Pay attention, friend. This is your ultimate cheat sheet for death, according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead. To see what I mean, let’s play a role-playing game.
Today, you die. (Not really. Just humor me. We start with this morbid development because we are talking Book of the Dead.) Okay?
Okay. Game on.
Bang. Bang. You’re dead.
It’s not so bad. In fact, it’s pretty nice! Your spirit is freeeee! No pain. No pressure. Your energy body soars to the shimmering spiritual sun, otherwise known as a portal to eternal bliss, among other things…
And there you are: a giddy ghost, basking in the warm and shiny space. Ah, sweet mystery….
When suddenly, you’re greeted by a pair of gorgeous deities, one of each sex, and they are HOT.
Not hot like burning in hell. They’re hot like sexy hot. In fact, they’re your fantasy fun friends, and you’re instantly smitten because they ooze a golden charisma that wraps you in a blanket of bliss. And as if it couldn’t get better, voila! Out come your favorite vices. They tempt you to partake in your most precious passions, addictions and indulgences. It all feels so right.
Do you join in and succumb to your innermost desires?
Yes? If so, enter the screaming demons.
Your worst fears have come to life in the form of giant hairy dragons with razor-sharp teeth and clawed feet, and they love nothing more than to spit fireballs at your head so they can sniff your burning hair.
You recoil and try to hide your head. You jump from foot to foot to avoid the blasts. Confused and disoriented, you might even try to dart around them and run for your life, only to end up lost in the Bardo forever more. What will you do?
HINT: The best answer is actually the same answer as in the case of the seducers above, according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
AND A BIG BONUS HINT: If you’re thinking that since Tibetans love to meditate, your final answer should have something to do with staying centered- then you would be on the right track.
Something like stay centered? Compose yourself like a yogi? Yes?
YES! Bingo! Bueno. Cue the strobe lights. Blast the disco! Eternal bliss is yours. PLUS, You are suddenly much more attractive.
Staying centered and observing the illusion allows you to choose between two death’s door prizes. Behind door Number One: Rest forever in peace. Behind door Number Two: Reincarnate happily in the family of your choice and come back to earth to do it again. Yea!
Huh? You might be saying.
So, to recap. If you want to cheat death’s punishments and bypass karma, just avoid any passions. And don’t get sucked into anything extreme. Whatsoever.
By the way, this also works for psychedelic drug trips, as Timothy Leary taught. If you can stay mindful and not buy into the drama of what you think you see, then you will be rewarded by not being dragged into the dregs. (Duh! I know. It seems so simple once you have the secret key. Right?)
Don’t laugh. It only took me God knows how many lifetimes to get this. About twenty years ago, I walked up to a monk in Nepal. He looked so peaceful meditating on a rock in the midst of great suffering through poverty and sickness. I actually asked him for the key to life.
Don’t give in to passion, was his answer. Detach from ALL drama: the good and bad.
I admit. That was not the answer I wanted to hear. It’s taken me about twenty years of spiritual practice to see how it all makes sense.
If the mind is creating our perception at any given time, then our head is the filter, so it’s all potentially just illusion, even if we are experiencing things as a soul, scared out of our mind or head over heels in desire…out of the body altogether!
And in case you missed it, cultivate mindfulness. Really. Staying centered is definitely the key to death – and to a peaceful life.
Until we meet again, happy trails to you, fellow seeker.
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