Preparing for death

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
Könchok Thrinley
Former staff member
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Preparing for death

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
User avatar
SunWuKong
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Contact:

Re: Preparing for death

Post by SunWuKong »

I'm not able to answer properly from the stand point of Tibetan Buddhism, but getting old does a pretty damn good job of making you ready. When you see friends and loved ones die, it takes all you arrogance right out of you, that is, if you have loved freely and with a full heart. Aging is just heart-breaking, and it will break you. The only safe place to be is the Path.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam
User avatar
Jangchup Donden
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:44 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Jangchup Donden »

Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
I mean, this is pretty much the essence of the entire path. Any practice you do will help with this. The more you practice, the better your chances.

Practicing moral discipline and appropriately dedicating merit will help keep you out of lower states. Practicing the generation stage will help purify your life cycle (birth, life, death, and the period in between). Everything you do related to the path is related to keeping you out of unfavorable rebirths and swiftly getting you to Buddhahood.
Motova
Posts: 1302
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Motova »

Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
Malcolm has said that if you recognize the nature of mind once then you are guaranteed to be reborn in a pureland. So you can practice Dzogchen.

You can practice phowa and go to Buddha Amitabha's pureland.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.
User avatar
Jangchup Donden
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:44 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Jangchup Donden »

Motova wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:13 pm Malcolm has said that if you recognize the nature of mind once then you are guaranteed to be reborn in a pureland.
Immediately after this life? Or sometime in the future?
User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Aryjna »

Jangchup Donden wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:22 pm
Motova wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:13 pm Malcolm has said that if you recognize the nature of mind once then you are guaranteed to be reborn in a pureland.
Immediately after this life? Or sometime in the future?
This is also mentioned in a book by ChNNR.

Edit: Immediately after
User avatar
Jangchup Donden
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:44 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Jangchup Donden »

I have also heard that completing ngöndro or doing 8 consecutive nyungne's closes the door to rebirth in lower realms. I don't have a textual source to back that up however. Also reciting 1 million (or 5 million?) Guru Rinpoche mantras assures rebirth in his pure land.

I mean there's a lot of options. Just need to practice. :P
User avatar
Könchok Thrinley
Former staff member
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Jangchup Donden wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:53 pm I have also heard that completing ngöndro or doing 8 consecutive nyungne's closes the door to rebirth in lower realms. I don't have a textual source to back that up however. Also reciting 1 million (or 5 million?) Guru Rinpoche mantras assures rebirth in his pure land.

I mean there's a lot of options. Just need to practice. :P
Oh, yes yes. :D Practice is the most important. I think also just refuge practice can lead one away from lower states.
Aryjna wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:24 pm
Jangchup Donden wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:22 pm
Motova wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:13 pm Malcolm has said that if you recognize the nature of mind once then you are guaranteed to be reborn in a pureland.
Immediately after this life? Or sometime in the future?
This is also mentioned in a book by ChNNR.

Edit: Immediately after
Do you by any chance remeber which one?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
User avatar
cyril
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:47 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by cyril »

It is also said that by habitually visualizing your guru or yidam above your head, at the moment of death, the consciousness will likely depart through one of the superior apertures and you will take rebirth in one of the higher realms.
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -
User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Preparing for death

Post by PeterC »

If the opportunity presents itself, learn phowa. In a phowa retreat normally you have discussion of the process of death, the different kinds of transference, etc.

I did a retreat on this some years back, and one practitioner there was clearly in the final stages of a terminal illness. He asked the lama teaching the retreat if there was anything else he should do beyond what had been taught those few days - the answer was no.
User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2406
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Josef »

Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
Bodhicitta.
If we genuinely cultivate the heart of bodhicitta there will be no fear or confusion at the time of death.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
cjdevries
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:06 pm

Re: Preparing for death

Post by cjdevries »

Lama Zopa Rinpoche's new book How to Enjoy Death provides a detailed phowa practice that he says is ok to practice even if you haven't received transmission or empowerment. I was pretty happy to find that. I highly recommend the book.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 6264
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Preparing for death

Post by kirtu »

Jangchup Donden wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:53 pm I have also heard that completing ngöndro or doing 8 consecutive nyungne's closes the door to rebirth in lower realms. I don't have a textual source to back that up however. Also reciting 1 million (or 5 million?) Guru Rinpoche mantras assures rebirth in his pure land.

I mean there's a lot of options. Just need to practice. :P
Actually even a few non-consecutive Nyungne's closes the door to rebirth in the lower realms and ensures a higher rebirth (often the Pure Lands). Khenpo Norgay (Palyul, NYC) made this comment at the end of one of the July Nyungne retreats while reading a few of the Nyungne practitioner stories (I don't know the text he was reading the stories from but these were little namthars of ordinary practitioners who were Nyungne practitioners and some only did a few Nyungnes).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
javier.espinoza.t
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:29 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
if you have commitment, samaya, purify that in particular.
When Nyala Pema Dündul reached certain age he calle his closest students to him and together with them he did a lot of practices such as Ganapuja to purify samaya: all the promises that characterize the relationship between master and disciple and also between students. When Samaya is pure, all the benefits can manifest concretely, but when it is not, samaya itself can become an obstacle.
Nyala Pema Dündul was the root Guru of Ringdzin Changchub Dorje, the root Guru of ChNN. The quote comes from a teaching of ChNN.

