DHARMA TALKS & GUIDED MEDITATION:
Monday, January 10th, 2022
The first Dharma talk focuses on what happens immediately after death, according to Buddhist teachings.
MONDAY, JANUARY 17TH, 2022
Guided, Clear Light Meditation
Monday, January 17th, 2022
The second talk emphasizes the “Exhortations for the Dying” in The Liturgy of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives for the Laity. (Unfortunately, this book is no longer in print.) The Dharma talk will be posted after January 17th.
Sogyal Rinpoche. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992). This is a well-known highly respected exegesis of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It doesn’t translate it or record it; it tells you what it’s all about in very readable English, and it fills in all the Buddhist teachings you need to know to understand it.
Thurman, Robert. The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation through Understanding in the Between (New York: Bantam Books, 1994). This is Robert Thurman’s translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, with a very helpful commentary. It is very fine and quite readable.
There are several other translations: Evans-Wentz, W.Y., ed., The Tibetan Book of the Dead (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960). First published in 1927. This is the earliest translation of this work; the language is very archaic and it is not quite so readable as Thurman’s. The Dalai Lama and his translator, Jinpa, did a translation. I don’t know it, but it’s probably very authoritative; that is, it can be trusted.
Kyabgon, Traleg. Karma: What It Is, What It Isn’t, Why It Matters (Boston: Shambhala, 2015). Not the best written book in the world, but a good basis for an understanding of karma and how it fits into rebirth, and what that’s got to do with the bardo teachings and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Good background reading.
Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World (New York: Avery, 2016). The Clear Light of Death Meditation is mentioned in the chapter on meditation (see especially pp. 176-7) and there is a reflection on dying at the end of the book in the Practices section, p. 328.
Khandro, Pema, Rinpoche. “Breaking Open in the Bardo.” BuddhaDharma, July 15, 2017. A great intro and general article on the bardo after death and the bardo we are always in and how to relate to it. https://www.lionsroar.com/author/pema-khandro-rinpoche/
From PBS KVIE, Beyond Life and Death/ Counsel — Robert Thurman, “Meditation exercise for the process of dissolution during death.” https://www.pbs.org/witheyesopen/afterlife_counsel_thurman.html. This is a version of the Clear Light of Death Meditation.
Halifax, Roshi Joan. “Meditation: Dissolution of the Body at Death.” Another version of the Clear Light of Death Meditation. upaya.org/dox/dissolution.pdf
Leonard Cohen’s narration of a video on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5A2erZXJx8