Author Topic: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!  (Read 4993 times)

Offline Sonam Wangchug

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Here is an article by Bardor tulku rinpoche on the best method to practice at the time of death.

http://kunzang.org/kplblog/2010/01/07/the-best-technique-for-the-time-of-death/

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 03:02:21 pm »
Wow, this is a very interesting article.  Thanks!

Best,
Laura

Yeshe

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For a Vajrayana practitioner this is excellent advice.

However, Phowa is not an 'either/or' ritual.

It is performed for the dying and recently deceased, so is still a wonderful practice to perform on behalf of the many who have no root guru to visualise. It is also wonderful to aid even those who have the ability to visualise their root guru.

Does this visualisation last all the way through to the next rebirth, I wonder, in which case the Bardo Thodol can be binned? LOL :)

Offline J. McKenna

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Damn! I was already just planning to just die and commence to rotting. . . . . . . . . . . .  . Well, all things change, no?
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline Caz

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Brilliant advise !  :cheesy:
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline santamonicacj

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However, Phowa is not an 'either/or' ritual.

It is performed for the dying and recently deceased, so is still a wonderful practice to perform on behalf of the many who have no root guru to visualise. It is also wonderful to aid even those who have the ability to visualise their root guru.
Generally Phowa is one of the Six Yogas and is practiced by advanced yogis both for their own realization and for others at the time of death, as you mention. However there is a watered down version that is taught for non-meditators that one is supposed to do at the time of one's own death. With it you are supposed to be able to shoot your consciousness out the top of your head and into the Buddha realms. That is of course if one has the luxury of knowing that one is dying and still has one's senses about one. It has been taught here in California a lot.

A few years ago there was a guy that hung out at Southern California Dharma centers that was a real pest. He never meditated and was always creating dramas and conflicts. But he was a lawyer and had money that he would donate on occasion so he was well established at all the centers. He would attend teachings of course and one of them was this watered down Phowa.

Anyway one day he had a heart attack and died. When they found him he was sitting up in meditation posture. He was bald and had a red spot at the exact place where his consciousness was supposed to exit during Phowa. Evidently even a pest like him was able to make it work.

But still I like the advice given in this thread better...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 03:17:25 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline catmoon

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Maybe he was practicing and ejected accidentally?
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline santamonicacj

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Maybe he was practicing and ejected accidentally?
My impression is that you've got to be doing one of the advanced/yogic forms for that to happen, not the one for non-meditators. Hence the restrictions on who is taught those advanced practices.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 10:31:12 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline catmoon

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 Yeah, but I haven't even taken refuge and I know plenty enough about the practice to get myself in deep doo doo.  There is a lot of leakage on the net, and it's amazing what some people will publish.

  Anyhow I am not interested in having a fatal accident so I avoid practising what I have learned. I do hope that is not what happened to the late student.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline Tsomo

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 :dharma:
I learned:
'Unalterable are the laws of karma. Cause and effect can not be escaped'.

I wonder what happens to the effects of one's accumulated bad and good karma when one happens to perform, by mistake, or performs planned, successfully phowa on oneself, or when phowa is skillfully, and successfully performed by someone for someone.
Maybe someone knows?  :namaste:
   

Yeshe

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Re: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2010, 06:43:46 am »
:dharma:
I learned:
'Unalterable are the laws of karma. Cause and effect can not be escaped'.

I wonder what happens to the effects of one's accumulated bad and good karma when one happens to perform, by mistake, or performs planned, successfully phowa on oneself, or when phowa is skillfully, and successfully performed by someone for someone.
Maybe someone knows?  :namaste:
  

Some believe Phowa is performed in order to have an effect on the journey.  The destination remains the same.

Others may believe the ceremony can affect the destination in a positive way, according to the mind of the dying person at the moment of bodily death.

The only negative aspect I have heard is if the Phowa is performed for a person who is not close to the death of the body - it may speed up their demise.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 06:49:49 am by Yeshe »

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 08:03:19 am »
'Unalterable are the laws of karma. Cause and effect can not be escaped'.

I wonder what happens to the effects of one's accumulated bad and good karma when one happens to perform, by mistake, or performs planned, successfully phowa on oneself, or when phowa is skillfully, and successfully performed by someone for someone.
Others may believe the ceremony can affect the destination in a positive way, according to the mind of the dying person at the moment of bodily death.
That's the way I've heard it. There is a certain volatility at the moment of death where there are karmic opportunities not usually afforded in life. But as the title of this thread says, there is something better than Phowa...
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

GoGet

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Re: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 02:16:30 pm »
Here is an article by Bardor tulku rinpoche on the best method to practice at the time of death.

http://kunzang.org/kplblog/2010/01/07/the-best-technique-for-the-time-of-death/


Visualization of the guru at the time of death is akin to guru yoga practice.  Of course guru yoga can't commence without permission, but anyone can do these sorts of visualizations - kind of like in kriya tantra.

