Congratulatory Rejoicing: Tibetan Book of the Dead – Ep. 244
In this episode Professor Thurman introduces the Four Noble Truths and the Buddhist Inner Sciences through reading key passages from the miss titled “Tibetan Book of the Dead”.
Opening with a recommendation of “Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition” by Andrew Holecek and a lively Carlos Castaneda story, Robert A.F. Thurman gives a close line reading and recitation of his classic translation of the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” for listeners of all faiths, backgrounds or experience. Using the stories of from the Nalanda Tradition’s Tilopa and from his time studying with Geshe Wangyal, Tara Tulku, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Bob Thurman discusses value of positive intention, life affirming action and supportive behavior during the death process and in our daily lives.
Podcast includes: an explanation of the restorative sleep yoga and clear light meditations, introductions to the Buddhist perspectives on emptiness, non-duality, and nihilism, an exploration of the interconnected nature of the mind, the subtle body, bliss and emptiness and an extended teaching on the place of congratulatory rejoicing in spiritual transformation and self improvement practices.
Recorded during the on-going Tibet House US | Menla Online “Bardo” teachings this episode includes: a discussion on the differences between Pundits and Siddhas across Indian and Tibetan history, an introduction to the transformative power of generosity and Buddha-verses during Professor Thurman’s classic Jim Belushi “Food Fight Universe” and clear light meditations.
To learn more about Robert A.F. Thurman’s new audio book version of “Liberation Through Understanding in the Between: Tibetan Book of the Dead” by Penguin Audio, please visit: www.bobthurman.com.
The Bob Thurman podcast is produced under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives License through the generous support of its listening audience and the Tibet House US Menla membership community. To learn about the benefits of membership please visit: www.tibethouse.us.
The songs “Trance Tibet” & ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge are used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved.
Bob Thurman 00:01:17 [Tibetan Phrase] means just barely not dead, but you have to be over seventy or mid, late sixties or they’ll really give you a look if you try to use that!
This is such a great book. I like it a lot. “Preparing to Die”. Being very much alive is what it is. Preparing to die as being very much alive.
Did you ever read the Carlos Casteneda books? I always thought of Don Juan, whoever he really was, I thought of him as Tiploa, actually. I don’t know why. Oh this guy is Tilopa.This is Tilpoa! I just felt he was emanation of Tilpoa.
I happened to know Casteneda’s professor at UCLA. And he told me, he was sure there was such a person who has Don Juan, because he said his graduate student never could've made it all up by himself!
Bob Thurman 00:02:23 But then he did him a huge favor by canceling / rejecting, rejecting his PhD thesis twice. Both books became bestsellers. Then finally, he decided he didn't want it to have a third best seller. So then they accepted the final thesis, but they didn't give him my academic job on the other hand, but they accepted the thesis.
Sorry, but I always thought I done once his teaching was very authentic and he always had the, you keep death on your shoulder, death as an advisor, there's always advising of like, don't waste your time on this and that and the other and live at a certain level of intensity, uh, because death is on your shoulder. You know, I love it. I loved that. I remember that I'm now forever.
We were just at the point when Yama is counting the black and white stones.. Hey, noble ones!
Bob Thurman 00:03:34 Yeah. So then you will be very worried, angry with terrified trembling. You will ally say I committed no sins, but then yeah, I'm uh, the judge of the dead will say, I will look into the mirror of evolution. When he looks into the mirror of evolution, all your sins and virtues will clearly and distinctly appear there in your allies will not help Yamato tie a rope around your neck and lead you away. He will cut off your head, rip out your heart, pull out your guts, lick your brains, drink your blood, eat your flesh and know your bones. But since you cannot die, even though your body is cut to pieces, you're alive again and again, and again, being cut up again and again, you will suffer immense pain. So when the white stones are being encountered, don't be afraid. Don't panic and do not lie.
Bob Thurman 00:04:39 Don't fear, Yama. Your body is mental. So even if it is killed and cut up, you cannot die. In fact, your form is devoid itself. So you have nothing to fear. Our form is emptiness. Emptiness is form right matter is void even subtle amount of their energy of the, between body. Don't worry. You have nothing to fear. The Yama deities are your own hallucinations and themselves are forms of the void. Your own instinctual mental body is void. Voidness cannot harm voidness sightlessness cannot harm sidedness. Thus, you should recognize that there is nothing other than your own hallucination. There is no external substantially existent Yama angel, Devin, or bull-headed ogre and so on. You must recognize all this as the, between easier said than done, but do it meditate on the samadhi of the great seal. And that is feeling that's again, what I'm constantly harping on here, you know, is the trust in the universe, the, in the lovingness of the university, the great seal means you love it.
