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

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

REFLECTION AND CHANGE 29"To ask you to teach me the truth," she replied, "of whatdeath is, what might He behind and beyond death, and whatin me, if anything, will not die."The Buddha began to teach her: "If you want to know thetruth of life and death, you must reflect continually on this:There is only one law in the universe that never changes—that all things change, and that all things are impermanent.The death of your child has helped you to see now that therealm we are in—samsara—is an ocean of unbearable suffering.There is one way, and one way only, out of samsara'sceaseless round of birth and death, which is the path to liberation.Because pain has now made you ready to learn and yourheart is opening to the truth, I will show it to you."Krisha Gotami knelt at his feet, and followed the Buddhafor the rest of her life. Near the end of it, it is said, sheattained enlightenment.ACCEPTING DEATHKrisha Gotami's story shows us something we can observeagain and again: A close encounter with death can bring a realawakening, a transformation in our whole approach to life.Take, for example the near-death experience. Perhaps oneof its most important revelations is how it transforms the livesof those who have been through it. Researchers have noted astartling range of aftereffects and changes: a reduced fear anddeeper acceptance of death; an increased concern for helpingothers; an enhanced vision of the importance of love; lessinterest in materialistic pursuits; a growing belief in a spiritualdimension and the spiritual meaning of life; and, of course, agreater openness to belief in the afterlife. One man said toKenneth Ring:/ was transformed from a man who was lost and wandering aimlessly,with no goal in life other than a desire for material wealth,to someone who had a deep motivation, a purpose in life, a definitedirection, and an overpowering conviction that there would bea reward at the end of life. My interest in material wealth andgreed for possessions were replaced by a thirst for spiritual understandingand a passionate desire to see world conditions improve. 1A woman told Margot Grey, a British researcher into thenear-death experience:

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