Student: What should we try to communicate to a dying person?
Chogyam Trungpa: You see, death is a very real experience. Usually, we do not connect with a sense of reality. If we have an accident -- or whatever happens in our lives -- we do not regard it as a real experience, even though it may hurt us. It is real to us as far as pain and physical damages are concerned, but still it's not real for us because we immediately look at it in terms of how it could be otherwise. There's always the idea of first aid or some other redeeming aspect of the situation. If you are talking to a dying friend or relative, you should transmit the idea that death is a real experience, rather than that it's just a joke and the person could get better. Often people tell the dying person things like, "Life is really a joke altogether. The great saints say it's not real. Life is unreal. What is death, anyway?" When we try to take this kind of approach, we become jumpy ourselves, and that jumpiness is what we end up communicating to the dying person. We should help them to understand that death is real.
From "Death and the Sense of Experience," in CRAZY WISDOM, page 138.
All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.
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Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week: teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Taken from works published by Shambhala Publications, the Archive of his unpublished work in the Shambhala Archives, plus other published sources.
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