Robert Thurman: Sogyal Rinpoche and The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying
In an Interview, Robert Thurman Shares his thoughts on the Impact of Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:
“Dealing with the terrible difficulties of dying or having a relative or loved one die is a really hard thing. And in our culture we don’t do it well.
But we’re doing it better now thanks to Sogyal Rinpoche’s great book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and also thanks to the better knowledge that people are getting from The Tibetan Book of the Dead from my own work and the work of many others. Much of the improvement is also thanks to the work of some of Rinpoche’s students, such as Christine Longaker, who have gotten very involved in the hospice movement.
We all owe Sogyal Rinpoche such as huge debt of gratitude. He has done so much great work, for example in bringing His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Europe again and again. Not to mention the wonderful retreat centre in Lerab Ling, as well as the many wonderful students whose lives he’s helped and touched.
Running down the centre of all of this is his wonderful book, which is still massively popular worldwide in so many different languages. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying has had now a 20-year run and is still going strong, because people are still living and dying! And they live a lot better when they know they’re going to be dying. They are also encouraged by the fact that there are some people in the Buddhist mind-sciences that know something about the death process and the subsequent post-death process, which the silly materialist scientists extremely wrongly and irrationally deny.
Rinpoche’s book—very beautifully and anecdotally—brings this whole process to life for people and makes it less frightening and forbidding. It shows us that bringing this awareness into our lives makes us much more alive and happy. So for all of these reasons we congratulate Sogyal Rinpoche life’s work and also his great book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, now in its 21st year.”
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