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The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller: 20th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Jun 26 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1REV edition (June 26 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062508342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062508348
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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In 1927, Walter Evans-Wentz published his translation of an obscure Tibetan Nyingma text and called it the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Popular Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche has transformed that ancient text, conveying a perennial philosophy that is at once religious, scientific, and practical. Through extraordinary anecdotes and stories from religious traditions East and West, Rinpoche introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, moving gradually to the topics of death and dying. Death turns out to be less of a crisis and more of an opportunity. Concepts such as reincarnation, karma, and bardo and practices such as meditation, tonglen, and phowa teach us how to face death constructively. As a result, life becomes much richer. Like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Sogyal Rinpoche opens the door to a full experience of death. It is up to the reader to walk through. --Brian Bruya

From Publishers Weekly

This modern interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead outlines a path for spiritual growth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you look at death as a transition state from where you are now, to where "you" will be when you have exceeded your body's limits, then this book provides a guide to understanding some of that journey. This book provides one with a new viewpoint on how life and death are connected. I found it fascinating and very helpful in answering many of my own questions about what we can expect in the dying process. The level of detail is quite remarkable and can only be attributed to the few enlightened beings that have experienced some of this process and found a way to share that experience with those of us still here. The scary part is how reading this can bring back memories of actually being in the "between" state and those memories are what help validate the book's message. If you only read one book this lifetime, perhaps this should be the one.
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Format: Paperback
After I had a dream I saw myself dying in a very specific way, I looked for an answer and I have been recommended this book. I thought it would take me forever to read it but it took me only two days to go through it. Based on the advice of my mom who is an advanced buddhist student, I read it without trying to analyse it. And it was great. The book is easy to read, it's like a story and you just keep on reading. I learned a lot about the Bardo and had a great explanation for my dream. It's a great book to start your Buddhist teachings with. Everything makes sense. It's been 2 weeks I read it and still all the stories are coming back into my head. I am still digesting this wonderful book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the process of dying and living.
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Format: Paperback
This book is like an armour for those like minded people that want a deeper understanding of life and the nature of mind. Sogyal Rinpoche takes lengths to explain in detailed chapters, the MEANING and PURPOSE of life, death and dying; how we can use our true nature of mind to overcome difficulties, and use compassion and meditation to become enlightened in this life. This is a serious book for those that want to follow the spiritual path, of believing and listening to the inner self and overcoming obstacles by healing one's self first. Sogyal Rinpoche has a lot of wisdom to teach and share through his words, and you will find that the end of the last page, you had everything to gain.
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Format: Paperback
There's a lot of very interesting material in this book. I found descriptions of the human condition and basic tenets of Buddhism to be intelligently written, and to be inspiring at times. However, I'd like to issue a warning to skeptical people like me who have little interest in unproven or unprovable opinions and expressions of "faith" in their Buddhism. This book spends a lot of time on Tibetan ritual. It cites numerous examples of things the author has seen that seem to prove reincarnation, the possibility and power of enlightenment, karma, near death experiences, etc. When enlightened monks die, did you know that their bodies often don't rot? Or that their bodies disappear into thin air, or that rainbows appear thousands of miles away? That dead monks bodies stay warm for weeks? These things may or may not be true, but I'm just skeptical enough to not want to take the author's word for them. If you tackle this book, brace yourself to read about a lot of belief topics, and then prepare to be accused of being too cynical and capitive of your own ego for doubting it. I would categorize this book as religious Buddhism, as opposed to philosophical Buddhism. An aside: the author's reverence and love for his teachers and his faith is truly touching. His knowledge is great, his love is great, but I'm not sure that makes him the best possible reporter for those who are seeking truth instead of opinion.
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By A Customer on March 13 2004
Format: Paperback
All of the above reviews that I have sampled, are falling into a trap many 'western' philosophers get caught in. The psychologist Jung saw only the exoteric meaning. This is not a book on the act of actually dying physically, it is all a metaphor to confuse the non-initiates. The book is about ego-loss, specifically 'non-game ectasy' ego-loss. It is the death dying and rebirth of the ego. The 3 bardo's just represent states that are commonly encountered in the journey. The goal is to die, transcend briefly, and then the ego is reborn and the choice lies in ascending to a higher state (permanent growth) or to go to a lower level (or the same/similiar). That is the esoteric meaning, the entire book is metaphorical, if you aren't aquainted with altered consciousness then you will be lost. Useful in psychadelic ego-loss as well.
The book itself is an excellent guide, I recommend strongly to pick up a version of The book of the dead if you seek consciousness alteration, and/or ego-loss.
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Format: Paperback
Using anecdotes and stories and the inspiration of Tibetan Buddhism, Sogyul writes a manual for life and death, providing a clear and inspiring introduction to the practice of meditation, to the nature of mind, to karma and rebirth, and to compassionate love and care for the dying, and ultimately how to face our own death. Focusing on death will lead to a much richer life.

One of the few books I have read many times, it provides understanding and approaches to dealing with the illness and death of loved ones. I found the writing style clear and understandable. I especially liked the step-by-step meditation exercises.
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