With the right perspective, our anxiety around sickness, old age, and death can be a "wholesome fear"--a fear with a positive quality that ultimately enriches and nourishes our lives. Lama Zopa Rinpoche shows us how we can use our anxiety as a high-octane fuel to really live what's most important. Alongside Rinpoche's teachings, Kathleen McDonald presents meditations that lead to peace, compassion, and joy for ourselves and others. Approaching our physical realities in this way will help us to live well and, when the time comes as it inevitably will, to die well too. It's never too early to start making this most important of efforts--and, fortunately, it is never too late. An essential guide for anyone confronting the challenges of death and dying, Wholesome Fear serves as a reminder of the gift and truth of impermanence.
Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects, including Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest. His books include Transforming Problems into Happiness, How to Be Happy, and Ultimate Healing. He lives in Aptos, California.
Kathleen McDonald (Sangye Khadro) was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1974. She is a respected and inspiring teacher in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, a worldwide organization of Buddhist teaching and meditation centers.
"A wonderful and welcome book for the spiritual well-being of all who read it."
– Gelek Rimpoche, author of Good Life, Good Death
"This book is a powerful reminder of the gift of the truth of impermanence. It is a veritable treasure in the literature on being with dying."
– Joan Halifax
"Wholesome Fear contains heart advice from the great Buddhist master, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, regarding impermanence and death,meditation on death, the process of dying, and powerful meditation techniques from Kathleen McDonald. This book is an essential guide for anyone confronting the challenges imposed by impermanence and the process of death and dying."
– Lama Migmar Tseten, author of Treasures of the Sakya Lineage
"Imagine you're in a foreign country, there's a sudden terrifying earthquake--and the voice you hear is Lama Zopa's, rapping out this instruction: 'Meditate on bodhichitta!' You are scared witless because you think you are going to die, but you have just been given the best advice in the world. This was Kathleen McDonald's unforgettable experience at Kopan Monastery in Nepal, back in 1974. Now she has collaborated with Rinpoche in this splendid book, crammed with clear unequivocal words of wisdom about how we don't need to fear death at all; rather, the fear is the risk of dying with an uncontrolled mind, and dying without having done anything positive in this life. It really is a 'wholesome' fear, with extraordinarily positive qualities. With vivid descriptions of exactly what happens when we die, and the ultimate death experiences of great yogis, plus practical powerful guided meditations, this book is like having Lama Zopa Rinpoche at your side. What more could you ask for a perfect death?"
– Mandala Magazine
"If the topic of death has ever made you squirm, this book is for you. If you have ever lost a loved one and then been dismayed when your closest friends avoided talking about it, this book is for you, too. Indeed, if you're the sort of person who will die someday, this is a good book to read."
– Shambhala Sun
"Wholesome Fear should not sit on a bookshelf: it should be referenced regularly by anyone willing to face their own mortality and interested in making the most of the time given."