By Souls of Silver
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche follows the footsteps of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It talks about the idea that one dies every night and is reborn every morning.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead’s central focus lies in death.
Since life and death are binaries, the knowledge of the former is incomplete without the awareness of the latter. Meditation on death teaches one to lead a more fruitful existence.
1. “Planning for the future is like going fishing in a dry gulch; nothing ever works out as you wanted, so give up all your schemes and ambitions. If you have got to think about something ~ Make it the uncertainty of the hour of your death.” – Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
The future will always bring in hoards of uncertainties. Therefore, it is better to focus on the present. How we react in the present will impact and alter our life course.
2. “This world can seem marvelously convincing until death collapses the illusion and evicts us from our hiding place.” – Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Death is a great leveler, so throw away your masks and become your authentic self.
3. “Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.” – Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Vedic philosophy believes that the world is an illusion or Maya. This realm decides the destiny of the soul. Practice love, kindness, and sympathy as much as you can.
4. “Just look at your mind for a few minutes. You will see that it is like a flea, constantly hopping to and fro. You will see that thoughts arise without any reason, without any connection. Swept along by the chaos of every moment, we are the victims of the fickleness of our mind.” – Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Our mind can be restless, like a flea. A calmer and peaceful mind will bring you closer to your true self.
5. “Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is in fact profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease, slowly, to be deluded. And being a buddha is not being some omnipotent spiritual superman, but becoming at last a true human being.” – Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Saints and mystics aren’t superhuman beings. They were people like us who chose to walk on a more elaborate and difficult path to salvation. Finding spiritual truth is as simple as peeping into your soul.
Bardo Thodol has inspired and uplifted generations of people. Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead was also inspired by it.