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Advice On Dying
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Now available in paperback, this powerful book from His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaches us how investigating death also greatly benefits our perspective on life

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet. Today, he lives in exile in Northern India and works tirelessly on behalf of the Tibetan people, as well as travelling the world to give spiritual teachings to sell-out audiences. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

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Buddhist scholar and professor Hopkins studied intimately with the 14th Dalai Lama to complete this volume on spiritual preparation for death and dying. The book draws upon the 17th-century poem by the First Panchen Lama, which focused on Buddhist techniques for mastering the fear of death and finding spiritual enlightenment through the "stages of dying." The 17 eloquent stanzas begin with ideas about awareness of life's cycle ("May we extract the meaningful essence of this life-support/Without being distracted by the senseless affairs of this life"), and move through each level of consciousness in anticipation of death, or rebirth ("May we be reborn with the supreme life-support of a Tantra practitioner using the sky"). The Dalai Lama elaborates upon the verse with Indian and Tibetan textual and oral traditions; the rather esoteric poem thus leads to more concrete advice, such as "You have to practice morality, concentrated meditation, and wisdom on a daily basis." Fear disappears when practitioners learn to embrace awareness of death, the Dalai Lama says, and through such insight, they are able to more fully take advantage of the given life. (Nov. 19) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not only a world-famous spiritual leader in exile, shepherd to a nation repressed, but also a publishing phenomenon, author of dozens of books. This latest, but certainly not last, is unusually theological for this author; readers familiar with his other books will find this more Buddhist, and more Tibetan Buddhist, than they may have expected. The Dalai Lama discusses the need to prepare for death but from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective-that is the need to learn not only how to accept death but how to prepare for the Intermediate State between lives and for what lies beyond. It is one of His Holiness's more valuable books for the serious scholar or Buddhist but may be tough trudging for the broader popular audience. Still, for most collections. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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