When Tomaso drew his last breath and as I sat beside him holding his hand, the book “The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying” randomly came to mind. I thought, I must read that. One year to the day, I found it and begin the journey through the book.
The CV19 pandemic is greater than 12 months old, and I am not convinced death is out of the closet. The potential was there for that to happen, but instead, I see more death denial than ever before. People still live either in denial of death or in terror of it. People still think it is morbid to discuss death beyond the mere mention of it. Perhaps the underlying reason is they think concentrating on death will actually bring it about, and if they don’t concentrate on it, it won’t.
I was raised to believe in life after death. Tomaso believed in the afterlife, also. But those without this belief or faith, are left devoid of a meaningful existence.
Death denial can be seen in the devastation of planet earth. With no long-term vision of the whole, believing this life is the only one, gives reason for destroying the beautiful green earth and clear blue sky.
Belief in a life beyond this one automatically builds a sense of personal responsibility and moral value that guides a person thoughtfully through this life.
Believing this is the only life breeds a sense of hopelessness and attitudes empty of compassion.
“The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying” is derived from “The Tibetan Book Of The Dead,” an ancient Tibetan text. The word BARDO is introduced in the original treatise and expanded in the book I am reading now. BARDO denotes the intermediate state between death and rebirth and “occurs continuously through both life and death and are junctures when the possibility of enlightenment is heightened.”
Tomaso’s last breath was such a juncture for both of us.
When we concentrate on the art of dying, “the nature of mind” is realized. Meditation practices are the only way to repeatedly uncover and stabilize the nature of mind in order to be the truth beyond the mystery that we seek. OM
To Be Continued...