Student Question:  

My mother just died and I am trying to remember your teachings on loss.  Can you help?

Many students are searching for practices and rituals that are meaningful for them when they experience the loss of a loved one.

You may find the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche helpful during this time if you are already inclined toward Buddhist teachings.  In Chapter 19, Helping After Death, Rinpoche recommends reciting the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum which is the mantra of the Buddha of Compassion.  Alternatively you could recite Om Ami Dewa Hrih, the Mantra of the Buddha Amitaba, the Buddha of Limitless Light.  Or you can recite any prayer while holding the image of your loved one.  As you recite, you can visualize your mother surrounded by Divine Light. Alternatively, creating an altar with your mother's picture and any object that reminds you of her can serve as a reminder to say your prayers or mantra during the day as you pass by. 

You may remember my teachings on impermanence as a support during this time. Chapter Two of Sogyal Rinpoche's book  deals with impermanence and will be a helpful review.