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Eight stages of dying

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Eight stages of dying

The process of dying is following the process of disintegration of the five elements and the 72000 energy channels (tsa) that sustain a human body. It is basically a reverse process of the time since conception till the full establishment of the body.

1. Disintegration of the earth element; ceasing of mobility, body is becoming weak and awkward, limbs loose and powerless, pupils do not move any more; sight gets blurred, shapes loose sharpness; visual field resembles to a mirage;
2. Disintegration of the water element; bodily fluids dry greatly; a very low sound (ur) becomes the last sound a person can hear until it ceases as well; consciousness no longer experiences feelings that accompany sense consciousness; visual field resembles to a cloud or fog or smoke;
3. Disintegration of the fire element; inhalation is weak, exhalation is strong and lengthy, sense of smell fades; body starts to loose temperature, heart starts to beat in an uneven rhythm; one is no longer mindful of the individual names, purposes etc.; an inner vision of fireflies or sparks appears;
4. Disintegration of the air element; all the gross thoughts and energies disappear; one cannot experience tastes, smoothness or roughness; the root of the tongue becomes blue, breathing ceases; mind becomes confused and uncertain, it can not remember, discern or think, will is not possible any more; visual field resembles to a sputtering butter-lamp about to go out; 
Dissolution of the space element is divided in four stages: 
5. Winds of the right and left channels enter the central channel at top of the head and the white drop (tigle) starts to approach the heart chakra; mind experiences white vision, described as clear night sky on a full moon, when the sky looks milky instead of black; any conceptual thought ceases; 
6. Winds of the right and left channels enter the central channel at the base of spine and the red drop starts to approach the heart; red vision appears, described as sunset in autumn, when all the sky is tinted red; very subtle state of mind;
7. When consciousness is pressed among the drops, it experiences a black vision or mind of black near-attainment, a kind of loss of consciousness, like falling in a black hole; all winds dissolve into the very subtle life bearing wind in the indestructible drop at the heart;
8. When the drops continue their path very clear vacuity free of all appearances appears, spreading in infinity; this Clear Light is the most subtle experience of consciousness, with no trace of ego or duality; a trained mind, which can reach this experience without being disturbed, can meditate in this state and reach Enlightenment; consciousness used to cling to ego structures terrifies of being disintegrated. At the first moment of fear, mind leaves the body and comes in the Intermediate state (Sipa bardo). At this moment two signs appear (not always): a red drop flows from a nose and a white drop from sexual organs.
It is said that the time of dying last as long as it takes to eat a meal i.e. about 20-25 minutes. High practitioners stay in meditation in front of the Clear Light for three or more days and during this time the process of decaying is on stand. As soon as they leave the meditation state, their consciousness leaves the body and dying completes. As it is hard to discern who is a high practitioner hiding his realizations and who is not, it is recommended to leave any body untouched, in good conditions (a warm and calm place) and to avoid strong emotions coming from attachment or rejection for at least three days.


Words of Wisdom

"There is nothing whatsoever that does not grow easier with practice."
- Shantideva

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