All of us as practitioners often contemplate our own death, as well as the death of our fellow beloved sangha members. The question often arises ”how do we best prepare for death”? If the state of mind and heart are of utmost importance, how do we prepare for this seminal moment at the end of life?
Phakchok Rinpoche has recently requested a translation of instructions given by the Buddha in his lifetime to address this very question for practitioners. The text, now available on Lhasey Lotsawa, is entitled: “The Noble Sūtra on Teaching the Eleven Perceptions.” In this sutra, the Buddha teaches eleven perceptions to be cultivated at the time of death as his final testament.
In this succinct instruction, the Buddha leaves very clear instructions on the correct view and pure perception at the end of life. This teaching was originally given to his own sangha of monastics at the end of his own life, just before his mahāparinirvāṇa. As the text clearly indicates, we can train in these perceptions now while we have the proper conditions so that we can fearlessly face our own deaths.
The text is available on Lhasey Lotsawa’s website.
Other Supports Available to Practitioners at the Time of Death
Conversation with Tulku Migmar on the Bardo
Conversation with Phakchok Rinpoche on Prayer and Phowa
At the Bedside of the Dying by Phakchok Rinpoche from the Medicine and Compassion Project filmed with Phakchok Rinpoche and Dr. David Shlim
Helping the Recently Dead by Phakchok Rinpoche from the Medicine and Compassion Project filmed with Phakchok Rinpoche and Dr. David Shlim
The King of Aspiration Prayer, Samantabhadra’s Aspiration to Good Actions
Noble Wisdom of Time of Death Sutra teachings and text available on Samye Institute
Liberation on Hearing by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé
Recommended Resources available through akaracollection.com
Hundred Substances Sang Powder
Offerings for the Deceased
Visit Monlam.org to make an offering and have the monastics in our monasteries and nunneries in Nepal offer prayers, offerings, and butter lamps on behalf of the deceased.
On that site, please scroll down to the topic labeled “Bardo, Dying, Rebirth” for the specific practices for the deceased.
Artwork on this page was contributed by Karma Phuntsok.