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Guest Lecture with Professor Karma Lekshe Tsomo: Precarity: Living and Dying in Himalayan Buddhist Cultures
Buddhists have a lot of wisdom to share about dying. In Himalayan Buddhist cultures, in particular, the precarity of life in an unpredictable climate and fragile ecology gave rise to a large body of knowledge about the practice of dying. Meditation on the stages of the dying process simulates the dissolution of the elements of body and mind, and prepares a person to transition from this life to the next with confidence and moment-to-moment awareness. Instead of being catapulted into the unknown “at the mercy of karma and delusion,” one can prepare for death in advance, either to secure a higher rebirth or achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death altogether. Another practice, unique to Tibetan Buddhism, is phowa, “transference of consciousness,” achieving mastery over the winds and channels of the body to achieve rebirth in a Pure Land. We all have to die. Why not be prepared?

Mar 4, 2022 07:00 PM in Vancouver

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