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

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

PrefaceI WAS BORN IN TIBET, and I was six monthsold when I entered the monastery of my master JamyangKhyentse Chökyi Lodrö, in the province of Kham. In Tibet wehave a unique tradition of finding the reincarnations of greatmasters who have passed away. They are chosen young andgiven a special education to train them to become the teachersof the future. I was given the name Sogyal, even though itwas only later that my master recognized me as the incarnationof Tertön Sogyal, a renowned mystic who was one of hisown teachers and a master of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.My master, Jamyang Khyentse, was tall for a Tibetan, andhe always seemed to stand a good head above others in acrowd. He had silver hair, cut very short, and kind eyes thatglowed with humor. His ears were long, like those of the Buddha.But what you noticed most about him was his presence.His glance and bearing told you that he was a wise and holyman. He had a rich, deep, enchanting voice, and when hetaught his head would tilt slightly backward and the teachingwould flow from him in a stream of eloquence and poetry.And for all the respect and even awe he commanded, therewas humility in everything he did.Jamyang Khyentse is the ground of my life, and the inspirationof this book. He was the incarnation of a master whohad transformed the practice of Buddhism in our country. InTibet it was never enough simply to have the name of anincarnation, you always had to earn respect, through yourlearning and through your spiritual practice. My master spentyears in retreat, and many miraculous stories are told abouthim. He had profound knowledge and spiritual realization, andI came to discover that he was like an encyclopedia of wisdom,and knew the answer to any question you might askhim. There were many spiritual traditions in Tibet, butxv

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