The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying I

Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person who we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet.  Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger of our own?

And doesn’t that point to something fundamentally tragic about our way of life? Hypnotized by the thrill of building, we have raised the houses of our lives on sand. This world can seem marvelously convincing until death collapses the illusion and evicted us from our hiding place. What will happen to us if we have no clue of any deeper reality?

When we die we leave everything behind, especially this body we have cherished so much and relied upon so blindly and tried so hard to keep alive. But our minds are no more dependable than our bodies. Just look at your mind for a few minutes. Swept along by the chaos of every moment, we are the victims of the fickleness of our mind. If this is the only state of consciousness we are familiar with, then to rely on our minds at the moment of death is a great gamble.

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