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How to meditate for the dead (including simple Amitabha mantra, OM AMI DEVA HRI)

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With recent news about the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria (and so many other news events in which we hear about people dying suddenly), we have an opportunity to practice meditating for those who have died. You don’t have to be an expert meditator or know secret meditation practices to benefit folks in the state between death and rebirth, known in Tibetan Buddhism as the bardo state.


Beings in the bardo state are said to be very sensitive to any thoughts directed toward them, which means that we can help them by directing love and compassion to them through meditation practice.


In addition, the more we’re able to contemplate death and what comes after – which in Tibetan Buddhism is described as a time when our buddha nature naturally shines through since our ordinary self has been tripped away. So practicing for the dead helps them, and it helps us, too.


There are many different ways to meditate for the dead, but one of the simplest is to use the mantra of Amitabha Buddha, whose name means “Infinite Light.” This mantra is a prayer for the departed to be reborn in the Pure Land, a paradise realm.


The mantra is: OM AMI DEVA HRI.


To use this mantra, simply sit in a comfortable position and repeat the Amitabha mantra either aloud or silently to yourself, picturing the infinite light of this buddha wrapping those who’ve passed in comfort, love, and peace. You can do this for as long as you like.


You may find it helpful to practice this meditation regularly, especially if you are struggling with grief. It can be a very comforting practice, and it can bring you some peace of mind knowing that you are supporting the deceased on their journey.

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