Whether you know you only have a few months to live or think you have your whole life ahead of you, death is a reality that will have to be faced sooner or later. And as far as the Buddhist teachings are concerned, the sooner you face it, the better.
No matter how rich, well-connected, famous, intelligent, talented and compassionate a person may be, no one can avoid death. Yet how many of us believe death will happen to us? Or wonder what dying will be like? Or imagine what comes after death? Death is certain and inescapable, so wouldn't it be sensible to at least inform ourselves about an event that we have no choice but to experience?
In Living Is Dying, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse presents us with everything we need to face death calmly and confidently. Each stage of the dying process is described in detail, along with clear, practical advice about how to guide the dying through the bardos and into the next life. Rinpoche also addresses many common questions, such as: How honest should we be with the dying? How should we talk about death to someone who has no spiritual beliefs? How do we help someone who is already dead?
Regardless of your spiritual preferences and beliefs or lack of them if you are coming to terms with the imminent death of a loved one, your own death, or if you work with the dying, Living Is Dying will help prepare you to meet death consciously, soberly and with a mind full of compassion.
Living Is Dying: How to Prepare for Death, Dying and Beyond, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, Shambhala Publications, Paperback, 256 pp, $16.95