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on April 7, 2017
A heavy book on a heavy topic but we'll worth reading for those exploring others opinions on the deeper meaning of life and the end of life. It was a good step for me in developing my belief system and a search for meaning.
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on December 26, 2016
If there is one book all should read in this life " Tibetan book of living and dying " is this one book. Read and to be read over and over.
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on August 1, 2017
Great book, Thanks
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on August 28, 2016
This book really helped me in my study group. It has had a fairly strong impact on my understanding of mahayana buddhist practice. I would strongly recommend anyone interested in buddhist mahayana traditions read this book, especially of the nyingma lineages but really anyone will benefit from the read. It seems to be written by someone who understands the western mind quite well as the concepts like the 3 supreme methods are laid out in ways that clarified a lot to me versus material translated from modern tibetan teachers.
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on April 23, 2017
Well meaning people criticise the Tibetan model of what happens on the death bed and, by extension, after death, as being unique to Tibet, with no parallels anywhere, and so can't be taken seriously.

But these well meaning pundits can't see the latest phenomenon which is right under their noses. I mean the near death experience. This experience we hear so much about parallels what the Tibetan people are talking about. Indeed, no other spiritual tradition even comes close to a parallel with what is happening today on the hospital trolley.

Sure, the hospital trolley thing isn't a solid after death state, but still, the near death experience, when the heart stops and the brain stops functioning, and granted, the person died for a minute or two, produces intense visual worlds. Even sceptics admit this.

Uniquely, the sceptics have been drawn into a strange corner. Instead of saying it is a real experience, the sceptics argue that the brain, starved of life, produces crazy hallucinations. I find the debates between the believers and the sceptics very surreal indeed!

Now we only know about this strange visual experience because of our scientific technology. Only since the 1970's have we been able to revive patients. Today, the near death experience is so common and even if it is some sort of dream or hallucination, it is still a real sign of something that should not be there and goes against the common sense idea of sick brain equals blackness.

The fact that sceptics are forced to admit the validity of the hallucinations is astonishing too. Sure they point out that the patient was not really dead and so their defence is the experience being some sort of dream, even though they say themselves that the brain wasn't working proper. This is fine, the sceptics do a good job, but they are conceding that big visions happen when they are not supposed to. The logic forces them to conceded a hallucinating sick brain.

The only culture claiming big visions, or if you want, hallucinations, on the death bed are the Tibetans. This is a phenomenal parallel.

We are only at the foot of the mountain. Maybe it is some sort of hallucination and maybe the sceptics are right. But they can't dismiss the fact that, 1000 years ago, a bunch of guys from Tibet are saying that when the person dies, the hallucinations. This is exactly what the hospital trolley people are saying.

Now if they got that right, then surely the extension of all this is right too? I think no one points this out because the implications are far too spooky. That is, hundreds of years ago, the Tibetans were saying the same thing as science, and without modern technology. This is an amazing parallel. It boggles my mind that people can't see the similarity.

Here is the fascinating part. If the Tibetans were able to parallel modern science, then we can't easily dismiss what they say happens after the near death experience. According to the Tibetans, the near death experience isn't a hallucination. Why? Well the visuals carry on into the death experience, followed by the post death experience, then rebirth.

Science will one day catch up I am sure.
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on February 4, 2003
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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on October 31, 2003
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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on July 1, 1998
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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on April 27, 2002
... The authors compassion and wisdom shine through, however I started to find the outlandish claims of the reincarnation process to become tiresome. Essentially the better half of the book is the beginning which is concerned with "living". Here the author provides concrete insights into the nature of our human existence and advice for leading a "good" life. The second half which is concerned with "dying" and its process, really started to become barely tolerable with all the ritualistic and mythical nonsense. It is all presented as if it is fact and beyond dispute, and that you are close minded if you dont just accept it as truth. I'm sorry, I need some real scientific evidence beyond the authors stories and anecdotes if I'm going to believe these claims. More insight and less "religion" would have been better.
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on May 22, 2017
I will recommend it to my friend. It's so sharp. I cut myself the first time I used it. helpful. fast and in time, i need it ,
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