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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

A Buddhist transition to the afterlife

March 29, 2009

Leonard Cohen narrates next week's Reel
screening, 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead.'
The Chief (Canada)
March 27, 2009

Squamish -- The next Reel screening at the
Adventure Centre Wednesday and Sunday (April 1
and 5) looks at the Buddhist transition into death.

Narrated by acclaimed Canadian artist Leonard
Cohen, the two-part series Tibetan Book of the
Dead explores ancient teachings on death and
dying, and boldly visualizes the afterlife according to Tibetan philosophy.

Program 1, The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of
Life documents the history of The Tibetan Book of
the Dead, tracing the book’s acceptance and use in Europe and North America.

Program 2, The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The
Great Liberation observes an old Buddhist lama
and a 13-year-old novice monk as they guide a
deceased person into the afterlife.

This book is the first English language
translation of the famous Tibetan death text, The
Great Liberation upon Hearing in the Intermediate
State. Also known as the Bardo Thodol which means
“liberation by hearing on the after death plane”
(Bardo: after death plane, Thodol or Thotrol:
liberation by hearing), it was originally written
in the Tibetan language and is meant to be a
guide for those who have died as they transition
from their former life to a new destination.

The work has been traditionally attributed to
Padma-Sambhava, an Indian mystic who was said to
have introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th
century. Legend has it that while visiting Tibet,
Padma-Sambhava found it necessary to conceal
sanskrit works he had arranged to be written. The
Tibetans of that time were not ready for the
spiritual teachings contained therein, so he hid
his texts in strange and remote locations,
leaving them to be discovered at a later time
when their spiritual message could be received by those with an open mind.

Included in the Progam 1 of the NFB documentary
series is remarkable footage of the rites and
liturgies surrounding and following the death of
a Ladakhi elder as well as the views of the Dalai
Lama on life and death. Progam 2 features the
passage of the soul visualized with animation
blended into actual location shooting.

Reel tickets are $7 or $5 for seniors and NFB
members. It’s free to become an NFB member,
simply visit and receive10-flick
passes $50. Doors open Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 12:30 p.m.

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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