Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek is one of the last reincarnated lamas alive who was fully educated in Tibet before the Chinese takeover in 1959. Now an American citizen, he makes his home in Ann Arbor and New York City. Gehlek Rimpoche is one of the most respected teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.
"What I have learned may help you ease your pain, relax your anxieties, reduce your anger, reduce your attachment, and build a little wisdom," he states in an author's note. Gehlek Rimpoche was a good friend of the late poet Allen Ginsberg who once said to him: "I don't have proof that there is reincarnation but I must give it the benefit of the doubt, because if there is, and I have to go through it, I should be ready; I don't want to miss the opportunity to help myself."
The Tibetan Buddhists have pondered and meditated upon the physical dimensions of dying, the mental state at that moment, and what happens after death. Gehlek Rimpoche discusses these matters with great sensitivity and makes it quite clear that the focus of our spiritual practice should always be on taming the negative emotions of anger, attachment, jealousy, and hatred. For what we do during the precious moments of this lifetime will affect our future.
At one point the author notes: "Your anger will bother you much more in your future life and at the time of your death than any physical problem. The mind goes with you; the body stays." No wonder Buddha advised the practice of patience as an antidote to anger. The rage that shakes us and harms others is expensive "eons' worth of positive virtue is destroyed."
Gehlek Rimpoche's wisdom on life, death, and reincarnation will focus your energies on the importance of coming to terms with your negative emotions. It will also help you to travel well through life by practicing patience.