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

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

SERVANTS OF PEACE 363my students who lives and works at the center tell you whathappened:That morning the sky stayed dark longer than usual, and the firstsign of dawn was a deep red line on the distant horizon. We weregoing to town; and as we approached the top of our road, the tentthat houses the shrine, pitched on the site of our future temple,came into view on the crest of the hill on our right Suddenly abeam of sharp sunlight pierced the half-light and fell directly ontothe white shrine tent, making it glow intensely in the early morning.We carried on, and as we came to the turning in the road totake us into town, some sudden impulse made us glance backtoward the tent. By now the sky was light We were astounded. Abrilliant rainbow stretched across the entire valley, its colors sobright and alive, it felt as though we could reach out and touch it.Rising up from the horizon on our left, it arched across the sky.What was mysterious was that there was not a hint of rain—justthe rainbow itself, vivid and radiant against the vast, empty sky. Itwas not until the following evening that we heard that this was thevery day that Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche had passed away inBhutan. We all felt certain that the rainbow was a sign of hisblessing, descending on us all, and on Lerab Ling.When Buddha lay dying in a forest grove in Kushinagara,surrounded by five hundred of his disciples, he said to them,with his last breath: "It is in the nature of all things that takeform to dissolve again. Strive with your whole being to attainperfection." Those words have come to me often since thepassing of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Is there any morepoignant teaching on impermanence than the passing of asupreme master, one who had seemed the very axis of theworld? It made all of us who knew him and were his disciplesfeel alone, thrown back upon ourselves. Now it is up toall of us to carry forward and try to embody as far as we canthat tradition he so nobly represented. It is up to us to dowhat the Buddha's disciples did, when left alone in the worldwithout his radiance: to "strive with our whole being to attainperfection."That rainbow that arched over the morning sky of Franceand over the valley by Lerab Ling is a sign, I feel, that DilgoKhyentse Rinpoche is blessing, and will continue to bless, thewhole world. Freed of his body, he lives now in the unconditioned,timeless splendor of the Dharmakaya, with the powerall those who attain enlightenment have of being able to help

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