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

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

258 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGTHE INNER DISSOLUTIONIn the inner dissolution, where gross and subtle thoughtstates and emotions dissolve, four increasingly subtle levels ofconsciousness are to be encountered.Here the process of death mirrors in reverse the process ofconception. When our parents' sperm and ovum unite, ourconsciousness, impelled by its karma, is drawn in. During thedevelopment of the fetus, our father's essence, a nucleus thatis described as "white and blissful," rests in the chakra at thecrown of our head at the top of the central channel. Themother's essence, a nucleus that is "red and hot," rests in thechakra said to be located four finger-widths below the navel. Itis from these two essences that the next phases of the dissolutionevolve.With the disappearance of the wind that holds it there, thewhite essence inherited from our father descends the centralchannel toward the heart. As an outer sign, there is an experienceof "whiteness," like "a pure sky struck by moonlight." Asan inner sign, our awareness becomes extremely clear, and allthe thought states resulting from anger, thirty-three of them inall, come to an end. This phase is known as "Appearance."Then the mother's essence begins to rise through the centralchannel, with the disappearance of the wind that keeps it inplace. The outer sign is an experience of "redness," like a sunshining in a pure sky. As an inner sign, there arises a great experienceof bliss, as all the thought states resulting from desire,forty in all, cease to function. This stage is known as"Increase." 7When the red and white essences meet at the heart, consciousnessis enclosed between them. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche,an outstanding master who lived in Nepal, says: 'The experienceis like the meeting of the sky and earth." As an outersign, we experience a "blackness," like an empty sky shroudedin utter darkness. The inner sign is an experience of a state ofmind free of thoughts. The seven thought states resulting fromignorance and delusion are brought to an end. This is knownas "Full Attainment." 8Then, as we become slightly conscious again, the GroundLuminosity dawns, like an immaculate sky, free of clouds, fog,or mist. It is sometimes called "the mind of clear light ofdeath." His Holiness the Dalai Lama says: 'This consciousnessis the innermost subtle mind. We call it the buddha nature, thereal source of all consciousness. The continuum of this mindlasts even through Buddhahood." 9

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