Being With Death & Dying Workshop III: The Bardo

Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

With Tempa Dukte Lama, Dr. Jon Spiegel and Dr. Lynn Holmquist

Friday March 27, 7-8:30 PM, Sat. March 28, 9:30 AM-5 PM and Sun. March 29, 10am-1pm

Workshop co-sponsors:
The Chatham University Graduate Programs in Psychology, the Robert Morris University Department of Nursing, the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, and the C.G. Jung Institute of Pittsburgh.

10.5 continuing education credits for nurses, social workers, psychologists and licensed professional counselors

Venue: Chatham University Beckwith Auditorium, Buhl Hall, Science Complex. We recommend parking in the Library parking lot that is accessed from Murray Hill Avenue. Campus Map

About the Workshop

For thousands of years, the Tibetan spiritual traditions have cultivated practices to offer spiritual support to the dying and to prepare for a peaceful, conscious death. This third Workshop on Being with Death and Dying will focus on the process of dying and the stages of Bardo, the after-death experience. ‘Bardo’ consists of Tibetan ‘Bar’ – the “between state” where the consciousness has left the body and not yet taken another body; and ‘Do’– the consciousness that is without the support of a body.

Participants will learn about the different stages of the dying process and the Bardo, including the psychological, mental, emotional and physical shifts that take place during the dying process and in the time after death. Participants will be instructed on how to help the dying person as a compassionate and spiritual friend based on his or her needs.

This Workshop is for all who are interested in the dying process and its meaning within the framework of a spiritual path, and for those offering psychological and spiritual assistance to the dying. It is suited for medical professionals, psychologists, counselors, and social workers working with the dying.

Tempa Lama will teach on the Bardo process and on contemplative practices that we can utilize to help and guide the dying. Dr. Holmquist will discuss the cross-cultural relationships between the sacred Books of the Dead of Tibet and Ancient Egypt. He will focus on similarities in thematic content, religious and cultural meaning and purpose with attention to visualization and personification, and more profound issues of transition through death and spiritual rebirth in this world and beyond. Dr. Spiegel will discuss cross-cultural perspectives on Bardo states, including 1) Religion and the recognition of mortality from prehistory to present day, 2) Jewish practices of mourning and Bardo states, and 3) Research on teaching meditation to terminally ill cancer patients.

Workshop Faculty

Tempa Dukte Lama is an ordained Tibetan Bon lama. He is the founder and spiritual director of Olmo Ling Bon Center and Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. He is an artist, poet and author of Journey into Buddhahood, Heart Drop of the Loving Mother, Inexhaustible Miracles and The Intimate Mind. Tempa Lama trained in Menri Monastery, India, from the age of six under the close guidance of H.H. 33rd Menri Trizin, the world-wide spiritual leader of Bon. He has lived in the US since 2000 and teaches internationally on contemplative healing practice and other Bon practices, being with dying, the stages of meditation, and living a spiritual path informed by compassion.

Jon Spiegel, PhD. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and Clinical Director of Spiegel/ Freedman Psychological Associates. Dr. Spiegel has been teaching and supervising psycho-therapists for the past 30 years. Since early adulthood he has been a dedicated student of religion and culture. His post-doctoral work was in mythology and comparative religion. Dr. Spiegel has studied in Asia with Jain, Sikh, Hindu, Taoist, and Buddhist teachers since 1967. In the US he studied with the late mythologist Joseph Campbell for five years and since 1986 with Reb. Zalman Schacter-Shalomi. Dr. Spiegel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-founder of the Program in Spirituality and Psychology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Lynn Holmquist, PhD. is an anthropologist, cultural historian and multimedia researcher currently teaching for Carnegie Mellon University at the Carnegie Museum of Art. His work has evolved from museum educator to researcher in evolutionary education by means of transfor-mational work in Boston, New York, San Jose and Toronto. Dr. Holden’s vision is to create meaningful connections and interactions between classrooms, digital labs, libraries and across the WorldWideWeb.

Educational Objectives

By the conclusion of the Workshop, participants should be able to integrate the following skills into their professional practice:

  • Recognize cross cultural perspectives on religion, mortality, and Bardo states.
  • Utilize the contemplative guided meditation on the dissolution of the elements to help the dying person face the reality of the dying process.
  • Introduce the dying person to the nature of the mind based on the threefold inner, outer and secret visions that the dying person experiences.
  • Read and chant prayers from the Tibetan Bardo Thodal, the ‘Instructions for liberation through hearing’ (also called the Tibetan Book of the Dead) to guide the dying person and help him or her attain liberation or find a good rebirth.

Continuing Education Credits

This program is offered for 10.5 continuing education credits for nurses, social workers, psychologists and licensed professional counselors.

Nurses: Continuing education credits are provided through co-sponsorship by the Robert Morris University Department of Nursing.

Psychologists and licensed professional counselors: Continuing educations credits are provided through co-sponsorship by the C.G. Institute of Pittsburgh. The C.G. Jung Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education (CE) credits for psychologists and licensed professional counselors.

Social Workers: Continuing education credits are offered through co-sponsorship of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, a Council on Social Work Education-accredited school and, therefore, a PA pre-approved provider of social continuing education. These credit hours satisfy requirements for LSW/LCSW, LPC, and LMFT biennial license renewal.

Olmo Ling Being with Death and Dying Workshop Series

  • Workshop 1: Being with Death and Dying (spring 2014). Introduction to the Bon teachings on dying and compassionate care for the dying and ourselves.
  • Workshop 2: Contemplative Practices to Help the Dying.
  • Workshop 3: Being with Dying: The Bardo (spring 2015). This workshop focuses on the process of dying and the psychological, mental, and physical shifts that take place during the dying process.
  • Workshop 4: Being with Dying: Phowa Practice (fall 2015). This workshop will focus on Phowa, a contemplative practice to help the dying at the moment of death and during the time after death.

Registration and Costs

Program cost:
Olmo Ling members: $125 without CE credits, $145 with CE credits.
Non-members: $140 without CE credits, $165 with CE credits.

Register online at the bottom of this page or contact the Olmo Ling office with any questions or to register on the phone: 412-904-1112 or During the registration process, please select the appropriate type of CE credits in the dropdown box next to “Select fee”.

Chatham graduate students in counseling and psychology attend free of charge. Chatham Faculty attend free of charge unless requesting CE credits, in which case the full fee is applicable. Online registration will not work for Chatham faculty and students who are attending free of charge. To register please send an email to the Olmo Ling office including your name, email address, phone number, Chatham Department and whether you are a student or faculty member.

Online registration will remain open until Friday March 27 afternoon (space permitting!). Registrations at the door on Friday evening will also be accepted; however, we advise early registration to reserve your seat.

Cancellations and refunds

For cancellations prior to 24 hours before the workshop begins, a $20 processing fee will be charged. No refunds for cancellations within 24 hours before the workshop.

Back to Olmo Ling Retreat and Teaching Schedule