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

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

30 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGThe things that I felt slowly were a very heightened sense of love,the ability to communicate love, the ability to find joy and pleasuresin the smallest and most insignificant things about me ... I developeda great compassion for people that were ill and facing deathand I wanted so much to let them know, to somehow make themaware that the dying process was nothing more than an extensionof one's life. 2We all know how life-menacing crises such as serious illnesscan produce transformations of a similar depth. FredaNaylor, a doctor who courageously kept a diary as she died ofcancer, wrote:/ have had experiences which I never would have had, for which Ihave to thank the cancer. Humility, coming to terms with my ownmortality, knowledge of my inner strength, which continually surprisesme, and more things about myself which I have discoveredbecause I have had to stop in my tracks, reassess and proceed. 3.If we can indeed "reassess and proceed" with this newfoundhumility and openness, and a real acceptance of our death, wewill find ourselves much more receptive to spiritual instructionsand spiritual practice. This receptivity could well open to us yetanother marvelous possibility: that of true healing.I remember a middle-aged American woman who came tosee Dudjom Rinpoche in New York in 1976. She had no particularinterest in Buddhism, but had heard that there was agreat master in town. She was extremely sick, and in her desperationshe was willing to try anything, even to see a Tibetanmaster! At that time I was his translator.She came into the room and sat in front of DudjomRinpoche. She was so moved by her own condition and hispresence that she broke down into tears. She blurted out, "Mydoctor has given me only a few months to live. Can you helpme? I am dying."To her surprise, in a gentle yet compassionate way, DudjomRinpoche began to chuckle. Then he said quietly: "You see,we are all dying. It's only a matter of time. Some of us justdie sooner than others." With these few words, he helped herto see the universality of death and that her impending deathwas not unique. This eased her anxiety. Then he talked aboutdying, and the acceptance of death. And he spoke about thehope there is in death. At the end he gave her a healing practice,which she followed enthusiastically.

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