DEATH & DYING INSTRUCTIONS


Death & Dying Instructions ~ H.E Garchen Rinpoche

A book by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche,

(A downloadable book written and assembled by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, rich with instruction, images and prayers to help us through the bardo of death, to help those in the process of dying, and help us deal with grief and loss).


H.E. Garchen Rinpoche: A Brief Teaching on Impermanence and Letting Go

“One day we will die; no one escapes this fate”.

The Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices says, “Consciousness, the guest, will cast aside the guest-house of the body.”

When we die, we have to leave everything behind, so there’s no point to being attached to this life. We should ask ourselves, “Does it really matter whether or not I’m prepared for death? Why is it important to receive instructions on dying?”

In receiving these instructions, we learn that our consciousness should exit the body through the crown at the time of death. If we don’t know this, we will be tossed around by afflictions such as hatred, desire, ignorance, and jealousy. In this state of delusion we lack autonomy. We are controlled by mental afflictions that cause consciousness to exit the body through one of the eight impure gates leading to birth in samsaric existence. All happiness and suffering relies on karma, cause and effect. It’s crucial to use the little time we have in this world to make our life meaningful.

Through experiencing suffering we develop trust in the Buddha’s teachings. The nature of samsaric existence is suffering. The root of all suffering is self-grasping, which can only be destroyed by love and compassion. The more people give rise to love the better the world becomes. There is nothing more important than to die with love. That is all we need to take with us at death. The Three Jewels protects those who die with an altruistic mind.

Suffering and pain are experienced mainly in the body. The body is impermanent, a compounded phenomenon created by the mind through habitual patterns. It’s not who we really are. Clinging to physical comfort and having aversion toward discomfort is a delusion of the mind. After death, we don’t have a physical body anymore, yet we experience more intense suffering in the bardo. By letting go of attachment and aversion in this life we avoid experiencing dreadful bardo appearances. That’s why it’s important to reflect on the dream-like nature of this life again and again. The ability to recognize afflictive emotions’ empty nature while alive stays with us after death, and we will be able to recognize the bardo’s empty nature. However, if we succumb to afflictive emotions and accumulate negative karma, then due to the imprint in the mind frightening bardo appearances will seem real.

Life is like a fleeting dream. Death and falling asleep are similar. The body dies, but the mind cannot die. Because we believe afflictive emotions are real, we create our future body. We are born and die countless times. By not grasping at whatever arises we become free and attain the deathless state of an Awareness-holder. However, having knowledge only won’t liberate us; we have to experience that suffering is nothing but a thought, a habit. By gaining the experience that habitual thoughts don’t actually exist, we realize death is just a habitual thought. If we don’t grasp at the truth of these thoughts, we will attain the deathless body of the yidam deity. Remember this at the time of death.

Our only true, constant friends are the Three Jewels, the guru, and the yidam deity. All worldly companions are impermanent; we can’t take a single one with us at death. So stop all negative thoughts and pray to the deity or the guru. And don’t worry too much about death—this only creates more suffering. Change negative thoughts and think about Tara or any other yidam deity instead. Worrying about death brings no benefit. We all will die one day, so it’s pointless to wonder when it will happen. When the karmic time comes, we die. We can’t say that we aren’t ready to die; there’s no right time to die. We don’t have a choice because it’s karma. If it’s not your time, you won’t die even if you think you will. So, let go of worrying and allow karma to unfold.

My practice of Phowa—transference of consciousness at the time of death—is twofold: first and foremost, it’s the Bodhicitta Phowa of love and compassion, which is based on the Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices. Secondly, I practice the Dharmakaya Phowa—resting in the Nature of Mind (see page 17). I practice Tara day and night, all the time, to help my students and all sentient beings. If you recite at least some Tara mantras, you can connect to my practice and I’ll be able to help you. Even if you don’t practice anything, my prayers still help but their power to benefit won’t be as strong. So, you must do your part and practice. Remember precious human life in the morning upon awakening, remember karma throughout the day, and remember death and impermanence in the evening before going to sleep. You should also take the blessing pills (dutsi) every day. Take one small grain below your tongue every night before going to bed. I am sending millions of Taras to help you and all beings.”

