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

terryboxing
  • No tags were found...

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

224 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGThen imagine that their illness and tumors leave their bodyin the form of smoke, and dissolve into your illness andtumors. When you breathe in, you breathe in all their suffering,and when you breathe out, you breathe out total healingand well-being. Each time you do this practice, believe, withcomplete conviction, that they are now healed.As you approach death, think continually to yourself: "MayI take on the suffering, the fear, and loneliness of all others allover the world who are dying or will die. May they be allfreed from pain and confusion; may they all find comfort andpeace of mind. May whatever suffering I am enduring nowand will endure in the future help them toward a good rebirthand ultimate enlightenment."I knew an artist in New York who was dying from AIDS.He was a sardonic character and hated institutional religion,although secretly some of us suspected he had more spiritualcuriosity than he admitted. Friends persuaded him to see aTibetan master, who immediately understood that the greatestsource of his frustration and suffering was that he felt his painwas of no use to himself or to anyone else. So he taught himone thing, and one thing only: the Tonglen practice. Despitesome initial skepticism, he did practice it; and all his friendssaw he went through an extraordinary change. He told manyof them that, through Tonglen, the pain that before had beenpointless and horrific was now infused with an almost gloriouspurpose. Everyone who knew him experienced firsthandhow this new sense of meaning transformed his dying. Hedied in peace, reconciled to himself and his suffering.If the practice of taking on the suffering of others can transformsomeone who has little experience of practice before,then imagine what power it has in the hands of a great master.When Gyalwang Karmapa died in Chicago in 1981, one ofhis Tibetan disciples wrote:By the time that I saw him, His Holiness had already had manyoperations, some parts of his body removed, things put insidehim, his blood transfused, and so on. Every day the doctors discoveredthe symptoms of some new disease, only to find themgone the next day and replaced by another illness, as if all thediseases in the world were finding room in his flesh. For twomonths he had taken no solid food, and finally his doctors gaveup hope. It was impossible for him to live, and the doctorsthought the life-supporting systems should be disconnected.But the Karmapa said, "No, I'm going to live. Leave them in

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines