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

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

246 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGWhat is essential, you can see, is to realize now, in life,when we still have a body, that its apparent, so convincingsolidity is a mere illusion. The most powerful way to realizethis is to learn how, after meditation, to "become a child ofillusion": to refrain from solidifying, as we are always temptedto do, the perceptions of ourselves and our world; and to goon, like the "child of illusion," seeing directly, as we do inmeditation, that all phenomena are illusory and dream like.The deepening perception of the body's illusory nature is oneof the most profound and inspiring realizations we can haveto help us to let go.Inspired by and armed with this knowledge, when we arefaced at death with the fact that our body is an illusion, wewill be able to recognize its illusory nature without fear, tocalmly free ourselves from all attachment to it, and to leave itbehind willingly, even gratefully and joyfully, knowing it nowfor what it is. In fact, you could say, we will be able, reallyand completely, to die when we die, and so achieve ultimatefreedom.Think, then, of the moment of death as a strange borderzone of the mind, a no-man's land in which on the one hand,if we do not understand the illusory nature of our body, wemight suffer vast emotional trauma as we lose it; and on theother hand, we are presented with the possibility of limitlessfreedom, a freedom that springs precisely from the absence ofthat very same body.When we are at last freed from the body that has definedand dominated our understanding of ourselves for so long, thekarmic vision of one life is completely exhausted, but anykarma that might be created in the future has not yet begunto crystallize. So what happens in death is that there is a"gap" or space that is fertile with vast possibility; it is amoment of tremendous, pregnant power where the only thingthat matters, or could matter, is how exactly our mind is.Stripped of a physical body, mind stands naked, revealedstartlingly for what it has always been: the architect of ourreality.So if, at the moment of death, we have already a stablerealization of the nature of mind, in one instant we can purifyall our karma. And if we continue that stable recognition, wewill actually be able to end our karma altogether, by enteringthe expanse of the primordial purity of the nature of mind,and attaining liberation. Padmasambhava explained this:

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