Where Western society views death as the last taboo, the Tibetan tradition incorporates meditation on death into everyday life. Tibetan Buddhists believe that a conscious awareness of one's own impermanence allows a person to live a happy, fulfilled life.
Over the centuries the Tibetans have developed a wide-ranging literature on death, including inspirational poetry and prose, prayers, and practical works on care for the dying.
Presented here are nine Tibetan texts. Important writings by the Second, Seventh, and Thirteenth Dalai Lamas, and by Karma Lingpa, author of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, are included. Topics such as meditation techniques to prepare for death, inspirational accounts of the deaths of saints and yogis, and methods for training the mind in the transference of consciousness at the time of death.
Detailed notes and a bibliography of the translated texts are included.
Living in the Face of Death, Glenn Mullin, Snow Lion Publications, 238 pages, $16.95.