This Book is based on a lecture given in Salem, Oregon, under the sponsorship of the Growth Place. Those who attended that lecture came from a variety of spiritual and intellectual disciplines to explore the topic of death from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective.
Every religion has its own teachings on the nature of death and its own methods for dealing with the death transition. My teachings come from an unbroken lineage of Buddhist meditation masters that extends back more than 2,500 years to Shakymuni Buddha. The teachings of these masters have enduring relevance, because they are based on actual meditative insights into the passage of death to life.
Buddhist masters see death not as an isolated event but as one more change in a never-ending cycle of changes. Those who hear Tibetan Buddhist teachings on death have the fortunate opportunity to learn to use their mind's power to direct these changes and to gain control over their lives-and over death. Death is a potent reminder to use life well.
The original lecture transcript has been reworked to clarify and expand certain points. A number of my students have helped in the preparation of this book, but special acknowledgement goes to Tsering Everest, who translated the original lecture.
Just as I hope that those at the lecture book home something of value that they could integrate into their own disciplines, so it is my heartfelt with that you, likewise, will find this book useful in thinking about your life an preparing for your death. Beyond this, it is my wish that any positive influence these teachings my have on your mind expand outwardly as pure waves of compassion toward all others.
Back of the Book
Since its original publication in 1987, this book has fulfilled the wish of His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche that it provide brief but profound instructions on preparing for death. Because it is short and accessible, it has been read by a wide range of people, may of whom have commented that it is a book they feel comfortable giving to their elderly parents or to friends who are dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
A rich array of literature about the transitions of death is now available from Buddhists and teachers in other traditions, as well as from hospice workers, counselors, and memoir writers. Life in Relation to Death maintains its place among these writings by the practicality of its advice and by the powerful, beneficial intention of Chagdud Rinpoche.
This edition provides information on preparing a durable power of attorney for health care, a living will, and a letter of instructions regarding final arrangements.
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