Bob Thurman 00:06:02 And it loves you. When you, when you walk on the beach, I am such an idiot. I've walked here thinking, Oh, it must be cold. Or maybe I'll go swim or kind of catch a wave, eh, or maybe I won't. I have to warm up in the sun first. I'm just thinking all sorts of silly self-centered things. Instead of realizing that those waves are the love of the earth, the water,
the temperature, and the wind expressing love for me and everybody else on the beach and all beings. Look --
-- at that beautiful Palm tree and the ocean add the it's Smith's peninsula, peninsula. Really? We're all locked down and we see the beach. Thank you, Felicia. Okay. So now he says, he says meditate on the samadhi of the grade seal. So that's the great seal that that sealed in my consciousness is the lovingness of the ocean and the Palm tree fronds and the greenery. And so on, besides this, it's making up a bunch of coconuts, so I can have some coconut milk in my tea.
Bob Thurman 00:07:20 Uh, that's really nice. I like that. If you don't know how to meditate, examined carefully, whatever terrifies you and seed the voidness, that is its lack of objective status. So, okay. Every night we went to sleep every night, we finally gave it up. We became unconscious in order to do that, we surrendered our sense of boundary. We, we, you know, because we were completely vulnerable Hunter unconscious talk about being vulnerable when you're asleep, you're totally vulnerable. I mean, of course you have the door locked and blah, blah, blah, the windows closed and the dark and quiet. So, you know, you're trying not to be, but actually you personally are very vulnerable. If someone picked the lock or whatever, there's nothing you can do about it, whatever it is. And yet you wake up refreshed. So whatever happens to you while your unconscious is nourishing. So universe nourish issue chest by passing out.
Bob Thurman 00:08:29 So why what's this thing about nature? Your world sucks. What is it? It's it's it's mistake. People will tell you that. Who think you have to look get something from them. They were to sell you something like some sort of religion or some sort of authority or some sort of some sort of, so anything it says, Hey, because you need them because the world is SunTrust Friday. Look at that. You have proof. You say, look, I slept now for 80 years, I slept every single night. I was a hundred percent vulnerable. Half the time or no, a third of the time for 80 years,
I'm fine. I'm healthy. I'm alive. I woke up lots of mornings feeling like it was going in and out and feeling good. So somebody was loving me. I had some oxygen still breathing. I was good, but I breathe in the day time and I get more and more tired. So it isn't oxygen. The clear light of the void. That's what it is. Emptiness clear light, diamond energy. Okay. I, and I'm too uptight to relax into diamond energy, except when I'm unconscious.
Bob Thurman 00:09:45 That's a real lesson to me. Okay. If you don't know how to meditate, you examine carefully, whatever terrifies you, lots of things. Let's see the voidness that is it's like of objective state is that is the natural body of truth. Nowadays. I like to say body of reality with a capital R maybe just to make the absolute tissue feel better body of reality itself. And that voidness is not merely isolation. Therefore, when I'm looking at things, if I look for avoidance, I'm just jumping straight to Naloxone. But if I'm looking for things to really pinpoint what they are, they will dissolve under analysis. And my failure to really find the things that appeared to me that that appearance is their ultimate status or what concept, the appearance of their parts, their items. There's some that problems is their ultimate status. Any appearance will dissolve under analysis.
Bob Thurman 00:10:50 And that is that failure to find that thing. I put my ultimacy seeking critical wisdom to work, to find the failure, to find anything. There is my recognition of voidness, but it's not an extra thing. It's just not finding the other thing. So it isn't closing around a thing called voidness and actually the act of closing around a thing called voidness. There, there, the danger is that sir, that there will be maybe an experience of everything being spaced, floating into space, like a spaced out experience, which is a good experience because it's sort of acknowledging the disappearance of whatever seems solid before that I was examining and analyzing, including inside in the self area of the self or outside the area of things. And it all disappears under analysis. And then that state of disappearing somehow is experienced like an open space and I'm, I've fallen into it.
Bob Thurman 00:11:55 I melt into it and everything else seems to melt into it. Okay. And so the danger then is, Oh, this is emptiness as if it were something apart from the things. So it was for this, we need, the remedy of measure is em --
-- ptiness. Emptiness is measure. Emptiness is not other than measure matter is not. Emptiness is not other than emptiness. You know, the hearts sweet child, that's the president of parliament, the great transcendent wisdom teaching it transcends relational things by examining and investigating they're defined their ultimate reality. And then it transcends everything disappearing as if that our ultimate reality was something without them. And when the disappearance of everything disappears, then everything is back. And now that is clear, light, clear, light as everything, body of reality, including space and what is in this space, all of it, no nothing and not including nothing because nothing is there.
Bob Thurman 00:13:08 So you don't have to like redeem it because you can't destroy it because it isn't there. It never was created. And in a way, the emptiness also, so nothing is an empty to share a emptiness. Avoidance is also not created. It's also primordial Nirvana. It's also a primordial clear light. It's also, whatever thing is, or has always been. And so, so therefore nothing should bother me. Okay. And the only thing that is sort of a residual bother, although inconceivably somehow was while remaining totally aware of it, it doesn't bother the Buddha, but in a way, the fact that it bothers people who suffer or beings who suffered, not just people being to suffer is somehow draws the intention of the, of the Buddha. And since he sees it's unnecessary, that suffering is only based on the miss snowing. Then he automatically becomes the awareness. And through building up from the infinite energy of clear light, he builds up a kind of resonance manifestation.
