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Customer Review

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant BUT inconsistant: Not without its faults., 25 July 2010
This review is from: The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying: A Spiritual Classic from One of the Foremost Interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism to the West (Rider 100) (Paperback)
I have had this book on my shelf for a while now, and i have drawn much inspiration from the first half of the book. The first half covers different ideas such as how to reframe death and give it a positive place in our lives, how to understand karma, meditation, how to rest in the nature of mind free of grasping and aversion, and much more. I have used many of the ideas contained in this section to life changing effect, and if it wasn't for the second half of the book, I would have given the book a resounding 5 stars.

The second section of the book seems to fall into esoteric doctrines saved only for the hardcore practitioner of Buddhism (Dzogchen etc). Much of the second half of the book is interspersed with 'don't try this at home' type comments, and suggesting that you need a guru and a master to practice and to be properly introduced to the nature of your own mind. For a book supposedly written by Sogyal Rinpoche, acclaimed for introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the west, I found this section to be quite alienating and of very little or no practical relevence (unless you plan on becoming a hardened Buddhist, packing up this life and living in the Tibetan mountains with the goats.).

For me, the book retains some considerable value, as, for the most part, the book is inspiring and introduces the reader to many interesting key concepts of Buddhism. Think of it as a kind of an encyclopedia of Buddhism. A must have for anyone interested in spirituality, but perhaps not entirely relevant.
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Initial post: 9 Jan 2012 23:49:42 GMT
Dear Sir,

I read your review carefully and was impressed by your intelectual capacity and logic of your reasoning. Thank you.

As a Buddhist practitioner (for 9 years, not necessary with goats in the mountains but anywhere and anytime one can access their mind - place is irrelevant) I would like to clarify for other potential buyers that "resting in mind's nature" is an ultimate goal of Buddhist practice and it would eventually bring up the experience of realization of full mind's potential which is enlightenment.

As you can not have the experience of being pregnant just by reading a book about pregnancy neither "The Tibetan Book..." is aiming to give you the experience of what is described there.

What is given is the information and hopefully an inspiration to apply the ideas in you everyday life. Nothing more.

Since some very practical concepts are easy and can be applied by anyone without any difficulties when it comes to fruition of human potential it will appear far more difficult than, let's say, getting pregnant :-)
That is why the author responsibly tells the truth: you can learn to ride a bike just by reading the instructions since learning to fly a jet is possible but only after significant training is given by an experienced pilot!

Lucky we all have minds (!?!) and can choose how fast we need to ride those. And since so little knowledge is given about our mind by wonderful education systems of our western world anything we can learn about it is great. Even with bike's speed going forward is so much more meaningful than going circles all the time. Cruising is also pleasant and refreshing :-)

This book can be of great help particularly for people getting ready to die by simple tips how to lead yourself through the most unknown journey waiting for all of us at the very end of our lives. The highest potential described can be achieved by everyone who will feel inspired to learn
the way things are in practice and "The Tibetan Book of Living And Dying" can be a quality starting point if one wishes to do so.
Highly recommend.
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