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

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

COMPASSION: THE WISH-FULFILLING JEWEL 211Go through exactly the same stages as in the main Tonglen. Inthe visualization in part 3, imagine every aspect of the dyingperson's suffering and fear gathering into the mass of hot,black, grimy smoke, which you then breathe in; and considertoo that by so doing, as before, you are destroying your selfgraspingand self-cherishing, and purifying all your negativekarma.Now, as before, imagine, as you are breathing out, the lightof the heart of your enlightened mind is filling the dying personwith its peace and well-being and purifying all his or hernegative karma.At every moment in our lives we need compassion, butwhat more urgent moment could there be than when we aredying? What more wonderful and consoling gift could yougive to the dying than the knowledge that they are beingprayed for, and that you are taking on their suffering andpurifying their negative karma through your practice forthem?Even if they don't know that you are practicing for them,you are helping them and in turn they are helping you. Theyare actively helping you to develop your compassion, and sopurify and heal yourself. For me, every dying person is ateacher, giving all those who help them a chance to transformthemselves through developing their compassion. 8THE HOLY SECRETYou may be asking yourself this question: "If I take in thesufferings and pain of others, won't I risk harming myself?" Ifyou feel at all hesitant or feel that you don't yet have thestrength or courage of compassion to do the practice of Tonglenwholeheartedly, don't worry. Just imagine yourself doingit, saying in your mind, "As I breathe in, I am taking on thesuffering of my friend or others, and as I breathe out, I amgiving him or them happiness and peace." Just simply doingthis might create the climate in your mind that could inspireyou to begin practicing Tonglen directly.If you feel at all hesitant or unable to do the full practice,you can also do Tonglen in the form of a simple prayer, deeplyaspiring to help beings. You might pray for example: "May Ibe able to take on the suffering of others; may I be able togive my well-being and happiness to them." This prayer willcreate auspicious conditions for the awakening of your powerto do Tonglen in the future.

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