Bob Thurman 00:14:33 And in that arena, med human or non-human, whatever it might be object or a person that will help that suffering beings for less, that will be a therapist for that being will be a healer for that being who's suffering without any effort at all. It just sort of magically happened amazing you're. And that voidness is not merely an annihilation you're triumphant distinct awareness of the terror of the void is itself. The blissful mind of the body of beatitude. That's a challenging sentence. You're triumphant triumphant in the sense of sailing into the freedom and feeling free and, and re of find that freedom projecting a sense of infinite space as that freedom, which of course, being only there in that location, let's say is not freedom. Actually, it's being trapped in its infinite space, but, but nevertheless it's feels triumphant because of breaking through and then becomes more triumphant by breaking through having this spaciousness.
Bob Thurman 00:15:51 So your triumph and distinct awareness of the terror of the void and the terror would be if you're sort of trapped in it or you're mistaking that spaciousness, it says, well, there's nothing in this space as a kind of nothingness and you're way at first and free. And second, maybe it's like in trapping is itself a blissful mind. So the awareness is the bliss. This is key. This is of course, essence of unexcelled yoga, tantra, all tantra. Actually, I don't know if you I'm sure a lot of you know that already, but it very exhale. It was good to repeat the key thing about tantric intuitions or what the translators like to translate as no CS, G N O S I S kenosis and I think his word intuition is better than the English word. Then just connotes. It goes, this makes it a mystifying thing.
Bob Thurman 00:16:44 So the point is that the difference of emptiness of Tundra and emptiness of Sutra is not emptiness. That's not different avoidance self-assess, those are not different. They're the same, but the difference is the subjectivity that experiences it. And in the Sutra, in the exoteric it's the course mind that is on the, on the edge of conceptuality, although it can break, it can sort of have a, feels like a direct experience, but say conceptuality is always hovering. Like when you float into X infinite space, or you would feel you'd become infinite space as more real than having been the body that you were in a relational space, then that means you're you have it like a, almost a visceral experience, but actually your conceptuality is operating invisibly to exclude all the other things in the space with you, by having analyzed them all, they all dissolved under analysis.
Bob Thurman 00:17:53 So in a way you're still you're you're there that's the course of mind, altho --
-- ugh the course of mine can break free of conceptuality it's experience, it's non-conceptual experience. It's still subliminally aware of it that it's not conceptual. That is, that is different from conceptual to follow me. However, in tantra, it's not that course mentality because you're going down to the subtle and you're aiming toward your you're trying to open up the onion layers or the pedals of the flower of the super subtle, the indestructible drop deepest, clear light mind of your own. And you're trying to get there kind of, and therefore the bliss of the release into the freedom is what knows the freedom. There's no concept of freedom as conceptual or non-conceptual and even perhaps, and this is something I'm really ecstatic about lately myself, even perhaps the duality between direct experience and inferential experience, rationally experience, you know, inference, you know, knowing the fire is there, but only seeing the smoke, but that at that point, there's no duality between knowing the fire and seeing the fire at that point.
Bob Thurman 00:19:29 Maybe I think so, which, which should in terms of what is the personality is for shocking non-valid because they're very clear, they're a pissed homology is very, very clear about the difference of conceptual knowledge and non-conceptual experience and their aim for non-conceptual experience of what is real totally. And that's enlightenment has to be like that ultimately, but maybe it isn't just a casting off and it breaking paths and it's throwing away of conceptuality. That's why I go to talks. He doesn't talk in one way, but he talks and he read and he hit me. He encourages people to reason and to use their intelligence. And so the move at the highest level from the conceptual to the non-conceptual is not a leap of blind faith of some kind of thing. It's, it's actually, it's coming face to face with the experience, held there by the reason by their content and the concept opens out beyond itself.
Bob Thurman 00:20:43 But does it throw you, you know, in some anti rational manner? So it's beyond duality of rational, anti rational. That's really fascinating, I believe. And just think about it, think about it and therefore respect your intelligence and your common sense. And don't think that it's to getting in your way too much Buddhism is taught, not just in the West, either where Sandy too much is taught. Oh, as long as you could, somehow, lobotomize your critical thinking. You'll be great, you know, and it's fine. And you know, it's the difference between the pundit and the Buddhist history and the sedans. Okay. And it's like told the story of Naropa, how he was sitting there. He was the head professor integrating lot the university. And he was reading a deep, profound book and the cleaning lady came in or, or that Kony actually a wisdom deck. And he came in pretending to be the cleaning lady.
Bob Thurman 00:21:45 Right. But the mop, you know, and she came in there and she said, Oh, Hey Sonny, boy, what are you doing here? You know, are you reading some days? He'll say I'm reading. He says, Oh, do you know if you, can you read the words? And he's, I think he, you know, she's in the later, later yeah, yeah. I can read them once they said, Oh, that's great. And then she says, do you know what it means? And he says, yes, I know. I didn't mean it. She said defensively. And then she just starts going, huh? Weepy. She started weeping. So disturb, you know, why are you weeping here? I'm the president of the university. I know what it means. She says, no, you don't, you're the head of the university. And you don't know what it means. And you're lying to me and to yourself.
