Reading from Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully

BBC Radio 4, Something Understood

Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully - The Profound Practice of Transference of Consciousness was written by the author, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. In it Geshe Kelsang reveals how coming to terms with our mortality enriches our life and enables us to meet our passing with dignity, confidence, and joy. This book is based upon the ancient wisdom of the previous Kadampa Buddhist lineage teachers, as passed down to Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso from his teacher.

  • Be inspired to use your life wisely by developing the inner refuge of spiritual realization
  • Understand how to live a pure, liberating lifestyle in which every moment is meaningful
  • Discover special practices to perform as our death approaches
  • Learn practices to assist others who are dying

  • Listen to the recording of the radio show

    The BBC radio 4 show, 'Something Understood', with Mark Tully is a weekly programme. On Sunday 24 September 2017 it featured a reading from the book Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully by the author, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.


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    Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully


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    About the Author, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

    Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of modern Buddhism. Geshe-la, as he is affectionately called by his students, is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time. He has published a series of remarkable books on Buddhism and meditation, from basic introductory books to advanced philosophical texts and meditation manuals.

    Find out more about Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso


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    Buddhist books, audio & art from Tharpa Publications

    Tharpa Publications logo All the instructions and practices contained in the books of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche and published by Tharpa Publications come from the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism and the principal object of refuge for all Buddhists throughout the world.

    Find out more about what's available from Tharpa Publications


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    The International Temples Project for World Peace

    International Kadampa Temple The International Temples Project was founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, with the aim to introduce the Buddhist faith and practice of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly, and to exemplify contemporary Buddhist practice through service to the public. It presently achieves this through building traditional and non-traditional temples, meditation and retreat centres, and through the activities of world peace cafés and Tharpa Publications.

    Find out more about The International Temples Project


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    An extract from the book, 'Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully'

    ‘There is nothing more precious than our human life. Having been born as a human being we have immense freedom to accomplish almost anything we want. We can become a powerful politician, a successful businessman or woman, or a great scientist or artist. We can travel the world or even go to the moon, or we can settle for a simple family life. With so much freedom, we need to ask ourself what is the most meaningful way to use our life. What will make us truly happy? What will benefit others most? And when this life is over, what will help us then?

    If we ask ourself these questions sincerely and deeply, we will discover that the way to make our life truly meaningful is to dedicate it to spiritual development. In essence this means to eliminate our negative and deluded states of mind, and to cultivate positive, peaceful states. By making this our priority, the negative minds that are the source of all our problems, such as anger, jealousy, attachment, pride and ignorance, will gradually decrease; and our positive qualities, such as love, compassion and wisdom, will increase. As a result we will enjoy a happy, peaceful life, free from anxiety and problems, and we will naturally benefit others. Spiritual practice is what gives meaning to our lives, and by applying our practice at the time of death we can die joyfully and experience pure, lasting happiness in all our future lives. Eventually we will be able to transcend all the limitations of ordinary existence and attain the highest state of all, full enlightenment.’

    ‘When we think of death we tend to think of it as something that happens to other people, but in reality, of course, sooner or later we too will die. The time of our death is completely uncertain; there is no guarantee that we will not die today. When by carefully contemplating the above explanation we understand clearly the existence of our future lives, we will realize that future lives are endless. We will then see that the happiness of future lives is far more important than the happiness of this life, and that the suffering of future lives is far worse. No matter how much suffering we may experience in this life, it is still only the suffering of one single life and its duration is very short – like a dream that quickly passes. On the other hand, since our future lives are countless, the potential suffering of those lives is endless, and if we do nothing to prevent our future suffering now it will last forever. If we think deeply about this we will recognize the importance of not wasting our precious human life and of engaging in the spiritual practices that will prepare us for our death.

    All living beings have two basic wishes – to be happy all the time, and to be completely free from suffering and problems. We can fulfil these wishes by following the instructions presented in this book. Through sincerely practising these instructions we can transcend our ordinary life and make genuine spiritual progress, and we can even attain the highest state of full enlightenment. Furthermore, if we apply these instructions as we are dying we will die joyfully and experience permanent happiness throughout all our future lives.’

    Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche

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