you love very much has died, and you pray for them with

true love and sincerity, your prayer will be exceptionally


The best and most effective time to do the phowa is before

the body is touched or moved in any way. If this is not possible,

then try to do the phowa in the place where the person

died, or at least picture that place very strongly in your mind.

There is a powerful connection between the dead person, the

place of death, and also the time of death, especially in the

case of a person who died in a traumatic way.

In the bardo of becoming, as I have said, the dead person's

consciousness goes through the experience of death every

week, on exactly the same day. So you should perform the

phowa, or whatever other spiritual practice you have chosen

to do, on any day of the forty-nine-day period, but especially

on the same day of the week that the person died.

Whenever your dead relative or friend comes into your

mind, whenever you hear his or her name being mentioned,

send the person your love, then focus on doing the phowa,

and do it for as long and as often as you wish.

Another thing you can do, whenever you think of someone

who has died, is to say immediately a mantra such as OM

MANI PADME HUM (pronounced by Tibetans: Om Mani

Pémé Hung), the mantra of the Buddha of Compassion, which

purifies each of the negative emotions that are the cause of

rebirth; 1 or OM AMI DEWA HRIH, the mantra of Buddha

Amitabha, the Buddha of Limitless Light. You can then follow

that again with the practice of phowa.

But whether you do any of these practices or not to help

your loved one who has died, don't ever forget that the consciousness

in the bardo is acutely clairvoyant; simply directing

good thoughts toward them will be most beneficial.

When you pray for someone who was close to you, you

can, if you wish, extend the embrace of your compassion to

include other dead people in your prayers: the victims of

atrocities, wars, disasters, and famines, or those who died and

are now dying in concentration camps, such as those in China

and Tibet. You can even pray for people who died years ago,

like your grandparents, long-dead members of your family, or

victims of wars, such as those in the World Wars. Imagine

your prayers going especially to those who lost their lives in

extreme anguish, passion, or anger.

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