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

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

xviPREFACEJamyang Khyentse was acclaimed as the authority on them all.He was, for everyone who knew or heard about him, theembodiment of Tibetan Buddhism, a living proof of howsomeone who had realized the teachings and completed theirpractice would be.I have heard that my master said that I would help continuehis work, and certainly he always treated me like hisown son. I feel that what I have been able to achieve now inmy work, and the audience I have been able to reach, is aripening of the blessing he gave me.All my earliest memories are of him. He was the environmentin which I grew up, and his influence dominated mychildhood. He was like a father to me. He would grant meanything I asked. His spiritual consort, Khandro TseringChödrön, who is also my aunt, used to say: "Don't disturbRinpoche, he might be busy," 1 but I would always want to bethere next to him, and he was happy to have me with him.I would pester him with questions all the time, and he alwaysanswered me patiently. I was a naughty child; none of mytutors were able to discipline me. Whenever they tried tobeat me, I would run to my master and climb up behindhim, where no one would dare to go. Crouching there,I felt proud and pleased with myself; he would just laugh.Then one day, without my knowledge, my tutor pleadedwith him, explaining that for my own benefit this could notgo on. The next time I fled to hide, my tutor came into theroom, did three prostrations to my master, and draggedme out. I remember thinking, as I was hauled out of theroom, how strange it was that he did not seem to be afraidof my master.Jamyang Khyentse used to live in the room where his previousincarnation had seen his visions and launched the renaissanceof culture and spirituality that swept through easternTibet in the last century. It was a wonderful room, not particularlylarge but with a magical atmosphere, full of sacredobjects, paintings, and books. They called it "the heaven of thebuddhas," "the room of empowerment," and if there is oneplace that I remember in Tibet, it is that room. My master saton a low seat made of wood and strips of leather, and I satnext to him. I would refuse to eat if it was not from his bowl.In the small bedroom close by, there was a veranda, but itwas always quite dark, and there was always a kettle with teabubbling away on a little stove in the comer. Usually I slept

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