lifetimes and that there really isn’t any personal accountability for bad deeds, just a review of one’s life. It is a contradiction to our buddhist view. In any case, I will continue to follow the research and attempt to speak to those who have passed myself! Take care, I look forward to your lectures.
    Sally Malanga, Practicing seven years West Orange District, New Jersey, USA

    Comment by Sally Malanga — July 23, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  6. Another GREAT show. Very thought provoking. Thank you both very very much.

    Comment by Alan — July 28, 2013 @ 5:25 am

  7. Thank you for your efforts, after 25 years of practice I am so motivated by your great podcasts. Thanks so much, I made a new start with it. D?mo arigat? Christian from The Netherlands.

    Comment by Christian — August 22, 2013 @ 1:27 am

  8. Thank you for such a great study ! since practicing this buddhism i am no longer afraid of death.I have always like subject of the matter long before i started practing all seems much clearer now. I sends lots of daimoku to my Dad and sister who past away wishing that they are Happy and have a wonderful new life. Thanks for the awesome podcast !

    Comment by Frances Ortiz — September 23, 2013 @ 8:31 am

  9. Cant wait for part 2

    Comment by Chili B — October 19, 2013 @ 9:28 am

  10. Thanks for sharing. I really like your show!!!NAM MYO HOREN GEKYO!

    Comment by Gina — October 24, 2013 @ 11:37 pm

  11. Hello and Thank You Great Show. A quick story .. my mother end her journey here on this beautiful planet one week ago. 30 yrs ago I was suffering with unhappiness… the Japanese lady she worked with told her if she would chant I would become happy. So she began, about 3 months later I began my practice wanting to break free of the karma that stood between us and that my children would never suffer like I had with my mother. My mother and I had a trouble relationship. I use to say “I know she loves me but she doesn’t like me.” She would say “first time I saw you I said this one is going to be trouble” Over the yrs I have chanted many times that she live long enough that we break free. She was 93 at her death ..No one would believe that 30 years ago that I would even be speaking to her in any future … she had Alzheimer over the past 25 yrs. but I can tell you she has been my constant form of actual proof… All the negatives were pealed away up to the last moments ,Love, Compassion and a Deep Gratitude took there place for her being my mother and that she had brought this practice to me… she passed peacefully and smiling with me at her side holding her hand and chanting … she has rejoined the cosmos and I know deep in my heart she reached eagles peak I feel her life force as I send her diamoku each day and smile and feel joy because I know she had such a wonderful death …Thank You for this show and every show.. looking forward to your next show … Peace

    Comment by Barbara Wright - Grier — November 5, 2013 @ 3:03 am

  12. Hi Karen and Jason. At last I listened to this podcast and it is, as usual, a difficult subject beautifully managed and presented in your unique and wonderful way. Something made me start reading “Unlocking the Mysteries of Life and Death” just recently and then I found your podcast, which is a great help. It makes me think of the Daishonin’s near death experience at Tatsunokuchi Beach and our opportunity to also “cast off the transient and reveal the true”. There is no end to this wonderful faith. I am so glad to know you both and encourage you to continue to find the time and the faith to continue A Buddhist Podcast.

    Comment by Ken George — November 6, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

  13. thank you for your fantastic podcast. Stefano from Italy.

    Comment by stefano — December 6, 2013 @ 3:23 am

  14. Hi guys!
    I love your show and I hope u continue. I see you haven’t put out a new podcast since July 2013. I hope you do return and I hope everything is well with the two of you and your children.
    Trish (New Jersey) USA

    Comment by Trish — January 7, 2014 @ 8:10 am

  15. Hi!

    I miss you guys! I know you’re busy but I do hope you will start up again! I welcome the encouragement you bring with each session.

    Comment by Wanda Kurtcu — January 20, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

  16. what happened to these wonderful people? I sure hope something bad didn’t happen. Please let the community know. Maybe we can help.

    Comment by Murphy — January 23, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

  17. I am missing the show dearly. I would love the hear a new episode with an update of your family and situation.
    I hope that you can come out with a new episode shortly. Thanks for all the work you have done in the past.

    Comment by Chili — January 29, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

  18. Hi Guys, thanks for all your beautiful words and encouragements….! We are still here and dont worry, we will come back! We hope this Saturday Jason and I will do the next podcast! Thank you for your patience and friendship!!

    Comment by Karen — January 31, 2014 @ 11:51 am

  19. Missing u guys!!
    Sending Daimoku your way!!!
    Saludos from Mexico

    Comment by David Ross — January 31, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

  20. Wonderful podcast! I truly enjoy your shows and hope you come back soon with more. I was just wandering if there was a transcript of these show? Were all these passages from Unlocking the Mysteries of Life and Death?

    Comment by Anita — December 12, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

  21. I just listened to this amazing podcast via a link a comrade in faith shared on our Facebook page a few years ago. It popped up today on a memory as a comment. I opened the link and was so impressed at your presentation of Sensei’s book about the Buddhist perspective of Death and Dying. I’m so happy I listened to this! Thank you so much! I hope you are still doing podcasts and I hope I can find a library of the ones you’ve done!
    Sincerely, Shirley Broman

    Comment by Shirley — July 10, 2019 @ 11:26 am

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