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

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

314 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGthem, to spiritual projects; and whenever they meet mastersthey will request special prayers for them. The greatest consolationfor a Tibetan would be to know that a master was doingpractice for their dead relative.Don't let us half die with our loved ones, then; let us try tolive, after they have gone, with greater fervor. Let us try, atleast, to fulfill the dead person's wishes or aspirations in someway, for instance by giving some of his belongings to charity,or sponsoring in her name a project she held particularly dear.Tibetans often write letters of condolence to friends whoare bereaved that might say something like this:All things are impermanent, and all things die. You know this. Itwas only natural that your mother died when she did; the oldergeneration is expected to die first. She was elderly and unwell, andwill not resent having had to leave her body. And because you canhelp her now by sponsoring practices and doing good actions in hername, she will be happy and relieved. So please do not be sad.If our friend has lost a child or someone close to them whoseemed too young to die so soon, we tell them:Now your little boy has died, and it seems as if your whole worldhas been shattered. It seems, I know, so cruel and illogical. I cannotexplain your son's death, but I do know that it must be thenatural result of his karma, and I believe and know that his deathmust have purified some karmic debt that you and I cannot knowabout Your grief is my grief. But take heart because now you andI can help him, through our practice and our good actions and ourlove; we can take his hand and walk by his side, even now, evenwhen he's dead, and help him to find a new birth and a longerlife next time.In other cases we might write:/ know your grief is vast, but when you are tempted to despair,just think how fortunate your friend is to have the masters practicingfor her. just think too, that at other times and in other placesthere has been no such spiritual help at all for those who died.Think, when you remember your loved one dying, how manypeople are dying in the world today, alone, forgotten, abandoned,and unsupported by any spiritual vision. Think of the people whodied in the terrible, inhuman years of the Cultural Revolution inTibet, where spiritual practice of any kind was forbidden.

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