Death & Dying

Exploring Death and Dying through Indian Wisdom Traditions

19th October –  23 November 2024

First 15 participants to register save $100
use the coupon code: DD100

(Graduates can submit their certificates to NAMA for consideration for PACE credits)

This thought-provoking course invites participants to delve into the universal and inevitable process of death through a unique blend of Indian wisdom traditions, and end-of-life care practices. Designed for those who are either fascinated by or fearful of death, the course offers a rich exploration of the emotional and spiritual dimensions associated with dying and the care of those at the end of life.

Who Should Enroll?

  • Individuals eager to understand death from multiple perspectives, including the medical, emotional, and spiritual, grounded in perspectives from Indian wisdom traditions.
  • Those interested in the practical and clinical aspects of end-of-life care, as well as the philosophical and ethical considerations.
  • Participants looking for a compassionate approach to managing their fears and curiosity about death, guided by experienced instructors versed in Indian wisdom traditions.

Dr. Robert

Dr. Claudia

Dr. Shubham Kulkarni

Throughout the course, learners will engage with topics such as the Ayurvedic signs of impending death, the emotional experiences of the dying and their loved ones, and the broader cultural and spiritual reflections on death found in Indian traditions. The program is ideal for anyone ready to confront or embrace the topic of death, seeking both personal insights and professional skills in a supportive and enlightening environment.
This description aims to encapsulate the scope and depth of the course while highlighting who would most benefit from enrolling.

This course may be a good fit for you if:

  • Are willing to contemplate in detail the many issues regarding the one process that all living beings are guaranteed to experience after they are born
  • Are unwilling even to consider the many issues regarding the one process that all living beings are guaranteed to experience after they are born
  • Are keen on exploring the concept of death & dying through the lens of Ayurveda, Mental health & end of life care
  • Want to delve into emotional spectrum of ‘The Dying’ & loved ones
  • Want to listen to real life experiences of dealing with death clinically
  • Are afraid of death
  • Are fascinated by death and want to explore this mystery
  • Are interested in various perspectives on death as found in various spiritual traditions in India
  • Enjoy the instructors and would listen to them talk about paper, much less such an engaging subject as death

Course Structure & Schedule:

Ten 75-minute live, online zoom lectures: 3 sessions per instructor + 1 final session that addresses questions and answers. Instructors do not want to take questions in the other sessions, but participants can put their questions in the chat. World Time Buddy can help you figure out your time zone.
Cost: 500 USD, with 400 USD early bird price for the first 15 participants that register.

  • Session 1:
    Saturday, 19 October 8am ET / 5:30pm IST
    Traditions and perspectives on death and dying originating from ancient India
    Dr Robert Svoboda
  • Session 2: 24 October 8am ET / 5:30pm IST
    What is happening in life vs. death, from the perspective of sāṅkhya philosophy
    Dr Claudia Welch
  • Session 3:
    Saturday, 26 October 8am ET / 5:30pm IST
    Death-Through the lens of Ayurveda
    Dr Shubham Kulkarni
  • Session 4:
    Thursday, 31 October 8am ET / 5:30pm IST
    Explore what one might do to, “prepare to die” and to prepare for loved ones to pass. Narak chaturdashi. Placate spirits of the dead.
    Dr Claudia Welch
  • Session 5:
    Saturday, 02 November 8am ET / 5:30pm IST
    Describe the relationship of the four āśramas and death
    Dr Claudia Welch
  • Session 6:
    Thursday, 07 November 8am ET/6:30pm IST
    Benaras, City of Death and Dying
    Dr Robert Svoboda
  • Session 7:
    Saturday, 09 November, 8am ET / 6:30pm IST
    What you personally need to do to prepare yourself and your loved ones for your demise
    Dr Robert Svoboda
  • Session 8:
    Thursday, 14 November, 8am ET / 6:30pm IST
    Mental wellbeing of The Dying & The Caregiver
    Dr Shubham Kulkarni
  • Session 9:
    Saturday, 16 November, 8am ET / 6:30pm IST
    Celebration of Death
    Dr Shubham Kulkarni
  • Session 10:
    Saturday, 23 November 8am ET / 6:30pm IST
    Answering questions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the philosophical perspectives on death and dying within Indian knowledge and spiritual traditions, contrasting them as appropriate with perspectives from other traditions
  • Explore the concept of karma and how it influences the process of dying and the afterlife.
  • Learn about the stages of death and the journey of the soul as described in classical texts including the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads.
  • Analyze the practical, ethical and moral considerations in end-of-life care.
  • Investigate the practices of ancestor worship and the importance of honoring the departed.
  • Develop skills for providing compassionate support to those who are dying and their families.
  • Comprehend the foundational principles of Ayurveda and how they relate to end-of-life care.
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of impending death (ariṣṭa lakṣaṇa) according to Ayurvedic texts.
  • Understand the significance and interpretation of ariṣṭa lakṣaṇa in clinical practice and care planning.
  • Explore the emotional spectrum experienced by individuals at the end of life from both Ayurvedic and psychological perspectives.
  • Learn techniques for managing emotional distress, anxiety, and fear in dying patients using Ayurvedic practices.
  • Develop comprehensive care plans that integrate Ayurvedic treatments,dietary and lifestyle modifications.
  • Develop effective communication strategies for discussing end-of-life issues with patients and their families.
  • Emphasise the importance of self-care based on Ayurveda to prevent burnout and maintain emotional resilience for caregivers of The Dying.
  • Role of Music as a therapy in end-of-life care & after death.
  • What is happening in life vs. death, from the perspective of sāṅkhya philosophy
  • Explore what one might do to prepare to die & prepare for the passing of loved ones
  • Describe the relationship of the four āśramas and death
    explore the role ahaṅkāra may play in the death process
  • Be able to describe the relationship between attachment and ahaṅkāra
  • Explore how one might support another to prepare for their death
  • Consider how you might support the family of someone dying
  • What different forms of grief might look like and the process of being present with this

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, if you have assimilated the material, you will be able to:

  • Engage deeply with the philosophical and spiritual dimensions of death and dying
  • Understand some models of the journey of the soul
  • Understand the implications of karma on the dying process
  • Appreciate the rituals and practices associated with death, and know how to perform a simple post-death ritual
  • Have techniques to turn to to manage the overwhelming emotions that can accompany death
  • Transform personal fears of death into opportunities for spiritual growth and liberation.
  • Articulate & use core Ayurvedic principles in end-of-life care
  • Use music as a companion dealing with death
  • Know better how to live your life, because of its implications in death.