How to Do a Reading
-- The Short Form --
This simplified method can be used with the "Obligatory Readers
Prayer", and "Confronting the Clear Light". These are an excellent
place to start your reading even before you obtain a copy of the
American Book of the Dead.
The short form version of performing a reading:
- Say aloud: "I wish for this effort to be used for the benefit of all beings
- Light the reading candle. (if possible)
- Ring the bell three times.
- Call forth (three times) the name of the one(s) you are reading for. "This reading is addressed to the being of _____"
- "This reading is addressed to the being of John Smith"
- "This reading is addressed to the beings of all those who died in the Twin Towers"
- "This reading is addressed to the beings of all firemen lost in the Twin Towers"
- "This reading is addressed to the beings of those lost on Flight 93"
- "This reading is addressed to the beings of those rescue workers serving in New York"
- Read (once only) the "Obligatory Readers Prayer"
- Read (three or seven times) "Confronting the Clear Light"
- Declare: "This completes the reading of 'Confronting the Clear Light' addressed to the being(s) of ______" (same as above)
- Ring the bell three times.
- Snuff the candle.
"Obligatory Reader's Invocation"
- To the divine silence of unreachable endlessness;
- To the divine silence of perfected knowledge;
- To the divine silence of the soundless voice;
- To the divine silence of the Heart of the Labyrinth;
- To the divine silence of the ancient mind;
- To the divine silence of the unborn guide;
- To the divine silence of the unseen guide,
protector of all sentient life;
- To the divine silence of those of perfected knowledge;
- To the divine silence of human primate incarnation;
- To the divine silence of the labyrinth guides
who sacrifice their liberation for those
who have not yet awakened to the truth;
- To the divine silence of the Lord of Death,
the eternal unborn resident of the labyrinth
who has sacrificed his own redemption
for the redemption of all voyagers everywhere;
- To the divine silence of the primordial being;
- To the divine silence of the great sacrifice;
- We offer homage, love and hope;
- But above all, we give our gratitude.
"Confronting the Clear Light"
Now I am experiencing the Clear Light of objective reality. Nothing is happening, nothing ever has happened or ever will happen. My present sense of self, the voyager, is in reality the void itself, having no qualities or characteristics. I remember myself as the voyager, whose deepest nature is the Clear Light itself; I am one; there is no other. I am the voidness of the void, the eternal unborn, the uncreated, neither real nor unreal. All that I have been conscious of is my own play of consciousness, a dance of light, the swirling patterns of light in infinite extension, endless endlessness, the Absolute beyond change, existence, reality. I, the voyager, am inseparable from the Clear Light; I cannot be born, die, exist, or change. I know now that this is my true nature.
- If at any time you have the distinct feeling/impression that the
a sentence or instruction does not get through then simply state: "I will give that
to you again" then repeat the sentence.
- Reading twice a day once in the morning and one in the evening is good.
- It is best to read at the same times each day -- if at all possible.
- For a memorial or other public service read "Obligatory Readers Prayer" (once) and "Confronting the Clear Light" (once)
- For private readings it is appropriate after the first day to read "Confronting the Clear Light" either three times or once as
- Read it in the midst of vast congregations. Read it to heal the sick.
Read it to instruct the elderly. Read it for the dead or dying even though they don't know
it is being read for them -- your prayers and reading are helping them to attain liberation.
- These readings are extracted from The American Book of the Dead and presented here for the benefit of all beings everywhere.
- The Bodhisattva Vow
- The passions of delusion are inexhaustible. I vow to extinguish them all at
- The number of beings is endless. I vow to help save them all.
- The Truth cannot be told. I vow to tell it.
- The Way which cannot be followed is unattainable. I vow to attain it.