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

realjannaweiss

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

xvi PREFACE

Jamyang Khyentse was acclaimed as the authority on them all.

He was, for everyone who knew or heard about him, the

embodiment of Tibetan Buddhism, a living proof of how

someone who had realized the teachings and completed their

practice would be.

I have heard that my master said that I would help continue

his work, and certainly he always treated me like his

own son. I feel that what I have been able to achieve now in

my work, and the audience I have been able to reach, is a

ripening of the blessing he gave me.

All my earliest memories are of him. He was the environment

in which I grew up, and his influence dominated my

childhood. He was like a father to me. He would grant me

anything I asked. His spiritual consort, Khandro Tsering

Chödrön, who is also my aunt, used to say: "Don't disturb

Rinpoche, he might be busy," 1 but I would always want to be

there next to him, and he was happy to have me with him.

I would pester him with questions all the time, and he always

answered me patiently. I was a naughty child; none of my

tutors were able to discipline me. Whenever they tried to

beat me, I would run to my master and climb up behind

him, where no one would dare to go. Crouching there,

I felt proud and pleased with myself; he would just laugh.

Then one day, without my knowledge, my tutor pleaded

with him, explaining that for my own benefit this could not

go on. The next time I fled to hide, my tutor came into the

room, did three prostrations to my master, and dragged

me out. I remember thinking, as I was hauled out of the

room, how strange it was that he did not seem to be afraid

of my master.

Jamyang Khyentse used to live in the room where his previous

incarnation had seen his visions and launched the renaissance

of culture and spirituality that swept through eastern

Tibet in the last century. It was a wonderful room, not particularly

large but with a magical atmosphere, full of sacred

objects, paintings, and books. They called it "the heaven of the

buddhas," "the room of empowerment," and if there is one

place that I remember in Tibet, it is that room. My master sat

on a low seat made of wood and strips of leather, and I sat

next to him. I would refuse to eat if it was not from his bowl.

In the small bedroom close by, there was a veranda, but it

was always quite dark, and there was always a kettle with tea

bubbling away on a little stove in the comer. Usually I slept

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines