Friday, January 30, 2015

Fearless Death — Buddhist Wisdom on the Art of Dying by Lama Ole Nydahl

For Tibetan Buddhist masters death is not really a mystery, in fact they have even discovered joy and meaning in the dying process. For people living in a western culture this might sound strange, as death is in western societies rather a topic people do not think or talk much about. Death is not part of the society and life for them. But if we open minded and listen to these masters we an learn what will happen and change our view by seeing death as a great chance for spiritual development. Through the book „Fearless Death“ by Lama Ole Nydahl, the reader can benefit from all the teachings Lama Ole Nydahl received from years he has spent with great, realized Buddhist masters. His explanations are enriched by decades of experience guiding modern people through the dying process. This book is an excellent proof that the wisdom of Tibetan masters now lives on in the West. In 1968 Lama Ole Nydahl and his late wife Hannah began training with masters of the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalayas. In 1972, Lama Ole learned the rare meditation practice of conscious dying (Phowa) according to the wishes of his teacher, the great 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. Since then he has taught the Phowa practice to over 90,000 people throughout the western world. By giving this practice as a precious gift to his students he is fulfilling the wish of his teachers and is enriching their lives. Helping them to be fearless and be prepared for the unavoidable day of death which for sure will come.We all know, that we are not really afraid of things which we can understand. And the same applies to death. With learning Phowa and the valuable knowledge from this book it is possible for us to transfer fear into confidence and to reach a calm state of mind when facing death.

Some highlights from this book:

  • How to view death as an opportunity for inner development
  • Inner details of the dying process
  • How the mind continues after death
  • How to face death without fear
  • How to help others who are dealing with death
  • Stories about different masters of Tibetan Buddhism who died impressively
I think that for sure, this is one of the best books about the Buddhist understanding and view on death and rebirth. It is written in a fresh, modern style which enables fresh minds with a western culture and background to participate and understand the precious teachings of remarkable Buddhist masters. For the open minded reader this book can for sure have a deep impact.

“This excellent book about death and dying… will be extremely helpful for people to prepare for their own death, and to lose their fear of dying, knowing now that death is just the end of our physical aspects but not of our consciousness… This book could be of great help in daily medical practice in the Western world, where death is still a huge taboo as a result of widespread ignorance. Highly recommended.”

Pim van Lommel, M.D.
Author of Consciousness Beyond Life

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