The educational social media project that I’d like to propose for the MDIV670 Spiritual Leadership course has to do with my concern regarding the lack of attention to and resources for those who are dying. Our American culture is very good at denying the reality of death and we tend to hide or disguise anything that hints of decay. We avoid discussions of death, shove our elderly in out-of-the-way retirement homes, and glorify youth and beauty. Additionally, many are aware that Buddhism offers a unique approach to death and dying, though it can be difficult to find out what this approach is. I have created a Pinterest account entitled “Death, Dying, and Buddhism,” where I have created ‘boards’ that offer resources for the dying and for those with dying loved ones, with a particular focus on the Buddhist approach to death and dying. In creating this site, I hope to allow people the space and opportunity to access the rich array of teachings, techniques, and symbolism offered by Buddhism to address and accept the reality of death and dying. Among the boards will be those entitled:
- Buddhist Books on Death and Dying
- Other Books on Death and Dying
- Buddhist Art on Death and Dying
- Helpful Quotes by Buddhist Teachers
- Quotes re: Contemplative & Palliative Care
- Film on Death and Dying
- Reflections on Death and Dying
- Images of Death and Buddhism
- Music and Mantras
I have just begun accumulating ‘pins’ for these boards, and invite any suggestions or ideas that anyone may have to offer. Though I would like to keep the Pinterest site narrow enough to help those specifically with interest in the Buddhist approach, I am also more than happy to include those resources that are compatible with but not specific to Buddhism.
As Dr. Joe Loizzo put it: for both the dying and their caregivers, “the end of life often offers rare opportunities to affirm and deepen our highest human values—reconciling conflicts, sharing forgiveness and gratitude, deepening a sense of loving intimacy, and rising above our myopic experience of ourselves, our lives, and the world.” (Tricycle, Spring 2013) I am hoping this ‘Death, Dying, and Buddhism’ Pinterest space will enable such opportunities by consolidating resources for those looking either for help or to help in death and dying from the Buddhist and contemplative traditions.