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

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

210 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING3. Now, as you breathe in, visualize this mass of blacksmoke dissolves, with your in-breath, into the very core ofyour self-grasping at your heart. There it destroys completelyall traces of self-cherishing, thereby purifying all your negativekarma.4. Imagine now that your self-cherishing has beendestroyed, that the heart of your enlightened mind, your Bodhichitta,is fully revealed. As you breathe out, then, imaginethat you are sending out its brilliant, cooling light of peace,joy, happiness, and ultimate well-being to your friend in pain,and that its rays are purifying all their negative karma.Here I find it inspiring to imagine, as Shantideva suggests,that your Bodhichitta has transformed your heart, or yourwhole body and being itself, into a dazzling, wish-fulfillingjewel, a jewel that can grant the desires and wishes of anyone,and provide exactly what he or she longs for and needs. Truecompassion is the wish-fulfilling jewel because it has theinherent power to give precisely to each being whatever thatbeing most needs, and so alleviate his or her suffering, andbring about his or her true fulfillment.5. So at the moment the light of your Bodhichitta streamsout to touch your friend in pain, it is essential to feel a firmconviction that all of his or her negative karma has been purified,and a deep, lasting joy that he or she has been totallyfreed of suffering and pain.Then, as you go on breathing normally, in and out, continuesteadily with this practice.Practicing Tonglen on one friend in pain helps you to beginthe process of gradually widening the circle of compassion totake on the suffering and purify the karma of all beings, andto give them all your happiness, well-being, joy, and peace ofmind. This is the wonderful goal of Tonglen practice, and in alarger sense, of the whole path of compassion.TONGLEN FOR A DYING PERSONNow I think you can begin to see how Tonglen could bedirected specifically toward helping the dying, how muchstrength and confidence it could give you when you come tohelp them, and how much actual transforming help it couldoffer them.I have given you the main Tonglen practice. Imagine now,in the place of your friend in pain, the person who is dying.

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