ning joke. We'd ask him, "Are you having any fain?" He'd smile

this extremely kind smile and say, "No."

All his vital signs were very low. I gave him a shot... so that

he could communicate in his last minutes. I left the room for a few

minutes while he conversed with the tulkus, whom he assured he

was not intending to die that day. When I returned five minutes

later, he was sitting straight up, with his eyes wide open, and said

clearly, "Hello, how are you?" All his vital signs had reversed and

within half an hour he was sitting up in bed, talking and laughing.

Medically this is unheard of the nurses were all white. One

of them lifted her sleeve to show me her arm, covered with goosebumps.

The nursing staff noticed that Karmapa's body did not follow

the usual progression of rigor mortis and decay, but

seemed to remain just as it had been when he died. After a

while they became aware that the area around his heart was

still warm. Dr. Sanchez said:

They brought me into the room about thirty-six hours after he died.

I felt the area right over his heart, and it was warmer than the

surrounding area. Its something for which there is no medical


Some masters pass away sitting in meditation, with the

body supporting itself. Kalu Rinpoche died in 1989 in his

monastery in the Himalayas, with a number of masters and a

doctor and nurse present. His closest disciple wrote:

Rinpoche himself tried to sit up, and had difficulty to do so. Lama

Gyaltsen, feeling that this was perhaps the time, and that not to

sit up could create an obstacle for Rinpoche, supported Rinpoche's

back as he sat up. Rinpoche extended his hand to me, and I also

helped him to sit up. Rinpoche wanted to sit absolutely straight,

both saying this and indicating with a gesture of his hand. The

doctor and nurse were upset by this, and so Rinpoche relaxed his

posture slightly. He, nevertheless, assumed meditation posture....

Rinpoche placed his hands in meditation posture, his open eyes

gazed outwards in meditation gaze, and his lips moved softly. A

profound feeling of peace and happiness settled on us all and

spread through our minds. All of us present felt that the indescribable

happiness that was filing us was the faintest reflection of

what was pervading Rinpoche's mind... Slowly Rinpoche's gaze

and his eyelids lowered and the breath stopped. 2

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