A straight-forward series of posts on Death and Dying

According to the Tibetan Bardo teachings, there are three opportunities for full enlightenment after one dies. Dharmakaya is the first and most precious of these, and is considered the ultimate or absolute body, beyond form, substance, concept and even the ideas of existence and nonexistence.

This is probably a topic which I am least qualified to write about and one which I intend to spend more time studying, but I’ll give it a go, as my intention here is two-fold, processing what I’ve learned through writing and writing in service to even one being who would benefit from an introduction to this wisdom.

Below is a brief summary describing Dharmakaya, comprised of three “seconds” (in quotes because the last second itself is comprised of three parts) and how one might recognize it during one’s own transition. I will just say, as much as this information is related in a linear fashion, my sense of it is that it doesn’t necessarily follow our understanding of time.

Dharmakaya - Seconds to AwakenTHE BARDO OF EMPTINESS

The First Precious Second:

This is considered the most fortuitous opportunity for self-realization, when all appearances fall away.

The eyes have rolled and the final breath has been taken. The senses have turned inward. The gross body has dissolved. The energetic body has dissolved as well revealing a subtlety that was always there between mind and body, now revealed. It is all that remains. The illusory world falls away and with it, all appearances.

At this point, one drop of father essence or male bodhisattva seed descends down from the crown into the heart. In that second will come a shining vision or perhaps a feeling akin to a column of smoke rising which pacifies all emotions of the angers, leaving a sense of pleasure in its wake. If one is aware, one can abide in that purity.

The Second Precious Second to Awaken:

Here, one drop of essence of mother or female bodhisattva seed ascends up from the root into the heart. In this moment, there is a flame of a butter lamp burning and a redness that colors everything like a red dream. All afflictions of desire and attachment are pacified, giving a blissful feeling and revealing naked mind. If one is aware of this, one can awaken.

The Third Precious Second (comprised of three) to Awaken:

This final second for enlightenment in this most blessed juncture for awakening is actually followed with two more opportunities at other stages of the Bardo journey, is comprised of three seconds marked as a black, radiant near-attainment of mind. Three drops come from the heart itself back into the heart. All goes dark. It is said to be an experience like a sky full of stars. All ignorance emotions are pacified. Pure mind abides. If you see it, your very own dharmakaya, and if you can stay there, you will be realized.

I should mention that if the being fails to self-realize, then there may follow total unconsciousness and all activity ceases. Decaying back in the physical world starts. Perhaps this explains why certain realized masters or even Christian saints have remained composed and fresh long after death; they realized Dharmakaya. It is so beautiful when wisdom transcends mere religious belief.

But, in case you haven’t already noticed, things tend to happen in threes. So, there are actually two more kayas, Sambhogakaya and Nirvanakaya, in which one can awaken. I’ll talk about those next time.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

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