Mind Beyond Death

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An indispensable guidebook through the journey of life and death, Mind Beyond Death weaves a synthesis of wisdom remarkable in its scope. With warm informality and profound understanding of the Western mind, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche makes the mysterious Tibetan teachings on the bardos—the intervals of life, death, and beyond—completely available to the modern reader.

Drawing on a breathtaking range of material, Mind Beyond Death shows us how the bardos can be used to conquer...

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An indispensable guidebook through the journey of life and death, Mind Beyond Death weaves a synthesis of wisdom remarkable in its scope. With warm informality and profound understanding of the Western mind, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche makes the mysterious Tibetan teachings on the bardos—the intervals of life, death, and beyond—completely available to the modern reader.

Drawing on a breathtaking range of material, Mind Beyond Death shows us how the bardos can be used to conquer death. Working with the bardos means taking hold of life and learning how to live with fearless abandon. Exploring all six bardos—not just the three bardos of death—Mind Beyond Death demonstrates that the secret to a good journey through and beyond death lies in how we live. Walking skillfully through the bardos of dream meditation and daily life, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche takes us deep into the mysterious death intervals, introducing us to their dazzling mindscape. This tour de force gives us the knowledge to transform death, the greatest obstacle, into the most powerful opportunity for enlightenment. With both nuts-and-bolts meditation techniques and brilliant illumination, Mind Beyond Death offers a clear map and a sturdy vehicle that will safely transport the reader through the challenging transitions of this life and the perilous bardos beyond death.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mind Beyond Death picks up where the Tibetan Book of the Dead leaves off. . . . This stunning work will prepare the seeker of truth for the moments before during and beyond the material expiration of our body our vessel. . . . This reviewer has been reading esoteric spiritual texts since age seventeen and has never seen as clear and skillful a description. . . . Splendid."—New Age Retailer

"This is the most significant work in English on the six bardos since the publication of transcripts of two seminars given many years ago by my guru Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Now once again these wonderful teachings are illuminated by the deep wisdom and compassion of a genuine master."—Francesca Fremantle,  author of Luminous Emptiness: A Guide to the Tibetan Book of the Dead

"Mind Beyond Death goes a long way toward demystifying these teachings about the transition between one life and another and making them relevant to everyday life. The way to meet death fully, says Ponlop Rinpoche, is to die every day to every moment to everything. To our thoughts to our agony to our emotions to our loving relationships—even to our joy. At forty-one, Ponlop Rinpoche, who makes his home in Seattle, is at the forefront of a new generation of traditionally trained Tibetan Buddhist scholar-teachers. You're sure to hear more from him in the future."—Shambhala Sun

