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The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life

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47 Min.
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Leonard Cohen narrates an examination of the Tibetan Book of the Dead in this documentary on the ways this ancient text has been used to help cope with and understand the reality of death. The subtitle, "A Way of Life" is suitable, because as many view it, the Bardo Thodol is intended as a guide for the dead and dying into another life beyond physical reality. The precepts in the Book of the Dead have been taken up and applied in western settings, most notably by prominent teachers such as Ram Dass, who has done work with the medical community to reassess how to treat patients with a terminal diagnosis. Traditional Himalayan rituals for a recently passed man are intermixed with examples of how the book is being used to comfort hospice patients; giving viewers a versatile view of how this ancient text has helped many grapple with the fear and mystery that surrounds the fact of human mortality.


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  • Published: 2003
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T079526