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I am mostly interested in how a Tibetan Buddhist funeral is carried out in the West, i.e. in countries where Buddhism is not a leading religion. Are there any particular practices or ceremonies that family and friends should perform?

  • For which branch of Buddhism? "Lay Buddhism" is not a singular religion. You say "from any tradition," except that doesn't make for a great SE question since it is too broad. – Hrafn Jun 30 '14 at 16:53
  • In my last sentence I mentioned that input from any tradition is welcome. thanks. – Rabbit Jun 30 '14 at 16:54
  • I am aware of that, which just makes it a poor fit for a SE site. See Real Questions Have Answers. – Hrafn Jun 30 '14 at 16:57
  • ok, will edit it so that I ask for a particular branch. Thank you for your quick reaction :) – Rabbit Jun 30 '14 at 17:00
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    Irrespective of the tradition, you could do good deeds on behalf of the dead and pass on the merits. They expect you to do so if they are born in a place where they can receive merits. – Sankha Kulathantille Jun 30 '14 at 17:46
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One thing that comes to mind is reading aloud the Tibetan Book of the Dead. When one of my Buddhist friends died I read it for him and I felt it helped both of us attain piece of mind.

For those who are not familiar with Tibetan Book of the Dead, it is meant to be recited for the deceased by a lama (or the most spiritual person available in the absence of real lama). The text addresses the deceased directly, walking him or her through various post-death experiences and relating them with Buddhist Teaching.

As Chogyam Trungpa tells in The Mishap Lineage, since its discovery by Karma Lingpa in 14th century, Tibetan Book of the Dead was preserved in Surmang Monastery and passed down the line of Trungpa Tulkus.

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