The Tibetan Book of the Dead has been renowned for centuries as a classic of buddhist wisdom and spiritual 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 lives. It has also been found to be helpful in the grieving process by people who have recently lost their loved ones.
Composed in the eighth century c.e., it is intended to prepare the soul for the trials and transformations of the afterworld. Its profound message is that the art of dying is as important as the art of living. Drawing on tibetan spiritual traditions, it shows us the workings of the mind in its various manifestations - terrifying and comforting, wrathful and beautiful - which appear more clearly after death in the consciousness of the deceased. By recognizing these manifestations, we can attain a state of enlightenment, both in this existence and in the existence to come.