How to Help Someone Who Has Committed Suicide

The suicide of a friend or family member is one of the most disruptive and painful causes of sudden death we can encounter. Faced with such circumstances, the most important thing to do is to practise for the person who has committed suicide and to open our heart with great compassion, forgiveness and love—because that is what a deceased friend needs from us. In this teaching, Rinpoche shows us directly and very movingly how we can practise for someone who has committed suicide by invoking the wisdom, compassion and power of all the buddhas.

Video Teaching

Downloadable Video

Teaching from Myall Lakes

23 January 2014

Prayers and Practices

In the teaching from Myall Lakes, 23 January 2014, Rinpoche presents the practices of Essential Phowa and Brief Amitabha Mönlam. Here is some more information about these two practices.

Essential Phowa

The practice of Essential Phowa can be found in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, in Chapter 13, on pages 218-222. 

Several versions of this practice, appropriate for different people and in various circumstances, can be found on the ‘Are You Ready?’ website.

* The Essential Phowa for sudden death might well be the most useful for this occasion. Consult the top menu (Practices > Essential Phowa) to see all available versions of the practice.

Note*: The ‘Are You Ready?’ website is accessible with your user name and password for the All-Encompassing Path and the Care & Admin website.


Amitabha Mönlam

The Brief Amitabha Mönlam is a short aspiration prayer that can be practised in order to be reborn in Buddha Amitabha’s pure land of Sukhavati (Tib. Dewachen). It can be used as a support for our practice for the deceased person. Sukhavati is considered to be the easiest pure realm to be reborn in and has the best conditions for progressing towards enlightenment.

On this page you will find: 
—the practice text in several languages, 
—a recording of the chant by Garchen Rinpoche, and 
—an image of Amitabha.

Further Advice from Spiritual Care

You will find much more support and advice about what to do when confronted with the sudden death of someone you know on the Are You Ready? website.