Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

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Tiago Simões
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Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Tiago Simões » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:49 pm

What's the one you would recommend to gain more knowledge on death and dying?
Then, the Licchavi Vimalakīrti spoke to the elder Śāriputra and the great disciples: “Reverends, eat of the food of the Tathāgata! It is ambrosia perfumed by the great compassion. But do not fix your minds in narrow-minded attitudes, lest you be unable to receive its gift.”

- Chapter 9, The Feast Brought by the Emanated Incarnation
The Noble Mahāyāna Sūtra “The Teaching of Vimalakīrti”

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SonamTashi
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by SonamTashi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:43 pm

I had Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth by Tulku Thondup recommended to me, and it is fantastic. It is detailed but I found it easy to understand. It covers everything to do with death, as well as karma, meditations, and phowa/rituals for the dead.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:28 pm

'Mirror of Mindfulness' is highly recommended.

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Malcolm
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:32 pm

Tiago Simões wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:49 pm
What's the one you would recommend to gain more knowledge on death and dying?
The best description of the death process can be found in ChNN's Birth, Life, and Death. It is the clearest and most profound resource in English.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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heart
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by heart » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:12 pm

Tiago Simões wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:49 pm
What's the one you would recommend to gain more knowledge on death and dying?
https://www.namsebangdzo.com/Bardo_Guid ... /10468.htm

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

philji
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by philji » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:16 pm

Currently reading Anyen Rinpoche’s Dying with Confidence which has a lot of practical advice and support for one either going through the death process or supporting someone who is.

Tiago Simões
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Tiago Simões » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:40 pm

I was hoping for a more homogeneous response... :tongue:
:thanks:
Then, the Licchavi Vimalakīrti spoke to the elder Śāriputra and the great disciples: “Reverends, eat of the food of the Tathāgata! It is ambrosia perfumed by the great compassion. But do not fix your minds in narrow-minded attitudes, lest you be unable to receive its gift.”

- Chapter 9, The Feast Brought by the Emanated Incarnation
The Noble Mahāyāna Sūtra “The Teaching of Vimalakīrti”

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Josef
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Josef » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:26 am

philji wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:16 pm
Currently reading Anyen Rinpoche’s Dying with Confidence which has a lot of practical advice and support for one either going through the death process or supporting someone who is.
That's a wonderful and approachable book.
It was also an absolute delight to work on with Rinpoche and Allison.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm

The Tibetan Book of the Dead. This is a translation of the bardo thodrol by Gyurme Dorje. I don't know why they kept the Evans-Wentz title, but this is not like the Evans-Wentz book. This is a good translation and contains many other sections from Karma Lingpa's zab chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol that weren't translated before. I'd also recommend Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth for a more contemporary read. The dissolution of elements are explained perfectly in Tulku Thondup's book, you don't need the Bardo Thodrol just for that. Karma Lingpa goes into a lot more detail on the visions in the bardos and how to practice these things if you're engaged in tantra.

Birth, Life, and Death by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is an incredible book generally speaking, but doesn't have as much material on death as the other two.

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lelopa
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by lelopa » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:14 am

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm
The Tibetan Book of the Dead. This is a translation of the bardo thodrol by Gyurme Dorje. I don't know why they kept the Evans-Wentz title, but this is not like the Evans-Wentz book. This is a good translation and contains many other sections from Karma Lingpa's zab chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol that weren't translated before. I'd also recommend Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth for a more contemporary read. The dissolution of elements are explained perfectly in Tulku Thondup's book, you don't need the Bardo Thodrol just for that. Karma Lingpa goes into a lot more detail on the visions in the bardos and how to practice these things if you're engaged in tantra.

Birth, Life, and Death by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is an incredible book generally speaking, but doesn't have as much material on death as the other two.
I second that!!
ཨོཾ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་བོ་དྷི་ཙིཏྟ་མ་ཧཱ་སུ་ཁ་ཛྙཱ་ན་དྷཱརྟུ་ཨཱཿ

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Malcolm
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:01 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Birth, Life, and Death by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is an incredible book generally speaking, but doesn't have as much material on death as the other two.
Read it again more carefully. :-)
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Quay
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Quay » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:13 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:32 pm
Tiago Simões wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:49 pm
What's the one you would recommend to gain more knowledge on death and dying?
The best description of the death process can be found in ChNN's Birth, Life, and Death. It is the clearest and most profound resource in English.
Thanks for this recommendation. I've ordered a copy and look forward to reading it.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:56 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:01 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Birth, Life, and Death by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is an incredible book generally speaking, but doesn't have as much material on death as the other two.
Read it again more carefully. :-)
I just skimmed through it again. It really depends on what OP is looking for. For a more generalized pithy overview, Birth, Life, and Death by Rinpoche probably is better. Everything is in there, that is for sure. But Karma Lingpa does go into a lot more detail. Where Rinpoche simply mentions "Buddhas of the five families", Karma Lingpa goes into explicit detail about their colors, hand implements, etc. I guess for students with some capacity, Rinpoche's instructions really are all you need :smile:

I'm currently studying Karma Lingpa's text with my teacher in LA, so I might be a little biased towards appreciating that.

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mechashivaz
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by mechashivaz » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:21 pm

Tiago Simões wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:49 pm
What's the one you would recommend to gain more knowledge on death and dying?
Robert Thurman has one I found very informative: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between. There's also a companion lecture on audible: Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between.