Bob Thurman 00:22:33 And then he's first, he's angry. But then he's, he's uh, he's now rebar, you know? So he, then he, okay, okay. Maybe I don't know that deeply or something, or maybe you are some strange person. I don't know who you are. He says, maybe not. Then he says, well, if there was anybody else knows of me and she says, yeah, my brother knows the meetings. It's your brother knows me. He says, yeah, well, where is he? Oh, he's off somewhere in the jungle. What's his name? Otello bias's name? Tilopa. Oh, well, can I talk to him? No, you'll never find him. He's way off into the jungle. She said, and then he says, fuck, come on. I'm thinking I want to go find him. You must be something extort, some extraordinary creature there. So I'm definitely going to go find him, wh --
-- ich direction should I go?
Bob Thurman 00:23:18 Oh, don't even bother to go any direction. She says, you have to say the chakra, something about a mantra 1 million times. And then maybe you'll be able to sense the right direction. She says. And then she says, what? I'm glad you at least have the, now you're confessing it. And you're honest. So by, and then she turns it into a rainbow out the window and drops her mob right on the floor. Great story. So then, you know, we misinterpreted that story and we think, Oh, no problem problems, all trapped, bad being a great pundit, then even open for him, became a great sit down as if he got the, became his up by not knowing anything and being good, becoming stupid. Instead of smart, no way. You know, in Tibet they have a name called drug just to saleable is that's the great thing about Tibet short syllables instead of long letters with multiple sellable names, Kendra and kamma means pundit.
Bob Thurman 00:24:18 And two, it means Cinda. So, so many Tibetans llamas and so many great Tibetan yogis were cage drugs. They were punted to sit down. If you had that expression in, in, uh, in sentence script, you know, pundit that shit. That was the one name. Yeah. Pencil. I dunno what pencil. And, uh, and that's the ideal is to be both, you know? And, uh, and then Naropa also came back and he calls him back at the Montessori once he was just living outside as a, as a Yogi and had people at the monastery calls him back because they were being overtaken by some, some outsiders who had really stupid theories. But, you know, you had to defend your theory and you couldn't just be pointed by trustees. And that university, the president of the university lived in the police box out the gate. You know, like those universities have a police box outside, uh, under the street before you go in, that's all like a guardian there, you know, Watchman.
Bob Thurman 00:25:22 And that's where the president lived. And then anybody could go to that police box and demand to debate. And that's what the guard would do would be debated with that person who came there and then they could demand that the mayor or the police chief or the King or whoever it was or send some judges. So it wasn't just a yes, no debate, but some where judges about the reasoning and the debate. And if that guy on the street could defeat the head scholar, who was the gate person, the gatekeeper, then he became the gatekeeper and then he could change the curriculum of the university and they had to follow that. So they were really reality seeking univer city, not just some BS about having a big salary and tenure. And I was fundraising like presidents do nowadays and run it like a business. You know, it was, uh, it was teaching center, you know, really the favorite one seeking truth, you know, taking a reality. Bob Thurman 00:26:17 So then I never came back. And then these guys who took control of the curriculum, they were saying all arguments. And he was struck dumb. He couldn't enter, you know, he was there as a Yogi, but he couldn't respond. So then they were laughing. Ha ha. You know, you, you call it back your greatest pundit, but he's obviously become some kind of a weird hippie and he can't answer anything. He can't even speak. So you've had to have had it. And I started our, our theories and then Dylan suddenly showed up and he said, just don't laugh so loud. You guys, this is my disciple. And the reason he's struck dumb is he made a vow to me that once he got into tantric lay area and to study with me, he would not go around debating with people because you know, then his speech is too strong and people would be upset and all this.
Bob Thurman 00:27:10 So he wouldn't do it. He promised me, that's why he, he wants to answer. But he's, he's his vow is stopping him from speaking. So, okay. Now I give you just this one time, the excuse to speak. So just answer their arguments so that none of our just giant lion's roar came out of his mouth and they'll fainted. And they took a break, but, and the lions were of course, mean he's teaching of emptiness, selflessness and compassion. That's what lion's roar mean. It's this, it's this sound of emptiness. And it in, it cannot be it's undefeated, invincible. It's in principle, reason of relativity, all things are empty of any non-relational reality or any, any impartial absoluteness sticking in the middle of them. And you have them because they are totally relati --
-- ve because they're empty of that. So, and they all empty because they're totally relative. Bob Thurman 00:28:09 That's, that's the thing, that's it? That's the Royal, that's the lion's roar that should save you. You see, when you, when you immediate up something that seems absolute to you and frightens you or terrifies you or makes you suffer. If you meet that, you have the Royal reason defends you, because you say to yourself and you get so used to it. You don't even have to make a sentence in inner narrative, but you start with you and say to yourself, Oh, because it seems so absolute to me. And because I'm seeing it, it's relative. Ha so there's another option, whatever it is always. Okay. So this, it becomes in the healing balm of emptiness, what they say. And therefore, although he also said in our origin and said, rightly therefore, someone who becomes sinks, they know that emptiness is something that they saw, that they kind of own the experience of in their memory or that it's a place they're behind them or something like that.
