One of the most profound learnings in my personal life came from Sogyal Rinpoche’s book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying based on the Bardo Thodol (in Tibetan) or the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The realization of “each day we are born and each night we die again,” makes it easier to let go of the past and start the evolution process.
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The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying isn’t the only book inspired by the Book of the Dead, another well known book is The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary.
What makes the Bardo Thodol special is that it focuses on the Art of Dying and in doing so teaches one to live a more fulfilling life. With this in mind lets start with what’s in focus, Death.
We have been pushed to believe that the saints, mystics and gods are superhumans. But the truth is all of us have the potential to reach to their levels of being good humans. Its just that the path is so tough to walk, that it becomes easier to feel your job is done by going to a church or temple.
But when was the last time your grand father or his father or generations encountered a person coming down from heaven in a chariot on fire? It’s about time to look within and find the God hidden within.
“Have found also, from my own experience, that it is essential not to take anything too personally. When you least expect it, dying people can make you the target of all their anger and blame. As Elisabeth Kübler-Ross says, anger and blame can “be displaced in all directions, and projected onto the environment at times almost at random.” Do not imagine that this rage is really aimed at you; realizing what fear and grief it springs from will stop you from reacting to it in ways that might damage your relationship. Sometimes” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
It’s important to understand here that we’re all dying, so when Sogyal speaks of dying people he could actually mean that all of us can spread vile. It becomes really easy especially when we’re overworked, burning out and stressed with the rat race we’re running.
Although it isn’t easy, we need to try to put ourselves in the other persons’ shoes, or at least try to get an overview perspective of the situation. Keeping calm with the help of breath work can help with this.
The next quote sums up the entire essence of the post. Most people feel that they are not bound by this reality, we’re all connected yes but today at this moment you are separate. Sogyal calls it an optical delusion, even if it is a hallucination one cannot discount the experience. So while you experience this realm of existence why not expand your boundaries you have set of love and compassion.
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“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying has far more wisdom to offer, but even if the pinches of wisdom above are implemented you will find great results on your path called life.
Here’s an interesting documentary on the Tibetan Book of the Dead that you may enjoy!