About the Book
A manual for life and death and a source of inspiration from the heart of the Tibetan tradition, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying provides a lucid and inspiring introduction to the practice of meditation, to the nature of mind, to karma and rebirth, to compassionate love and care for the dying, and to the trials and rewards of the spiritual path.
Almost 3 million copies have been printed, in 34 languages and the book is available in 80 countries. It has been adopted by colleges, groups and institutions, both medical and religious, and is used extensively by nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals.
“What is it I hope for from this book? To inspire a quiet revolution in the whole way we look at death and care for the dying and the whole way we look at life, and care for the living.”
“This book represents an apex in human wisdom; it is a radiant gem transmitting the accumulated insights of centuries of Tibetan Buddhism. With great gentleness and penetrating clarity, it boldly asks us to see death not as an ‘if’ or a ‘when’ but as a ‘how’.
“It is no accident that this book arrives in the West at this historical moment, for we need this knowledge now more than ever before. This is a time when we must learn to live on this Earth—and depart from it—in a new way, a way that embodies great delicacy and discernment. This is an instruction manual on how to do it.
“It would be a mistake to postpone our confrontation with Tibetan wisdom because it is ancient. The truth is, it is timeless, and we need it desperately.”
Larry Dossey, M.D.
Author of Beyond Illness and Recovering the Soul
“Sogyal Rinpoche belongs to the last generation of Tibetans who grew up among eminent masters of the Buddhist tradition, and subsequently blended skilfully into the Western world. In this his first book, his capacity for being a bridge betwen these two worlds shines through vividly. He has chosen to focus on the reality of death, which, in his presentation, becomes a celebration and search for the very ground of life. That is a message that will be of interest to all, whether Buddhist or not. I am particularly moved by his unceasing and intelligent devotion to his tradition and his teachers: read this book and savour the lovingness of this special link.”
Francisco J. Varela Ph.D.
Neurobiologist (CNRS – Ecole Polytechnique, Paris); author of The Embodied Mind
“This book is an extraordinary blessing: heartfelt, wise, practical, luminous—filled with inspiring stories, skilful teachings, and the great compassionate heart of the Buddha.”
Co-editor of Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart
“Destined to become a spiritual classic, this manual…brings the deft, deep intelligence, the companionable humour, and the authority, the challenge of the Tibetan path.”
Author of World as Lover, World as Self
“A masterful distillation for the West of the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism which gives us practical instructions and spiritual guidance on how to live in the light of the greatest teacher of them all—death. We’ve been waiting for this book for some years, and Sogyal Rinpoche has more than fulfilled our hopes; he has authored the definitive book for our times on these indispensable teachings.”
Kenneth Ring MD
Author of Life at Death and Heading Towards Omega
“It is a fine book, a clear-eyed contemporaray exploration of the profound insight of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. These teachings have been made accessible to the growing number of people longing to investigate death as a means of becoming more fully alive.”
Author of Who Dies?
“Sogyal Rinpoche’s book provides a deeply satisfying explanation of living and dying as revealed through the insight of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a masterful spiritual study illustrative of the contemplative work conducted over thousands of years in monasteries throughout Tibet, and an affirmation of the need to protect this extraordinary cultural and religious legacy.”
Senator Claiborne Pell
“Sogyal Rinpoche is of an exciting new generation of Tibetan teachers. Educated in both the East and the West, fluent in English, Rinpoche’s infectious presentation of the most profound of Buddhist thought speaks directly and clearly to the Western mind and heart with humor, joy and great warmth. It’s certainly a breakthrough work.”
“In the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Sogyal Rinpoche speaks to us out of one of the greatest traditions of insight, and out of his own profound compassion and experience, on the ultimate and inevitable questions of existence. He does so with the lucidity and patience and the directness of a real teacher. This epitome of his teaching could help to guide many of us in our living and dying.”
“If we modern people could absorb one hundredth of what is spoken of in this book, we could begin at one and the same time to bring help to those we love and allow the finitude of human life to teach us about what is infinite within ourselves.”
“Sogyal Rinpoche’s work is a stunningly lucid presentation of the ancient Tibetan teachings. It serves as a vital spiritual beacon in the growing darkness of our age.”
Bruce Joel Rubin
Screenwriter, Ghost and Jacob’s Ladder
“One of the most helpful books I have ever read”.
“I have encountered no book on the interplay of life and death that is more comprehensive, practical and wise. The perspective is forthrightly and profoundly Tibetan, but it is expounded so clearly that the reader has no trouble discerning on every page its universal import.”