Bob Thurman 00:29:15 Then that person who's stuck in emptiness, emptiness can't help them. They become wholistic. Actually, that means so, you know, if you ever hear someone say, Oh, I can do whatever I feel like, because I realize emptiness and you shouldn't say anything cause you don't know what it is, then they're wrong. They're making a mistake. Okay. So this is a great paragraph. So your triumphs and distinct awareness of the terror of the void is itself. The blissful mind, the only terrorist, not the board, but that's all right to say that, but there is no terror in the void. The void is like, down-home totally cool. It's everything's relative. No problem. The terror is the threshold of the void of the imminence state. If there's eight States that I told you about that, you should try to look up in the books or memorize and go run up and down them like an arpeggio.
Bob Thurman 00:30:14 And you're learning music, you know? And it's the, that liminal state is the dark light state, imminent state. And then there is their fear of nothingness and that's the terror. Oh, the abyss, Oh, I'll be nothing. Oh, I won't know what to do. Oh no. I lose myself in there. I won't know who I am. I'll be crazy. You know, et cetera, et cetera. And there's this feeling of, of loss of control and that's the terror and the voidness itself is nothing terrifying. Cause it's everything. So avoiding this cannot harm. Voidness you're just as void as anything you think is voidness looming up at you, a self you already are. So I think it can't, the looping up is just another error of misperception, a miss knowing. Okay, please be clear about that. So you're a triumph, but distinct awareness is the triumph of bliss. The triumph of release. Oh, it's all me. It's all same. Oh, it's home. Oh, I've always been here. Oh, it's so nice. It feels so good. Oh, it doesn't hurt anything. It doesn't destroy a thing it's always been so, Oh my goodness. It's really me. It's Mo it's the real me actually the blissful mind of the body of beatitude, which is your individual bliss ad being one with everything.
Bob Thurman 00:31:49 I know, I know it doesn't make any sense, very, very, whatever. Voidness and clarity in a way there's no grasping, you know, it's like water poured in water, you know, bliss, intense bliss. It just melts you down. And then you just give it up and whatever, you know, you let go and there and then reality embraces you and you're there still there. And you're there in this magnificently liberated and blissful manner. And then you can even tolerate all the irritating, annoying details as well. Since others, miss knowing teams to be continually boldness and clarity are indistinguishable. The actuality of the void is clarity. The actuality of clarity is voidness your awareness avoidance clarity. Indivisible is stripped naked. And now you abide in the fabricated experience. That is the wisdom body of truth. And that is spontaneously and other instructively arises everywhere. And that is the body of compassionate emanation, which is indivisible from that's an infinitely alive in multiple embodiments and multiple forms.
Bob Thurman 00:33:15 And you can be a flower arrangement yourself in front of someone who needs a flower arrangement to sort of open their paranoid, whatever it is you can actually, you don't have to be a human being or an animal. You could be a pet, you could be a d --
-- og or a cat. You could be if that person needs that, but you wouldn't be trapped as a dog. Okay. Here we would simultaneously it could be hundreds of other things. As I said, you know, the Buddha land, one of the metaphors I have for Buddha land is a John Belushi food fight unit. Speaker 0 00:33:50 Okay.
Bob Thurman 00:33:52 That's why in this light, in this world, the world of self centered beings and not to make moralistic about it, but just not moral themselves, inner being is, if you look out for number one, you have your chocolate bar in a Buddha versed. The air is chocolate. The ground is chocolate. The vapor there's chocolate, vapers everywhere. So it's like, everybody's trying to throw in their chocolate, everybody else. And you don't try to keep any chocolate, but everybody's throwing it at you. So it kind of gets smeared all over here. You know? So it's like everybody's out for every single one in other words. So each one gives up being out for themselves in a way it doesn't bother because they're out for everybody. And so then it's like, everybody has abundance because everyone is trying to give everything to everybody. And so it's recycling really fast and you're getting smothered in chocolate, if that's what you like.
Bob Thurman 00:34:58 That is the wisdom body of truth, which is indivisible from the beatific body of bliss, which is indivisible from the body of compassionate emanation in the sense that that is the immediate enfolding and embracing of all beings to the degree, to which they can tolerate whatever kind of embrace. Maybe they can only tolerate being under a Palm tree and getting some oxygen from that Palm tree. And then the occasional coconut milk. Okay. Hey, Nova one, you holds this without wavering recognize you will definitely become a Buddha. The perfection of the four bodies. Oh yeah. Now they even have four bodies, usually three, but they divide into four when they make the subjective aspect and the objective aspect of the body of reality to different things. And they call the subjective objective one, the natural body of reality. And then day two, they called the subjective one.
