The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Narrated By Leonard Cohen
The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a two-part series that explores ancient teachings on death and dying. It was filmed over a four-month period on location in the Himalayas where the original text still yields an essential influence over people’s views of life and death.
The Great Liberation, is a docudrama which, in the company of an old Buddhist lama and a 13-year-old novice monk, leads us into the very foundations of Buddhist philosophy–the search for compassion and truth. Pema Choden, the lama, and Tubten, the young monk, read from the texts of The Tibetan Book of the Dead as they conduct the 49 days of final rites for a deceased Himalayan villager.
We must all face the death of somebody we love, as well as our own death. This film helps us to prepare for these inevitabilities.
Part 1: A Way of Life reveals the history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and examines its traditional use in northern India, as well as its acceptance in Western hospices. Shot over a four-month period, the film contains footage of the rites and liturgies for a deceased Ladakhi elder and includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, who shares his views on the book’s meaning and importance.