“Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation” by Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek

At only 184 pages, Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation by Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek is a short, to the point book. While even western teachers of Buddhism tend to not talk about the Buddhist and reincarnation, this book points out very clearly that the acts in this lifetime of transforming the bad karma brought into this life into good karma before this current soul dies is the key to a successful rebirth, and another step on the journey to the soul’s enlightenment.

Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek does not want to persuade you to believe in reincarnation, only to take it into consideration as a helpful way of dealing with your own imminent death, to make the journey easier for your soul. Written as a kind of cliff notes to the Tibetan book of the dead, Good Life, Good Death hits hard in the area of letting go of the ego and other lessons to be learned in this lifetime in order to make our death easier. Karmic balancing lessons such as learning to replace resentment and anger with patience (Christianity teaches “love,” but patience is more direct and easier to measure for humans, isn’t it?) and the attachment associated with ego. Chapter two is all about the physical death of the body and again is not meant to shame or make us afraid; it is only intended to liberate us of the ego-the ties which bind us to this lifetime.

If you are interested in learning a deeper form of meditation, chapter six explores this subject with easy guidelines to get you started. Reincarnation stories in the book stem from experiences by Buddha’s followers, and all seem to revolve around the idea that consciousness goes on forever, it can not be destroyed or changed in the way which we think it can. There is one scene in the book that proves we call into our lives people from our past lives-usually for the purpose of rearranging and moving through past karmic choices.

Beliefs about the Buddhist and reincarnation are explained so simply and to the point in this short reading that it will transform and give hope-whether you are just beginning to wonder about your place in life or have the memories of many lives before this one.

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