In 1984, while a western Tibetan Buddhist Lama, Ole Nydahl, was visiting Robert, Melanie, and their 3 children, their youngest daughter, Shamara Phillipa, died in the night from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
What happened from the point that Melanie discovered that Shamara had died through the next two weeks can only be described as miraculous occurrences that transformed Melanie, Robert, and their two surviving children forever. Melanie and Robert witnessed the power and beauty of the PHOWA or Transference of Consciousness at The Time of Dying practice performed by Lama Ole, were told of dreams that were had by Buddhist teachers elsewhere, and were led and inspired through this sad and difficult time for them not only with the profound and loving care of friends, but benevolent forces or beings unseen.
This is probably the first personal account of the PHOWA ever to be told by a westerner. But beyond that, Rebirth Into Pure Land has changed the lives of thousands who have read it, not only because of its description of this practice.
It puts a very human and personal face on the process of dying and how we as humans face the truth of impermanence and need to integrate that truth into our lives if we are to have a full and meaningful life.
These events transformed the life and work of Robert. Working with death and dying through his hospice social work, counseling, and presentations, this book includes important information and exercises that will help each and every one of us to traverse this time more consciously and in peace.
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