Luminous Emptiness - Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead


How much do I want to read more? 7/10

We can feel the gratitude the author has for Trungpa Rinpoche, who was such a mindful and graceful beeing. We can then feel ourselves privileged to get those insights from one of the most significant Tibettan Buddhism book, which really is about life and death as a whole.
Truth must be experienced directly. Words and symbols are only pointers to help getting toward it.
I am willing to study this book closer, and this is the perfect companion.


Part One - FOUNDATIONS

Chapter One - A Book of the Living

We are the unawakened, living our lives in a dream—a dream that will continue after death, then through life after life, until we truly awaken.

The book describes not only the process of dissolution, but also the process of coming into being, and these two processes are continually at work in every moment of life.
According to the Buddhist view, nothing is permanent, fixed, or solid. The sense of self in each one of us, the “I,” is being born and dying every moment. The whole of existence, the entire world of our experience, is appearing and disappearing every moment.

Whatever happens to us after death is simply a continuation of what is happening to us now in this life, even though it manifests in unfamiliar ways.
We are not catapulted into a completely different world, we just perceive the same world in a different way.

Everything the text describes can be understood symbolically in terms of this life. Learning to perceive the world in this way is part of the transformational process.
But it is only in this life that we have the opportunity to prepare ourselves. After death, without the grounding influence of the physical body, events will overtake us with such speed and intensity that there will be no chance to stop and meditate. To be of use, meditation must become part of our innermost nature.

The enlightenment he attained, the highest awakened state, cannot be expressed in ordinary human language. At first, he was extremely reluctant even to talk about it.
Words can only point to the truth; genuine knowledge must be experienced directly.
From the absolute point of view, to speak about truth is inevitably to lie, yet it is the very nature of truth to communicate itself. Once it is put into words, or even into images and symbols, it becomes subject to the limitations and distortions of human thought and language.
The Buddha was very much aware of the limitations of human expression, and he knew that his teaching would be misunderstood.
Often his silence was an invitation to the questioner to look deeper into the preconceptions.

a huge variety of techniques to suit their inclinations and capabilities. Some of these may appear contradictory, yet they do not teach different truths; they present different points of view from which to approach the same truth.