During stressful or situations filled with anxiety, it is often helpful talk or receive advice or counsel from a calm and/or spiritual person. A Buddhist monk works as a chaplain in a New York City hospital, helping those in need of spiritual care find some solace in the concept of death. This is becoming increasingly common across the United States, whereby practitioners of Buddhism are counseling Westerners about physical death. Not only does the philosophy of Buddhism seem to comfort those fearing death, the meditative and transcendental qualities have an overall healing effect for many. By practicing meditation, for instance, Buddhists believe they can understand fear and learn how to control their bodies, and even transcend fear. The idea of not fearing death and understanding more the process of nature can be comforting to many -- if one does not fear death then illness and eventual death is seen as a cycle of life. Buddhist philosophy can, then, bring additional peace and calmness to those -- regardless of their religious nature, or even those who are atheist or agnostic.
Rifkin, I. (2004). Buddhism: Bodhisattvas in Boardrooms. In Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization. Minneapolis, MN: Skylight Paths Publishers.
For 2,500 years, Buddhism has been focused on a middle-path -- one of neither self-indulgence nor self-denial and, according to tradition, following this path the Buddha finally learned of truth and attained Supreme Enlightenment. Modern Buddhism seeks to merge traditional Buddhism with the realities of modern life. It teaches one to be a realist, and to understand that the world contains much suffering when overt desire exists, and that through peace and right conduct, wisdom and enlightenment may release the individual from desire and suffering. Additionally, the idea of Zen meditation, central to the Buddhist way of thinking, has been shown to not only bring comfort to those in physical pain, but to help business leaders focus, become more efficient, reduce fatigue and be open for creative problem solving. While it may seem wondrous to get all our wishes, as humans it would also seem that we would continue to exist as shells of our souls, but we would have no purpose or direction, no drive, nothing to work toward, nothing to fail and learn. It is our failures that propel us forward, cause technology and culture to evolve, to move into a path that transcends the mundane.