Graham Coleman

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Born
Richmond, The United Kingdom
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March 2013




Graham Coleman is President of the Orient Foundation for Arts and Culture(UK), a major Tibetan cultural conservancy organization. He has been editing Tibetan Buddhist poetry and prose texts in cooperation with various distinguished translators since the mid-1970s.
Graham Coleman was born in Richmond, England, in 1951 and raised in Luxor, Upper Egypt, where his father was the Head Artist with the University of Chicago’s Egyptological expedition.
Educated at Mill Hill School and the University of Bristol where he received an Honours Degree in Psychology and Drama.
Writer and Director of the acclaimed feature documentary ‘Tibet – A Buddhist Trilogy’ (Arts Council of England and Thread Cross Films), 1976 to 1979. (http://www.tibetantrilogy.org.uk)
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The Tibetan Book of the Dead

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More books by Graham Coleman…
“The Heart-mantra of Dependent Origination (rten-'brel snying-po [རྟེན་འབྲེལ་སྙིང་པོ]), which liberates the enduring continuum of phenomena and induces the appearance of multiplying relics ('phel-gdung [འཕེལ་གདུང་] and rainbow lights, is:
[OṂ] YE DHARMĀ HETUPRABHAVĀ
HETUN TEṢĀṂ TATHĀGATO
HY AVADAT TEṢĀṂ CA YO
NIRODHO EVAṂ VĀDI
MAHĀŚRAMAṆAḤ [YE SVĀHĀ]
('Whatever events arise from a cause, the Tathagāta [Buddha, "Thus-gone"] has told the cause thereof, and the great virtuous ascetic has taught their cessation as well [so be it]').”
Graham Coleman, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

“It is undeniably the case that in our society we do not easily accept that death is a natural part of life, which results in a perpetual sense of insecurity and fear, and many are confused at the time of the death of a loved one, not knowing what they can do to help the one that has passed away or how to address their own grief. Exploring ways of overcoming our fear of death and adopting a creative approach at the time of bereavement, that is, focusing one’s energy on supporting the one that has passed away, are both extraordinary benefits of the insights and practices that are so beautifully expressed in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. When I think of these things I often remember the Dalai Lama saying: ‘When we look at life and death from a broader perspective, then dying is just like changing our clothes! When this body becomes old and useless, we die and take on a new body, which is fresh, healthy and full of energy! This need not be so bad!’ Graham Coleman Thimpu, Bhutan”
Graham Coleman, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

“[OBSERVATIONS RELATED TO EXAMINING THE NATURE OF MIND] Be certain that the nature of mind is empty and without foundation. One’s own mind is insubstantial, like an empty sky. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not. Divorced from views which constructedly determine [the nature of] emptiness, Be certain that pristine cognition, naturally originating, is primordially radiant – Just like the nucleus of the sun, which is itself naturally originating. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that this awareness, which is pristine cognition, is uninterrupted, Like the coursing central torrent of a river which flows unceasingly. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that conceptual thoughts and fleeting memories are not strictly identifiable, But insubstantial in their motion, like the breezes of the atmosphere. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that all that appears is naturally manifest [in the mind], Like the images in a mirror which [also] appear naturally. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that all characteristics are liberated right where they are, Like the clouds of the atmosphere, naturally originating and naturally dissolving. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], now could there be anything on which to meditate apart from the mind? There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no modes of conduct to be undertaken extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no commitments to be kept extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no results to be attained extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], one should observe one’s own mind, looking into its nature again and again. If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky, There are no projections emanated by the mind, And if, on looking inwards at one’s own mind, There is no projectionist who projects [thoughts] by thinking them, Then, one’s own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear. [This] intrinsic awareness, [union of] inner radiance and emptiness, is the Buddha-body of Reality, [Appearing] like [the illumining effect of] a sunrise on a clear and cloudless sky,. It is clearly knowable, despite its lack of specific shape or form. There is a great distinction between those who understand and those who misunderstand this point. This naturally originating inner radiance, uncreated from the very beginning, Is the parentless child of awareness – how amazing! It is the naturally originating pristine cognition, uncreated by anyone – how amazing! [This radiant awareness] has never been born and will never die – how amazing! Though manifestly radiant, it lacks an [extraneous] perceiver – how amazing! Though it has roamed throughout cyclic existence, it does not degenerate – how amazing! Though it has seen buddhahood itself, it does not improve – how amazing! Though it is present in everyone, it remains unrecognised – how amazing! Still, one hopes for some attainment other than this – how amazing! Though it is present within oneself, one continues to seek it elsewhere – how amazing!”
Graham Coleman, The Tibetan Book of the Dead




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