Dzogchen Ponlop RinpocheIt truly was an honor to be able to interview Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.  His book entitled “Mind Beyond Death” is wonderfully written about the Buddhist culture and the levels of transition we make in preparation to death.  The Rinpoche speaks in this interview about the concept of the “bardo” which is the intermediary state and has become the catchphrase in Buddhist circles.  As the Rinpoche says this book is as much about life as it is about death.

There is a level of existence that is experienced between death and birth, and according to the Buddhist there are three levels: the existence of death, the existence of birth, and the existence  of what lies in between the two.  The Rinpoche encourages the readers to reverse their attachment to the appearances of this life and extract the most meaningful essence from their precious human existence.

I love the examples that the Rinpoche uses in the book, he explains that the moment we step outside our house and close the door, we begin to leave our life behind. We say goodbye to family and friends and to the familiar rooms and routines that we inhabit. We might feel regret mixed with excitement as we climb into the taxi and that will take us to the airport. As our vision of home recedes, we are both sadly parted and joyfully released from all that defines us. The further we go from home the more focused we become on our next destination.  We think less of home and more about where we are going. We begin to look at a new map; we start to think about where we will land, about the new people, new customs and new environment–the new set of experiences to come.
Until we reach our destination, we are in transit–in between two points.  One world has dissolved, like last nights dream, and the next has not yet arisen.  In this space, there is a sense of total freedom: we are free from the business of being our ordinary selves; we are not tied to the day-to-day world and its demands in quite the same way. There is a sense of freshness and appreciation of the present moment.

This interview with Rinpoche is an enlightening dialogue about life, death and the in between.  We discuss our fears, and how to learn to live in the moment without fear of our transition through death.

I know you are going to enjoy my interview with Rinpoche about his book entitled “Mind Beyond Death”  If you would like to learn more about his teaching you can visit the his website by clicking here or you can visit the website of the Nalanda West Center for American Buddhism where he teaches.


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0 comments on “Podcast 194: Mind Beyond Death with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

  1. megan johnston Jun 27, 2010

    Thank you Greg for interviewing Rinpoche. The questions you asked asked gave Rinpoche such a great opportunity to present so many buddhist teachings in so few sentences and what he gave to the listeners was truly as Rinpoche has previously been known to describe it as “ancient wisdom for the modern mind” right here in the United States. Funnily enough I was in transit on the June 25th flying from coast to coast and the book I chose to read while in transit was Mind Beyond Death. Even though I had read it a couple of years ago I wanted to reread it in order to present some of these excellent and helpful ideas to my father who is currently undergoing chemo treatment for bladder cancer and is more open to exploring the possibilities of what might happen to ‘him’ after he dies. Thank you again for such a great interview.

    • Megan,
      I am so happy that you enjoyed the interview. Rinpoche was a pleasure to interview and he is such a deep thinker. I am going to do another interview with him on his upcoming book ” Rebel Buddha”
      Thanks again for your kind words.

  2. Inness Hanson Jun 29, 2010

    Thanks Greg!

    It’s wonderful to hear Rinpoche. Can’t wait to hear more!

    • Dear Inness,
      I look forward to doing more great interviews with the Rinpoche, please check back often for more great interview.
      In Spirit,

  3. Cindy Shelton Jun 29, 2010

    Nice to hear this topic discussed with intelligence and humor. It’s difficult to imagine going beyond fear of death, but actually, it seems that this fear is just as much about the fear we experience in this life. So we can deal with it now. That’s encouraging, even inspiring. A good interview – thanks.

  4. Steven Sieden Jun 29, 2010

    A great blessing of wisdom from a man who has so much to offer the world and especially those of us on a spiritual path. For me, the bonus was that the interview was done with such humor. Great thanks to Greg and Rinpoche. More please.

  5. Sally King Jun 29, 2010

    What a wonderful interview….. humor and wisdom about something we westerners don’t like to think about – much less talk about. Looking forward to learning more from Rinpoche.

    • Dear Sally,
      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. I appreciate your comments and look forward to doing more interview with Rinpoche. Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have more thoughts on the Pinpoche’s teachings.
      In Spirit,

  6. Ceci Miller Jun 29, 2010

    It’s a great pleasure to hear an interviewer ask genuine questions from the heart. Thank you, Greg, for opening up this dialogue with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. I felt you were asking the kinds of questions that many listeners might have, and that does us all a great favor. So glad to hear you’ll be interviewing Rinpoche on Rebel Buddha — I’m looking forward to that!

    • Ceci,
      I appreciate the fact that you enjoyed the interview with Rinpoche. I am very much looking forward to my next interview about his new book Rebel Buddha.
      In Spirit,

  7. Nick Vail Jul 1, 2010

    Love this interview!
    What a helpful and profound exploration of the human condition.
    Thank you Rinpoche!

    • Nick,
      Thanks so much for you kind comments. I hope you will visit the website often for more interviews with Rinpoche and other wonderful authors.
      In Spirit,

  8. Claire Lecompte Jul 1, 2010

    Very rich interview, thank you Greg for your courage to ask the most important questions and to Rinpoche for tackling them in such a direct manner.

    • Thank you Claire, I really enjoyed the interview with Rinpoche and I am looking forward to doing more of them.

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