What then is happening when we die? It is as if we are

returning to our original state; everything dissolves, as body

and mind are unraveled. The three "poisons"—anger, desire,

and ignorance—all die, which means that all the negative

emotions, the root of samsara, actually cease, and then there is

a gap.

And where does this process take us? To the primordial

ground of the nature of mind, in all its purity and natural simplicity.

Now everything that obscured it is removed, and our

true nature is revealed.

A similar enfolding can happen, as I explained in Chapter 5,

"Bringing the Mind Home," when we practice meditation and

have the experiences of bliss, clarity, and absence of thoughts,

which indicate, in turn, that desire, anger, and ignorance have

momentarily dissolved.

As anger, desire, and ignorance are dying, we are becoming

purer and purer. Some masters explain that for a Dzogchen

practitioner, the phases of appearance, increase, and attainment

are signs of the gradual manifestation of Rigpa. As everything

that obscures the nature of mind is dying, the clarity of Rigpa

slowly begins to appear and increase. The whole process

becomes a development of the state of luminosity, linked to

the practitioner's recognition of the clarity of Rigpa.

In Tantra there is a different approach to practicing during

the process of dissolution. In the yoga practice of channels,

winds, and essences, the Tantric practitioner prepares in life for

the process of dying, by simulating the changes of consciousness

of the dissolution process, culminating in the experience

of the luminosity or "Clear Light." The practitioner also seeks

to maintain awareness of these changes as he or she falls

asleep. Because what is important to remember is that this

sequence of progressively deepening states of consciousness

does not only happen when we die. It also occurs, usually

unnoticed, as we fall asleep, or whenever we travel from the

grosser to subtlest levels of consciousness. Some masters have

even shown that it also happens in the very psychological processes

of our everyday waking state. 10

The detailed account of the dissolution process may seem

complicated, yet if we become really familiar with this process,

it can be of great benefit. For practitioners there is a

range of specialized practices to do at each stage of the dissolution.

For example, you can transform the process of dying

into a practice of guru yoga. With each stage of the outer

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