The Five Powers to Develop for a Happy Successful Death 

(These are explained in the tradition of Thought Transformation; see the Recommended Reading list for books on Thought Transformation)

  1. The Power of the White Seed: purify negative karma with the 4 powers of regret, reliance, remedy and resolution; give up attachment to your possessions and make offerings of them; meditate upon refuge in the 3 Jewels, give rise to positive thoughts such as Bodhicitta; reaffirm your commitment to whatever spiritual goals and values you cultivated during your life
  1. The Power of Intention: develop in your mind strong, positive resolutions such as not allowing your mind to come under the influence of negative, disturbing emotions; or not letting your mind be separated from the altruistic attitude of Bodhicitta
  1. The Power of Remorse: remembering the disadvantages of the disturbing emotions, protect yourself from being overwhelmed by them

  2. The Power of Prayer: make strong prayers never to be separated from Bodhicitta, not to be dominated by the misconception of self or the disturbing emotions, to obtain a fortunate rebirth in the next life to be able to continue your practice of the Dharma, etc.

  3. The Power of Familiarity: utilize whatever difficulties you face at the time of death to reflect on the teachings, e.g. the suffering nature of samsara, and to develop compassion for all beings; when the time of death comes, lie on your right side with your right ring finger blocking your right nostril (this is the posture the Buddha adopted during his Parinirvana); meditate on “taking and giving”; and on the emptiness of true existence of all things

Further Reading on the Thought Transformation Tradition (the 5 Powers)

·        Beresford, Brian, trans. Mind Training Like the Rays of the Sun. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1992

·        Gyalwa Gendun Druppa. Training the Mind in the Great Way. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 1993 trans. by Glenn H. Mullin

·        Geshe Rabten and Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. Advice from a Spiritual Friend. London: Wisdom, 1976, 1984

·        Chodron, Pema. Start Where You Are . Shambhala. USA, Aug 2001 (Also other books by this author)