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559392761
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/25/2007
  • Pages: 375
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, born in 1965 in northeast India, was trained in the meditative and intellectual disciplines of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of many of the greatest masters from Tibet’s pre-exile generation. He is a widely celebrated teacher, known for his skill in making the full richness of Buddhist wisdom accessible to modern minds, and devotes much of his energy to developing a vision of a genuine Western Buddhism. For more information, go to www.rebelbuddha.com.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche xv Foreword Venerable Alak Zenkar Rinpoche Tibetan xvii English xxiii Editors' Note xxix Introduction: Gambling with the Lord of Death 1
1 The Moment of Truth 9 The Bardo Teachings 11 What Is Bardo? 12 Conceptual and Essence Bardos 13 The Fork in the Road 14 Trapped in Time 15 Neither Here nor There 16 Day-to-day Business 17 Overwhelming Emotions 18 Message from the Lineage 20 Classifications of the Bardos 21 Sources of the Bardo Teachings 23 The Six Root Verses of the Six Bardos 25
2 Pure Delusion: The Natural Bardo of This Life 27 The Dance of Appearances 28 Pure and Impure Appearances 30 Embodied Mind 32 The Three Stages of the Path 34 The Stage of Study 36 The Stage of Contemplation 38 Practices for the Stage of Contemplation 39 Befriending Intense Emotions 42 The Stage of Meditation 43 Foundational Practices: Training and Purification 45 Settling the Mind: The Three Postures 46 The Actual Practice: Padmasambhava's Instructions for Shamatha 49 Shamatha with External Object 50 Shamatha with White Bindu Visualization 51 Shamatha with Red Bindu Visualization 51 Shamatha without Object 52 Deity Yoga 54 Setting a Specific Intention for Our Practice 56 For Only So Long 58
3 Waking the Dreamer: The Bardo of Dream 61 Appearance-Emptiness 62 Impure and Pure Dreams 65 Entering the Dream State 65 Continuation of Confusion 66 Waking Up in the Dream 67 Training in the Illusory Body 68 Training in Dream Yoga 77 Training in Luminosity Yoga 86 Fruition of Training 87 Dreams and Dreamers 89 Looking at the Dream 89 Looking at the Dreamer 90 Looking at the Time Span 91 Lighting a Torch in the Darkness 92
4 Mastering TheMind: The Bardo of Meditation 95 Meditation as Bardo 96 Vipashyana 97 Domesticating Wild Mind 99 Stages of Training in Selflessness 100 Pointing-out Mind's Nature 103 Looking Directly at Mind 104 Gaining Certainty in Liberation 107 Three Words That Strike the Vital Point 107 Dzogchen's Four Great Modes of Liberation 108 Taking the Message of Liberation to Heart 110 Accepting and Rejecting 111 Self-existing Wisdom 113 Letting Go of Freedom 114 The Nature of All 115 Guarding Awareness 116 Path of Skillful Means 117 Connecting the Bardos of Life and Death 118
5 Evaporating Reality: The Painful Bardo of Dying 119 Attachment to This Life 121 Three Capacities of Practitioners 122 Preparing For Death 125 Dissolving of the Elements 126 Coarse and Subtle Bodies 126 The Coarse Dissolution Process 129 The Subtle Dissolution Process 134 The Stages of Luminosity 139 Practices For Dying 141 Path of Devotion 141 Recognizing a Last Chance 142 The Practice of Phowa 143 Methods of Transformation 147 Sudden Death 153 All Practices Are Phowa 154 Planning our Last Thought 155 Looking Ahead 156 Aiming for the Highest 157
6 Egoless Journey: The Luminous Bardo of Dharmata 161 Exploring New Experiences 162 Dharmakaya Luminosity: The Luminosity of No Appearance 163 Ground Luminosity: The Wisdom of Dharmata 163 Meeting of Mother and Child Luminosities 166 Searching for Home 168 Auspicious Causes and Conditions 169 Generating Samadhi Mind 169 Sambhogakaya Luminosity: The Luminosity of Appearance 173 Spontaneously Arising Luminosity 174 The Four Wisdom Lights 183 The Light of Buddha Activity 184 Visions of Spontaneous Presence 185 Taking the Bardo of Dharmata onto the Path 187 Looking at the Nature of Mind 187 Visualization of the Hundred Deities 187 Taking Light as the Path 188 Taking Sound as the Path 190 Taking Pain and Sickness as the Path 191 Taking Delight and Misery as the Path 193 Taking Emotions as the Path 194 Knowing the Territory 195 The Two Kayas of the Bardo of Dharmata 195 Over in an Instant 195 Arriving at the Next Destination 196
7 To Be or Not To Be: The Karmic Bardo of Becoming 199 Nirmanakaya Luminosity 200 Unceasing Appearances 201 Reemergence of Confusion 203 The Miraculous Power of Karmic Mind 204 Creating Auspicious Connections 205 Dawning of the Six Realms 208 Becoming: Qualities of the Six Realms 210 Practices for Becoming 217 Creation Stage Practices 218 Completion Stage Practices 222 Transforming Through Renunciation 224 Plan A and Plan B 225 Vajrayana View of Practice 226 View of Creation Stage 228 View of Completion Stage 232 Mind Beyond Death 233 Editors' Acknowledgments 237 Appendix I The Sutra on Wisdom for the Time of Death Tibetan 239 English 241 Appendix II Vajra Songs of Realization 243 All These Forms 243 The Eight Cases of Basic Goodness Not To Be Shunned 244 Guru Rinpoche Prayer 246 Seven Delights 248 Dedication 250 The Six Bardos by Rechungpa 251 Appendix III Two Poems by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche 253 A Reminder To Myself 253 Heaven 254 Appendix IV Looking Back: The Purpose of Ngondro 255 The Vajrayana Roller Coaster 256 Purpose of Ngondro 257 The Four Tantra Ngondro Practices 259 An Important Point 261 Appendix V The Stages of Dissolution 263 Appendix VI The Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities 267 Notes 271 Glossary 275
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2007

    Read This Book: Your *Life* Depends on It

    Mind Beyond Death is not just a treatise on Tibetan Buddhist beliefs about the afterlife. It is a comprehensive guide to living fully and meaningfully now. By teaching us how to transform our fear of death and to understand the truth of our existence, Ponlop Rinpoche gives us the tools to work with all the circumstances of our present life. This well-structured handbook on the journey of life and death is always intelligent, insightful, and accessible. Rinpoche's clear explanations of both theory and practice are delivered in contemporary language, laced with wit and humour. The book's diagrams, illustrations, footnotes, and glossary are valuable additional resources. Like Ponlop Rinpoche's other books, Penetrating Wisdom: The Aspiration of Samantabhadra and Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, Mind Beyond Death is a book to be treasured and read time and again. Highly recommended for non-Buddhists and Buddhists alike.

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