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

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

216 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGAnd as I do this, I keep praying that the person in front of meshould be spared further suffering, and find peace and liberation.I do this with the deepest concentration and earnestness,and then I try to rest in the nature of my mind and allow itspeace and radiance to permeate the atmosphere of the room.Many, many times I have been awed by the sense of sacredpresence that then establishes itself very naturally, and whichin turn inspires the dying person.I'm now going to say something that may surprise you.Death can be very inspiring. In my experiences with dying people,I have found that I have surprised myself by the way inwhich my prayer and invocation transformed the atmosphere,and I myself have had my faith deepened by seeing howeffective this invocation and prayer and this presence of thebuddhas are. I have found that being by the bedside of adying person has made my own practice far more powerful.Sometimes I see that the dying person also feels this atmosphereof deep inspiration, and is grateful to have provided theopportunity for our reaching, together, a moment of real andtransformative rapture.GIVING HOPE AND FINDING FORGIVENESSI would like to single out two points in giving spiritual helpto the dying: giving hope, and finding forgiveness.Always when you are with a dying person, dwell on whatthey have accomplished and done well. Help them to feel asconstructive and as happy as possible about their lives. Concentrateon their virtues and not their failings. People who aredying are frequently extremely vulnerable to guilt, regret, anddepression; allow them to express these freely, listen to theperson and acknowledge what he or she says. At the sametime, where appropriate, be sure to remind the person of hisor her buddha nature, and encourage the person to try to restin the nature of mind through the practice of meditation.Especially remind the person that pain and suffering are not allthat he or she is. Find the most skillful and sensitive way possibleto inspire the person and give him or her hope. So ratherthan dwelling on his or her mistakes, the person can die in amore peaceful frame of mind.To the man who cried out: "Do you think God will ever forgiveme for my sins?" I would say: "Forgiveness already exists

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