Bob Thurman 00:36:02 The intuitional intuitive or the experiential body of reality. But actually since the experience is non dual and subject object merge like water poured in water, it's just, it's an arbitrary, conceptual overlay of what is indivisible, right? But that's, that's what it is. So Hey, noble one, but that's wonderful that here or even in the existence between they have such a wonderful formulation of the oneness of oneself with Buddha, with Buddhahood and with all Buddhas, the perfection of the four bodies to not be distracted. This is the borderline between a Buddha and an ordinary being now is the time described as one instant alienated one instant, perfectly enlightened. That sounds like the power of now, to me until yesterday, you were given to distraction. You did not recognize what a as the, between, and you were gripped by so much terror. If you're against surrender to distraction, the chord of compassion will be cut and you will go into the abodes that lack all freedom.
Bob Thurman 00:37:12 So be careful. Thank you. So be careful. That was so kind, thank you so much. Uh, so be careful. Hey, no one, if you're doing no to meditate, then remember and pray to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha that is to the teacher, to the reality and the teaching. That leads one to the experience of reality and the sunlight, which other, those others who are either there or trying to get there along with you and your companion, or they can say the Buddha is the doctor. The Dharma is the therapy and wellness that it, that it believes in the therapy guides you toward and the son or the nurses they said, and the compassionate Lords contemplate as those are they in jail like bodies, headphones contemplate all the terrors and visions as the compassionate Lord or your own archetype dainty. If you have a particular one, you meditate on it.
Bob Thurman 00:38:13 Remember your esoteric initiation name and the spiritual teacher who gave you the initiations you received in the human realm, proclaimed them through Jamar. Hey, yeah, I'm a, I'm a, I'm all about Dre. I'm <inaudible> me. You know, I'm not the Lord of truth. And they call him Dharma odd jobs. So one of yamas names is Dharma, Raja, reality King, you won't be injured because wh --
-- y? Because Buddha tamed Yama, one form of Buddha is called Yamaha on DECA, the Terminator of Yama or the death of that. The killer of death. No, if you destroy death, what do you have endless life. Right? But you don't just go in and it's life and it's life in pretend death. Isn't there, you eliminate deaths and then you, or you embrace this and then you turn it into non death. And so Yanna becomes a great teacher actually. And actually we see it in the apprentice shots. Okay. So, Hey, number one, if you don't know how to meditate, then remember when praying, so contemplating all the terrorist. Oh yeah. This is your one. So remember your name and Churchill teacher who gave you the initiations you received in the human realm, proclaim them GM a to Lord of reality, learn truth. You won't be injured even if you fall off cliffs. So abandoned fear and hate fear and anger.
Bob Thurman 00:39:53 The present visions will propel you into the hardship of the changing States of pleasure and pain as it flung by a catapult. So do not become absorbed in any visions of love or hate even when you were about to be born in the higher estates. When divisions of the higher estates arise, those are the different heavens should the relatives you have left behind begin to make sacrifices with the slaughter of living beings in case they're still doing that. To dedicate them to the Lord of death, you will have many impure, visions and begin to feel fierce anger. So if, if the relatives true, some foolish rituals like that, this is showing that this, this still happened in Tibet in those days. I don't think almost at all. Now, maybe some pockets, but almost nowhere, but the burn tradition that used to do that, maybe in the older time, now they are what they don't do it.
Bob Thurman 00:40:52 A good burn doesn't do that. They use, they're just like the Buddhist there. They really are Buddhists. Actually. That's the thing about Tibet. Tibet is so Buddhists that even the non Buddhists or Buddhists, okay, that's the fact, you know, they really are conditioned by that. You will be reborn in hell. So no matter what actions are committed among the surviving do not become angry, but contemplate love. Or if you yourself have great attachment to the wealth and possessions you left behind, or if you know that others are using your possessions, you will feel attached to them and angry at the people who are using them conditioned by that. Even though you might have attained the highest States, you will be reborn in hell or in the present. Um, next, in other words, you might hit some to plane. This was one thing I breached just recently learned reading through this is this connection and it, because that's, why is that important to really get the first noble truth?
Bob Thurman 00:41:55 The truth of suffering of the light, any unenlightened state? The hardest thing is to realize the suffering of the God, uh, of the heavens and RI crave though, the heavenly state, it States by realizing that they have their own suffering and that's the key to their suffering is their impermanence. And they, because they do have actual pleasure, what seems like pleasure, which seems really long to them also, or those who are power phonetics. They feel very macho, you know, like Venice beach, weightlifting, killing, whatever they like, and then their victims jump up again and they can fight all over again. So they go on and on with it and, uh, they occasionally lose, but nevermind they jump up again. So, but then they fall. And then I think the formless round people fold to the animal States, the pleasure having people fall into that, the printout States and the, and the power people, the violence people fall to the Hills.
