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Seven Teachings from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

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Throughout mankind, there has been many spiritual documents and instructions uncovered, but we are faced with one problem; which one do we follow? Well, it’s up to you to decide which faith you’d like to partake in. However, these ancient Tibetan teachings will make life a bit simpler.

Many researchers and philosophers have inscribed, written, and typed what they thought we should be doing here and why were here in the first place. Many people throughout the era of Transcendentalism tried to make life simpler, and outline the basic necessities of life. It’s a trend that never seemed to fade, and there are tons of different algorithms created for instructional purposes of a simpler life.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, written by Sogyal Rinpoche in 1992 is an extremely wise book that stresses only the most important lessons to be learned throughout life. The book consists of teachings from Tibetan Buddhism. It teaches many different Tibetan lessons, and these are the ways to live and die well, according to the book’s author, Sogyal Rinpoche in 1992.

Happiness is Up to You

The most prominent goal and ambition in people’s life journeys is to achieve overall happiness. The book has been referred to as powerful and having the ability to touch the heart and awaken the soul.

A Peaceful Death

As a Buddhist, I view death as a normal process, a reality that I accept will occur as long as I remain in this earthly existence. Knowing that I cannot escape it, I see no point in worrying about it. I tend to think of death as being like changing your clothes when they are old and worn out, rather than as some final end. Yet death is unpredictable: We do not know when or how it will take place. So it is only sensible to take certain precautions before it actually happens. Naturally, most of us would like to die a peaceful death, but it is also clear that we cannot hope to die peacefully if our lives have been full of violence, or if our minds have mostly been agitated by emotions like anger, attachment, or fear. So if we wish to die well, we must learn how to live well: Hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind, and in our way of life.

Slip Out of the Noose of your habitual Anxious Self  

Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature. – Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Know Yourself

Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own? – Sogyal Rinpoche

Spiritual Truth is Common Sense

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

Meditation Unknots the Mind

Devote the mind to confusion and we know only too well, if we’re honest, that it will become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions, subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it in meditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and we will find that, with time, patience, discipline, and the right training, our mind will begin to unknot itself and know its essential bliss and clarity. – Sogyal Rinpoche

The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life. For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and confidence you will need to live and die, well. Meditation is the road to enlightenment … Quietly sitting, body still, speech silent, mind at peace, let your thoughts and emotions, whatever arises, come and go, without clinging to anything. – Sogyal Rinpoche

Nothing Ever Works out How You Want It  

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

Embrace Impermanence and Humility

What is born will die, What has been gathered will be dispersed, What has been accumulated will be exhausted, What has been built up will collapse, And what has been high will be brought low. – Sogyal Ringo

The optical Delusion of Separateness

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in. – Sogyal Rinpoche

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