Offline Tsomo

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Re: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2010, 11:01:55 pm »
Here is an article by Bardor tulku rinpoche on the best method to practice at the time of death.

http://kunzang.org/kplblog/2010/01/07/the-best-technique-for-the-time-of-death/


Visualization of the guru at the time of death is akin to guru yoga practice.  Of course guru yoga can't commence without permission, but anyone can do these sorts of visualizations - kind of like in kriya tantra.


 :dharma:
Hello Sonam Wangchug, thank you for the important article written by Bardor tulku Rinpoche. 
Bardor Rinpoche writes on the best method to practice at the time of death,
that it is easy to visualize one's root-guru at the moment of death, that we can -all- do that.

I wonder how students/practitioners of buddhism who never planned/never practiced to be able to perform phowa on themselves when they are dying, (like me, I can't do it myself because I think it is risky, and scary),
or/and who don't know anybody who can do it for them, or/and have no root-guru to visualize,
could they visualize their Yidam instead,
and try to merge with him/her at the moment of dying to avoid going through the Bardo Thodol toward another rebirth in Samsara?

Because I am a westener and maybe think that I know who my root-guru is, but might be wrong,
I ask myself regularly: Who is your root-guru Anna?
I then first think about the two Rinpoches I took refuge with.
It was a slightly confusing experience, taking refuge twice, with some eight years in between,
and I did it the second time because I thought I had to do that out of respect for Panchen Otrul Rinpoche,
because I was living in Rinpoche's mandala.

Then I think about other Rinpoches I have met, and have listened to their teachings.
And always my answer to my question is: The Panchen Otrul Rinpoche.
Then I feel deep wonder because I chose, independently of Rinpoche, after reading Chinese Pure Land teachings, to definitely become a Pure Land practitioner, and Rinpoche is considered an emanation of
Amitabha Buddha Lord of Sukhavati. 
I visualize Amitabha Buddha as much as possible, merging Rinpoche with Amitabha Buddha.

Is Rinpoche my root-guru?
I very much hope so.
Panchen Otrul Rinpoche is kind, calm, deep, wise, passionless enthusiastic, (is technical too), has no possessions, not even good every day robes; (yes, a descent set of robes Rinpoche has for traveling);
these, and more excellent qualities, I have been told by one of his ex-attendants yogic powers too, has Rinpoche actualized.
I don't know if I should ask it, or declare such an important decision/feeling myself to Rinpoche.
That is why I haven't asked Rinpoche that question yet.
How can I find out who my root-guru is? :pray:















 

Can a deceased Rinpoche/Lama/buddhist lay teacher, someone one has never met, never seen, but with whom one feels a convincing karmic connection be one's root-guru?
 

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Better than phowa, easier than phowa, what to do at the time of death!
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 11:15:31 pm »
I wonder how students/practitioners of buddhism who never planned/never practiced to be able to perform phowa on themselves when they are dying, (like me, I can't do it myself because I think it is risky, and scary)
The Phowa for non-meditators is neither risky or scary. That is why is it taught openly and widely.

...and have no root-guru to visualize,
could they visualize their Yidam instead,
and try to merge with him/her at the moment of dying to avoid going through the Bardo Thodol toward another rebirth in Samsara?

I think that technically any lama you have taken initiation with is one of your (possibly many) root gurus. Ask a lama about visualizing your Yidam at death though. That is beyond the purview of the internet.


Because I am a westener and maybe think that I know who my root-guru is, but might be wrong,
I ask myself regularly: Who is your root-guru Anna?
I then first think about the two Rinpoches I took refuge with.
It was a slightly confusing experience, taking refuge twice, with some eight years in between,
and I did it the second time because I thought I had to do that out of respect for Panchen Otrul Rinpoche,
because I was living in Rinpoche's mandala.

Then I think about other Rinpoches I have met, and have listened to their teachings.
And always my answer to my question is: The Panchen Otrul Rinpoche.
Then I feel deep wonder because I chose, independently of Rinpoche, after reading Chinese Pure Land teachings, to definitely become a Pure Land practitioner, and Rinpoche is considered an emanation of
Amitabha Buddha Lord of Sukhavati. 
I visualize Amitabha Buddha as much as possible, merging Rinpoche with Amitabha Buddha.

Is Rinpoche my root-guru?
I very much hope so.
Panchen Otrul Rinpoche is kind, calm, deep, wise, passionless enthusiastic, (is technical too), has no possessions, not even good every day robes; (yes, a descent set of robes Rinpoche has for traveling);
these, and more excellent qualities, I have been told by one of his ex-attendants yogic powers too, has Rinpoche actualized.
I don't know if I should ask it, or declare such an important decision/feeling myself to Rinpoche.
That is why I haven't asked Rinpoche that question yet.
How can I find out who my root-guru is? :pray:
I believe it is whoever you have most faith in. You seem to have answered your own question.
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

 


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