Phowa

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Phowa

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:17 pm

Pero wrote: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 know a lama from Sikim (who I will not name) who said during a phowa retreat that sometimes tulkus will demonstrate phowa on insects as a test.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4570
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Phowa

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:27 pm

dzoki wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
dzoki wrote:
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.


No, it is taught in Sakya and Nyingma for sure as well.

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?


Performing phowa prematurely is like killing the deities because you're mind is the deities and you are prematurely ending your life intentionally.

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).


That is certainly problematic. I had also read of a Tibetan Arhat who had committed suicide by jumping off a building because the Chinese were about to kill him. I don't remember the source of this text though. I was startled to see a reference to a Tibetan Arhat actually. But the suicide was undetaken to keep the Chinese soldiers from reaping terrible negative karma. Perhaps it was the same motivation for Shechen Kongtrul and others?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4570
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Phowa

Postby alpha » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:46 pm

Would it still be problematic if one would decide to eject prematurely their conciousness -for whatever reason-while resting in rigpa?
AOM
alpha
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:05 pm
Location: kent

Re: Phowa

Postby Virgo » Mon May 26, 2014 2:24 am

kirtu wrote:That is certainly problematic. I had also read of a Tibetan Arhat who had committed suicide by jumping off a building because the Chinese were about to kill him. I don't remember the source of this text though. I was startled to see a reference to a Tibetan Arhat actually. But the suicide was undetaken to keep the Chinese soldiers from reaping terrible negative karma. Perhaps it was the same motivation for Shechen Kongtrul and others?

Kirt

Kirt, do you remember where you read this? Were there ever any other Tibetan Arhat's I wonder?

Thanks,

Kevin
User avatar
Virgo
 
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Phowa

Postby smcj » Mon May 26, 2014 2:46 am

Back in the '70s Gonpo Tsedan R. (Nyingma) was teaching people Phowa. He said that there were five different levels of Phowa. The first three levels were extremely advanced practices for yogis only. They could result in Dharmakaya, Sambogakaya, or Nirmanakaya realizations respectively. The fourth kind of Phowa was what a yogi could do for a dying person. The fifth kind of Phowa, the lowest, was what he taught us. It was for non-meditators and was to be performed if one knew that one was about to die. So you had to have the luxury of knowing you were about to die. If you got hit by a bus you wouldn't have the opportunity to do it, so you were out of luck.

Fast forward many years. There was a guy here in L.A. named Tony Leitner that was known by everybody. He was a little bald lawyer that had money he would donate to centers, so he got around a lot. But he was always stirring up trouble and creating dramas and conflicts--a complete pain in the ass. He never meditated, but he did do the Phowas retreat.

One day he had a heart attack and died. They found him sitting up in meditation position, and since he was bald they could see a red mark on the crown of his head where your consciousness is supposed to be ejected. It is widely believed that he was able to do the Phowa for himself as he was having the heart attack. I can't tell you how unlikely a character he was for accomplishing anything dharmic. He was a complete pest that drove everybody nuts. So there's hope for everybody.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2082
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Phowa

Postby Virgo » Wed May 28, 2014 4:23 am

Kirt, do you remember where you read this? Were there ever any other Tibetan Arhat's I wonder?

Thanks,

Kevin

bump.

Kevin
User avatar
Virgo
 
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Phowa

Postby Challenge23 » Thu May 29, 2014 2:55 pm

From what little I know about Phowa when you are doing it during your lifetime you aren't actually ejecting your consciousness as much as making sure that everything that would support that ejection is in working condition. Think of it like a guy being shot out of a cannon during the circus. The guy being shot out of the cannon in this example only gets shot out once a night but he spends a lot of time beforehand making sure the barrel has no obstructions, that the propellant is properly balanced, and so forth.