Zhitro, Ganapuja, whatever one can handle to purify samaya is imperative.
User avatar
Könchok Thrinley
Former staff member
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

kirtu wrote: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:04 pm
Jangchup Donden wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:53 pm I have also heard that completing ngöndro or doing 8 consecutive nyungne's closes the door to rebirth in lower realms. I don't have a textual source to back that up however. Also reciting 1 million (or 5 million?) Guru Rinpoche mantras assures rebirth in his pure land.

I mean there's a lot of options. Just need to practice. :P
Actually even a few non-consecutive Nyungne's closes the door to rebirth in the lower realms and ensures a higher rebirth (often the Pure Lands). Khenpo Norgay (Palyul, NYC) made this comment at the end of one of the July Nyungne retreats while reading a few of the Nyungne practitioner stories (I don't know the text he was reading the stories from but these were little namthars of ordinary practitioners who were Nyungne practitioners and some only did a few Nyungnes).

Kirt
Wow, quite an interesting info thanks guys. Nyungne sounds like something great to do from time to time. :)
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
User avatar
Könchok Thrinley
Former staff member
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

javier.espinoza.t wrote: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:26 pm
Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
if you have commitment, samaya, purify that in particular.
When Nyala Pema Dündul reached certain age he calle his closest students to him and together with them he did a lot of practices such as Ganapuja to purify samaya: all the promises that characterize the relationship between master and disciple and also between students. When Samaya is pure, all the benefits can manifest concretely, but when it is not, samaya itself can become an obstacle.
Nyala Pema Dündul was the root Guru of Ringdzin Changchub Dorje, the root Guru of ChNN. The quote comes from a teaching of ChNN.

Zhitro, Ganapuja, whatever one can handle to purify samaya is imperative.
Thanks Javier. Guess regular Vajrasattva and GY are good habits to keep.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
User avatar
treehuggingoctopus
Posts: 1978
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:26 pm
Location: EU

Re: Preparing for death

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

Josef wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:30 pm
Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
Bodhicitta.
If we genuinely cultivate the heart of bodhicitta there will be no fear or confusion at the time of death.
:good:
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
amanitamusc
Posts: 1802
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by amanitamusc »

Jangchup Donden wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:22 pm
Motova wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:13 pm Malcolm has said that if you recognize the nature of mind once then you are guaranteed to be reborn in a pureland.
Immediately after this life? Or sometime in the future?
Malcolm talks about it a little during this talk.
https://learn.wisdompubs.org/podcast/malcolm-smith
javier.espinoza.t
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:29 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

Miroku wrote: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:59 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:26 pm
Miroku wrote: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm How can one prepare for death and bardo experience so one can either attain liberation in the bardo or at least not fall into unfavourable rebirth? Does practicing zhitro help one to prepare for bardo or is it mostly for helping others? What about Amitabha? Is reciting prayer to be reborn in Dewachen few times a day enough or does it need more?
if you have commitment, samaya, purify that in particular.
When Nyala Pema Dündul reached certain age he calle his closest students to him and together with them he did a lot of practices such as Ganapuja to purify samaya: all the promises that characterize the relationship between master and disciple and also between students. When Samaya is pure, all the benefits can manifest concretely, but when it is not, samaya itself can become an obstacle.
Nyala Pema Dündul was the root Guru of Ringdzin Changchub Dorje, the root Guru of ChNN. The quote comes from a teaching of ChNN.

Zhitro, Ganapuja, whatever one can handle to purify samaya is imperative.
Thanks Javier. Guess regular Vajrasattva and GY are good habits to keep.
mm habituate to the samadhi, not the sadhana.
it is dangerous to habituate to sadhana and not samadhi.


if we remain in contemplation there is no taintment,
but is we do GY and 5 min later we are distracted...

:)

what do you see?
User avatar
Könchok Thrinley
Former staff member
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Preparing for death

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

javier.espinoza.t wrote: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:31 am
Miroku wrote: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:59 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:26 pm

if you have commitment, samaya, purify that in particular.



Nyala Pema Dündul was the root Guru of Ringdzin Changchub Dorje, the root Guru of ChNN. The quote comes from a teaching of ChNN.

Zhitro, Ganapuja, whatever one can handle to purify samaya is imperative.
Thanks Javier. Guess regular Vajrasattva and GY are good habits to keep.
mm habituate to the samadhi, not the sadhana.
it is dangerous to habituate to sadhana and not samadhi.


if we remain in contemplation there is no taintment,
but is we do GY and 5 min later we are distracted...

:)

what do you see?
A lot of work infront of me. :D #notthebestpractitoner #barelyastudentofdzogchen
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”