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Before and/or During Dying

The materials listed below are a compilation of suggested items to assist the dying given by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche to his students in response to questions around how to prepare for death. Please note that you are not required to assemble all the items mentioned in this list. Rather, the intention is to provide a comprehensive list that encompasses the possible tools that can aid a person in the process of dying. In his teachings, Garchen Rinpoche has suggested we assemble items in accordance with a dying person’s unique circumstances. With that teaching in mind, gathering those items that hold the greatest meaning to the dying person is most beneficial.

Suggested Materials to Assemble:

• Images of Amitabha and the root guru

• Liberation by sight mantra/liberation by touch mantra bracelet

• Liberation by sight mantra visual image

• Liberation by touch and Mani mantra visual image

• Dharmakaya Phowa

• Bardo Prayer—Ocean of a Single Mind

• Kuntuzangpo’s Prayer

• Wishing Prayer of Dewachen by Karma Chagme Rinpoche

• Prayer to Be Born in Dewachen

• Liberation by touch blanket or any material with liberation by touch mantra printed on it

• Amitabha mantra audio:👇🏿

https://drive.google.com/…/0B…/view

• H.E. Garchen Rinpoche’s Phowa audio file: 👇🏿

https://drive.google.com/…/0B…/view

Peaceful Setting

Create a temple-like environment in the dying person’s room. Set up an image of Amitabha and an image of her root guru in her field of vision. Ideally, try to arrange her head so it points west. Have her lie on her right side, but only if it is possible and not uncomfortable. Everyone present in the room should maintain a spacious, compassionate state of mind and control their emotions (or leave the room if they cannot). Play a recording of Amitabha’s mantra on a loop at moderate volume, with the sound coming from the direction of the dying person’s head, which helps guide her consciousness to her crown. Keep all other noise at a minimum. Do not burn incense, since the scent might be distracting for the dying person.

The Prayer Wheel

If a dying person is devoted to her prayer wheel and had a practice of spinning it frequently, then place it at her head and remind her it is there. If she simply remembers the prayer wheel and is aware of it being above her crown, then her mind will naturally go to this location and her consciousness will be more likely to exit the body through the crown at the moment of death.

Liberation by Sight and Liberation by Touch

The dying person should wear the liberation by sight mantra / liberation by touch mantra bracelet. The outer-facing side of this bracelet is engraved with the liberation by sight mantra, and the inner-facing side is engraved with the liberation by touch mantra. If for some reason the dying person cannot wear the bracelet, then at least touch her with the inside engraved liberation by touch mantra before and after passing. If need be cut your own bracelet to use. Touch her with the inside mantra first and then the outside mantra last. Please note that any form of the liberation by sight mantra is sufficient. If you do not have a bracelet, any other mantra image will have the same benefit.

Supplicate Buddha Amitabha and the Guru

Before a dying person looses the ability, she should supplicate the root guru, merge her mind with the guru’s wisdom mind, generate compassion for sentient beings, and then simply rest in the natural state. She should silently pray to Amitabha and the guru as follows:

Amitabha, my kind root guru, at this time protect me. May I merge with your heart, and thereby clear away all afflictions. Having become like you, may I take birth in Dewachen and become a protector of beings.

If a dying person only remembers Amitabha, she needs nothing else. Amitabha and the guru are already here to protect us. The extent to which they can help only depends on whether or not a dying person thinks about them. Most of us cannot bring this to mind at the time of death, which is why liberation is difficult. However, if a dying person can only remember Amitabha, her yidam deity, or the guru, liberation is easy.

