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

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

276 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGNo words would ever be able to convey the loss of JamyangKhyentse's death. In leaving Tibet I and my family lost all ourlands and possessions, but I was too young to have formedany attachment to them. But losing Jamyang Khyentse was aloss so enormous that I still mourn it, so many years later. Myentire childhood had been lived in the sunlight of his presence.I had slept in a small bed at the foot of his bed, and woke formany years to the sound of him whispering his morningprayers and clicking his mala, his Buddhist rosary. His words,his teachings, the great peaceful radiance of his presence, hissmile, all of these are indelible memories for me. He is theinspiration of my life, and it is his presence as well asPadmasambhava's that I always invoke when I am in difficultiesor when I teach. His death was an incalculable loss for theworld and an incalculable loss for Tibet. I used to think ofhim, as I thought also of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, that ifBuddhism was destroyed and only he remained, neverthelessBuddhism would still be alive, for he was the completeembodiment of what Buddhism means. With JamyangKhyentse's passing, a whole epoch, sometimes it seems awhole dimension of spiritual power and knowledge, passedwith him.He died when he was only sixty-seven, and I often wonderhow the entire future of Tibetan Buddhism would have beendifferent if Jamyang Khyentse had lived to inspire its growthin exile and in the West with the same authority and infiniterespect for all traditions and lineages that had made him sobeloved in Tibet. Because he was the master of masters, andsince the lineage-holders of all the traditions had received initiationsand teachings from him and so revered him as theirroot-teacher, he was able naturally to draw them together, in aspirit of devoted harmony and cooperation.And yet, a great master never dies. Jamyang Khyentse ishere inspiring me as I write this; he is the force behind thisbook and whatever I teach; he is the foundation and basis ofthe spirit behind everything I do; it is he who goes on givingme my inner direction. His blessing and the confidence it givesme have been with me, guiding me through all the difficultiesof trying to represent, in whatever way I can, the tradition ofwhich he was so sublime a representative. His noble face ismore alive to me now than any of the faces of the living, andin his eyes I always see that light of transcendent wisdom andtranscendent compassion that no power in heaven or earthcan put out.

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