'8 stages of death' Meditation

by: Shantideva FPMT-Israel

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you ready for a death meditation in the mood okay so we're going to do this one and I most of you have done it before and I'm going to try and do it in a way that's really incorporating the five powers so you don't have to write anything down or remember anything just kind of follow me and then it's later you want to write it down it's all just there and you'll be able to see it online anyway so just try and be with the process as best you can get yourself a nice posture for meditating

okay and so start by setting your motivation in order to make this life meaningful and Lord ER to make death meaningful in order to have a meaningful series of lifetime's from happiness to happiness all the way to full enlightenment I'm meditating on the stages of death

and so picture that it is your best version of how you want to die in the kind of bed you want to die in at the age you want to die at picture that that's the case

imagine that you've told all of your family and all of your friends how much you care about them how much you've enjoyed your relationship with them how much you love them that those conversations have been had

imagine that you've forgiven everyone you need to forgive and asked forgiveness of everyone you need to ask

and imagine that you've dealt with all of your worldly belongings that the things you want to go to family members and friends have already been organized that the different charities you want to support has already been organized and you feel real relief not to be burdened by your possessions but that they'll go on to benefit others so imagine you're already at that point the best case scenario

and as you lie in this bed your body is weak and you know that death is coming

and you feel a heaviness

your arms and legs very difficult to move

very little strength

and you observe this but no it is just the body but you are not the body

and internally you have a vision of a mirage shimmering dreamlike projection

and as you see this Mirage you're reminded that this is a sign that death is coming and you think about your spiritual refuge

imagine that it's supporting you guiding you through this process even if your refuge is simply your inner wisdom engage with that

and think may whatever comes next whatever for my cake or don't take may I continue my path may there be benefit to others so you see the Mirage and remember altruism and remember your refuge

and the vision changes the billowing smoke

and your physical experience is dryness difficult for your kidneys to function for your tears and saliva to function and part of you notices it's a bit uncomfortable and Scratchy but you remember this is just a sign of death that the water elements is no longer able to support consciousness

and you reconnect with refuge and reconnect with altruism

seeing this billowing smoke

and then you see fire sparks as if against a black sky like someone stirred up a campfire

and your body is a bit cold and the natural reaction is to be scared of feeling cold or worried about it but you're reminded it's just a sign that fire is no longer able to support consciousness it's just the body

and you remember refuge and you remember bodhichitta

and then there is a vision of a week red blue flame like a candle about to go out and you find it difficult to breathe but know it's there is no need to be panicked that the breath will stop the heart will stop but this is the body not the mind and win the breath and the heart stops also pain will stop physically

and so you see the week red blue flame and you remember refuge and you remember bodhichitta

and then comes the radiant vision of white and your body is medically dead but your consciousness is still there free from pain and you see this radiant whiteness and you're reminded again of your path that the mind is getting more and more into its subtle state but the opportunity to realize emptiness is there

and you reconnect with refuge and bodhichitta while seeing the radiant white light

and white changes into red like an autumn sunset warm and radiant the mind becomes even more subtle the old worries and fears are gone the old attachments and aversions no longer distracting you

many habits from the past are latent and ready to ripen but right now there is just subtle mind

and imagine it carries refuge carries bodhichitta

and read changes to black as if you've become completely unconscious but in that blackness imagined is imbued with refuge in bodhichitta and imbued with the awareness that the clear light is coming the very most subtle mind will dawn and the opportunity to experience non duality the opportunity to see the emptiness of the mind

and black changes to clear light like a cloudless autumn dawn fast and spacious

and there is no sense of subject or object

you see it as empty of inherent existence

and your consciousness leaves the body on a very subtle wind propelled by positive karma it travels through the Bardo and in this intermediate state you're aware of the thoughts and emotions of your friends and family around you you're also aware of your own mental projections and visions some peaceful some scary all sorts of appearances but you remain steady with refuge and bodhichitta

and move towards through karma to ethical and kind parents

and as you enter into the womb of your new mother the visions reverse clear light

and then black

and then read

and then white

flickering flame

fire sparks

billowing smoke


and you begin to grow cell by cell in your mother's womb and because of positive karma imagine that you carry refuge in bodhichitta all your positive habits and the Karma for a strong healthy body

and through the effort we put into this meditation may our life and death go in this way may we continually move towards our fullest potential enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings


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