Death comes to us all, regardless of our wealth, intelligence or fame. Although our death is inevitable, how we die—either terrified and confused, or with confidence and spiritual mastery—is within our control. Phowa, one of the Six Yogas of Naropa, is the Tibetan Buddhist method for gaining this mastery, and knowledge of the bardo teaches us how to help others who have died.
Transference of Consciousness at Death – Phowa September 10, 11, 12 – 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM If you wish to take the Phowa teachings you must attend all three evenings.
Phowa is a profound technique that utilizes the moment of death to transfer one’s consciousness to an exalted state. Thus, death is transformed into an opportunity for liberation. We are released from fear and assured that we will not die in a state of uncertainty and drift helplessly after death.
“Those who have captured the stronghold of the absolute during their lifetime and have achieved mastery over birth and death still appear to die. But for them death is no different from moving from one place to another. On the other hand… Phowa is essential for practitioners who have not attained stability on the path, or who have committed numerous harmful actions.” - Patrul Rinpoche
Training in phowa, transference of consciousness at the moment of death, inspires confidence in one’s life, in one’s spiritual practice, and in one’s dying. In daily life, even the most ordinary activities take on new significance when viewed through the lens of impermanence and death. The phowa teachings directly address the fact that death is inevitable and that with each moment one moves closer to death . . . .
The ability to perform phowa ensures that even if death intervenes and cuts short one’s opportunity to practice in this lifetime, one will be able to continue the path amid superb conditions. Even with unpurified karma, the practitioner need not fall back into the confusion and waywardness of samsara. Moreover, phowa provides excellent training in the development and completion stages of Vajrayana Buddhism . . . and establishes a strong basis . . . for achieving the special signs of Vajrayana accomplishment. - Chagdud Khadro
Buddha Amitabha Empowerment Saturday, September 13 – 10:00 AM
Buddha Amitabha (Infinite Light) resides in Sukhavati, his Pure Land of Great Bliss. Sukhavati is unique among the Pure Fields created around Buddhas because even ordinary deluded beings weighed down by faults and obscuration can be reborn there. Buddha Amitabha’s Vow of Great Compassion makes Sukhavati accessible to all.
Bardo Teachings: How to help those who have died September 13 – 2:00 PM-5:00 PM September 14 – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM-5:00 PM
“Bardo literally means gap or intermediate state when we find ourselves suspended uncertainly between two situations. Tibetan Buddhism defines six bardos – our waking experience of birth to death, dream bardo, the bardo of meditative concentration, the bardo of the moment of death, the bardo experiencing the true nature of phenomena and the experience from death to rebirth. Although Drupon will touch on bardo in general, these teachings will concentrate on the bardo of the moment of death.
“The dying process takes place in the bardo of the moment of death, which closes with the last breath and the merging in the heart chakra of one’s original male and female energies. This bardo may be very short-lived, if one meets untimely death by accident or violence, or it may be prolonged, if one dies of a lingering illness. The bardo of the moment of death serves as a crucial transition in the cycle of existence because this is the time when phowa can be done and liberation into the pure realm easily obtained. However, to accomplish phowa one should train thoroughly in the practice during the birthplace bardo, because confusion usually prevails at the time of death.” - Chagdud Khadro
We are pleased to welcome Drupon Rinchen Dorjee back to Rochester. Drupon (a title meaning “retreat master”) is Resident Lama of the Chicago Ratna Shri Center and is also Retreat Master at Garchen Buddhist Institute in Chino Valley, AZ.
Rinchen Dorjee began his monastic training in Tibet in 1984 and subsequently studied at Jangchubling monastery in Dehra Dun, India, under several great scholar/masters. From 1996 to 2004 he spent his time in retreat in Almora, India, and in Lapchi, a mountain region on the border of Tibet and Nepal where Milarepa spent many years in retreat. Respected for his high degree of realization, Drupon is known for his gentle, understated presence.
Registration – Pre-registration is a MUST for Phowa!
If you would like to attend these teachings but need financial help to do so, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students with I.D. and Seniors (65 and over) receive a 15 % discount.
Program sponsors help keep the cost of bringing teachers here affordable for more people. Please consider becoming a sponsor/patron: