experiences, together with strict adherence to the disciplines, then Dharma practices not only can help us to know what "death" is all about (by preparing us for it), it can also help us to know what is the real meaning of "life" by solving our daily problems and adverse conditions with right meditation (samadhi) and penetrating wisdom (prajna).

The main problem lies in the fact that many Dharma practitioners cannot use Mind Training as the fundamental basis and, instead, they focus their attentions on such paraphernalia as ritual objects, statues and medicine pills for blessings, and other superstitious details, resulting in the increase (rather than the elimination) of the "three poisons" (greed, hatred and ignorance). To them, Buddhist Dharma is just another kind of knowledge, and so it does not matter whether they practice it in a hermit style or in the worldly context. Without the fundamental basis of Mind Training, their so-called Dharma practice is nothing other than the practice of the Dharma by a robot, or the reciting of mantras by a parrot, which is basically meaningless.

Then, when they come to face the cruel reality of death, it is very likely that they will face the same possibility of going into the "three lower realms" as if they had not practiced the Dharma before. Neither will they be freed of this situation even when people call them by the names of "guru", "big Dharma brother" or "Dharma practitioner". Hence, instead of trying to deceive oneself and others, to led oneself and others astray, and to waste one's own precious human birth, it is most advisable (for one's own benefits) that one should be a Dharma practitioner whose conducts are congruent from both within and without, and be a genuine one whose mind has been trained in pure intention and pure awareness.

Here, we would sincerely hope and pray that each one of you, wise Dharma friends, can make the best use of this most precious human birth, and be able to search for the real meaning of life and the real Dharma practice, and to tread on the real path of Dharma practice and work on the real methods of Mind Training, in order to finally liberate oneself from the cyclic existence of samsara.

Life - must have an end;
Moment of Death - appears as a crisis;
Mind-training - transform danger into opportunity;
Dharma practice - enriching life's meaning and experiences; "to know both life and death";
Life and death is a big deal, and it comes so suddenly -

please make the best use of this most precious human body and life; Then at the moment of death, one will not be regretful about one's whole life, and be able to lead the direction of life and death.

Hold onto the knob of destiny, to be or not to be at the very moment of death!

(1) Yidam - this is usually the practice of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva in a sadhana during the Generation stage of Vajrayana Buddhism.

Notice of the Passing Away of Ven. Dola Tulku Rinpoche
Kyabje Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche's father, Ven Dola Tulku Jigme Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, had passed away at 3 a.m. on March 29, 2000 in Xining, Qinghai Province, China. In commemoration of him, we sincerely pray for the swift rebirth of his tulku into this world.

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