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  Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- by Francesca Fremantle
Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- by Francesca Fremantle


 
In Luminous Emptiness, Francesca Fremantle presents the classic Tibetan Book of the Dead not as a scripture to read to the dying but as a guide for the living. Fremantle, who worked closely with Chogyam Trungpa on the 1975 translation of the original text, brings the expertise of a lifetime of study to rendering this intriguing classic more accessible and meaningful.

According to the Buddhist view, nothing -- including the state of being alive -- is permanent or fixed. The entire world of our experience is constantly appearing and disappearing at every moment.

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Luminous Emptiness explores the principal teaching from the Tibetan Book of the Dead: namely, that dying is a journey and death is not an ending, but a transition into another life.

By guiding the reader through the concepts upon which the text is based, the terms it uses, and the imagery it contains, Fremantle relates its world of symbols to our everyday mental and emotional experiences. The five deities of different colors that represent the five styles of wisdom and confusion, the symbolic sexual union of deities, the peaceful and wrathful deities that represent different states of mind -- all are encountered in the process of dying. By looking closely at these vivid and extraordinary images of Tibetan Buddhism, Fremantle guides us toward and understanding of that tradition.

"This is the most lucid and comprehensive exposition of the Tibetan Book of the Dead to appear in English. It illuminates the esoteric path and reveals the way to heal life's miseries -- the projections of our minds."
--Tulku Thondup, author of The Healing Power of Mind and Boundless Healing

Francesca Fremantle, Ph.D., studied Sanskrit and Tibetan before meeting Chogyam Trungpa, with whom she collaborated in translating the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Since then, Dr. Fremantle has continued to combine the practice of Buddhism with research into ancient Buddhist texts. A Buddhist teacher and practitioner, she lives in London.

407 pp. Paperback.