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The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: A New Spiritual Classic from One of the Foremost Interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism to the West Hardcover – September 17, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (September 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062507931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062507938
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1927, Walter Evans-Wentz published his translation of an obscure Tibetan Nyingma text and called it the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Popular Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche has transformed that ancient text, conveying a perennial philosophy that is at once religious, scientific, and practical. Through extraordinary anecdotes and stories from religious traditions East and West, Rinpoche introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, moving gradually to the topics of death and dying. Death turns out to be less of a crisis and more of an opportunity. Concepts such as reincarnation, karma, and bardo and practices such as meditation, tonglen, and phowa teach us how to face death constructively. As a result, life becomes much richer. Like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Sogyal Rinpoche opens the door to a full experience of death. It is up to the reader to walk through. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

A clear pool of practical wisdom, this rewarding modern reinterpretation of the classic Tibetan Book of the Dead is a manual on learning to accept death, on caring for the dying, and on spiritual growth. Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who has lived in the West since 1971, maintains that innermost consciousness, rather than an unchanging soul or ego, survives the death of the body. He draws parallels between contemporary Western near-death experiences and the afterlife journey through the bardos, or intermediate planes between death and rebirth, described in sacred Tibetan texts. Bardos, he further argues, are junctures that also occur continually throughout life, opportunities for liberation present in ordinary daily experiences, in sleep and dreams. Rinpoche outlines a path of spiritual transformation that involves meditation, strengthening of positive karma, compassion, generosity and mental exercises. 25,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This book can be an inspiration at all times in life.
"free-your-mind"
A spiritual masterpeace written beautifully, clearly and with compassion which draws the reader into the innermost essence of Karma, living, dying and rebirth.
kittsie
All I can say is, I wish for everyone to have the opportunity to read this book.
tao011

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

484 of 488 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
My bookshelves are filled with books on many topics, including death and dying and spirituality -- this book might be the only book I really need.
For years I have thought I must read the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- but whenever I tried, it was much too complicated for me to understand.
Sogyal Rinpoche has written this book so that it is easily understood by anyone, even us Westerners, without compromising any of the Buddhist teachings it offers.
In essence, we begin to die the moment we are born. We spend this life preparing to die well. Nothing is permanent, but we spend much of our lives filling our time with activities and pursuits that help us elude ourselves into thinking that what we see and touch is all that matters.
Sogyal Rinpoche says, "To follow the path of wisdom has never been more urgent or more difficult. Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet. It has never been more difficult to hear the unflattering voice of the truth, and never more difficult, once having heard it, to follow it: because there is nothing in the world around us that supports our choice, and the entire society in which we live seems to negate every idea of sacredness or eternal meaning. So at the time of our most acute danger, when our very future is in doubt, we as human beings find ourselves at our most bewildered, and trapped in a nightmare of our own creation.
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166 of 169 people found the following review helpful By harendra desai on September 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Whenever I read a book, I generally use highlighter and underliner to mark the sentences and words that convey the true meaning and essence of what the author wants to say. While reading The Tibetan Book of Living And Dying, I had to stop using the highlighter after a few pages only as the most of the words on each page were worthy of being highlighted. Indeed, the author has said so much precious on every page that a reader must read and re-read the book and with every reading she/he gets more and more knowing.The subject of death has been most puzzling and perplexing to humankind since the time immemorial. The Eastern way of looking at the death as only a 'transition' is explained by the author in a profoundly simple manner. The book certainly helps one to understand the true meaning of the phenomena called death. This understanding helps one to reduce the irrational fear of death. From the lives of the great men and women we know that those who 'lived' a life can only meet the 'death' with equnimity. Thus the author has first taught the art of 'living'. It is only through right type of living that we can 'live' the death also.
I suggest that this book be read by all the Buddhist as well as by non buddhists also. Every one who reads it will find something for him/her.
I salute Sogyal Rinpoche for giving us a wonderful gift of THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING.
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115 of 121 people found the following review helpful By "tess73" on December 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
After reading other reviews, I feel it might help to say this:
Yes, there is quite a substantial amount of Tibetan ritual encased in this book. But that shouldn't be a surprise, or a hindrance - it IS the "TIBETAN Book of Living and Dying", and not the "Generically Believable For Everyone, Book of Living And Dying".
With that in mind, I loved reading this book. From the first page, I was drawn into a world where compassion and mindfulness reign, and it's these tools that will help us face the inevitable truth that we *are* all going to die, at some point.
Rinpoche skillfully shares his own wisdom, that of many other masters, and anecdotal evidence of what may happen when we physically die, and the stages we may go through during the process.
Topics discussed include the Bardo states, reincarnation, the concept of karma, and fear of the unknown. The book is very readable, and covers the material therein with sensitivity and warmth. At times, it may be difficult to the average Western mind to grasp the concepts of such things are reincarnation - but as Buddha himself did advise, the goal is to read, absorb and take what YOU find important from the lesson...not to read blindly and accept everything blindly.
To anyone even vaguely interested in Buddhism, death and dying or simply becoming more aware of their own self, this book is an invaluable addition to your library.
Truly a classic.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By "free-your-mind" on April 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book should be read by or to everyone at some point in their lives. It not is not just for the buddhist. As His Holiness, the Dalia Lama explains, no matter what religion you practice the goal is the same: happiness. This book can be an inspiration at all times in life. Once you have read it through once, it is organized in such a way, so one can go back and read certain sections to help along the way. Sogyal Rinpoche captures the essence of his purpose of creating the book when he writes: "to learn how to die, is to learn how to live." That simple statement is a social commentary on the development of modern society and the direction it is heading in. The ageing and dying are quickly isolated and doctors are rarely educated in emotional or spiritual care. Sogyal Rinpoche's proposes a new attidute to those who are in a stage that we all will reach at some point. His beautiful writing style and comforting compassion radiates from the pages themselves. I do not associate myself with any one religion, but consider myself a wanderer following my own road in search for answers, for all those who feel the same, this book can illuminate some of the darkness that surrounds us all who have not yet awakened.
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