Luminous Emptiness by Francesca Fremantle

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Francesca Fremantle, who many years ago helped produce a translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, has now taken it upon herself to unravel its complexities. Fortunately, she begins with the basic tenets of Buddhism, including karma and reincarnation, then gradually moves out to more complicated notions such as bardo (in-between state), the nonmaterial side of the elements, the ego, and psychological imprisonment. Before we even get to the text itself, we understand that as much as The Tibetan Book of the Dead is about the death experience, it also symbolizes the processes of life. Only while living can we prepare for death. In the final third of Luminous Emptiness, Fremantle begins to follow the step-by-step processes of the after-death experience, explaining difficult notions and adding background information. Anyone serious about using The Tibetan Book of the Dead will find Luminous Emptiness the next best thing to having one's own personal guru. --Brian Bruya

Shambhala: 2001.
ISBN: 9781570624506. 432 pp.
Hardcover. Very good.