Friday, April 18, 2008
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - Sogyal Rinpoche
A clear pool of practical wisdom, this rewarding modern reinterpretation of the classic Tibetan Book of the Dead is a manual on learning to accept death, on caring for the dying, and on spiritual growth. Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who has lived in the West since 1971, maintains that innermost consciousness, rather than an unchanging soul or ego, survives the death of the body. He draws parallels between contemporary Western near-death experiences and the afterlife journey through the bardos, or intermediate planes between death and rebirth, described in sacred Tibetan texts. Bardos, he further argues, are junctures that also occur continually throughout life, opportunities for liberation present in ordinary daily experiences, in sleep and dreams. Rinpoche outlines a path of spiritual transformation that involves meditation, strengthening of positive karma, compassion, generosity and mental exercises.