The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

240 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

you die, is to invoke wholeheartedly all the buddhas and your

master. Pray that, through regretting all your negative actions

in this and other lives, they may be purified, and that you

may die consciously and at peace, gain a good rebirth, and

ultimately achieve liberation.

Make a one-pointed and concentrated wish that you will be

reborn either in a pure realm or as a human being, but in

order to protect, nurture, and help others. To die with such

love and such tender compassion in your heart until your last

breath is said in the Tibetan tradition to be another form of

phowa, and it will ensure that you will at least attain another

precious human body.

To create the most positive possible imprint on the mindstream

before death is essential. The most effective practice of

all to achieve this is a simple practice of Guru Yoga, where the

dying person merges his or her mind with the wisdom mind

of the master, or Buddha, or any enlightened being. Even if

you cannot visualize your master at this moment, try at least

to remember him, think of him in your heart, and die in a

state of devotion. When your consciousness awakens again

after death, this imprint of the master's presence will awaken

with you, and you will be liberated. If you die remembering

the master, then the possibilities of his or her grace are limitless:

even the display of sound, light, and color in the bardo of

dharmata may arise as the master's blessing and the radiance

of his or her wisdom nature.

If the master is present at the deathbed, he or she will

ensure that the mindstream of the dying person is imprinted

with his or her presence. The master may, to retrieve the

dying person from other distractions, make some striking and

significant remark. He or she might say in a loud voice:

"Remember me!" The master will draw the dying person's

attention in whatever way is necessary, and create an indelible

impression that will return as a memory of the master in the

bardo state. When one well-known teacher's mother was

dying and slipping into a coma, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was

present at her bedside and did something very unusual. He

slapped her on the leg. If she did not forget Dilgo Khyentse

Rinpoche as she entered into death, she would have been

blessed indeed.

In our tradition ordinary practitioners will also pray to

whichever buddha they feel devotion for, and with whom

they feel a karmic connection. If it is Padmasambhava, they

will pray to be born in his glorious pure realm, the Palace of

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