Also, as this can never be said too much, the Phowa practice is very, very dangerous and shouldn't even be CONSIDERED unless one has a teacher and even then it should be undertaken with the utmost caution.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
User avatar
Challenge23
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Phowa

Postby oldbob » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:24 am

Pero wrote:
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.



In practicing powa there is no danger of dying, haveing done the training with Ayang Rinpoche and others.

I like the HH Dudjom Tersar Powa best of the dualistic powas, but the Dzogchen non-dual powa is what I will use if I am concious during death.

I am sad for Lamas or anyone who kills themselves, because it is hard to change your mind if / when circumstances change.

ob
oldbob
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:19 am

Re: Phowa

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:03 am

Like I said a few posts ago; there is Phowa for yogis and Phowa for non-meditators. Presumably what is currently being taught publicly is the type for non-meditators. It is not dangerous.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2082
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Phowa

Postby VinceField » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:19 am

To transfer the consciousness out of the body prematurely is equivalent to suicide


I think it's important to differentiate temporary transference/ejection of consciousness from permanent projection from the body(death). Are there any Buddhist practices for inducing out of body experiences into the higher Buddha realms or teachings that this is even possible? I'm quite proficient in conscious projection into nonphysical dimensions and I'd be interested in exploring the Buddhist cosmology of higher realms.
VinceField
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:52 am

Re: Phowa

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:15 pm

VinceField wrote:I think it's important to differentiate temporary transference/ejection of consciousness from permanent projection from the body(death). Are there any Buddhist practices for inducing out of body experiences into the higher Buddha realms or teachings that this is even possible? I'm quite proficient in conscious projection into nonphysical dimensions and I'd be interested in exploring the Buddhist cosmology of higher realms.
That's not why we do Phowa. The goal of Buddhist practice is liberation, not more deluded experiences.

We practice phowa so that, at the time of death, we can eject our consciousness in such a way as to reborn in a Pure Land. We do this so we can continue to practice, without experiencing suffering, until we achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.

It's got nothing to do with dropping in for a short visit, to our favorite deity, in order to pleasantly pass away our time .
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9949
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Phowa

Postby VinceField » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:22 pm

It's got nothing to do with dropping in for a short visit, to our favorite deity, in order to pleasantly pass away our time .


I understand what Phowa is and the purpose of it. That's why I asked if there was another practice or teaching of projection into these higher realms. Obviously the purpose of this wouldn't be just to indulge in higher realms of sensual pleasure, just as the practice of Tibetan Dream Yoga, while it takes place in the context of nonphysical reality and includes the manipulation of illusory constructs, is a means to a greater purpose- liberation. I mean, if it were me, I would at least want to confirm that these realms, deities, and concepts exist before investing a large portion of time engaged in practices which essentially rely on the existence of these places, deities and concepts to be of any worth. Rather than taking it all in faith and hoping these things are real, I would prefer to explore them firsthand for confirmation and maybe even visit some Buddhist deities to receive teachings and insights straight from the source. I may make this my next out of body project. If I get anywhere with it I'll keep you guys posted.
VinceField
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:52 am

Re: Phowa

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:29 pm

Good luck with that.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2082
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Phowa

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:38 pm

VinceField wrote:I mean, if it were me, I would at least want to confirm that these realms, deities, and concepts exist before investing a large portion of time engaged in practices which essentially rely on the existence of these places, deities and concepts to be of any worth. Rather than taking it all in faith and hoping these things are real, I would prefer to explore them firsthand for confirmation and maybe even visit some Buddhist deities to receive teachings and insights straight from the source.
By indulging in the fantastic constructions of deluded mind?

Do you have a teacher Vince?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9949
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Phowa

Postby Dragon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:29 pm

oldbob wrote:I am sad for Lamas or anyone who kills themselves, because it is hard to change your mind if / when circumstances change.


Forgive my ignorance, but, I'm thinking if you can perform certain siddhis such as a phowa, why not, then, simply control the weather instead, or use some "mind control", or even just fly away to get out of such a dire situation? Why kill yourself? This is, assuming, that you can do such things in conjunction with consciousness transference like phowa. But I would assume if you're that skilled and trained to do a phowa, controlling the weather and gods/humans/demons/etc. isn't too far off either. So why this form of suicide? Can't you help someone not accumulate negative karma via different means?
User avatar
Dragon
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Re: Phowa

Postby zenman » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:13 pm

VinceField wrote:
I understand what Phowa is and the purpose of it. That's why I asked if there was another practice or teaching of projection into these higher realms. Obviously the purpose of this wouldn't be just to indulge in higher realms of sensual pleasure, just as the practice of Tibetan Dream Yoga, while it takes place in the context of nonphysical reality and includes the manipulation of illusory constructs, is a means to a greater purpose- liberation. I mean, if it were me, I would at least want to confirm that these realms, deities, and concepts exist before investing a large portion of time engaged in practices which essentially rely on the existence of these places, deities and concepts to be of any worth. Rather than taking it all in faith and hoping these things are real, I would prefer to explore them firsthand for confirmation and maybe even visit some Buddhist deities to receive teachings and insights straight from the source. I may make this my next out of body project. If I get anywhere with it I'll keep you guys posted.


This is actually smart words for me. Why not study all those Buddhafields, deities and whatever to get a first hand knowledge what they are? That is common sense for me. Having said that, one does need to have solid know-how of concentration and discrimination to be able to do this.
zenman
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:24 pm

Re: Phowa

Postby VinceField » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:43 pm

By indulging in the fantastic constructions of deluded mind?

Do you have a teacher Vince?


Is Pureland not a fantastic construction of a deluded mind? If your response is no, how do you know it isn't?

I am my own teacher. Buddhism isn't too big in my part of Brazil so my options in this department are very limited. I'm a trial and error kinda guy and usually figure things out for myself and excel without formal training, whether it's development via spiritual practices, artistic, creative, and professional skills, or whatever else it may be that I develop an interest or need for. I currently practice theravada meditation practices, tao meditation/energy practices, and dream yoga/lucid dreaming and out of body/astral projection. I've been involved in the ladder practices for half of my life, but only seriously got into Buddhist meditation not even a few months ago, as I have recently solidified my desire and efforts to make serious spiritual progress along the lines of the Buddhist path. I now consider the out of body experiences to simply be icing on the cake, although my experiences thus far in higher nonphysical dimensions have demonstrated serious potential for attaining spiritual insights and knowledge.
VinceField
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:52 am

Re: Phowa

Postby pemachophel » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:01 am

Dragon,

While there are numerous reports of Lamas who left their bodies by phowa rather than being executed by the Chinese and thus their executioners reaping huge bad karma, there is at least one story of a Tibetan Dzogchenpa who did actually fly away when he was being led to prison. I forget His name, but it is a well-known story.

:namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
pemachophel
 
Posts: 586
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Phowa

Postby Dragon » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:55 am

pemachophel wrote:Dragon,

While there are numerous reports of Lamas who left their bodies by phowa rather than being executed by the Chinese and thus their executioners reaping huge bad karma, there is at least one story of a Tibetan Dzogchenpa who did actually fly away when he was being led to prison. I forget His name, but it is a well-known story.

:namaste:


Cool! I knew there had to be something else to it. Thanks! :twothumbsup:
User avatar
Dragon
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Re: Phowa

Postby yegyal » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:44 am

pemachophel wrote:Dragon,

While there are numerous reports of Lamas who left their bodies by phowa rather than being executed by the Chinese and thus their executioners reaping huge bad karma, there is at least one story of a Tibetan Dzogchenpa who did actually fly away when he was being led to prison. I forget His name, but it is a well-known story.

:namaste:


His name was Tsewang Rigdzin
yegyal
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:02 am

PreviousNext

Return to Dzogchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lorem and 16 guests

>