Phowa

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Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:16 am

Is it possible to eject one's consciousness temporarily to a nirmanakaya buddhafield while one is still alive and healthy?
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Re: Phowa

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:27 am

No, but you can visit Pure Lands while alive. Just not through Phowa.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:29 am

Konchog1 wrote:No, but you can visit Pure Lands while alive. Just not through Phowa.

How?
Why is it not possible?
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Re: Phowa

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:46 am

Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Phowa

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:40 am

These are all buddhist constructs that may or may not be true. One can't say with any certainty what is possible or not. But when Phowa is taught as a possibility I doubt it's possible. When pure lands are talked of as existing I doubt their existence. If they weren't conceived of then they might be possible - as naturally occurring. As soon as they become concepts that are grasped and held on to they seem unreal. Even as method they seem unreal.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Phowa

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:17 am

If you're seriously interested in Phowa, see about attending a teaching by Ayang Rinpoche:

http://ayangrinpoche.org/

He is probably the most eminent Phowa master currently alive.
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Re: Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:24 am

Huseng wrote:If you're seriously interested in Phowa, see about attending a teaching by Ayang Rinpoche:

http://ayangrinpoche.org/

He is probably the most eminent Phowa master currently alive.

Thanks Huseng, I will look into that.
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Re: Phowa

Postby dzoki » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:32 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.


And where do you get this from? There is a phowa in gcod practice. I don´t know that by practicing gcod I would go to hell. Also people train in phowa and I don´t think they would go to hell for doing that.
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Re: Phowa

Postby Pero » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:59 pm

dzoki wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.


And where do you get this from? There is a phowa in gcod practice. I don´t know that by practicing gcod I would go to hell. Also people train in phowa and I don´t think they would go to hell for doing that.

That's becaues you don't actually eject your consciousness. Training is one thing, actually doing it another. There is a story in Norbu Rinpoche's book on Phowa about a nun that killed a marmot with phowa at the request of other nuns to display her power. She did it only after they promised they will do lots and lots of purification practices in a monastery afterwards.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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Re: Phowa

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:32 pm

dzoki wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.


And where do you get this from? There is a phowa in gcod practice. I don´t know that by practicing gcod I would go to hell. Also people train in phowa and I don´t think they would go to hell for doing that.
Page 210 in Glenn Mullin's translation of Lord Tsongkhapa's Book of Three Inspirations:
To transfer the consciousness out of the body prematurely is equivalent to suicide [...] if one holds the mantra precepts, then suicide is prohibited by the eighth root precept. One should know that to transgress it will result in rebirth in the hells
Furthermore, suicide is murder, the result of murder is hell, so one would go to hell with or without the precepts.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:46 am

Andrew108 wrote:These are all buddhist constructs that may or may not be true. One can't say with any certainty what is possible or not. But when Phowa is taught as a possibility I doubt it's possible. When pure lands are talked of as existing I doubt their existence. If they weren't conceived of then they might be possible - as naturally occurring. As soon as they become concepts that are grasped and held on to they seem unreal. Even as method they seem unreal.

I'm not 100% certain either. But if I was making a bet on whether Naropa was making up sh*t up or not, my money would be on no.
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Re: Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:48 am

Pero wrote:
dzoki wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.


And where do you get this from? There is a phowa in gcod practice. I don´t know that by practicing gcod I would go to hell. Also people train in phowa and I don´t think they would go to hell for doing that.

That's becaues you don't actually eject your consciousness. Training is one thing, actually doing it another. There is a story in Norbu Rinpoche's book on Phowa about a nun that killed a marmot with phowa at the request of other nuns to display her power. She did it only after they promised they will do lots and lots of purification practices in a monastery afterwards.

Pero, does the book state the name of the nun who did that?
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Re: Phowa

Postby dzoki » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:26 pm

Pero wrote:
dzoki wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.


And where do you get this from? There is a phowa in gcod practice. I don´t know that by practicing gcod I would go to hell. Also people train in phowa and I don´t think they would go to hell for doing that.

That's becaues you don't actually eject your consciousness. Training is one thing, actually doing it another. There is a story in Norbu Rinpoche's book on Phowa about a nun that killed a marmot with phowa at the request of other nuns to display her power. She did it only after they promised they will do lots and lots of purification practices in a monastery afterwards.


