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

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

TWENTY-TWOServants of PeaceONE OF MY OLDEST STUDENTS, who has watchedthis book develop over the years, asked me not so long ago:'What in your heart of hearts do you really want to happenthrough this book when it is published?" The image immediatelycame into my mind of Lama Tseten, whom as a boy Ihad seen dying, and of his calm and gentle dignity in death.I found myself saying: "I want every human being not to beafraid of death, or of life; I want every human being to dieat peace, and surrounded by the wisest, clearest, and mosttender care, and to find the ultimate happiness that can onlycome from an understanding of the nature of mind andof reality"Thomas Merton wrote: "What can we gain by sailing tothe moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separatesus from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyagesof discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless,but disastrous." 1 We spend millions of dollars every minute ontraining people to kill and destroy, and on bombs and planesand missiles. But we spend hardly anything, in comparison, onteaching human beings the nature of life and death, and helpingthem, when they come to die, to face and understandwhat is happening to them. What a terrifying, sad situationthis is, and how revealing it is of our ignorance and our lackof true love for ourselves and for each other! More than anything,I pray that the book I have written could contribute insome small way to changing this situation in the world, couldhelp awaken as many people as possible to the urgency of theneed for spiritual transformation, and the urgency of the needto be responsible for ourselves and others. We are all potentialbuddhas, and we all desire to live in peace and die in peace.When will humanity really understand that, and truly create asociety that reflects in all of its areas and activities that simple,360

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