Present Through the End - 

Accompanying a dying family member, partner or friend


It takes sensitivity, courage and kindness to accompany someone who is nearing death.

We are challenged to be present even though we may feel powerless, to stay when we want to run, to love while loss is just around the corner, and to be fully alive to every moment as time is running out.

In the sessions, Buddhist teacher and author Kirsten DeLeo will weave together the sacred wisdom of the Buddhist tradition, her knowledge of hospice and palliative care and her hands-on experience.

Please note - this event is also available Online. The online option is composed of 2-morning sessions, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 Nov from 10 to 12.30 pm (CET)

The event will include talks, discussions, guided meditations and Q&A. The option “Live onsite” at Lérab Ling will contain guided afternoon and evening sessions (which are not offered in the online option) and will allow the space to deepen the experience of the tools learned. We will explore:

  • How to be when we don’t know what to say or do
  • How to be sensitive to the person’s needs, fears and concerns
  • How to support the person to discover their inner resources of strength and meaning
  • How to say good-bye, create a sacred environment and offer spiritual support at the moment of death and after
  • How to attend to our sadness of loss and stress of caregiving

Kirsten IconKirsten DeLeo is a meditation teacher, trainer, author, and long-time Buddhist practitioner. She worked for many years as an educator and volunteer chaplain in hospice/palliative care in the US and Europe. For more than twenty-five years, Kirsten served as an international trainer with the Spiritual Care Programme, an outreach project inspired by The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Kirsten helped pioneer Authentic Presence, one of the first training programmes in contemplative end-of-life care in the West.

Kirsten grew up in Germany, studied Literature and Hakomi mindfulness-based psychotherapy. Kirsten deepened her Dharma study and practice during a Three-Year retreat, and currently supports the development of the European Buddhist Union’s new chaplaincy network. Based on her experience, she wrote the award-winning book Present Through The End. A Caring Companion’s Guide for Accompanying the Dying. Kirsten lives with her family near Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Meditation Center in West Cork, Ireland.

10-12:30 Present Through The End - Talk and Q&A (onsite & online)
12:45-1:15 Reflection
1:15-3:30 Lunch with time for walk and rest
3:30-4:30 Guided Meditation (optional) 
4:30-5pm Tea break
5-6pm Discussion Groups 
6-7pm Dinner
7-8:30pm Staying well in the midst of everything - Talk and evening meditation (onsite & optional for online participants)

9-9:40 Guided morning meditation with Kirsten 
10-12:30 When Death Approaches - Talk and Q&A (onsite & online)
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Closing Session

*Please note only 3 of the sessions are available for the online option.

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To see the programme for Rigpa students please log in with your "Rigpa Admin & Care" email and password. If you are a student from another sangha and you think you qualify to participate to this event, please send an email to

Welcoming You During the Pandemic

covid iconIMPORTANT - Everyone joining activities in Lerab Ling is required to present:
- A recent (within 72 hours) negative COVID test (PCR or antigen) on arrival, or
- A valid certificate of vaccination (To be fully vaccinated at least one week before joining for a retreat)
>> Please read carefully this document to know more about our COVID measures.