The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

realjannaweiss

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

Preface

I WAS BORN IN TIBET, and I was six months

old when I entered the monastery of my master Jamyang

Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, in the province of Kham. In Tibet we

have a unique tradition of finding the reincarnations of great

masters who have passed away. They are chosen young and

given a special education to train them to become the teachers

of the future. I was given the name Sogyal, even though it

was only later that my master recognized me as the incarnation

of Tertön Sogyal, a renowned mystic who was one of his

own teachers and a master of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.

My master, Jamyang Khyentse, was tall for a Tibetan, and

he always seemed to stand a good head above others in a

crowd. He had silver hair, cut very short, and kind eyes that

glowed with humor. His ears were long, like those of the Buddha.

But what you noticed most about him was his presence.

His glance and bearing told you that he was a wise and holy

man. He had a rich, deep, enchanting voice, and when he

taught his head would tilt slightly backward and the teaching

would flow from him in a stream of eloquence and poetry.

And for all the respect and even awe he commanded, there

was humility in everything he did.

Jamyang Khyentse is the ground of my life, and the inspiration

of this book. He was the incarnation of a master who

had transformed the practice of Buddhism in our country. In

Tibet it was never enough simply to have the name of an

incarnation, you always had to earn respect, through your

learning and through your spiritual practice. My master spent

years in retreat, and many miraculous stories are told about

him. He had profound knowledge and spiritual realization, and

I came to discover that he was like an encyclopedia of wisdom,

and knew the answer to any question you might ask

him. There were many spiritual traditions in Tibet, but

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