From Faculty & Friends: Andrew Holecek

What is death from the perspective of your tradition?

As with many questions about death and dying from the Buddhist tradition, this question is addressed from the absolute and relative levels. From an absolute perspective, death is an illusion. The great contribution of Tibetan thanatology is the death of death. Death only occurs in the realm of form. If one can discover the formless dimensions of being, of who we truly are, “Nothing happens” at the moment of death, as His Holiness the 16th Karmapa proclaimed a few days before he died. Formless means deathless. The goal of the bardo teachings (the Tibetan approach that deals with death) is this: to discover that which cannot die because it was never born. In this regard, death is a homecoming, a return to the unborn and undying source.