"BEYOND THE THRESHOLD"
Moving towards the close of the Twentieth Century, our culture is beginning to probe the mystery of what lies beyond life. Recently in America, an "American Book of the Dead" teaching an intensive method of learning conscious re-incarnation was being conducted by Pir-al-Washi, a Sufi mystic. Studies that extend to the death experience are part of the Aquarian renaissance.
Tibetan Buddhism has also been aware of the need to transcend life, and the possibility of re-directing consciousness towards a re-birth that will allow the practice of Dharma to flower. The Pho-Wa practice of the "Transference of consciousness", one of the six Yogas of Naropa, is an ancient art. Evans-'Wentz speaks in his book, "Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines" of "The Most Profound path of consciousness transference: "The Seed of the Heart".
The Pho-Wa Initiation in India, is given not only to the Sangha members but also lay people, who consider it to be a great blessing. A retreat is necessary in order to master the Yogic technique which involves an understanding of the vital energies, visualisations and mantra. The Pho-Wa teaching should not be viewed in any negative sense of terminating life, but rather allowing a conscious crossing over of the threshold from life to death and the choosing of a suitable incarnation.
In divine wisdom, Tibetan Lamas, also give the Long-Life Initiation, which prolongs the life span. The White Tara Initiation, and the mercy of the White Mother, also do much to prolong life and enhance health.
Chogyam Trungpa, says his new translation of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" is another practical Manual of instruction as much for the living as the dying.
Both the Pho-Wa Yoga practice and the Manual of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" are powerful practices involving much of the broad teachings of the Vajrayana. Chogyam Trungpa in his Foreword to "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" writes:
"Liberation, in this case, means that whoever comes into contact with this teaching - even in the form of doubt, or with an open mind - receives a sudden glimpse of enlightenment through the power of transmission contained in these treasures."
Even the reading of the Po-Wa Practice, and the studying of the Tibetan Book of the Dead brings great blessings.