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

realjannaweiss

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

330 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

the environment around them. This coincides with what has

already been said about the Tibetan Book of the Dead:

"I remember coming round from the anesthetic and then

drifting off and finding myself out of my body, over the bed

looking down at my carcass. I was aware only of being a

brain and eyes, I do not remember having a body." 15

A man who had suffered a heart attack told Kenneth Ring:

"It seemed like I was up there in space and just my mind was

active. No body feeling, just like my brain was up in space. I

had nothing but my mind. Weightless, I had nothing." 16

2. Helplessly Watching Relatives

I have described how, in the bardo of becoming, the dead

are able to see and hear their living relatives, but are unable,

sometimes frustratingly, to communicate with them. A

woman from Florida told Michael Sabom how she looked

down on her mother from a point near the ceiling: "The

biggest thing I remember was that I felt so sad that I couldn't

somehow let her know that I was all right. Somehow I knew

that I was all right, but I didn't know how to tell her .. ." 17

"I remember seeing them down the hall... my wife, my

oldest son and my oldest daughter and the doctor ... I didn't

know why they were crying." 18

And a woman told Michael Sabom: "I was sitting way up

there looking at myself convulsing and my mother and my

maid screaming and yelling because they thought I was

dead. I felt so sorry for them,... just deep, deep sadness.

But I felt I was free up there and there was no reason for

suffering." 19

3. Perfect Form, Mobility, and Clairvoyance

The mental body in the bardo of becoming is described in

the Tibetan Book of the Dead as being "like a body of the

golden age," and as having almost supernatural mobility and

clairvoyance. The near-death experiencers also find that the

form they have is complete and in the prime of life:

"I was floating and I was a much younger man ... The

impression I got was that I was able to see myself some way

through a reflection or something where I was twenty years

younger than what I actually was." 20

They find also that they can travel instantaneously, simply

by the power of thought. A Vietnam veteran told Michael

Sabom:

"I felt like I could have thought myself anywhere I wanted

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