Wholesome Fear: Transforming Your Anxiety About Impermanence and Death

Overview

With the right perspective, our anxiety around sickness, old age, and death can be a "wholesome fear"—a fear with a positive quality that ultimately enriches and nourishes our lives. Lama Zopa Rinpoche shows us how we can use our anxiety as a high-octane fuel to really live what's most important. Alongside Rinpoche's teachings, Kathleen McDonald presents meditations that lead to peace, compassion, and joy for ourselves and others. Approaching our physical realities in this way will help us to live well and, when ...

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Wholesome Fear: Transforming Your Anxiety About Impermanence and Death

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Overview

With the right perspective, our anxiety around sickness, old age, and death can be a "wholesome fear"—a fear with a positive quality that ultimately enriches and nourishes our lives. Lama Zopa Rinpoche shows us how we can use our anxiety as a high-octane fuel to really live what's most important. Alongside Rinpoche's teachings, Kathleen McDonald presents meditations that lead to peace, compassion, and joy for ourselves and others. Approaching our physical realities in this way will help us to live well and, when the time comes as it inevitably will, to die well too. It's never too early to start making this most important of efforts—and, fortunately, it is never too late. An essential guide for anyone confronting the challenges of death and dying, Wholesome Fear serves as a reminder of the gift and truth of impermanence.

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Editorial Reviews

Gelek Rimpoche
"A wonderful and welcome book for the spiritual well-being of all who read it."
Joan Halifax
"This book is a powerful reminder of the gift of the truth of impermanence. It is a veritable treasure in the literature on being with dying."
Lama Migmar Tseten
"Wholesome Fear contains heart advice from the great Buddhist master, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, regarding impermanence and death,meditation on death, the process of dying, and powerful meditation techniques from Kathleen McDonald. This book is an essential guide for anyone confronting the challenges imposed by impermanence and the process of death and dying."
Mandala Magazine
"Imagine you're in a foreign country, there's a sudden terrifying earthquake—and the voice you hear is Lama Zopa's, rapping out this instruction: 'Meditate on bodhichitta!' You are scared witless because you think you are going to die, but you have just been given the best advice in the world. This was Kathleen McDonald's unforgettable experience at Kopan Monastery in Nepal, back in 1974. Now she has collaborated with Rinpoche in this splendid book, crammed with clear unequivocal words of wisdom about how we don't need to fear death at all; rather, the fear is the risk of dying with an uncontrolled mind, and dying without having done anything positive in this life. It really is a 'wholesome' fear, with extraordinarily positive qualities. With vivid descriptions of exactly what happens when we die, and the ultimate death experiences of great yogis, plus practical powerful guided meditations, this book is like having Lama Zopa Rinpoche at your side. What more could you ask for a perfect death?"
Shambhala Sun
"If the topic of death has ever made you squirm, this book is for you. If you have ever lost a loved one and then been dismayed when your closest friends avoided talking about it, this book is for you, too. Indeed, if you're the sort of person who will die someday, this is a good book to read."
Elephant Journal
"Wholesome Fear should not sit on a bookshelf: it should be referenced regularly by anyone willing to face their own mortality and interested in making the most of the time given."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861716302
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 1/13/2010
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,401,375
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects, including Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest. His books include Transforming Problems into Happiness, How to Be Happy, and Ultimate Healing. He lives in Aptos, California.

Kathleen McDonald (Sangye Khadro) was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1974. She is a respected and inspiring teacher in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, a worldwide organization of Buddhist teaching and meditation centers.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction Kathleen McDonald 1

Wholesome Fear

Section I Impermanence and Death

The Truth of Impermanence 23

The Advantages of Remembering Death 26

Death and Dharma 28

The Disadvantages of Not Remembering Death 31

Meditating on Impermanence 33

Section II Meditation on Death

The Truth of Impermanence 39

The Nine-Point Meditation on Death 41

The Truth that Death Is Definite 43

The Truth that the Time of Death Is Uncertain 45

The Truth of the Efficacy of the Dharma 48

Ripples on a Lake 51

The Death of the Buddha 52

Remembering the Deaths of Those You've Known 53

A Story of Realizing Impermanence 55

The Time to Practice Is Now 57

The Five Powers 58

Section III The Process of Dying

Dissolution of the Elements and Aggregates; Visions at the Time of Death 65

Ordinary Deaths and the Deaths of Great Yogis 69

What Great Yogis Experience at the Time of Death 70

The Intermediate-State Body 72

Section IV Meditation and Dedications

Die with Bodhichitta 77

Tonglen-The Practice of Taking and Giving 79

Giving Your Body Away 83

Dedicating Merit 87

Conclusion 88

More Meditations Kathleen McDonald

Meditation on Impermanence 91

Meditation on the Inevitability of Death 95

Meditation on the Uncertainty of the Time of Death 99

Meditation on What Helps at the Time of Death 103

OM AH HUM Purification Meditation 108

Meditation on the Four Opponent Powers 112

Tonglen Using One's Own Problem 116

Tonglen for Another Person's Problem 118

Medicine Buddha Meditation 120

Appendixes: How to Begin Meditating Right Now

Advice for Beginners 127

Posture 131

Meditation on the Breath 134

Appreciating Our Human Life139

Common Problems in Meditation 146

Recommended Reading 153

About the Authors 155

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Powerful

    This very concise book will open readers' eyes.

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