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

realjannaweiss

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

NINETEEN

Helping After Death

so OFTEN IN THE MODERN WORLD when someone

dies, one of the deepest sources of anguish for those left behind

to mourn is their conviction that there is nothing they can now

do to help their loved one who has gone, a conviction that only

aggravates and darkens the loneliness of their grief. But this is

not true. There are many, many ways we can help the dead,

and so help ourselves to survive their absence. One of the

unique features of Buddhism, and one of the ways in which the

omniscient skill and compassion of the buddhas is most profoundly

demonstrated, is in the many special practices available

to help a dead person, and so also comfort the bereaved. The

Tibetan Buddhist vision of life and death is an all-encompassing

one, and it shows us clearly that there are ways of helping

people in every conceivable situation, since there are no barriers

whatever between what we call "life" and what we call "death."

The radiant power and warmth of the compassionate heart can

reach out to help in all states and all realms.

WHEN WE CAN HELP

The bardo of becoming, as it has already been described,

may seem a very disturbed and disturbing time. Yet there is

great hope in it. The qualities of the mental body during the

bardo of becoming that make it so vulnerable—its clarity,

mobility, sensitivity, and clairvoyance—also make it particularly

receptive to help from the living. The fact that it has no physical

form or basis makes it very easy to guide. The Tibetan Book of

the Dead compares the mental body to a horse, which can be

readily controlled by a bridle, or to a huge tree trunk, which

may be almost immovable on land, yet once floated in water

can be effortlessly directed wherever you wish.

303

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines