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

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

INTRODUCTIONxiiiour attitudes toward death and in the kind of care we as asociety offer to the dying and the bereaved. Public awarenessof death and the many issues surrounding dying has beenheightened. Books, Web sites, conferences, serious radio andtelevision series, films, and support groups have all contributedto a greater openness toward looking into death. There hasbeen a considerable expansion in hospice work and palliativecare, and this has been the period during which, in somecountries, the whole field of care for the dying has beenopened up. Initiatives of many kinds have taken place,inspired by courageous men and women, for whom I havethe greatest respect and admiration. Meanwhile, there havebeen more and more requests for those working in the Buddhisttradition to take part in projects and explore how theycan contribute.A number of my friends and students have gradually createdan international program of education and training basedon the teachings in this book and designed to offer spiritualcare to the dying, their families, and those who care for them.We offer courses for the medical profession and the public,coordinate volunteers, and have begun to work hand in handwith hospitals, clinics, hospices, and universities. What isencouraging is that there is a growing recognition everywherethat spiritual issues are central to the care of the dying, and insome countries a number of medical schools now offercourses in spirituality and medicine. Yet, I am told, surveysshow that denial of death still prevails, and we are still lackingin our ability to offer spiritual help and care for the dying andanswer their deepest needs. The kind of death we have is soimportant. Death is the most crucial moment of our lives, andeach and every one of us should be able to die in peace andfulfillment, knowing that we will be surrounded by the best inspiritual care.If The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying has played somesmall part in helping us look at how we deal with our owndeath and that of those around us, it is an answer to myprayers, and I am deeply moved and grateful. It is still mydream that the teachings presented here be made available topeople everywhere, of all ages, and at all levels of education.My original hope for this book was that it would help inspirea quiet revolution in the whole way we look at death andcare for the dying, and so the whole way we look at life andcare for the living. Our need for spiritual transformation and totake responsibility, in the truest sense, for ourselves and others

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