Synopses & Reviews
Everyone dies, but no one is dead, " goes the Tibetan saying. It is from this very intersection of the impermanent and the continual -- the crux of the life-and-death flow -- that this powerful book takes flight. In Advice on Dying, His Holiness the Dalai Lama shows readers how to adjust attitudes and embrace virtuous thoughts to prepare for death, whether it is our own or that of a loved one. With vivid and fascinating detail, he unveils the levels of consciousness through which we pass during the phases of dying and also when sleeping, dreaming, and during orgasm.
The author of the phenomenal bestsellers How to Practice and The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama stresses in Advice on Dying the need for preparation. We must be familiar with the processes and practices of death so that, in moments of great physical or mental weakness, we may remain focused, virtuous, and resolute. Readers will discover the processes by which they can remove the obstacles interfering with a favorable death, adapt to the "Intermediate State between lives, " and progress to the rewards of serenity.
"Everyone dies, but no one is dead," goes the Tibetan saying. It is with these words that Advice on Dying
takes flight. Using a seventeenth-century poem written by a prominent scholar-practitioner, His Holiness the Dalai Lama draws from a wide range of traditions and beliefs to explore the stages we all go through when we die, which are the very same stages we experience in life when we go to sleep, faint, or reach orgasm (Shakespeare's "little death").
The stages are described so vividly that we can imagine the process of traveling deeper into the mind, on the ultimate journey of transformation. In this way, His Holiness shows us how to prepare for that time and, in doing so, how to enrich our time on earth, die without fear or upset, and influence the stage between this life and the next so that we may gain the best possible incarnation. As always, the ultimate goal is to advance along the path to enlightenment. Advice on Dying is an essential tool for attaining that eternal bliss.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-240).
This revelatory volume shows readers how to confront death--along with inevitable currents of life--with a deep-seated preparedness built on virtue, focus, and inner strength.
About the Author
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama,
Tenzin Gyatso, was born in 1935 to a peasant family in northeastern Tibet and was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. The world's foremost Buddhist leader, he travels extensively, speaking eloquently in favor of ecumenical understanding, kindness and compassion, respect for the environment, and, above all, world peace. Jeffrey Hopkins, Ph.D.,
served for a decade as the interpreter for the Dalai Lama. A Buddhist scholar and the author of more than thirty-five books and translations, he is emeritus professor of Tibetan and Buddhist studies at the University of Virginia, where he founded the largest academic program of Tibetan Buddhist studies in the West.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Jeffrey Hopkins, Ph.D.
1. Awareness of Death
2. Liberation from Fear
3. Preparing to Die
4. Removing Obstacles to a Favorable Death
5. Gaining Favorable Conditions for the Time of Death
6. Meditating While Dying
7. The Inner Structure
8. The Clear Light of Death
9. Reacting to the Intermediate State
10. Taking a Positive Rebirth
11. Daily Reflection on the Poem
Outline of the Poem and Summary Advice