Preparing to Die....Timely Revisit

Tashi Deleg to everyone.

I am new to Andrew Holecek’s teachings. Learned about the “Night Club” through Andrew’s course on “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” on Embodied Philosophy site. However, I am a somewhat seasoned Nyingmapa, having had Sogyal Rinpoche as my Tsawe Lama, having the all-encompassing Vajrayana empowerment by the Ven. Palden Sherab Khenchen Rinpoche with his brother, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal. I also studied under Namkai Norbu Rinpoche with guidance from Lujan Shila. Except for Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, all my lama teachers are no longer in this human realm.

When I bought The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, at the National Cathedral in the District of Columbia, it remained unread for years until shortly after my Father passed away. Upon reading the book, I had to meet Sogyal Rinpoche. I took the preliminary course before I could attend the retreat in New York. It was a remarkable retreat because that is where I experienced the nature of mind and related experiences, never to be forgotten.

My current status as a retiree from the U.S. Department of Treasury as an analyst, I reinvented myself by returning to what came easy to me in my teen years–visual art and writing. I have written two historical novels and am on my second draft of a third novel…each of these novels tend to question our “existence”.

I no longer show my art in public spaces because of chemical injury caused by a VOC concoction that causes a negative alter state and occipital/mastoid inflammation. Thus, I even have to avoid at tending any local sanghas due to the toxicity borne on people’s clothing and air purifiers. Basically, I am home bound and approaching my 79th year on the planet.

In recent times, I have sought to engage online on matters of Dharma. Another interest is ancient history.




Welcome to the online Night Cub community. You have quite an interesting background. I’d like to know more about your books and the other in preparation. What “ancient history” books do you favor?


Your journey, especially your studies under renowned teachers and your immersion in the Nyingmapa tradition, is inspiring. While I am less experienced in the Buddhist world a quick search reveals your teachers are very well renowned in their respective areas of Buddhism.

The theme of questioning our existence, as you mentioned in your novels, is one I’d be interested to hear about. Could you share more about the themes of your novels? How have your experiences and teachings influenced your perspective on existence as explored in your writing?

Regarding dream realms, I have a large interest in exploring consciousness and teachings through dreams. Given your extensive background in Buddhism, I’m curious if you have explored or are interested in aspects like dream yoga or the concept of illusory form?

Your experience with physical constraints leading to a more isolated lifestyle resonates with me, as I tend to prefer a more solitary life by choice. This seems like an unexpected path to deeper introspection and perhaps a unique spiritual practice. Has this phase of life significantly influenced your spiritual journey?

As I continue to explore and understand the intricacies of Buddhist teachings, I’d appreciate any thoughts or advice you might offer to someone at the beginning of this path.

Welcome to the forums, :heart::alien::heart:.

Side note to all: were the reply buttons changed recently? When I clicked reply instead of the normal it copied @Pema_Osel 's entire post.


Welcome Armida, and thank you for sharing about your background and journey. My Tsawe lama is also no longer in nirmanakaya form and I understand how that shifts one’s practice in some ways. It took many years for me to find something that truly resonates and I have found that in Andrew’s work. I hope you too derive great benefit from being here in his orbit!


Beloved @Pema_Osel welcome to this community.

What an honor to read all your past encounters with such sacred beings :slight_smile: Happy to know you are writing and creating visual arts.
May your arts reach and inspire many people.

Infinite Blessings.


Sounds like you have gained a great deal of wisdom on the Dharma. I think you found a great Sangha for talking about it.

How much experience have you had with lucid dreaming and dream yoga?

Have any of them visited you in your dreams? Have they given you teachings from beyond the grave?


Thank you for your reply.

My first novels touch on this Buddhist inquiry of existence rather lightly. My third one, still in the second draft, is more open to Buddhist inquiry of existence. Visit https:/ if you’re interested in some of the associated blog writings on the novels.

My teachers are remarkable beings. I could question one of my teachers in silence, and he immediately offered me a teaching on my inquiry verbally. Just precious experience.

My first advise is to listen to the teachings over reifying the teacher. Bodhicitta is most important; therefore, practice kindness, lojong, tonglen. Strive to be a good sentient being. That is most important if nothing else.

What brought me into Buddhism was Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying twenty years before I read it in 2000. I had bought it from the bookstore at the Washington National Cathedral in D.C. It left me feeling that that is how I felt about my life.

As a youngster, I was a little rascal; as I entered my teans, I was more reserved as I still an. And I enjoy my solitude. Thus, the isolation I experience now is not too much of a great lost. Nonetheless, I cannot attend retreats and sangha meetings because there are folks who still think that theiir fabric softeners are not toxic to others and to themselves (examples of toxic products–Febreze, Downy, Snuggle, and Bounce fabric softeners). There is a lack of self-awareness. The symptoms I experience with each exposure are unpleasant.


Thank you.

I have not been able to post. Maybe this will happen now.


Impressive body of work! The Panama Canal Zone is quite the place to begin one’s journey. The above URL has a couple of extra characters. This is the correct URL:

Liked your booklet here for Zen-Tango Drawing! Will try some.


Good afternoon, Barry.

I was having problems replying. As a result, I didn’t return to my dashboard until recently. I have no idea when I was able to post.

I read current articles mostly to know recent discoveries. Since my spouse subscribes to “Science,” I gravitate to the articles on archeology. Everything else goes over my head. My spouse is an environmental scientist.

But I love anything on theoretical quantum physics even I do not understand a lot. LOL

Thank you for asing.


Let me know if you have tried Zen-Tango.

Here is one I did some time ago.
awarenessinthe park


Sounds like you got some very smart minds and hearts in that family :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Fantastic work! The texture is very impressive. I especially like the ‘eye’ symbols behind his upper right shoulder. Also really like his hat… :star_struck: