Tara Meditation for the Dead & Dying 

This practice has been so supportive to me whenever anyone dear to me has been near death or already passed. May it be helpful to you as well! I learned it from Joel & Michelle Levey, who learned it from Chagdud Rinpoche’s “Red Tara: An Open Door to Bliss & Ultimate Awareness”.

First, connect with the person who is dying or has passed. Let them be vivid in your heart and mind. See them full of light and life. See them at their best, happy and totally themselves.

Then connect with something greater than you. Traditionally this would be Tara’s heart, but it could be the heart of any great spiritual being with whom you feel a close connection (Buddha, Goddess, Christ, Quan Yin, the Dalai Lama, for example) or something less religious but great (a sunrise, the ocean, a blooming flower, etc.)— and see rainbow light shining from this great source, through your heart, to the heart of your dear one. See that light glittering and beaming, filling this person through their heart until they are glowing and shining. Let the rainbow light fill them until it spills out of them and they are beaming out and fully surrounded by this light.

You can imagine that this light is purifying their karma and infusing them with radiant blessings.

Stay with this image for as long as feels good — could be just a few seconds or could be 30 minutes.

Meditate in this way leading up to and then the forty-nine days after death, dedicating the merit of your practice to the deceased. Whenever the person comes into your mind, see them in this radiant rainbow light, happy and radiant.

If you want to read more about the traditional Buddhist version, there’s more info here: http://wisdomandcompassion.us/sublime-continuum/

Thank you so much for your practice!

—Abbess Suiko

Downloadable Audio of the guided meditation (28 min)