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

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

260 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGdissolution, you generate devotion and pray to the master,visualizing him or her in the different energy centers. Whenthe earth element dissolves and the sign of the mirage appears,you visualize the master in your heart center. When the waterelement dissolves and the sign of smoke appears, you visualizethe master in your navel center. When the fire element dissolvesand the sign of fireflies appears, you visualize the masterin the forehead center. And when the air element dissolvesand the sign of the torch appears, you focus entirely on transferringyour consciousness into the wisdom mind of yourmaster.There are many descriptions of the stages of dying, differingin small details and in their order. What I have explainedhere is a description of the general pattern, but it can unfolddifferently according to the makeup of the individual. Iremember when Samten, my master's attendant, was dying,the sequence was most pronounced. But variations can occurowing to the effects of the particular illness of the dying person,and the state of the channels, winds, and essences. Themasters say that all living beings, even the smallest insects, gothrough this process. In the case of a sudden death or an accident,it will still take place, but extremely quickly.I have found that the easiest way to understand what ishappening during the process of dying, with its outer andinner dissolution, is as a gradual development and dawning of evermore subtle levels of consciousness. Each one emerges upon thesuccessive dissolution of the constituents of body and mind, asthe process moves gradually toward the revelation of the verysubtlest consciousness of all: the Ground Luminosity or ClearLight.

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