I remember Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche saying that you can actually eject your consciousness during gcod, provided that you have enough skill. Also I know people who had experience of their consciousness leaving their body during a phowa training, yet they are alive and well.
The story with marmot is entirely different thing, because this is performing phowa for someone else without their consent while they are alive and so is similar to taking life.
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Re: Phowa

Postby dzoki » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:31 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
dzoki wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Because your consciousness won't come back. Because practicing Phowa before death is suicide (murder) and causes rebirth in hell.


And where do you get this from? There is a phowa in gcod practice. I don´t know that by practicing gcod I would go to hell. Also people train in phowa and I don´t think they would go to hell for doing that.
Page 210 in Glenn Mullin's translation of Lord Tsongkhapa's Book of Three Inspirations:
To transfer the consciousness out of the body prematurely is equivalent to suicide [...] if one holds the mantra precepts, then suicide is prohibited by the eighth root precept. One should know that to transgress it will result in rebirth in the hells
Furthermore, suicide is murder, the result of murder is hell, so one would go to hell with or without the precepts.


Sure, this is however exclusively gelug point of view. I remember reading in Tsongkhapa´s Golden Key, that performing phowa entails killing the deities that reside in ones chakras and so is considered a very negative deed. But how can a deity be killed?

There are several well known cases when yogis did phowa permaturely and I am sure they did not go to hell (Shechen Kongtrul is one example).
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Re: Phowa

Postby Kelwin » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Nighthawk wrote:Is it possible to eject one's consciousness temporarily to a nirmanakaya buddhafield while one is still alive and healthy?

Most definitely. And in fact this is a very common occurance during the phowa retreats I attended.
It can be so nice, that part of the instruction beforehand is to make sure that no matter what, you do come back.
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Re: Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:25 pm

Kelwin wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Is it possible to eject one's consciousness temporarily to a nirmanakaya buddhafield while one is still alive and healthy?

Most definitely. And in fact this is a very common occurance during the phowa retreats I attended.
It can be so nice, that part of the instruction beforehand is to make sure that no matter what, you do come back.

Very interesting. Can you describe your experience?
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Re: Phowa

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:33 pm

dzoki wrote:
I remember Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche saying that you can actually eject your consciousness during gcod, provided that you have enough skill. Also I know people who had experience of their consciousness leaving their body during a phowa training, yet they are alive and well.

To a Buddhafield?
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Re: Phowa

Postby Pero » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:49 pm

Nighthawk wrote:Pero, does the book state the name of the nun who did that?

No.

dzoki wrote:I remember Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche saying that you can actually eject your consciousness during gcod, provided that you have enough skill. Also I know people who had experience of their consciousness leaving their body during a phowa training, yet they are alive and well.
The story with marmot is entirely different thing, because this is performing phowa for someone else without their consent while they are alive and so is similar to taking life.

In this book Rinpoche also says that according to the teachings one shouldn't do Phowa if it's not one's time to die because then it's equivalent to suicide (in the marmot story Changchub Dorje also says that in general one shouldn't do Phowa for beings who are still alive and well). But that in general this is also not possible unless one has great capacity. He also mentions exceptions, like Lamas in Tibet who did Phowa while still healthy because they were held in Chinese prisons and forced to do self-criticism.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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Re: Phowa

Postby alpha » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Pero wrote: He also mentions exceptions, like Lamas in Tibet who did Phowa while still healthy because they were held in Chinese prisons and forced to do self-criticism.


what does this mean?
that one can do powa if his life is in immediate danger or if there is no way out of a difficult situation?
So, have they not committed suicide?
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Re: Phowa

Postby Pero » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:30 pm

alpha wrote:
Pero wrote: He also mentions exceptions, like Lamas in Tibet who did Phowa while still healthy because they were held in Chinese prisons and forced to do self-criticism.


what does this mean?
that one can do powa if his life is in immediate danger or if there is no way out of a difficult situation?
So, have they not committed suicide?

I think that they found that there would be more benefit if they commited suicide in this manner than being used by Chinese authorities against their people.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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