The process of sleep and the process of death are related

they lose their powers. And this is not the end of it: They sometimes suffer quite severely. I know a few people from the world of commerce that control all sorts of things and that imagine that they can control everything, even death. But they eventually comprehend: When death arrives, there is nothing they can do. I do believe that it is very difficult for these people to accept the fact that this is not under their control. People that believe in one religion or another and perform some spiritual practices do have the opportunity to also trust in a non-physical world beyond the material world. D. M. : Rinpoche, you said that one can prepare oneself for death. Can you explain to us, who know very little about Tibetan doctrines, a little about how one prepares oneself? Rinpoche : I think that it is important to begin with to comprehend transience. One must know how to accept transition and how to adapt to changes. I do not necessarily mean external situations, but rather one’s own life: Illness, ageing. You can be a professional runner, but you find out one day that you can’t even walk anymore. One should be in a position to be able to reflect on all of these realities of life, before they actually eventuate. People in the East prepared themselves by beginning relatively early to engage in the basic practices and by contemplating and meditating about transience and changes. A deep trust in oneself is important then, independent of what one has or what one can do. It is simply about the deep trust in who you are. This is very powerful the moment you die. One can observe it in the eyes of the dying and on their mental state, when they completely trust themselves. They are not particularly strongly dependent on whom or what they lose, they are not dependent on their body. They can no longer raise their hands, but one can see the smile on their face. This shows a lot of trust. And one learns this a long time before one’s death through preparations. I believe that there is no genuine acceptance of death within people’s psyche. On the contrary, there is a lot of resistance there and this makes it very difficult when death arrives. D. M. : How easy or how difficult is it to enter a state of enlightenment in the Bardo of Dharmata? Rinpoche : Oh, this is very difficult (laughing). It is a good test. How simple or how difficult is it to enter a state of recognition when one sleeps and when the dreams arrive? This gives us a point of reference. It is important to not look for major things. It is a case of simply accepting one’s death, this is already very good. One can utilise every moment to reflect. We sit here at this point in time, drink a glass of wine, talk and we might die tomorrow. We have great plans, but nobody waits for when the time comes. I think that it isn’t just about the question of dying, it is also about living. A lot of people naturally find it difficult to die, but they also find it difficult to live. People that have an illness that results in their demise are often surprised because they live differently, they live in the moment. The live in the moment and they do not know whether they will still be alive tomorrow. I have felt this with a few. Such an interview