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Location: Seattle Shambhala Center

The 49 Day Ceremony: A Buddhist Funeral [Online]


When a Buddhist practitioner dies, in addition to a funeral service that usually occurs on the 3rd or 7th day, there is a 49 Day Ceremony. Mourners may also gather to perform ceremonies after 100 days and on the one-year anniversary of the person’s death. Join Chaplain Alley Smith in an educational and discussion group to explore the 49 Day Ceremony and common practices therein. 

“…life is painful with an occasional speck of pleasure. We are born, we get old, we experience sickness, and, last but not least, we die. We are each waiting to die. I’m afraid that is the bad news. Whether you are young or old doesn’t make much difference – everybody will eventually die. So now is the time to do something with your life. We are not interested in developing eternity or immortality, or in preventing being sick or being born. We are interested in doing something while we are alive, while we are breathing, while we see the beauty of the snow, the flowers, the blue sky, the sunshine and many other things we can imagine.”

– Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, The Individual Path of Liberation: Compiled and edited by Judith L. Lief

This live session will include:

  • What is a Buddhist funeral?
  • What is the 49 Day Ceremony?
  • What are common observances/practices during the 49 Days?
  • How do I prepare for my own death and ceremony?
  • How can the sangha help me?
  • How can I help the deceased? …and more 

What You Will Gain:

  • A understanding of the 49 Day Ceremony: rites, rituals & practices
  • An opportunity to discuss your own death care plans and final wishes
  • An opportunity to explore end-of-life spiritual care
  • An opportunity to practice in the comforts of your own home and/or practice space
  • Q&A with Chaplain Alley and Death Doula, Meli-Tashi Happy

Open to all levels of experience.

Donations are welcome! Offer an amount of your choosing at registration. Donations collected will help fund long-term work on End of Life Resources.

Recommended Reading Material (not required):

  • Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition – A guide for those facing death and for their caregivers, including teachings from the great masters and useful advice on navigating end-of-life issues by Andrew Holeck
  • Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa. “Acknowledging Death,” in Heart of the Buddha. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1991. 

Shambhala Online Resource (recommended, not required):
Death & Dying: Practice & Ceremony Protocols
[Note you must be logged into your Shambhala Online account to access the resource]

We respect your privacy. This program will not be recorded to protect the privacy of individuals who want to share their deep and heartfelt experiences of dying and death.

About the Teachers:  

Alley Smith is an ordained Buddhist Minister of Religion (Chaplain) in the Shambhala Lineage. She also holds precepts in Zen Buddhism. She specializes in spiritual care, mortuary affairs and as a funeral clergy. Alley has been a student of Shambhala Buddhism and Zen since 1999.  She currently hosts, “Making Friends with Death & Dying: Support Group” with Shambhala Online. Email: [email protected] 
Teacher Bio on Shambhala Online

Meli-Tashi Happy is the End-of-Life Coordinator for Seattle Shambhala Center, a death doula, and somatic educator. Her Buddhist path began in 1997 in the Zen tradition, and in 2007 she found the Shambhala teachings. She’s taken Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows, and is a vajrayana student. She helps foster ‘community death care’ education and connections. 

Email Meli-Tashi Happy at [email protected]

Seattle Shambhala Center
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2024-05-25 15:33:41