Advice on Dying: And Living a Better Life
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Advice on Dying: And Living a Better Life

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  26 reviews
"Everyone dies, but no one is dead," goes the Tibetan saying. It is with these words that "Advice on Dying" takes flight. Using a seventeenth-century poem written by a prominent scholar-practitioner, His Holiness the Dalai Lama draws from a wide range of traditions and beliefs to explore the stages we all go through when we die, which are the very same stages we experience...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 19th 2002 by Atria (first published 2002)
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Julie
I selected this book after losing both my father and my mother-in-law just a day apart this past summer. I had hoped that the experience would be similar to someone seeking the truth from a hermit living high up in the mountains. What is the purpose of life? And why do people have to die? Who better to seek these answers from than the Dalai Lama? Did this book answer all my questions? Yes... and no. Death is described as an inescapable event. One that we all must prepare for. Part of our day to...more
Libby
It will be interesting when I come to die to see if dying happens in the stages outlined here. I tend to believe that there is no one way of doing anything, life and death are full of myriads of possibilities and are not limited to one way and one way only. I wonder if you study Tibetan Buddhism and expect to die in a certain way then you will simply because you believe you will (and the same goes for every religion) or do they know something everyone else doesn't? I guess theres only one way to...more
John Lawrence
this is helpful for someone who is dying or who has a loved one who is dying. it contains some good, practical advice on how to hold your mind steady and keep it thoughtful and helpful.

the practical advice covers things like developing an awareness of death, liberating oneself from the fear of death, and meditating while dying.

after that, there is a fair bit of deeper Buddhist meditation training that one doesn't receive unless they have been in committed studies for a while. it covers the ment...more
Maria Hurt
quite possibly the most helpful book on living in the moment...
J.E.
Feb 26, 2011 J.E. marked it as did-not-finish
No rating because I only made it 20% of the way in. That 20% was split. First was a long introduction about Chinese and Tibetan governments pretending to be the authority over which magical child is the latest incarnation of whoever -- a subject I would have a hard time taking seriously without personally going to Tibet and having to pass a series of trials to win the Ajanti Dagger.

The other half was surprisingly basic, and weak, I thought, for being addressed to a one-dimensional, straw man aud...more
Jason
This book can be divided up into smaller parts. The first part is a forward by Jeffrey Hopkins which discusses in part the Panchen Lama and also the Dalai Lama. He talks about the identification of these figures and how the Chinese who supposedly have "liberated" Tibet have started their own identification processes. Hopkins is very critical of Chinese politics and their involvement in Tibet. The second part of the book deals with a 17 stanza poem written by the first Panchen Lama of Tibet. The...more
Justin
Accepting death and meditating on impermanence are among the cornerstones of Buddhist teachings. The Tibetan Buddhist tradition especially has for centuries almost made a science of contemplating, observing, and describing the subtleties involved in the process of dying and the afterlife. Of equal importance to living well for Tibetan Buddhists is dying well. Although this is a brief text, it is helpful to have some prior knowledge or experience of Buddhism or meditative disciplines due to the v...more
Myridian
What a disappointment. This book was an annotated recitation of the First Panchen Lama's poem, Wishes for Release from the Perilous Straits of the Intermediate State, Hero Releasing from Fight. This book basically spouts religious doctrine for 237 pgs. I had always thought that Buddhism was a less reward focused religion, but this book seriously damaged that hypothesis. The whole book is basically focused on how to achieve a positive reincarnation. It even goes so far as to say that one can chea...more
Jyoti
I had high expectations from this book. It was going to be the first book to tell me clearly what death was about--whether it brought an absolute end or there was indeed a cycle of birth and death. Do the dead watch over their living relatives or they're perished forever?

It was an easy read but I still gave it a lot of breaks. Those breaks reduced the fright associated with death. I was able to read through the text in a matter of fact way but found a lot of the initial lessons a reiteration of...more
Sarahkbolton
"To make life meaningful, acceptance of old age and death as parts of our life is crucial. Feeling that death is almost impossible just creates more greediness and more trouble - sometimes even deliberate harm to others. When we take a good look at how supposedly great personages - emperors, monarchs, and so forth - built huge dwelling places and walls, we see that deep inside their minds was an idea that they would stay in this life forever. This self-deception results in more pain and more tro...more
Daniel Vladimiro
Well, I've read it in Portuguese, but anyhow, I think the death it's the same worldwide.
It's a completely new perspective of believes and thoughts about death .
Quite interesting for the Occident civilization.
I'm always amaze, but the depth of awareness of the body and spirit, that the oriental believes have.
So, it's a delight to know this knowledge , despite the fact, that I don't think I can die this way...to much effort.
Heather Richard
A very beautiful book. Meditating on the transient nature of life is so important; indeed, that is the way to a mindful death. Though for many that might be morbid, it should be understood as a way to living a better life. A very clear introduction to the discovery of the Dalai Lama and the conflict between China & Tibet. Will return to this many times, of that I am sure.
Beez Beasley
Have read this book along with My Spiritual Journey by the Dalai Lama. I'm still trying to understand the Buddhist philosophies....how they marry up with my lifelong belief in Christianity. An interesting journey in learning the ways of the Buddhist.
Karen
This book is short and sweet. It has a bunch of awesome tidbits and ideas that I have never thought of before. I don't necessarily agree with the whole thing, but it provokes some interesting thoughts.
Jaga
It was more technical that I could have imagined. Apart from spiritual teachings you also get quite a matter-of-fact description of stages of death and afterlife.

Linda Breiding
The first part of the book was really good but when it came to the second part I was tottaly lost due to the lack of Buddism kknowledge.
Carlos Gallinar
Perhaps the best spiritual book I've read. It will change the way you live your life on a daily basis. A must read for all human beings.
Arizonagirl
This book was so esoteric I wasn't able to get much out of it besides the obvious, don't wait to plan for your death.
David
Excellent little book on death and dying from a Tibetan Buddhist viewpoint.
CJ Ewell
There is no way to read too much of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Pody Ken
Life is short, but our soul forever....
Becky
Awesome and interesting.
Stephen
Bad Advice but well written.
Jennifer
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2014
Margaret
Margaret marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2014
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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the...more
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