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

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

THE PRACTICES FOR DYING 241Lotus Light on the Copper-Colored Mountain; and if it isAmitabha they love and revere, they will pray to be reborn inhis "Blissful" heaven, the marvelous Pure Land of Dewachen. 9THE ATMOSPHERE FOR DYINGHow then do we most sensitively help ordinary spiritualpractitioners who are dying? All of us will need the love andcare that comes with emotional and practical support, but forspiritual practitioners the atmosphere, intensity, and dimensionof spiritual help take on a special meaning. It would be ideal,and a great blessing, if their master were with them; but ifthis is not possible, their spiritual friends can be of enormoushelp in reminding the dying of the essence of the teachingsand the practice that has been closest to their heart during life.For a practitioner who is dying, spiritual inspiration, and theatmosphere of trust and faith and devotion that will naturallyarise from it, are essential. The loving and unflagging presenceof the master or spiritual friends, the encouragement of theteachings, and the strength of their own practice, all combinetogether to create and sustain this inspiration, as precious inthe last weeks and days almost as breath itself.A beloved student of mine was dying of cancer, and askedme how best she should practice as she came nearer to death,particularly when she no longer had the strength to concentrateon any formal practice."Remember just how very fortunate you have been," I toldher, "to have met so many masters, received so many teachings,and had the time and possibility to practice. I promiseyou, the benefit of all that will never leave you: The goodkarma you have created by it will stay with you and helpyou. Even to hear the teaching once, or meet a master likeDilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and have a strong connection withhim as you did, is liberating in itself. Never forget that, andnever forget also how many people there are in your positionwho did not have that marvelous opportunity."If the time comes when you cannot practice actively anymore, the only really important thing for you to do is to relax,as deeply as possible, in the confidence of the View, and restin the nature of mind. It does not matter whether your bodyor your brain are still functioning: the nature of your mind isalways there, sky-like, radiant, blissful, limitless and unchanging. . . Know that beyond all doubt, and let that knowledgegive you the strength to say with carefree abandon to all your

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