The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

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Könchok Thrinley
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The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:30 pm

Hi,

what are your opinions on the informations (especially practical ones) in the "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying"? I know the author is well... better not to discuss. But! When my father has passed away the book really helped me a lot, so I am wondering what people in general think about the book.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by SonamTashi » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:38 am

I have not read it, so I don't have a personal opinion about it. But I have seen many people praise it quite highly. My own teachers recommend it a lot. Without getting into the controversy, I've heard that much of the content doesn't directly come from him. That being said, even if it did, a person can have many issues and faults and still know a lot about the dharma.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:17 pm

SonamTashi wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:38 am
I've heard that much of the content doesn't directly come from him.
He certainly didn’t sit down and write it himself

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Simon E. » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:31 pm

I think the evidence points to the fact that the late controversial “author” had very little to do with the finished work apart from giving it his seal of approval. It was largely the work of Andrew Harvey and Patrick Gaffney..the named “author” was to give it credibility.. being a Lama and all. Which seems ironic now.
I wonder whether future additions might emphasise the de facto authors..?
Anyway, I think it is an excellent resource..
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:08 pm

Interesting.

I read it a while back. Don't have any specific recollection about it, but do recall viewing it favorably.

When the "controversy" went down, I removed it from the bookshelf - I didn't want it to negatively perfume the other texts. LOL

Knowing that its actually the work of others ameliorates some of my concerns... Its not going back on the shelf with that attributed authorship, though.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by well wisher » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:32 pm

Just wanted to confirm: does the Tibetian book of living and dying mention about following clear bright lights as guides during bardo / after-life spirit process? And to avoid the smoky hazy or dull lights.

I have read some Chinese translations books at my local Mahayana Buddhist temple before, and the books also mentioned similar topics in regards to using the brightness and different colour of the lights seen after death as guides. And of course prayers by family / relatives/ friends would help a lot for the deceased as well, to guide them towards more favourable rebirth.

I am not sure if this view and canonical across various Buddhist schools, or is this view only accepted for some schools.

Sample online source (not sure if fully accurate either):
https://www.near-death.com/religion/bud ... -dead.html

On the second day, there appears the second-highest God in the Buddhist pantheon - in fact, he is actually the Second Person in the literal Buddhist Holy Trinity. At the same time, there dawns a smoky light from hell; and here we note that, just as the Buddhist heaven is not a permanent, eternal state, neither is its hell. Even the most wretched souls will eventually work their way out of even the deepest pit of hell, just as even the highest and purest souls will eventually lose their footing in heaven and descend again into the cycle of death and rebirth. Liberation is the only way out.

Once again, if the soul responds to the "dazzling white light" of the second God with the joy of a pure heart, he will be liberated thereby; but if he specifically reacts with ANGER from having indulged in this vice on Earth, he will recoil from the light in fear and be drawn into hell.
Feel free to offer more accurate sources or more translations, if anybody is aware of any.

Wishing all sentient beings well, with liberation from all sufferings and samsaric reincarnations - well wisher

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:14 pm

I really liked the DC - oriented one:

https://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Book-Dea ... 1583945555

though I did not get all the way through it last time I tried. The Fremantle/Trungpa one was something I grew up reading, even long before Dharma, just thought it was cool.

I have not checked this version, partially because of the authorship, is it known to be particularly good or something?
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Simon E. » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:47 pm

Well Gaffney has a real in depth knowledge of the Vajrayana and is a respected translator, as well as being a long time practitioner, and Harvey writes beautiful and readable prose, so it is very accessible.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:33 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:14 pm
I really liked the DC - oriented one:

https://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Book-Dea ... 1583945555

though I did not get all the way through it last time I tried. The Fremantle/Trungpa one was something I grew up reading, even long before Dharma, just thought it was cool.

I have not checked this version, partially because of the authorship, is it known to be particularly good or something?
It has nothing to do with Bardö Thödol, it is more of an experiential/instructional book with some recollections by sogyal and some really interesting thoughts on death and accepting it. Really nice book.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:51 pm

Miroku wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:33 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:14 pm
I really liked the DC - oriented one:

https://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Book-Dea ... 1583945555

though I did not get all the way through it last time I tried. The Fremantle/Trungpa one was something I grew up reading, even long before Dharma, just thought it was cool.

I have not checked this version, partially because of the authorship, is it known to be particularly good or something?
It has nothing to do with Bardö Thödol, it is more of an experiential/instructional book with some recollections by sogyal and some really interesting thoughts on death and accepting it. Really nice book.
Ah, ok.
Only thing I've ever owned by him was "Dzogchen and Padmasambhava", which I found really unremarkable, though not bad by any means. I will check this out from the library. I have to admit hat reading something ostensibly by him will make me feel a little yucky.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Simon E. » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:01 pm

Yes that’s a good summary. (Miroku).
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - opinions

Post by Simon E. » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:23 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:51 pm
Miroku wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:33 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:14 pm
I really liked the DC - oriented one:

https://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Book-Dea ... 1583945555

though I did not get all the way through it last time I tried. The Fremantle/Trungpa one was something I grew up reading, even long before Dharma, just thought it was cool.

I have not checked this version, partially because of the authorship, is it known to be particularly good or something?
It has nothing to do with Bardö Thödol, it is more of an experiential/instructional book with some recollections by sogyal and some really interesting thoughts on death and accepting it. Really nice book.
Ah, ok.
Only thing I've ever owned by him was "Dzogchen and Padmasambhava", which I found really unremarkable, though not bad by any means. I will check this out from the library. I have to admit hat reading something ostensibly by him will make me feel a little yucky.
Honestly Johnny they quote him here and there but in reality it’s about 98% Sog free.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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