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Malcolm
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Malcolm » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:49 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:56 am
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:01 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Birth, Life, and Death by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is an incredible book generally speaking, but doesn't have as much material on death as the other two.
Read it again more carefully. :-)
I just skimmed through it again. It really depends on what OP is looking for. For a more generalized pithy overview, Birth, Life, and Death by Rinpoche probably is better. Everything is in there, that is for sure. But Karma Lingpa does go into a lot more detail. Where Rinpoche simply mentions "Buddhas of the five families", Karma Lingpa goes into explicit detail about their colors, hand implements, etc. I guess for students with some capacity, Rinpoche's instructions really are all you need :smile:

I'm currently studying Karma Lingpa's text with my teacher in LA, so I might be a little biased towards appreciating that.
If you see hands and faces in the bardo, it is too late for you.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:49 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:56 am
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:01 pm


Read it again more carefully. :-)
I just skimmed through it again. It really depends on what OP is looking for. For a more generalized pithy overview, Birth, Life, and Death by Rinpoche probably is better. Everything is in there, that is for sure. But Karma Lingpa does go into a lot more detail. Where Rinpoche simply mentions "Buddhas of the five families", Karma Lingpa goes into explicit detail about their colors, hand implements, etc. I guess for students with some capacity, Rinpoche's instructions really are all you need :smile:

I'm currently studying Karma Lingpa's text with my teacher in LA, so I might be a little biased towards appreciating that.
If you see hands and faces in the bardo, it is too late for you.
Too late for rainbow body? Sure. But not too late to be liberated into a Samboghakaya or Nirmanakaya buddhafield.

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Malcolm
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Malcolm » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:26 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:21 pm

Too late for rainbow body? Sure. But not too late to be liberated into a Samboghakaya or Nirmanakaya buddhafield.
You don't need Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo for that. :-)

Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent text, as is Karling Zhitro in general. But sometimes, the essence gets lost in such details.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Sennin
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Sennin » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:55 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:21 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:49 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:56 am


I just skimmed through it again. It really depends on what OP is looking for. For a more generalized pithy overview, Birth, Life, and Death by Rinpoche probably is better. Everything is in there, that is for sure. But Karma Lingpa does go into a lot more detail. Where Rinpoche simply mentions "Buddhas of the five families", Karma Lingpa goes into explicit detail about their colors, hand implements, etc. I guess for students with some capacity, Rinpoche's instructions really are all you need :smile:

I'm currently studying Karma Lingpa's text with my teacher in LA, so I might be a little biased towards appreciating that.
If you see hands and faces in the bardo, it is too late for you.
Too late for rainbow body? Sure. But not too late to be liberated into a Samboghakaya or Nirmanakaya buddhafield.
If I'm not mistaken the difference may lie in awakening in this life; in this very body, juxtaposed to awakening in akanistha.
Namo Guru Bhyaḥ

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:26 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:21 pm

Too late for rainbow body? Sure. But not too late to be liberated into a Samboghakaya or Nirmanakaya buddhafield.
You don't need Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo for that. :-)

Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent text, as is Karling Zhitro in general. But sometimes, the essence gets lost in such details.
Can't argue with any of that. :anjali:

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Vasana
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Re: Best book on the Bardo Thodöl or Death in general

Post by Vasana » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:03 pm

Not a book but a relevant sutra which details the nature of the alaya and the interim state after death.

http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra18.html
  • 大乘顯識經
    Mahāyāna Sūtra of Consciousness Revealed
    Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
    by
    The Tripiṭaka Master Divākara from India


    [...](The Buddha to Bodhisattva, 'Moon-Reality) 'The auspicious precious butter does not have hands, feet, or eyes, but it can retain the strength of the substance, aromas, and flavors of good medicines. In the same way, [ālaya] consciousness can retain one’s good karma and dharma realm. After abandoning the current body, it will manifest wonderful celestial vision through an interim body. It can see the six desire heavens and the sixteen hells. It can see its [interim] body with shapely hands and feet and fine sense organs. It also can see the abandoned corpse and recognize it as the body of its former life. It also can see tall magnificent celestial palaces with various kinds of adornments, surrounded by flowers, fruits, and trees, and covered with vines so radiant and gorgeous that they are like new gold chains set with jewels. Having seen these things, it will be very joyous. Because of great joy and love, [ālaya] consciousness will entrust itself to this [environment].'

    [...]“When a person with good karma abandons his body to assume another body, it is peaceful and painless. It is like a horseman abandoning one horse to ride another. It is like a warrior armed with military strategy. When the enemy troops approach, he puts on his sturdy armor and fearlessly rides off on his steed. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness, supported with one’s roots of goodness, abandons the inhalation and exhalation of this body as well as its spheres, and moves away to experience fabulous pleasures by rebirth in heaven, whether a Brahma heaven or even the top heaven heaven in the form realm.”

    [...]“Great Medicine, you ask what appearance consciousness assumes during the interval after it has abandoned its old body but has not yet accepted a new body. Great Medicine, by analogy, a person’s reflection in the water has no mass to grasp. Yet its hands, feet, facial features, and other shapes are no different from the person’s. The reflection has no mass, nor does it do karmas. It has neither sense of hot or cold nor sense of touch. Nor does it fatigue or have flesh made with the four domains. Nor does it make sounds of speech, sounds of body, or sounds of pain or pleasure. The same is true for the appearance of [ālaya] consciousness after it has abandoned the old body but has not accepted a new body. Great Medicine, this explains how [ālaya] consciousness with a store of good karmas is reborn in heaven.”
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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