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

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

FOURTEENThe Practices for DyingI REMEMBER HOW PEOPLE would often come to seemy master, Jamyang Khyentse, simply to ask for his guidance forthe moment of death. He was so loved and revered throughoutTibet, especially in the eastern province of Kham, that somewould travel for months on end to meet him and get his blessingjust once before they died. All my masters would give this astheir advice, for this is the essence of what is needed as youcome to die: "Be free of attachment and aversion. Keep yourmind pure. And unite your mind with the Buddha."The whole Buddhist attitude toward the moment of deathcan be summed up in this one verse by Padmasambhava fromthe cycle of the Tibetan Book of the Dead:Now when the bardo of dying dawns upon me,I will abandon all grasping, yearning, and attachment,Enter undistracted into clear awareness of the teaching,And eject my consciousness into the space of unborn Rigpa;As I leave this compound body of flesh and bloodI will know it to be a transitory illusion.At the moment of death, there are two things that count:whatever we have done in our lives, and what state of mindwe are in at that moment. Even if we have accumulated a lotof negative karma, if we are able really to make a change ofheart at the moment of death, it can decisively influence ourfuture and transform our karma, for the moment of death isan exceptionally powerful opportunity for purifying karma.THE MOMENT OF DEATHRemember that all the habits and tendencies that are storedin the ground of our ordinary mind are lying ready to be227

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