The Death Dhamma Podcast

Margaret Meloni

Open and honest discussions with wise and skillful teachers about their experiences with life, death, and Buddhism. If you wonder how others on the path have dealt with death and dying and grief, be sure to listen in. Everyone has a story, a perspective, and a valuable lesson to share. Embrace death, live a full life, and learn to love impermanence because nobody gets out of this alive.

Lessons Learned from Wendy Block: Compassion is the Balm
Jul 21 2022
Lessons Learned from Wendy Block: Compassion is the Balm
What is an easy experience of impermanence, and what is a difficult experience? Any experience can be either of those things and actually neither of those things. With equanimity – it just is.  And that is not me telling you that I can always accept uncertainty and change with equanimity. Because I don’t. I practice at different levels on different days or even throughout the course of any day. I suspect that makes me another human being, living and growing in this time and place and in this lifetime. Generally, I am grateful for the opportunities that my karma brings me. Even the situations that I view as difficult. I recall when I was processing the deaths of two family members within the same week, more than one of my Buddhist friends told me how great this was for my practice. Conceptually I knew they were right, but it took lots of time and contemplation to know it at a deeper level.  When they said it to me, I accepted it as a fact, a documented best practice, if you will. The learning came from time and concentration and living with it. Watching myself being human and feeling the emotions. I had to have the experience. To live firsthand through attachment and aversion. And it was and still is experiential that draws on compassion and also can lead us to become more compassionate toward others. I had to extend compassion to myself. And later, as helping others became part of my path, I learned that my experience would help me be compassionate toward others if and only if I accepted that my experience was only representative of how things worked for me on my path. In the face of impermanence, let’s not forget compassion. Because it really is the balm. (And also the bomb!)
Jim Ringel: A Crime Solving Lama Faces Impermanence
Jul 4 2022
Jim Ringel: A Crime Solving Lama Faces Impermanence
Imagine finding yourself in a strange building, in a strange land, with strangers who know you – yet you do not know them. This is one of the many challenges faced by Lama Rinzen, the protagonist of Jim Ringel’s book, 49 Buddhas: Lama Rinzen in the Hell Realm.      Being thrown into a new life is an excellent way to make friends with impermanence. Although he is still a Tibetan Buddhist Lama, and still on a quest to bring enlightenment to all beings, Lama Rinzen must come to understand the people and the culture around him and uncover the lessons that the hell realm holds for him.      Discussing the character development of Lama Rinzen with Jim Ringel was an interesting and rewarding way to learn about his Tibetan Buddhist practice and his beliefs around reincarnation, life, death, and impermanence.      If you would like a new way to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, the ego and the perception of others, versus our own perceptions, and of course, impermanence, consider reading 49 Buddhas: Lama Rinzen in the Hell Realm. It’s a crime story that is full of Buddhist teachings. Join us as we discuss: Crime Mysteries wrapped inside Buddhist mysteriesThe intricacies of reincarnationThe longest continuous street in the United StatesAn interpretation of Form is emptiness, and emptiness is formThe various realms and how we might navigate themThe idea that we are energy that is always changing Connect with Jim at one or all of these sites: www.jimringel.com www.facebook.com/jimringelwrites www.twitter.com/jimringelwrites www.linkedin.com/in/jim-ringel-7364822
Ken Yamarashi: Cause and Effect is Operating in Your Life
Jun 20 2022
Ken Yamarashi: Cause and Effect is Operating in Your Life
**** Please be advised, in this episode Ken and I discuss some potentially triggering topics. During our time together we touch on the topics of assault, rape, bomb detonation, and death by electrocution. We do so respectfully. Please be aware and proceed in a way that best supports your emotional and mental health. Thank you. **** One day you are enjoying breakfast at your local diner. You feel like you have a friendship with your waitress. Most days she is the one who takes your order and brings you your food. The next day she is in an accident, and you are on the scene as she takes her last breath. While doing your duty, you arrest someone who cannot afford bail. While he is in jail his partner is attacked. You know you did your job, yet you wonder about the karma of this situation. Months later you see the person you arrested die in a particularly grisly accident. You can’t help but wonder why you are part of his experience. Ken Yamarashi lives with these memories and more. He understands the importance of finding a way to process the shock that comes when karma and violent impermanence meet. His experiences are not uncommon for someone who has served in the military and on the police force. And he knows that too many of his fellow veterans have ended their lives, rather than continue with the suffering. In most of these traumatic experiences, it is impossible to talk to the other parties who were involved. What Ken teaches us during this episode is that the only place he can do the work is within his own mind. These things have happened. This is a historical fact. The only thing that can change is the way he perceives now. You have to have a technique of letting go and the ability to tap into equanimity. Let Ken share the practice(s) that have been the most helpful to him on his journey. Connect with Ken here: For more on the teachings of Shinzin Young please visit:
Sophie Jacobs: Impermanence Helps You to Find What is Important
Jun 6 2022
Sophie Jacobs: Impermanence Helps You to Find What is Important
Impermanence, bring it on! Within two years, Sophie Jacobs handled almost ALL of the big life changes. GraduateEnd a relationshipStart a new jobLose your home in a fireLeave your jobLive in a monasteryLeave the monastery MOST of us do not have our homes burned to the ground in a fire, and MOST of us do not become monastics. All of this took place during the COVID pandemic. Nothing went as planned. Each of these changes led Sophie back to the same question, “What really matters?,” and “What do I know to be true in my heart?” And as she searched for a new job, she also found herself searching for a monastery to live in. And it occurred to her, that this was the time, to take a break away from the ‘hustle culture,’ if not now, then when? She describes it like this, “…everything is kind of falling apart in your life and is creating this huge open space for you and so if not now when…there's always going to be the next thing that's preventing you from doing an experience like this.” And so she did go to live with some Theravāda Buddhist nuns. Listen in as Sophie shares with us about: Her relationship with her intuitionBeing in alignment with her true selfHer experiences with meditation and her mindWhy being a monastic was not right for her You will definitely want to keep in touch with her. I look forward to her upcoming book, currently titled Elemental Knowing. Connect with Sophie: On Instagram: TikTok: Linkedin: