Illness & Death

Sometimes a crisis can propel us into a deep, urgent search for meaning and guidance. Explore teachings from Easwaran that address the challenges of death, aging, and illness in ourselves and others to find inspiration and support in a time of need.


Featured Easwaran Article

  • The Lesson of the Lilac

    “Nothing in life is more pressing than learning to face death,” Easwaran writes, in this uplifting article full of stories, insights, and advice. He explains how to use our understanding of death and dying to live life more meaningfully right now.

    Read this article

Easwaran's Teachings on Illness & Death

  • The Mantram at the Time of Death

    The mantram offers huge emotional and spiritual support when we’re with someone who’s dying, and when we face death ourselves. Easwaran explains what happens at death and how we can prepare for it through our own ongoing spiritual practice.

  • The Second Half of Life

    The second half of life is a time when we should grow to our full stature as human beings, Easwaran writes, and focus on what matters most.

  • Learning to Forgive Ourselves

    As we grow in spiritual awareness, we become more aware of mistakes we’ve made in the past. It’s a painful process, but Easwaran gives us practical, compassionate advice for dealing with guilt.

Featured Easwaran Video

  • Charles the Cat

    In this full-length video, Easwaran reflects gently on the passing away of Charles, a BMCM cat, and goes on to explore the meaning of death and the urgency of our spiritual practice.

    Watch this video

Featured BMCM Community Story

  • Using the Eight Points at a Time of Death & Grief

    Rafi and Waheeda share how passage meditation helped them care for a parent who was terminally ill, and also supported them later in dealing with their grief.

    Read this story

More Stories From the BMCM Community

  • Healing With the Mantram

    Susan shares how her practice of the eight points helped her find peace at the time of her mother’s passing. She also suggests creative ways for using the mantram at a challenging time.

  • The Best Support as You Get Older

    Norma is a longtime meditator – she started in her 30s and was 87 when we talked to her for this interview. She tells how Easwaran’s eight-point program is giving her even more support and purpose in her later years.

  • The Support of Satsang

    Lisa shares how satsang (spiritual fellowship) gave her support and helped her deepen her practice after an unexpected loss.

Featured Passage for Meditation

  • Do Not Look with Fear

    This warmly reassuring message and firm declaration of faith comes from Saint Francis de Sales. It is a favorite passage for many of the longtime meditators in our Setu program for older people and for those facing terminal illness.

    Read this passage

More Passages About Illness & Death

  • Setu Prayer

    Eknath Easwaran

  • What Is Real Never Ceases

    The Bhagavad Gita

  • A Garden Beyond Paradise

    Jalaluddin Rumi

  • The Lord Is My Shepherd

    Psalm 23

  • Great Life-Giving Spirit

    Native American Tradition

Support Your Mantram Practice

  • Easwaran Sings His Mantram

    Support your mantram practice by drawing inspiration from this recording of Easwaran, singing his own Hare Rama mantram.

    Listen & learn more

Program: Setu Half-Week Retreats

  • Setu Online Retreat

    This retreat is based on Easwaran’s concept of setu (Sanskrit for “bridge”). Death is not the end of life but the closing of a chapter, and what comes next is shaped by how we think and live today. Setu retreats are for people who are 65 and older, or for anyone facing a life-threatening illness.

    Learn more