The ancient Tibetan text adapted by Jean-Claude van Itallie. Photos from La Mama performance by Gerry Vezzuso. Tibetan art illustrations selected by Professor Deborah Klimburg-Salter. Introduction by Judith Lief, former Dean of Naropa Institute. Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1998.
"Jean-Claude van Itallie, one of our most original playwrights and a longtime practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, has taken Guru Padmasambhava’s 8th century masterpiece, The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo, or as it’s known in the west, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and rendered its essential brilliance into deeply moving and inspiring poems meant to be read aloud. Its sole intent is to pilot us wandering voyagers through the illusory and superstitious realms we call life and death.
With constant reminders to pay attention and watch our minds, the poet urges us to come to our senses and remember our Nobly Born true selves completely beyond all designation, all hope and all tears… merging with the clear light bliss, no center, no circumference, an ocean with no boat… I love this little book. Read it aloud!"
"Jean-Claude van Itallie’s presentation of this old classic brings us face to face with the radiance and emptiness of our own minds. He has made new a relevant — even urgent — text: A guide for the continually arising moments of choice in our living and in dying." Diane di Prima