Being With Dying, Part 1: Contemplative Practices to Support the Dying

Friday March 20, 9am-5pm

With Tempa Dukte Lama and Amy DeGurian, MSW.


Co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.
Venue: University of Pittsburgh – 117 Victoria Hall (Nursing School), 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

7 hours of continuing education credits for licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.

Pending approval, we may also be able to provide CE credits for psychologists – please check this website for an update (likely on Weds Feb 26).

For thousands of years, Tibetan spiritual traditions have cultivated practices to offer spiritual support to the dying and to prepare for a peaceful and conscious death. Olmo Ling Tibetan Bon Center and Institute offers a series of workshops on contemplative practices to support the dying.

This first workshop in the Being with Dying series will introduce the teachings of the Tibetan Bon tradition on compassionate care for the dying and preparing for a conscious death. Participants will learn how to help the dying person develop openness and trust toward the process of dying and let go of fear and attachments through the contemplative practice called Ngo Trod in Tibetan. Contemplations, lecture and discussion will be used to look more deeply into the meaning of mortality and impermanence and the shifts taking place during the dying process. This understanding can be used to guide the dying person as a compassionate and spiritual friend. Participants will explore ways to help the dying connect deeply with their own faith and draw strength and inner peace from their spiritual practice and spiritual teachers.

The afternoon session will provide participants with an opportunity to further understand the idea of providing compassionate companioning those who are dying. Additional emphasis will be made around the grief process. Focusing on both the needs of those who are grieving their own impending death and for those who are left to make sense of the “new normal” that arises in the wake of someone’s passing.

Continuing education credits

7 hours of continuing education credits for licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and therefore a Pennsylvania pre-approved provider of continuing education for LSW, LCSW, LPC, LMFT. The School of Social Work in accordance with all applicable educational and professional standards has approved this training for 7 hours of continuing education.

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Articulate a program offering psychological and spiritual care for the dying.
  • Utilize contemplative practices to help the dying person let go of fear and attachments, cultivate openness and trust, and draw strength from their own faith and spiritual practice.
  • Introduce the dying person to the nature of the mind based on the threefold inner, outer and secret visions that the dying person experiences.
  • Describe specific techniques to develop skillfulness and inner stability as a caregiver guided by wisdom and compassion.
  • Provide insight into one’s own experiences with death and grief and review how those experiences influence one’s ability to provide care to the dying
  • Understand a task-focused model for managing grief
  • Gain additional appreciation around the need for “meaning making”
  • Introduce ideas about how to have legacy-focused conversations with the dying: “how do you want to be remembered?”

Workshop faculty

Tempa Dukte Lama is an ordained lama of the Tibetan Bon tradition. He is the founder and spiritual director of Olmo Ling Bon Center and Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, and co-founder of Humla Fund. He is an artist and poet and has authored five books. He is deeply dedicated to making the Bon teachings available in the West. Tempa Lama studied at Menri Monastery, India, under the close guidance of the late H.H. 33rd Menri Trizin, the worldwide spiritual head of the Bon tradition until 2017. Tempa Lama has lived in the US since 2000 and teaches internationally, helping people bring a practice of healing and happiness into their lives.

Amy DeGurian is a faculty member in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. Amy has previous clinical experience in the areas of Health Care and Gerontology. She is currently the instructor of the Grief and Loss class and additionally provides seminars and in-services to outside agencies focusing on the areas of grief, trauma and loss. Ms. DeGurian received her MSW from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994.

Registration and fees

This workshop has been postpone to a later date.

  • Olmo Ling members (no CE credits): $100
  • Non-members (no CE credits): $115
  • Olmo Ling member with CE credits: $115
  • Non-members with CE credits: $130
  • Student-rate: $50

Workshop venue and parking

University of Pittsburgh, 117 Victoria Hall (Nursing School), 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

There is metered parking available on all four sides of the Cathedral of Learning. The nearest parking garage is the Soldiers and Sailors Garage, located at Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard.


We are really sorry, there are no places left for this event.
Please check the Olmo Ling Retreat and Teaching Schedule to see if there is another workshop or retreat that you might be interested in.

If you still want to participate in this event, please send us an email . Back to Olmo Ling Retreat and Teaching Schedule