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Powa, transference of consciousness

50 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Five forces based on bodhicitta, familiarizing with them when we are alive
  • White seed, creating merit, freeing mind from attachment
  • Accepting ageing, sickness and death as a natural part of life
  • Force of aspiration, seven limb prayer
  • Force of destruction, reflecting on impermanence and emptiness
  • Force of motivation, intention to practice bodhicitta during death, bardo and rebirth
  • Force of acquaintance, familiarity at death to do taking and giving
  • Tantra path, transferring the consciousness to a pure land
  • Highly realized practitioners, trained well during the life time

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 50: Powa Transference of Consciousness (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Think about situations in your life where you harmed others intentionally. Spend some time mentally reconciling with each and every person that comes to mind.
  2. Explore how you are attached to your body. How could attachment to the body be a hindrance when approaching death?
  3. What are the most essential practices we should be very firm in when aspiring for a good rebirth?
  4. What do you do (what are your habitual responses) when you are unhappy? Consider what Dharma methods would be helpful in these situations, and resolve to start applying these practices now.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.