Bob Thurman 00:42:55 I never quite realized it's actually really clear here. And so that's the suffering of the heavens. Is there a little bit, they're sort of the glide paths toward very horrible States. It's very hard to go to the horrible States from human cause we're so sensitive and vulnerable, but we've, we don't want to avoid horrible things. Maximally. We have Mexico all awareness to do so. Yes. So, so, but we, but then we attempted to go to what seemed to be the powerful and pleasant States and then, but those are just doorway and we'll have some moment there, but then there'll be doorway. And you know, even a long period of time is really short when it's over. If you're, I think you may have noticed that part. Now some of you --
-- are so conditioned by that. Well, even if you were attached to your old possessions, you have no power to own them anymore.
Bob Thurman 00:43:52 They are of no use to you at all, abandoned fondness and attachment for your possessions left behind, totally throw them away, be decisive, whoever uses your things, don't be stingy. Let go of them in your mind, generated one pointed wheel to offer them to this spiritual teacher and the three Juul and abide in the experience of detachment and unconcerned. So that's, that's another great thing about Indian civilization in the four States of Indian civilization, even before mugshot was a big deal. Amen. It's that really is, you know, before Buddha's time, but still they have, you know, student householder retreats into retiree, and then they had what they called Stan Yassin, meaning complete, um, you know, hospice liver, someone who just gives it all away and goes out completely panelist. And it goes out to rejoin the elements, you know, in nature. And if they know we'll accept food, if someone gets, but they just become totally destitute on purpose to prepare for dying.
Bob Thurman 00:45:08 And then, well, they have nothing to regret and they are able to become alive to their death process. Sannyasa and it's called, you know, it's full scale renunciant and it's wonderfully wise culture. So I take away if you're just sacred, we respect them and protect your most positive Abbott as in upon them then whatever your dear ones do for you will definitely help you. Such keeping a positive attitude is very important to do it without forgetting again, if you were heading for a rebirth in the three horrible States, when divisions of the horrible States arise, when you see the pure, it must be awful. Like say the animals stayed you're in the Bardo there. And suddenly you were like on the old fours and you're galloping along in a stampede, along with a bunch of other terrified Willdabeast. Oh my goodness. You're in there drama.
Bob Thurman 00:46:04 A guy looked at me like go the Buffalo heading off a cliff in the days when they were we're hunted by the native people. Oh my goodness. Still only in the Bartow. So you can actually swerve out of that. And luckily he was going to talk about that. I hope, I think so. He says, okay. Then when you see the pure virtue on solid with sin performed by your surviving relatives, and when you see the perfect physical, verbal and mental practices of your spiritual teachers and mentors, then when you are compelled to rebirth your feeling of great delight has the invaluable benefit of lifting you up into the higher States, just as you're about to be reborn in the hard States. That's right. You know that my, one of my great teachers, the Lama Tara, Toko the Abbott former Abbot of, of Ghouta, uh, upper tantric college.
Bob Thurman 00:46:54 He was so wonderful. And he would wax eloquent about the practice of congratulatory. Rejoice. I know more than, you know, just so you don't worry. It's cool then Tibetan. And this means, you know, somebody does something great. They jumped over the eight foot. Uh high-gain but whatever, uh, they run under the four minute mile day, do whatever. And then you say Irish, I congratulate is wonderful. What you did and you sort of purge away any trace, a big grudging. Oh, well maybe you had special help. Oh, maybe you were drunk. Oh, maybe it is. Or, Oh man, Hey, I could do something even greater, a little envy, jealousy, begrudging, no said we tend to do right. How about anybody? They do anything. Cause we were trained or were miseducated to be rapidly competitive with everybody about everything, you know? And so, and then, so it's hard to really feel joy at someone else's success.
Bob Thurman 00:48:04 It's sort of a little of, well, maybe not. So great happens very fast. So congratulatory, rejoicing really full-scale by carrier sleep, participating, enjoying your triumph is my triumph. I love it. It's marvelous. It's, you know, everyone should enjoy, you know, recognize it and blah, blah, blah. That practice is the lazy man's way of collecting virtue. And you didn't jump page feet and you didn't do this or that or whatever it is. But by really enjoying the person who does and genuinely joining in it with them, you get a little share of the merit of doing it as if you did it yourself. And here's a case where that really does you in good stead because you're being in a stampede, be ready to go off th --
-- e cliff into the abyss of a dumb level of existence where you would not have much freedom, less leisure Liberty to plan a high, a evolutionary benefit or evolutionary progress.
