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

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

THE PROCESS OF DYING 259THE DEATH OF "THE POISONS"What then is happening when we die? It is as if we arereturning to our original state; everything dissolves, as bodyand mind are unraveled. The three "poisons"—anger, desire,and ignorance—all die, which means that all the negativeemotions, the root of samsara, actually cease, and then there isa gap.And where does this process take us? To the primordialground of the nature of mind, in all its purity and natural simplicity.Now everything that obscured it is removed, and ourtrue nature is revealed.A similar enfolding can happen, as I explained in Chapter 5,"Bringing the Mind Home," when we practice meditation andhave the experiences of bliss, clarity, and absence of thoughts,which indicate, in turn, that desire, anger, and ignorance havemomentarily dissolved.As anger, desire, and ignorance are dying, we are becomingpurer and purer. Some masters explain that for a Dzogchenpractitioner, the phases of appearance, increase, and attainmentare signs of the gradual manifestation of Rigpa. As everythingthat obscures the nature of mind is dying, the clarity of Rigpaslowly begins to appear and increase. The whole processbecomes a development of the state of luminosity, linked tothe practitioner's recognition of the clarity of Rigpa.In Tantra there is a different approach to practicing duringthe process of dissolution. In the yoga practice of channels,winds, and essences, the Tantric practitioner prepares in life forthe process of dying, by simulating the changes of consciousnessof the dissolution process, culminating in the experienceof the luminosity or "Clear Light." The practitioner also seeksto maintain awareness of these changes as he or she fallsasleep. Because what is important to remember is that thissequence of progressively deepening states of consciousnessdoes not only happen when we die. It also occurs, usuallyunnoticed, as we fall asleep, or whenever we travel from thegrosser to subtlest levels of consciousness. Some masters haveeven shown that it also happens in the very psychological processesof our everyday waking state. 10The detailed account of the dissolution process may seemcomplicated, yet if we become really familiar with this process,it can be of great benefit. For practitioners there is arange of specialized practices to do at each stage of the dissolution.For example, you can transform the process of dyinginto a practice of guru yoga. With each stage of the outer

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