The Great Value of Mindfulness of Death:
A Tibetan Buddhist Perspective
with Geshe Tashi Dhondup

According to Tibetan Buddhism, we may approach our deaths as we do a journey that we have not yet taken but for which we have prepared well. If we are traveling to a new place, we may wish to know what we may encounter or expect. We might prepare for the trip by reading guidebooks and researching how to read the local signs and navigate the region skillfully.

The Tibetan Buddhist tradition is full of wisdom about death and the dying process, from the mechanics of what happens to the physical body during death; to the internal signs that appear in our minds at various stages of dissolution; to the features of the bardo our subtle minds encounter while in the between-state of death and rebirth.

Most importantly, Tibetan Buddhism has a lot to say about the meaning we can bring to death. Geshe Tashi Dhondup teaches this three-session course on the death process, dissolution in eight stages, and the bardo. Learn the importance of having the right motivation as we approach death and how to understand death as an incredible opportunity for spiritual development as our subtle minds traverse from this lifetime to the next one.

Additional Materials

Prayers for teachings  (Desktop-Friendly PDF)  (Mobile-Friendly PDF)


To jump to a particular session on the playlist, click the playlist icon (near the top-right corner) of the video frame to select video.

About the Teacher

Geshe Tashi Dhondup was born into a nomadic family living on the Tibetan plateau in Kham. At age 14, he entered the local monastery, and at age 17 walked to Nepal for further education after a harrowing 29 day journey by night. He studied Buddhist philosophy in Tibet, India and Nepal, and accomplished his Geshe studies at Kopan in 2004. For the next six years, beginning in 2005, Geshe Dhondup was the philosophy teacher at the Kopan Nunnery. Then in 2010, and for the next three years, he became the headmaster of the Kopan school. Starting in 2013, he was both headmaster and philosophy teacher of the Kopan Nunnery for seven years, and in 2021 Geshe Dhondup took on the role of Kopan’s disciplinarian. Geshe la speaks Tibetan, Nepalese, Hindu, English, Chinese, and the highly endangered language of Minyak, and is presently the acting resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while Geshe Thubten Sherab is traveling.