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

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

SPIRITUAL HELP FOR THE DYING 215may never have suspected. The sources of healing and awarenessare deep within each of us, and your task is never underany circumstances to impose your beliefs but to enable themto find these within themselves.Believe as you sit by the dying person that you are sittingby someone who has the true potential to be a buddha. Imaginetheir buddha nature as a shining and stainless mirror, andall their pain and anxiety a thin, gray mist on it that canquickly clear. This will help you to see them as lovable andforgivable, and draw out of you your unconditional love; youwill find this attitude will allow the dying person to openremarkably to you.My master Dudjom Rinpoche used to say that to help adying person is like holding out a hand to someone who is onthe point of falling over, to lift them up. Through the strengthand peace and deep compassionate attention of your presence,you will help them awaken their own strength. The quality ofyour presence at this most vulnerable and extreme moment isall-important. As Cicely Saunders wrote: 'The dying have shedthe masks and superficialities of everyday living and they areall the more open and sensitive because of this. They seethrough all unreality. I remember one man saying, 'No, noreading. I only want what is in your mind and in yourheart.'" 1I never go to the bedside of a dying person without practicingbeforehand, without steeping myself in the sacred atmosphereof the nature of mind. Then I do not have to struggleto find compassion and authenticity, for they will be there andradiate naturally.Remember, you can do nothing to inspire the person infront of you if you do not inspire yourself first. So when youdon't know what to do, when you feel hardly able to do anythingto help, then pray and meditate, invoke the Buddha orany other figure whose sacred power you believe in. When I'mfaced with someone going through terrible suffering, I calldown with fervor the help of all the buddhas and enlightenedbeings, with my heart completely open to the person dying infront of me, and compassion for their pain filling my being. Iinvoke as intensely as possible the presence of my masters, thebuddhas, of those enlightened beings with whom I have a particularconnection. Summoning all my powers of devotion andfaith, I see them in glory above the dying person, gazing downat them with love, and pouring down light and blessing onthem, purifying them of all their past karma and present agony.

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