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Understanding the ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’

Lindsay Fletcher Hardie
Special to the Sun

Have you ever been curious about The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

A 15-week guided book study of “Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead” by Francesca Fremantle will be led by Polly Ryan, MA, MFT, of the Truckee Tara Mandala Meditation Group.

This program will begin Wednesday, Sept. 3 at For Goodness Sake in Truckee as well as via the Internet.

“Luminous Emptiness” serves as a guide to understanding the concepts, the terms and the imagery contained in The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

It also simultaneously and naturally introduces the reader to the basic tenets of Tibetan Buddhism. This book makes accessible the teachings and universal truths contained in The Tibetan Book of the Dead to anyone attracted to learning about this classic, whether they are Buddhist or not.

“Recognition is the keynote of this whole teaching, but we cannot recognize what we have never met. So its message to us during this life is to get to know all these manifestations of mind while there is still time. All meditation is about getting to know the mind: first, our individual minds, and then the essence of mind itself.

“If we learn to know our mind during this life, we shall understand that the same mind continues after death, and that whatever occurs after death also happens here and now,” writes Freemantle in “Luminous Emptiness.”

This passage urges us to pay attention now, to learn now, to prepare now.

This helps us choose how we live and how we die. It helps us fundamentally move toward liberation, toward enlightenment and toward truly being of service to all beings.

The study session will include a short meditation followed by a guided discussion of study questions designed to enhance learning the book’s key concepts. Approximately one chapter per week will be covered.

This study group will also serve as a foundation for training in P’howa with Chagdud Khadro, who will teach in Truckee Oct. 3-5.

Contact For Goodness Sake at 530-550-8981 to order your book in advance. Register for the class at ecotoning@gmail.com.

The course will meet on Wednesdays, Sept. 3 through Dec. 17, 9 -10:30 a.m. Course fee: $175-220 for the class series, or $12-15 per class drop in. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Lindsay Fletcher Hardie, Ph.D, is a psychologist, and a long time student of Lama Tsultrim Allione.


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