Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories Of Tibetan, Hindu And Zen Masters - Sushila Blackman (editor)
Published May 1997
Koans and stories of the deaths of Masters are scattered throughout the sacred texts of the East. This book is remarkable in that it brings those many stories together in one place. By focusing a book on the theme of "death stories", the stories illumine each other, and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The stories reveal a wonderfully refreshing way to think about death (and hence, to think about Life!) Many are solemn, but some are quite humorous. In each, we see the presence of someone who embraces all of human experience, who says "Yes!" to all of Life, including death. Many of the Masters give one final gem of wisdom, summarizing their life's teaching, as their last word. The many photographs of the Masters are heart-warming. For anyone ready to think about death and mortality in terms of their spritual meaning, this book is ideal. Ironically, through looking at how the Masters die, we can implicitly understand their teaching on how to be ever more fully alive.