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The Tibetan Book Of Living & Dying

shep83shep83 wisbech, cambigshire, uk Explorer

This book has changed my life, has anyone else read it and what are your thoughts and feelings ?

Gus123

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I have it but must confess I started reading it but then stopped.
    Sounds like I should finish it. I have heard others (@federica ?) say something similar.

  • Hello <3

    I read it. Thought it was very good and an important contribution from Tibetan Buddhism to the study of the death process.

    How has it changed your life?

    shep83
  • shep83shep83 wisbech, cambigshire, uk Explorer

    @lobster said:
    Hello <3

    I read it. Thought it was very good and an important contribution from Tibetan Buddhism to the study of the death process.

    How has it changed your life?

    I suppose its just made me looking at things differently, my grandfather is currently dying from emphazima so it help me come to terms with that, some of the chapters felt as though they had been written Specifically for me, I must confess some of it did go straight over my head but I intend to give it a second read through soon..

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 2016

    Second read sounds like a good plan. It might be helpful to read up a bit on Tantra as practiced in Fantasy Tibetan Buddhism before a second reading.

    For example:
    http://studybuddhism.com/web/en/

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather. The very personal writing is likey due to the skills of the likely ghost writers - Andrew Harvey and Patrick Gaffney.

    I personally would read up on Thanatology. But that is the science geek in me ... B)

    A lot of people find this book transformative. <3

    shep83
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited November 2016

    I found it a bit of a tome. I started reading it but was distracted away and never did get around to finishing it. I did watch the accompanying DVD with two very good 45 minute documentaries narrated by Leonard Cohen (both are now on YouTube).

    Recently I have been listening to the audiobook, in an attempt to get through the text. It's been a bit easier going the second time around.

    I do find the description of the Bardo from the Tibetan Book of the Dead rather archaic. Perhaps to a Tibetan from around 1200 AD this would have been a sensible representation of the afterlife, but I think modern minds might generate quite different 'deities'.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 2016

    @Kerome perhaps if the bardo states was available as a comic?
    http://ultraculture.org/blog/2015/04/09/tibetan-buddhist-afterlife-bardo-comix/

    Updated enough? o:)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @lobster said:
    @Kerome perhaps if the bardo states was available as a comic?
    http://ultraculture.org/blog/2015/04/09/tibetan-buddhist-afterlife-bardo-comix/

    Updated enough? o:)

    It's a fun cartoon, I liked it. But it still sticks with the fact that you see a bunch of buddha's and their malevolent aspects... what would the Bardo look like to say an atheist?

    If you look at near death experiences for example many of them seem to start with re-union with loved ones and a kind of life review. Yes, there is a bright light, and it might represent entry into Nirvana, but what happens around that bright light seems to be quite different from the Bardo as the Tibetans have it.

  • atheists are likely to have similar experiences ...
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/peace-of-mind-near-death/

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @lobster said:
    atheists are likely to have similar experiences ...
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/peace-of-mind-near-death/

    Lol, yes, they have been trying to get people to believe NDEs are a hallucination for some time. However, given the breadth and length of some experiences that seems very unlikely to me. Look at for example Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven (poorly chosen book title aside).

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @shep83 said:
    This book has changed my life, has anyone else read it and what are your thoughts and feelings ?

    Yup, much the same here. My mother (A good Roman Catholic, church-going woman, with an amazingly open mind) sent to me as a gift with a note saying "I thought you might be interested in this...."
    I began to read it, and had the distinct impression it had been written specifically for me, with just me in mind... I began to highlight the passages which resonated with me, but gave up, as there soon seemed to be more coloured text than that left plain.
    Although I err more towards Theravada now, at the time, it was an incredibly powerful book which, as with you, completely changed the direction in which i was 'travelling'.

    This was in around 1992 or 3, and I now have the 10th anniversary edition too...brilliant book.

  • shep83shep83 wisbech, cambigshire, uk Explorer

    I found the chapters about the relationship between a master and his student particularly difficult to grasp..

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It was one of the first books I read, and continues to be one I go back to again and again when someone is ill and/or dying, or has died. It explained things in a way I could grasp and use and is very easy to find what you want later on. My copy is about to fall apart, is entirely dog-eared and highlighted. Excellent.

    shep83
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, I know... it's a difficult thing to get your head round, and tbh, I don't think it all sank in...But on the whole, because I had not encountered Buddhism in any great degree, it all clouted me across the head like a jelly sledgehammer... i made an impact but it was entirely benevolent!

    shep83
  • I read it but haven't found it that interesting (sorry!) but I know of someone whose brother, father and best friend died within 18 months of each other. She took up drugs as a result. Someone handed her the TBLD and she absorbed the book and is now a Buddhist nun having done the 3 year retreat. Her mother said she is 'truly beautiful'.

    silvershep83
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I think it just depends on how things are rolling with you ('you' generic, not 'you' specific) as to how things like books, sayings, films whatever, resonate. It leaves some people cold (as in your case), but for others it changed their world (as in the case of your acquaintance....)

    It got to me at the right moment. And everything is grist to the mill...

    shep83
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    It was required reading when I was in Rigpa, though I never got to the end of it. Some of the early chapters were helpful, though it felt like basic stuff and nothing special.

  • i am at that stage in my life where i, again, find it useful to meditate on being dead. the Tibetan Book of Dying has had some influence on my meditations, in that i can see some of how the story developed. i look forward to reviewing the Book of Living and Dying, as i feel sure that how we are living is paramount in how we die.

    may you have a larger pile of white stones than black ones~! :)

    shep83
  • i have read the book 17 or 18 years ago
    by the time i read it my english was poor and i could understand half of it or may be 1/4 of it
    i would like to read it again with the improved english and improved dhamma

    i'll try to find it, read it and come back to this thread again

    thanks for reminding about the book

    shep83
  • Maybe read in your own language? I speak a couple of languages but English is always the best for me because it's my mother tongue.

    • French: Le Livre Tibétain de la Vie et de la Mort, Nouvelle édition augmentée, La Table Ronde, 2003 (LGF poche, 2005).
    • German: Das tibetische Buch vom Leben und vom Sterben, Fischer Taschenbuch Vlg., 2004.
    • Spanish: El Libro Tibetano De La Vida Y La Muerte, Edición revisada y actualizada, Ediciones Urano, 2006.
    • Chinese (Mainland China and Taiwan), Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Finnish, Turkish, Greek, Thai, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, Hungarian, Estonian, Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Czech, Bulgarian, Polish, Romanian, Catalan, Indonesian (Bahasa), Vietnamese.

    rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=The_Tibetan_Book_of_Living_and_Dying

    upekka
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited November 2016

    immense gratitude to U

    Book Title: Thibbatha Malapotha is the title in sri lankan language

    shep83
  • I liked the cartoon version. Never saw that before. As an allegory for the consequences of various sins or faults of our personalities, it ranks up there with the Divine Comedy as an important piece of religious literature. I found a copy many years ago, never got very far with it (I think the translation made it hard to follow) and lost it since then.

    shep83
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