We can transform the experience of death
The Phowa Foundation
We can transform the experience of death in our modern culture...
Although we become more keenly aware of death as we get older, we are actually surrounded by death all the time, regardless of our age. It is a natural part of life. Still, we may feel surpised and unprepared when a loved one dies--or when we have to face our own illness and impermanence. If we wake up to the fact of death, there are many things we can do to prepare ourselves and to offer emotional care and support to our friends and loved ones as they are dying.
This is the mission of Anyen Rinpoche's book Dying with Confidence, and its supporting organization, the Phowa Foundation. Our goal is to make spiritual preparation for death as practical and natural as anything else we do in life. By taking practical steps now and working consistently at daily practice, we will be able to die with confidence and ease.
The Phowa Foundation, a branch of Orgyen Khamdroling's 501c3 non-profit organization, supports the vision of Anyen Rinpoche to help sentient beings around the world who are ill, in the dying process, or those wishing to prepare for death in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Phowa is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist practice, performed by all lineages, that supports the dying person to release attachments, remember the spiritual teachings they have been given, and offer favorable conditions for liberation or a positive rebirth. It can benefit all beings, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, as well as animals.
For those wishing to train in-depth in phowa and preparations for death, the Phowa Foundation has begun to offer training based on Dying with Confidence. Our first level one training will be held in the fall of 2011 in Crestone, Colorado.
General Donations to the Phowa Foundation or donations for phowa practices for yourself or a loved one spread far and wide. We look at it as creating a link in a chain of compassion that benefits all beings, both living and in the bardos.
This is what your donation can do:
* One generous donor decided to support retreatants in Tibet to practice phowa anytime we receive a request for phowa services at the time of someone’s death. When Lamas pray and perform phowa, all beings who are dying or have died are included in these prayers. All beings receive the benefit of practices that help manifest the best opportunities for them to become enlightened.
* Another donor made advanced plans for phowa for himself at the time of death, so family members are relieved of having to make arrangements during an emotional time. And by making a donation now, Phowa Foundation activities can be supported and expanded into more communities.
* Donations are used to perform virtuous activities in honor of a loved one or yourself at the time of death. This may include direct support of phowa practitioners in Tibet, scholarships for U.S. practitioners to train in phowa and create care-giving groups in their communities, or outreach activities to ensure the experience of death is transformed for anyone wishing to use Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
* As a final act, donations create merit and good karmic conditions at the most crucial time. This can be one of the charitable acts you choose to complete your life's practice and an action whose imprint goes with you to the next life.
For more information on Dying with Confidence training, making an offering for a loved one who is ill or has died, as well as planning in advance for practices you would like done at the time of your own or a loved one's death, please visit the Phowa Foundation website at www.phowafoundation.org.