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

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

234 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGSupreme practitioners of Dzogchen, as I have said, havecompletely realized the nature of mind during their lifetime.So when they die, they need only to continue to rest andabide in that state of Rigpa, as they make the transitionthrough death. They have no need to transfer their consciousnessinto any buddha or enlightened realm, for they havealready made real the wisdom mind of the buddhas withinthemselves. Death, for them, is the moment of ultimate liberation—thecrowning moment of their realization, and the consummationof their practice. The Tibetan Book of the Dead hasonly these few words to remind such a practitioner: "O Sir!Now the Ground Luminosity is dawning. Recognize it, andrest in the practice."Those who have completely accomplished the practice ofDzogchen are said to die "like a new-bom child," free of all careand concern about death. They do not need to concern themselveswith when or where they will die, nor do they haveany need of teachings, instructions, or reminders."Medium practitioners of the best capacity" die "like beggarsin the street." No one notices them and nothing disturbs them.Because of the stability of their practice, they are absolutelyunaffected by the environment around them. They could diewith the same ease in a busy hospital, or at home in themiddle of a nagging and squabbling family.I shall never forget an old yogin I knew in Tibet. He usedto be like a Pied Piper, and all the children would follow himaround. Everywhere he went, he would chant and sing, drawingthe whole community around him, and he would tellthem all to practice and to say "OM MANI PADME HUM,"the mantra of the Buddha of Compassion. 4 He had a bigprayer wheel; and whenever anyone gave him something, hewould sew it onto his clothes, so that he ended up lookinglike a prayer wheel himself as he turned about. Also, I remember,he had a dog who followed him everywhere. He treatedthe dog like a human being, ate the same food as the dogfrom the same bowl, slept next to him, looked on him as hisbest friend, and regularly even talked to him.Not many people took him seriously, and some called hima "crazy yogin," but many Lamas spoke highly of him andsaid we should not look down on him. My grandfather andmy family would always treat him with respect, and wouldinvite him into the shrine room and offer him tea and bread.In Tibet it was the custom never to visit someone's homeempty-handed, and one day, in the middle of drinking his tea,

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