Wishing Prayer of Dewachen

Garchen Rinpoche says we should recite the Wishing Prayer of Dewachen throughout our lives to form a habit of confidence that we have a place to go after death. This little prayer book is a passport to enter Dewachen, Buddha Amitabha’s pure land. Practicing in accordance with the prayer’s instructions creates the causes for birth in Dewachen. Garchen Rinpoche recommends recording yourself or someone you love reciting this prayer so you can always listen to it on a loop. Then, if you are unable to recite the prayer yourself, you can always listen to the recording to create a firm imprint in your mind.

Instructions for Speech

During the dying process, a person’s senses begin to shut down, and he most likely won’t be able to communicate his feelings. His sense of hearing shuts down last. At this time, it is helpful to gently instruct the dying person to focus his mind and motivation and remind him about what he will encounter as he moves into his transition journey. It is best to speak to the dying person in his left ear.

Instruct the dying person to: visualize Buddha Amitabha above his crown; set his intention to leave through his crown to merge with Amitabha’s or the guru’s heart; and supplicate Amitabha, who is in essence his own kind root guru. Playing a recording of Amitabha’s mantra helps the dying person to keep this awareness. If the dying person has great devotion to his root guru or other source of refuge, including a yidam deity such as Tara or any other holy being, then instruct him to think only of his object of devotion. Also crucial is to remind the dying person to keep bodhicitta as his motivation and a peaceful mind filled with love.

Having pure faith in and devotion to Amitabha, the yidam deity, or the guru is the key to becoming liberated. Nothing else is needed when we have 100% confidence in Buddha Amitabha, the yidam deity or the guru.

Other ways you can help a dying person using speech are:

• Recite Phowa instructions and visualizations.

• Recite Garchen Rinpoche’s Dharmakaya Phowa teaching.

• Recite the Stages of Dissolution (see page 10).

• Remind about the nature of mind.

• Recite the Bardo Prayer and/or Kuntuzangpo’s Prayer.

Recite these prayers and instructions from the direction of a dying person’s crown while continuing to softly play Amitabha’s mantra.

Although scripture says that a dying person should consciously work to block the eight impure gates, it is best not to mention these gates to a dying person. Doing so might cause his consciousness to focus on these impure gates rather than his crown, as well as create too many distracting thoughts. Most of us don’t have the mental stability of samadhi to actually block the eight impure gates at the time of death.

Because a dying person’s senses are still functioning somewhat before death, helpers must be careful not to disturb his mind through sense perceptions such as touching, speaking, etc. Helpers should not speak to each other from the dying person’s lower body, since his consciousness will be drawn toward the location of the voices. At all times we must help the dying person remain focused on his crown to remind him of Amitabha’s and the guru’s imprint, which already exists in his mind. Helpers should speak only while standing at the dying person’s crown level to help direct awareness in the correct direction. Even though it might appear that the dying person is unaware of what is happening around him since his bodily functions and some of his senses have shut down, his sense of hearing is the last to leave; so, a dying person may hear what people in the room are saying and become distracted or disoriented.

A dying person is extremely sensitive before death, and any sudden, forceful or emotional expressions might disturb his mind. So, it is best for all helpers and loved ones present in the room not to lament and sob. Expressing grief verbally and crying may reinforce a dying person’s attachment to loved ones and put him into a negative mental state. Our state of mind just before death influences where our consciousness will be drawn to after death. That is why it is important to create a peaceful and calm environment without any disturbances and loud noises. Conversation should not be idle, emotional or negative, but comforting and peaceful. Dharma is what benefits a person most at death, so all conversation should be Dharma-related. Any other noise should be kept to a minimum.

At the Moment of Death

At the time of death, when the outer breath stops, play Garchen Rinpoche’s Phowa audio recording. Have the recording ready to play, since breathing might stop suddenly. Place the audio device above the crown rather than near the ear, since his consciousness must be directed to his crown at this moment. Keep in mind that it is appropriate to play this recording before, during, and after death for as often as you feel is necessary. You may even play the recording days after death. For students who have faith, listening to the recording has the same benefit and power as having Garchen Rinpoche or any other lama present in person. This also holds true when the lama is available by telephone. We only need to think of the guru for him to be present.

When the moment of death approaches, contact the guru.

Instructions for Body

Since helpers must strive to direct a dying person’s consciousness toward the crown chakra, they should not touch a dying person’s body except for the area around the crown, and then only very gently. People near death are very sensitive to touch. When death is imminent, you may gently pull on the dying person’s hair at the crown or softly touch the crown. Never apply too much force, since this may frighten a dying person.

If the dying person soils herself, you may carefully clean her. Ideally, gently let her [him] know that you are going to briefly touch her [him]. But, it is best to keep this to a minimum.

After Death

Instructions for Speech

After playing the Phowa audio recording return again to playing Amitabha’s mantra. Read the Prayer to Be Born in Dewachen at the departed person’s crown level, and continue to softly play Amitabha’s mantra also from near the crown area.

Ideally, we should recite the Wishing Prayer of Dewachen (this prayer is longer than the Prayer to Be Born in Dewachen) and/or Kuntuzangpo’s Prayer every day for the next 49 days. At the very least, we should recite these prayers every seventh day after the deceased’s passing, since she will relive the conditions of her death every seventh day after death up to a maximum of 49 days.

Instructions for Body

As required by law, the corpse needs to be removed from the premises. If the corpse’s legs are curled up, we have to straighten them to place the corpse in a body bag. At that time, if possible, it would be helpful to touch the corpse’s crown first, before straightening the legs.

If possible, try to ensure the corpse’s head continues to face west (for example, when the corpse is stored in a crematorium).

Scripture has said to leave the corpse alone and untouched for three days after death. According to Garchen Rinpoche, consciousness leaves the body very soon after death, in most cases. So, the corpse may be touched with great care and only when necessary. Garchen Rinpoche says that touching alone does not determine the gate through which the consciousness departs, especially when touching occurs a while after death. Consciousness is mainly pulled, almost automatically, by karmic forces and departs through this karmic door rather than a door someone touches;

therefore, touch is a minor factor.

If you have a “liberation blanket”—a blanket imprinted with the liberation by touch mantra— place it on the dying person’s body at any time, even shortly before death. You don’t have to wait until the person has stopped breathing. Place the blanket on the body so that the liberation by touch mantra faces outward. If the deceased is cremated, you do not have to burn the blanket with the corpse. You may keep it to use as a container for the deceased’s ashes after cremation.

In this case, keep the liberation by touch mantra facing outwards. If the law prohibits retrieving the blanket from the corpse, you may use another liberation blanket as a container for the ashes. Leave the liberation by sight mantra/liberation by touch mantra bracelet on the deceased’s wrists, if possible.

Organ Donation

Garchen Rinpoche says that donating our organs after death is an excellent intention that is good for our consciousness. We should not think it would harm us; in fact what is really harmful is the selfish mind. The concept of an existing self is what keeps us wandering in samsara and why we have not yet become liberated. Garchen Rinpoche says that liberation depends on letting go of selfishness or self-grasping. Offering our body to benefit others is a final, great virtuous act; it is a bodhisattva deed. Donating our organs is an altruistic intention that is not affected by how a corpse is touched. Garchen Rinpoche says that, especially as Mahayana practitioners, we should want to give our corpse to help others, since it is otherwise useless.

The La

The La is part of the individual’s essence that is connected to this life’s identity. The La is the main reason we should not treat a corpse carelessly. The La remains at the heart chakra for a while after death before it disappears. Heedless or disrespectful handling of the corpse while the La is still present could upset the La, which might then cause harm to whoever was at fault. The deceased’s consciousness would not be affected by the physical mishandling, but rather by the mind states of close family and friends left behind, since the deceased’s consciousness is clairvoyant at this point and knows the minds of loved ones.

Instructions for Mind

When consciousness awakens in the bardo, it lacks the physical body’s limitations and is much more clear than before. At this point, the thoughts and intentions of the living are more important to the deceased than expression through the five senses. The bardo consciousness knows the minds of close friends and family members.

The bereaved should not think of a deceased loved one as ordinary and having a mind of clinging attachment. Rather, think of the deceased as the deity—Chenrezig, Amitabha or Tara. Visualize the deity, and consciousness will awaken in the bardo—like from a sleep—through the power of the yidam and become liberated. Through our own practice we can help the bardo consciousness become liberated.

Garchen Rinpoche advises the deceased’s relatives and friends to recite the recommended mantras and prayers on their own rather than to sponsor monasteries to pray on their behalf. Reciting the prayers and mantras on our own is more beneficial because a bond of love exists between the bereaved and the deceased, and prayers made with a loving mind are more powerful. The bardo consciousness is very bright and clearly knows the intentions of family and close friends. If relatives are more concerned with dividing the deceased’s wealth or think of him with afflicted minds, or if those hired to perform the prayers are ill intentioned, it will affect the bardo consciousness negatively. Anger arising in the bardo consciousness can lead to birth in the lower realms. Therefore, performing prayers for the deceased with a pure mind and sincere love is of utmost importance.

Because love is the crucial factor in benefiting the deceased, he can even help those who have never met him. This is because the person requesting Rinpoche’s prayers loves both, the deceased and Rinpoche. Rinpoche loves the requesting person, so the prayers travel via the thread of love from Rinpoche to the requesting person to the deceased.

Inscription for the Dead Practice

The Inscription for the Dead is a practice we can do to help those who have died. Anyone who has taken the refuge vow and who has a motivation of love may perform this practice, even if they do not know the melody. The Inscription for the Dead may be practiced once a week during the 49-day period after death, at the anniversary of death, or at any other time. Sangha members may perform this practice at their local centers or homes. Garchen Rinpoche says that it is the sangha’s responsibility to gather together to pray for the deceased and sick.

Several centers conduct this practice regularly. You may submit the names of individuals who have died as well as those who are sick to: questions@garchen.net (USA) or question@garchen.tw (Taiwan). These names also will be blessed during daily smoke offerings, which are performed in the morning for the living (sang), and in the evening for the deceased (sur).

The Inscription for the Dead sadhana can be obtained here: 👇🏿

http://garchen.tw/English/Sadhana

Animal Friends

General Instructions

Garchen Rinpoche has general advice on how to help our animal friends die. We can give animals blessing pills and touch them with any form (sticker, blanket, bracelet, etc.) of the liberation by touch mantra. If possible, have the animal’s head point west. Garchen Rinpoche says dogs naturally die with their heads pointing West. We can also play the Amitabha mantra close to their ears and recite the same prayers that we recite for humans. Reciting the mantras of

Chenrezig or Amitabha and then blowing on their bodies blesses them with the mantra winds. In addition, we should pray that in the future the animal will be born in Dewachen or as a precious human being and not again take birth in the lower states of existence.

Euthanasia

Garchen Rinpoche says that, at the doctor’s recommendation, euthanizing an animal that is old or has a serious, painful terminal illness is best for the animal. Euthanasia should be conducted with the utmost compassion for the animal’s suffering, and the above general instructions also apply to help the animal transition.

Pests

Regarding pests such as termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches, or other creatures that might cause damage to building structures or threaten human life, Garchen Rinpoche says that extermination is permissible as long as we apply the above general instructions to aid their transition.

Handling the dead bodies of animals

Garchen Rinpoche says that it is not necessary to bury or cremate dead animals. Offering the body of a dead animal as food to other animals is best, whether that animal is a wild animal or even your own pet. If you find the body of a dead animal on the street, respectfully and safely moving the animal away from traffic to avoid it being run over is an act of kindness. Recite a few Chenrezig or Amitabha mantras and blow on the animal’s body and apply any of the general instructions to assist the deceased animal on its transition journey.

Stages of Dissolution

The Moment of Death Bardo

Gross Elements

As the moment of death approaches, the four gross elements that form the outer body begin to dissolve and are absorbed into each other. As the earth element dissolves, the dying person can no longer move their body and limbs. The water element dissolves next. Water is emitted from the mouth and nose, which then become dry. As the fire element dissolves, body temperature cools down, and the body loses its radiance. Wind dissolves last. Outer breathing becomes labored and eventually stops. That is when the outer body dies. Consciousness then dissolves into space.

The inner breath has not yet ceased, and the system of channels winds and drops begin to dissolve. The pervasive wind energies withdraw, leaving nothing to hold together the white drop at the crown and red drop at the navel. The five sense consciousnesses—visual, sound, smell, taste, touch—then dissolve into the individual mental consciousness, and cognitive capacity vanishes.

Appearance, increase and attainment

After the gross system of channels, winds, and drops dissolves, the dissolution process called appearance, increase, and attainment begins. For most people this process doesn’t take long. First, individual consciousness dissolves into appearance. The white drop descends from the crown to the heart, and the mental state of attachment born from the father’s semen ceases. As the white drop descends, the mind experiences a brilliant whiteness, like moonlight in an autumn sky. Feelings of haziness, like a mirage, should be recognized as the whiteness.

`Next, appearance dissolves into increase. The red drop rises to the heart level, and the mental state of aggression born from the mother’s ovum ceases. As the red drop rises, the mind experiences a brilliant redness, like the sun shining through a window. Sparks appear and disappear like fireflies. Note that the Bardo Prayer (see page 18) says attachment ceases with the white drop, and aggression ceases with the red drop, as is written here. However, most texts write it the other way around—that aggression dissolves with the white drop and attachment dissolves with the red drop.

In the last phase of this process, increase dissolves into attainment. The white drop and red drop meet at the heart level, and the mental state of ignorance born from darkness ceases. The mind experiences blackness, like an autumn night sky. Consciousness alternates between being clear and hazy. Attainment dissolves into luminosity, and recognizing this luminosity a being can become liberated into the Dharmakaya at this moment. This is referred to as becoming a buddha in the first bardo. Beings who do not recognize this luminosity fall into unconsciousness for approximately three and a half days.

This process of the white drop and red drop joining at the heart is similar to the experience at conception, when the father’s white drop joins the mother’s red drop in the mother’s womb. At that moment of bliss-emptiness, consciousness faints away and is conceived.

The Dharmata Bardo

After three and a half days, the mind emerges from a deep sleep and enters the Dharmata Bardo. At this time the five buddhas families manifest for five meditation days. (One meditation day corresponds to the amount of time we can rest in the nature of mind. For example, if we can rest in the nature of mind for five minutes, then one meditation day is equal to five minutes.) Vairocana appears on the first day as blue light; Vajrasattva appears on the second day as white light; Ratnasambhava appears on the third day as yellow light; Amitabha appears on the fourth day as red light; and Amoghasiddi appears on the fifth day as green light. These manifestations of five-colored lights should be recognized as the luminosity of Rigpa.

Two kinds of lights accompany each deity: one is a bright dazzling light, which is actually the deity, and the other a dim, comfortable light, which leads to rebirth in samsara. Ordinary beings want to escape from the bright light and are naturally drawn to the comfortable light and eventual rebirth in samsara. If we recognize that the bright light is the deity, then we become liberated in the Samboghakaya.

The Becoming Bardo

If we are not liberated in the Dharmata Bardo, then we continue into the Becoming Bardo. In the Becoming Bardo we have a mental body endowed with all sense faculties, similar to when we were alive. Consciousness is clear, and we realize we have died, which is painful. Every seven days we relive the suffering of our death. At this point, if we remember Buddha Amitabha and Dewachen and pray fervently for liberation, we may become liberated in the third bardo. This is why it is important for the living to keep reciting the Wishing Prayer of Dewachen for 49 days on behalf of deceased friends and loved ones.

If we do not attain liberation, we are swept along helplessly by the winds of karma and begin to search for a new body. The future birthplace begins to appear:

• For hell, we see visions of burned tree trunks; for the hungry ghost realm, we see smoke; and for both hell and the ghost realms, our head faces downwards.

• For the animal realm, we see blood; for the demi-god realm, we see snow and rain, and for both animal and demi-god realms, our head faces sideways.

• For the god and human realms, we see white, and our head faces upwards.

• For the desire god realm, we experience a feeling of joy and exhilaration.

• For the form god realm, we become attracted to light.

• For the formless god realm, we are attracted to complete nothingness.

Then we come into the presence of our future parents and see them in union. At that time, we should remember not to become afflicted, thereby blocking entrance to the womb. We should see our parents as the deity in Yab Yum aspect, if we want a fine rebirth where we encounter the Dharma and the guru.

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Prayer to Be Reborn in Dewachen

Eh Ma Ho! In the center is the marvelous Buddha Amitabha of Boundless Light. On the right side is the Lord of Great Compassion, and on the left is Vajrapani, the Lord of Powerful Means. All are surrounded by limitless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Immeasurable peace and happiness is the blissful pure land of Dewachen. When I and all beings pass from samsara, may we be born there without taking samsaric rebirth. May I have the blessing of meeting Amitabha face to face. By the power and blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, May I attain this aspiration without hindrance.

This book was assembled and translated by Ina Trinley Wangmo and edited by CJ Ondek, unless otherwise stated.”

download complete booklet:👇🏿

https://garchen.net/…/uploads/2020/06/Dying-book-final.pdf

Death & Dying Resources: (Audio Mp3, Images, Practices & Prayers, Teachings, Instructions, Video)👇🏿

“His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche is one of the foremost Buddhist masters and accomplished Tibetan Lamas alive in this world today. His compassion, love, wisdom, and spiritual accomplishments are legendary. He is one of the highest Lamas of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and is revered and respected by all the different lineages of Buddhism, and beloved in numerous countries across various continents all over the world. His disciples number in the tens of thousands and his dharma activities pervade everywhere. He is truly a living example of an authentic enlightened being and a great Bodhisattva. Famous throughout the world for his vast realization and great kindness, Rinpoche is truly a wish fulfilling gem, and one of the greatest authentic spiritual masters in the world.

Garchen Rinpoche was born in Eastern Tibet in 1936 and recognized at a very young age as the 8th incarnation of Garchen Rinpoche. From that time, he entered into monastic life and studied and practiced the dharma under many of the highest lamas of the Drikung lineage until the age of 19. Garchen Rinpoche then entered into a traditional three year retreat, which was interrupted after two and a half years due to the Cultural Revolution in China. At that time, after fighting in war to defend Tibet and preserve the Buddha Dharma, Garchen Rinpoche was captured and imprisoned. Garchen Rinpoche spent the next 20 years in prison and labor camps in Communist China. While in prison, Garchen Rinpoche met his root Guru, the great Nyingma master Khenpo Munsel, who gave him many essential teachings and pith instructions. Enduring unfathomable hardships, Rinpoche practiced secretly in prison until he attained great profound realization and merged his mind with his Guru.

Since his release from prison in 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has worked tirelessly to restore, preserve, and spread the teachings and blessings of the Buddha Dharma across Tibet, and later, throughout the entire world. In 1997, Garchen Rinpoche came to America for the first time. He has established his main center, the Garchen Buddhist Institute, in Arizona as well as numerous other centers throughout North America, Europe, Asia and South America. With his immeasurable compassion, vast realization and authentic blessings Rinpoche has inspired and guided thousands of Dharma students and practitioners to cultivate love, bodhichitta, and melt the ice block of self-grasping through dharma practice. He is an eminent master of the practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, Tummo, the Six Yogas of Naropa, the 37 Bodhisattva Practices, and many others.”

(Posted by Garchen Institute Bulletin Board, Facebook, 26 May 2023)