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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
22 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Packed and Ready for Whatever’s Next Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche IN THE MOST BASIC SENSE, phowa, as practiced in Tibetan Bön Buddhism, centers on the transference of consciousness at the moment of death. These teachings can prepare us to project our con sciousness directly into a pure realm at the time of death, increasing our chance for liberation in a single lifetime. The time of our death may feel remote and unconnected from our daytoday reality, but phowa begins now, in this realm of existence. Every day, we undergo a seemingly endless parade of transitions, from the mundane—one day, one week, or one year into the next—to major life transitions that can be much more difficult to adjust to. By recognizing each transition—recognizing that we have a choice, becoming aware, and then letting go of our attachment—we also prepare ourselves for the great transition at the time of death. My teacher Yongdzin Rinpoche once said to me that the purpose of practicing phowa is to “be packed and ready” when the great moment of our passing approaches. Being packed and ready means illustration | Danai Tsouloufa