Ways You Can Benefit Those Sick, Dying or Recently Passed Away (and Yourself)
I) Places to Sponsor Others to Perform Life-Release for Sick and/or Dying
II) Places to Sponsor Special Rituals or Prayers for Sick
A) Medicine Buddha Pujas (ceremonies) for those that are Ill
B) Places to Sponsor Green Tara Pujas for Overcoming Obstacles
and Protection from Fear
C) Places to Sponsor Lamp Offerings for Prayers
III) Additional Benefits For Those that Have Died Recently
A) Places to Sponsor 49-Day Puja (Amitabha) for Favorable Rebirth
B) Places to Sponsor Lamps for Prayers for Dead
IV) Additional Ways to Protect Yourself (the Survivor or Caretaker)
and Loved Ones Directly
A) Perform Amitabha Practice
If able to yourself, perform Amitabha practice during the bardo period (suggestion by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Abbot of KTD).
B) Recite Buddhist Prayers
C) Commission “Birth Sign” Rupa or Thangka
Request a “birth sign” by a qualified Rinpoche that indicates a direction for rebirth for the deceased. Then commission a rupa and/or a thangka to be made in the image of one of the 5 major Buddhas that precedes over that predicted realm of rebirth. One can add the rupa and/or thangka to your daily shrine to make prayers and offerings for the benefit of the deceased’s peaceful journey and favorable rebirth. This is a traditional Buddhist practice suggested by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. It serves to benefit the deceased and create a positive “tendril” (karmic connection) between the deceased and their sponsoring loved one.
D) Conduct General Prayers
Pray for the deceased and sick, then dedicate your virtue for their healing and positive rebirth. One can also engage in formal religious practice, such as the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen (sending and receiving), for the benefit of oneself and the sick and dying.