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

terryboxing
  • No tags were found...

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

THE PRACTICES FOR DYING 237of us may have the familiarity with it to recognize it. Howskillful and compassionate the buddhas are to have handeddown to us a method for invoking the very embodiment ofthe luminosity in the radiant presence of Amitabha!It would be inappropriate here to explain the details of thetraditional phowa practice, which must, always and in all circumstances,be carried out under the guidance of a qualifiedmaster. Never try to do this practice on your own without theproper guidance.At death, the teachings explain, our consciousness, which ismounted on a "wind" and so needs an aperture through whichto leave the body, can leave it through any one of nine openings.The route it takes determines exactly which realm ofexistence we are to be reborn in. When it leaves through theopening at the fontanel, at the crown of the head, we arereborn, it is said, in a pure land, where we can gradually proceedtoward enlightenment. 6This practice, I must stress again, can only be carried outunder the supervision of a qualified master, who has the blessingto give the proper transmission. It does not require extensiveintellectual knowledge or depth of realization to accomplish thephowa successfully, only devotion, compassion, one-pointedvisualization, and a deep feeling of the presence of the BuddhaAmitabha. The student receives the instructions and then practicesthem until the signs of accomplishment appear. Theseinclude an itching at the top of the head, headaches, the emergenceof a clear fluid, a swelling or a softness around the area ofthe fontanel, or even the opening of a small hole there, intowhich traditionally the tip of a stalk of grass is inserted as a testor measure of how successful the practice has been.Recently a group of elderly Tibetan laypeople settled inSwitzerland trained under a well-known phowa master. Theirchildren, who had been brought up in Switzerland, were skepticalabout the effectiveness of this practice. But they wereastounded at how their parents had been transformed andactually showed some of the signs of accomplishment mentionedabove after a ten-day phowa retreat.Research into the psychophysiological effects of phowa hasbeen carried out by the Japanese scientist Dr. HiroshiMotoyama. Precise physiological changes in the nervous,metabolic, and acupuncture meridian systems were detected totake place during phowa practice. 7 One of Dr. Motoyama's findingswas that the patterns of the flow of energy through themeridians of the body of the phowa master he was studying

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines