Love and Death in the Times of Covid (1)

Saturday 9 January 2021 (10:00 -13:00)
Bristol and S.W. U.K. Shambhala Meditation Group
Coordinator : Colin Tracy
Contact person : Colin Tracy
In partnership with London Shambhala, an online series of workshops with David Hope, John Seex, Dian Marie Hosking, Mark Tudge and Colin Tracy. This first session is free to attend and open to all

For the last six months Covid 19 has impacted our lives collectively and individually; for some of us it has brought illness and for others it has brought the death of someone we know or love. Every day we see figures of the number of new cases and the latest number of deaths in the last 24 hours. Fear and death are all around.

Yet are we really able to acknowledge the certainty that we and our loved ones will die? The reality and certainty of death cannot be avoided but we find ways to hide from or to distance ourselves from this fact; Buddhist teachings have so much to offer in this area and can help us move through the fear of death into the love of life.

The five presenters will begin the series by sharing some of what comes up for them when they contemplate the topic and will then open the conversation to all participants. In the following session, David Hope will look at some Buddhist teachings on death and dying. Each subsequent session will enlarge on the themes introduced in the earlier sessions.


Session 1    Saturday 9th January 2021

Panel discussion with all presenters introducing core themes relating to death and dying.

In this first session we, the lead presenters, propose to work with participants to establish ‘the terrain’ of the workshop. We shall share experiences and observations of what has arisen during ‘the time of Covid’ and link these to relevant buddhist teachings. Ways of working will include panel conversation and deep listening, individual contemplations, pair and small group dialogues and plenary sharing. In these ways we shall prepare the ground for the following five sessions.   

To register for the first session please click on the Register button on this page.  After you have registered, the Zoom link will be sent to you.


The remaining 5 sessions cost £90 to attend with concessions available. You can register for these sessions by clicking here


Session 2    Saturday 6th February 2021  


David Hope - Buddhist Teachings on Death and Dying 

The buddhist teachings view death as a transition from one lifetime to the next. The body dissolves but the mind and its karma do not. The process of navigating this transition is said to be challenging, and the ability to let go, which we cultivate through the practice of meditation, is important in travelling through it. Therefore our present lifetime provides a precious opportunity to prepare for this challenge.

Session 3    Saturday 6th March 2021

John Seex - Fear and Anxiety in the Context of Covid

Living in a pandemic with the threat of being infected, the fear of infecting others, and of being  restricted or controlled through lockdown creates anxiety for people. Because the threat is so diffuse it can be hard to relate to. I want to explore the Shambhala teachings on fear and fearlessness to see how they can support us in facing our anxiety, opening up to uncertainty and facing our own death and that of others.

Session 4     Saturday 10th April 2021

 Dian Marie Hosking - Buddhist Teachings as the Inspiration for End-of-life Care.

We shall focus on end-of-life care as it might be viewed and practiced when inspired by buddhist teachings. Trainings I and others developed for volunteer hospice workers will provide our practice illustrations and experiential exercises. In general, we shall look at: how we cut off and close down (from fear and anxiety), how we can become aware of and really feel what we are doing, and how we can get in touch with our ‘open heart of sadness’.

Session 5    Saturday 8th May 2021 

Mark Tudge  - Supporting People in Bereavement


Following restrictions set by the government, including the setting up of the Deceased Management Advisory Group, we are living in a time in which we are asked to consider realities such as the limits imposed on funerals and religious practice. Faith communities and society have been challenged to support those who have lost loved ones. How do we ensure the bond with the deceased is creatively honoured?      


Session 6      Saturday 12th June 2021


Colin Tracy - Personal Experience of Death and Dying

A heart-attack, subsequent operations and facing death has allowed me to see that moments of absolute clarity about my mortality are often followed by habitual patterns clouding out this reality. In this workshop we will  look at the reality of our own death and those close to us, and how we avoid it, as a way of deepening our love, appreciation and gratitude for our lives. 

All workshops will be on zoom. 10.00am - 1.00pm. A link will be sent on registration. If you miss a session we will send you the recording.




David Hope started his Buddhist path with Chogyam Trungpa in 1980.  He was subsequently part of the team that developed the London Shambhala Centre.  Since the mid-eighties he has taught extensively in Europe and beyond.  He was appointed Acharya, or Senior Teacher in 2005, but has now stepped back from this role; he continues to teach actively in the Shambhala community. 


John Seex has been practicing meditation for almost thirty years. He is a psychotherapist and psychotherapy trainer fascinated by the relationship between feeling and thinking.


Dian Marie Hosking has spent her life as a researcher, writer, workshop facilitator … developing a “relational" view of Person as co-arising and co-constructing with the phenomenal world. Some twenty years or so ago this work brought her to meditation and Shambhala Buddhism. Most recently she has combined her work as a university professor with helping to create a Buddhist inspired hospice in Rotterdam.


Colin Tracy  Since a heart-attack in 2005 Colin has come face to face with death on numerous occasions. Current ongoing heart problems make the issues of life and death a very real daily issue. This can be very trying and fearful or it can be liberating  – depending on mindset.  Colin has been meditating for 35 years and has been studying with Shambhala since 1999.

Mark Tudge has mostly worked as a children's occupational therapist. This has led him to embark on a PhD exploring children's experience of therapy. He has experience in both formally supporting bereaved families as a funeral coordinator and informally facilitating a lay weekly Buddhist practise following the death of a dear friend.