Synopses & Reviews
"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.
Now in paperback, this uplifting book teaches readers how thinking about death not only prepares one for dying, but can also bring a new mindfulness and joy to everyday living.
About the Author
Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.
His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.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.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