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

realjannaweiss

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

SERVANTS OF PEACE 363

my students who lives and works at the center tell you what

happened:

That morning the sky stayed dark longer than usual, and the first

sign of dawn was a deep red line on the distant horizon. We were

going to town; and as we approached the top of our road, the tent

that houses the shrine, pitched on the site of our future temple,

came into view on the crest of the hill on our right Suddenly a

beam of sharp sunlight pierced the half-light and fell directly onto

the white shrine tent, making it glow intensely in the early morning.

We carried on, and as we came to the turning in the road to

take us into town, some sudden impulse made us glance back

toward the tent. By now the sky was light We were astounded. A

brilliant rainbow stretched across the entire valley, its colors so

bright and alive, it felt as though we could reach out and touch it.

Rising up from the horizon on our left, it arched across the sky.

What was mysterious was that there was not a hint of rain—just

the rainbow itself, vivid and radiant against the vast, empty sky. It

was not until the following evening that we heard that this was the

very day that Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche had passed away in

Bhutan. We all felt certain that the rainbow was a sign of his

blessing, descending on us all, and on Lerab Ling.

When Buddha lay dying in a forest grove in Kushinagara,

surrounded by five hundred of his disciples, he said to them,

with his last breath: "It is in the nature of all things that take

form to dissolve again. Strive with your whole being to attain

perfection." Those words have come to me often since the

passing of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Is there any more

poignant teaching on impermanence than the passing of a

supreme master, one who had seemed the very axis of the

world? It made all of us who knew him and were his disciples

feel alone, thrown back upon ourselves. Now it is up to

all of us to carry forward and try to embody as far as we can

that tradition he so nobly represented. It is up to us to do

what the Buddha's disciples did, when left alone in the world

without his radiance: to "strive with our whole being to attain

perfection."

That rainbow that arched over the morning sky of France

and over the valley by Lerab Ling is a sign, I feel, that Dilgo

Khyentse Rinpoche is blessing, and will continue to bless, the

whole world. Freed of his body, he lives now in the unconditioned,

timeless splendor of the Dharmakaya, with the power

all those who attain enlightenment have of being able to help

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