Bob Thurman 00:49:09 And you'd just be reacting to situations subsistently and yet you turn your little antelope head or your Buffalo head and you see your old glue levitating shiny with light expressing love for all beings, whatever. Oh, that's so great. And by seeing that boom, your can be lifted right out of the herd in that moment because everything is so unstable. You see there's where Tara remember Chad's great. Teaching really works. And of course he always then would want to say, and therefore be careful in these Western movies, like those movies about bank robberies, although they should, okay, you're robbing a casino. They're already mafia are criminals. Okay. So you can feel better, but you're still Robbie. Oh, then you are compelled. I love this. You were compelled to rebirth your feeling of great delight has the invaluable benefit of lifting you up into the higher estates just as you were about to be reborn in the Orenstein. Bob Thurman 00:50:09 And of course their greatest higher state is the human birth, the human life in a we're in a, in a society where there have either are Buddhas or have been Buddhas where the residue of the border through teaching and Texas still there, where you were in a, where they will have the means so that you can become educated and you would have the leisure to pursue the education, to develop true insight and wisdom from your learning and your self cultivation and et cetera, et cetera. In other words, Oh, that's the highest sustained. Those are the higher than the heavens high or there's a few heavens where they have Dharma centers like town. That's a good one because my trainer is there has like a big Dharma center there. He has a big mega Dharma center in the tertiary to heaven, but they're also dead. Is there how just goofing around because it's a heaven, you know, two sheets that means satisfaction, satisfied, having them satisfaction so forth up in the desire realm. You know, there's each one has specific, uh, specific, uh, qualities, very carefully described by Psychonauts.
Bob Thurman 00:51:20 And when you are compelled to rebirth a delight, that's really great. So be very careful as it is so important for you to construct a positive attitude of reverence and fades and not allow any place for in pure negativity of perception. Hey, Nobel ones in charge since your presence between consciousness is highly unstable volatiles and mobile and virtuous or vicious perception is very powerful. Don't think at all about any unvirtuous evolution and remember your own virtuous practice. If you have no virtuous practice, then adopt a positive perception anyway, and feel faith and reverence, pray to your architect, deity into the Lord of compassion, whatever you call them with intense wield power, perform this prayer as follows. And then we recite together. Now that I wander alone without my loved ones and all my visions are about empty images, made the Buddha's exert a force of their compassion and stop the fear and hate drawn terrors of the between. Now, when I suffer by the power of negative evolution, may my architect Ganges dispel my suffering when reality crashes with the thousand thunders and they all become Omani bed me at home when I'm pulled by evolution without recorders may the Lord's mild and fierce dispelled my suffering. When I suffered due to evolutionary instincts, make clear light bliss arise for me, thus performed this fervent prayer. He will surely guide you on the path. It is crucial that you decide it is sure not to let you down.
Bob Thurman 00:53:21 So then, okay, when you say this, the disease should become aware, recognize the light and attain liberation. That's. We can do that at anytime. You know, if you think about, you know, we can, that's the kindness and the great gift of the materialist scientists. Even though I refused to their re pretend to reject the existence of the mind and former and future life, et cetera. And the continuum of mental energy, even though I do, I deeply respect and admire them. And they, their reductionism gives us a model, a template of something very amazing that we can do where you can meditate about yourself. And you can first recognize that you think you're a flesh and blood skeleton, upholding muscles and tissues and nervous system and chakras inside and brain and et cetera, et cetera, and limbs and digits and so forth. And that's you. But then you stop to think, well, wait a minute.
Bob Thurman 00:54:26 If I went to a physics class biology class, it would be all these cells. And the microbiome has like a, a billion people hanging Harold. So what I, this is me. I mean, it's like a huge seeding community. Talk about community and then, okay, forget the biologist head for the physicist. Then wait there's molecules. And the cells are made up of molecules. Then the molecules have Adam and the atoms have 10 there's DNA molecules. And then there's the there's RNA DNA and all kinds of codes, completely invisible to me. And then the Adam itself is only a little nucleus. And then it has our little electrons spinning way out in the bleachers, far away from the nucleus on home plate. And so it's mostly empty space with things buzzing around in them. That's what that is really me. They said that the uncertainty principle, there's no objective there at all. And then, but wait, maybe there that they didn't, they, they don't say there's nothing, actually. They just said they couldn't find anything. And they're looking even cause a disruption in whatever it may have been objectively there. So they didn't say that because obviously nobody's going to find nothing there. They just didn't find what they were looking for. And then there's all this dark, dark metal. So point is we can do that reductionism. And then we can reach a place though, where we are just pure light. We already are light. We are light.
Bob Thurman 00:56:01 And remember the light is not a particle light is just every, and it's everywhere. And that's what we are because there's no room for anything other than that actually really just light. And then we are our miss knowing, carves it into different things or our risk or our awareness of other residual interconnection with others who are ms. Snowing. And we carved that into two different forms of light. And then they themselves make themselves ever more coarse and set and solid in order to feel secure. Although that's having the opposite effect. In fact, they were feeling less secure by doing that, but they do it because it makes them think they're going to be secure. And uh, but we are already light. In other words, that's true. That's a really good meditation. You can do that. Anytime.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The so-called “Tibetan Book of the Dead” has been renowned for centuries as a classic of Buddhist wisdom and religious thought. More recently, it has become highly influential in the Western world for its psychological insights into the processes of death and dying — and what they can teach us about the ways we live our […]
Liberation Through Understanding in the Between: Tibetan Book of the Dead Read by Bob Thurman
PRH Audio · The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Robert Thurman, read by Robert Thurman The most accessible and informative version of the Buddhist classic available in English, with instruction in meditation, illuminating commentary, and guidance in the practical use of the prayers The so-called “Tibetan Book of the Dead” has been renowned for […] [more]