The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (1992), by lama Sogyal Rinpoche, presents the core teachings of Tibetan Buddhism in easily comprehensible terms, from impermanence and reincarnation to karma and compassion, with a particular focus on death and how to prepare for it. Hong Kong-based British fashion designer Jason Mui, co-founder of Yat Pit, which puts a contemporary spin on traditional Chinese styles, tells Richard Lord how it changed his life. I started to read it back in 2019. I was looking for a different book, on the Dalai Lama, but this was on the shelf. I didn’t really know much about the book, but a friend who was reading it had told me about it. I met it by fate, but it enlightened me. It’s been a handful of magical things: inspiring, educational, life-changing and, most of all, a great companion. For me, it’s more than a book; it’s a collection of tips on how to look at life and understand death. It’s very educational about death, a subject we don’t know much about. I do believe in reincarnation and rebirth, and this book broke it down and gave it meaning. My family are from Hong Kong, and they always believed in Guanyin (the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion). I grew up with her being in our home in Birmingham. It was very light, not very religious. I just naturally wanted to know what it means to light incense and to pray. I’ve lost two grandparents recently, and the book prepared me for that. It was really interesting how the book held my hand, walked me through it and helped me process all of this. I couldn’t have done that without it. I’ve been in Hong Kong for 10 years now, and a big part of me has been trying to get in touch with my roots. That had a big impact on how I related to Buddhism. The only thought I’d had relating to death was that there’s definitely something more. The book let me understand what that more was. It breaks down a lot of barriers to perceptions of what death is. We don’t know what it is, and not knowing leads to a lot of fear. What can we, the living, do during the process of someone dying? How do we support them through their afterlife journey? That’s what it really helped me to do. It gave me something to grasp onto. Instead of grieving in a tearful, desperate way, I tried to channel it into a more meditative state. Like a counsellor but available 24/7, app helps you cope with grief My family are very traditional when it comes to funeral ceremonies, with lots of ritualistic things – going to a funeral was quite an eye-opener. But I now find it really beautiful. It’s like a wedding – a celebration of someone’s life, having this ceremony to send our loved ones away. I think these ideas also apply to daily life. My relationships with family, colleagues and friends and how I approach work are definitely different. There’s a bit more relaxed ease to it – an understanding of what’s important. I don’t have these hissy fits like I used to. The amount of energy we waste on negative outputs – imagine channelling all that energy into something productive.