The Chinese word “li” means to depart, and “she” refers to the physical body.
[Consciousness Transference Yoga is called the practice of Lishe in Chinese.] Basically, Lishe refers to the moment when the soul [or consciousness] leaves the physical body. When those who are not involved in any form of cultivation die, they will be led and received by deceased spirits, such as their ancestors’ spirits. In
such cases, they will end up in the lower spiritual planes.
Some people who have performed virtuous acts will see the gods
appearing to receive them, and they will ascend to the heavenly worlds.
Upon death, those who follow the Pure Land School and single-
mindedly recite the Buddha’s name will experience the Three Sages
of the West appearing before them. This indicates that they will gain
rebirth in the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss, where Amitabha
Buddha will appear to receive them.
The four enlightened stages, six mundane worlds, and ten dharma
realms embody layers upon layers of truth, which cannot be explained
fully in one book. I was almost brought to tears when I was writing the Consciousness Transference Yoga, due to a vision that I had expe- rienced during meditation. Once while meditating in the attic, I saw that only a small number of sentient beings in the universe could as- cend to the heavenly realms upon death, and far fewer of them could make it to the Western Paradise. Those who know and practice the Consciousness Transference Yoga are quite rare.
The saha world is evidently filled with many people who do not cultivate. Yet among those who do, many have gone astray, falling into the wrong paths. They have been fooled by spiritual con artists. There are indeed many pseudo dharma masters, fathers, priests, psychic mediums, magicians, masters, and gurus. These individuals appear to be practicing virtuous deeds, but these acts are only disguises. These individuals profit from the donations of the kind-hearted by embez- zling more than the amount used for printing meritorious books and performing good deeds.
Among those who end up in the lower spiritual realms and even in hell include these dharma masters, fathers, priests, mediums, magi- cians, masters, and gurus. Those who do not know any dharma, yet claim to be dharma masters, suffer a greater retribution than the oth- ers. When I observed this situation through my meditation, it natu- rally brought me to tears. I have great pity for sentient beings who do not hear and learn the dharma, and do not know how to cultivate. Therefore I began writing about the simpler methods, and then ad- vanced progressively to this highest teaching of Mahamudra.
I tolerated the slanders that have been aimed at me by these dhar- ma masters, fathers, priests, mediums, magicians, masters, and gurus. I have endured accusations from people, ignoring the vicious verbal attacks from hypocrites. What have I endured all of this for? It is be- cause I need to transfer these special teachings to those who have the right affinity. In this world, only a handful of people know about the Consciousness Transference Yoga, and only few of them would exert continuous effort to spread the supreme Vajrayana teaching. Thus,
this act is an expression of great compassion, great guidance, and great sympathy.
Sometimes I worry that the pseudo masters might not appreciate this Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra book. Furthermore, what if they use my teachings to deceive more people? Wouldn’t that make things worse? However, this is the way that I am. I feel that all sen- tient beings should come into contact with the power of the buddhas, experience the dharma taste, cultivate the right teaching, and attain nirvana together. I am thus determined to reveal this material. This is the type of person that I am. I am a straight-forward and unselfish character.
When a person is near death, many illusory visions might emerge. This phenomenon is brought on by the disintegration of the four ele- ments of earth, wind, fire, and water. Eventually, the “physical light” will be extinguished beyond the realm of the six consciousnesses. The physical body and the mind will gradually lose their connectivity, and then the water element will begin to dissipate wherein the mouth and nose will experience dryness. Next the fire element will dissipate, and the body will gradually become colder. After that, the breath or wind will evaporate.
The following is the order of disintegration: First the earth element disintegrates, followed by the water element, the fire element, and fi- nally the wind element. This is the disintegration of the four elements.
Upon the death of the physical body, a person who does not culti- vate is led by the forces of their negative karma. This is due to the fact that the person lacks or has a weak inner spiritual essence. He will be led down the path of suffering and be reborn in the six realms, which are: heaven, human realm, asura realm, hell, hungry ghost realm, and animal realm.
However, despite the fact that the physical body and breathing ceas- es, a cultivated person or adept can still rely on his spiritual essence that he has been cultivating for years. He will see the appearance of smoke and fog, wherein light will manifest. In order to produce light from this smoky fog, he must first purify the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance. One should regularly practice purification, so at the departing moment one is able to completely dust off the small- est residual of the three poisons. These three poisons can be further categorized into the thirty-two states of anger, the forty types of greed, and the seven kinds of ignorance. Most importantly, one should com- pletely cut off all strands of attachments, affinities, greed, anger, and ignorance. This is indeed the greatest heart essence.
The first light to manifest typically resembles the glow of a firefly. This is one’s own light, which later transforms into a light that is like the light of a lamp. At this stage, when all outer karmic conditions are severed, a massive light will gradually emerge amidst the backdrop of a cloudless sky. The very light that emits from the spiritual essence of the cultivator will ascend and spiral through the central channel, move out of the crown chakra, and join with the light of the great sun.
The Karmapa once told me this:
One’s own pure dharmakaya is the “child light.”
The nature of the supreme cosmic consciousness is the “mother light.”
Here’s a verse:
As the physical light forms and fades away, And thoughts and consciousness are removed, The consciousness, when eliminated, arises again. At this moment the clear light begins to dawn. Light and early dawn blend as one.
Here exists the manifested and unmanifested knowledge, Merging the manifested into the original ground.
Thus one is said to attain fruition and gain accomplish- ment.
The above poem summarizes the gist of Consciousness Transfer- ence Yoga. At the time of death, a dying practitioner must renounce all worldly karmic affinities such as wealth (thoughts of greed), fam- ily ties (thoughts of ignorance), and all love and hatred (thoughts of anger), and cut all karmic ties in the physical world. It is only when all discursive thoughts are eliminated, can one then abide in the realm of the light where the child light manifests itself. It is the very pure state of the child light that attracts the mother light of the supreme cosmic consciousness. As the child light spins and ascends through the cen- tral channel, both of these lights merge into one. These two lights are inherently the same, and like old friends who meet again, these pure lights merge with each other. This is, in essence, the final return to the Ocean of Vairocana. This is entering into nirvana and achieving enlightenment.
An individual who has not done any cultivation will experience fear upon dying. This is because he will feel that his body is crumbling like a mountain and he will no longer be able to get up. He will feel an earthquake trembling all around him, and people running in from all directions to kill him. Even though the individual wants to escape from his killers, he will not be able to find his way out. He will experi- ence strong winds, thunder, and lightning. As he runs frantically, he might encounter soft white light, which is the heavenly realm. If he sees and runs into foggy light, then he will enter the hell realm. If he enters a soft yellow light, then he will enter the human realm. If he enters a soft red light, then he will enter the hungry ghost realm. If he enters a soft green light, then he will enter into the asura realm. This is the reality of the six realms of samsara. This is what separates a prac- titioner from a non-practitioner.
Many readers often ask me if hell really exists. This is my reply, “Hell exists on earth, and many of these hells have already manifested in the human world, such as the operating rooms in hospitals where the hells of opening the skull, grafting the skin, and operating on the
heart exist. And in war-torn areas, you will find the hells of knife mountain and fire mountain.”
Hell is described in Tantric Buddhism in this way: “In the hell realm there is a huge city with high walls made of black gold. An iron gate opens at each of the four directions of the city, and trees are plant- ed on the sides of the gates, which are hung with banners. A human head is positioned on top of each tree. Lord Yama is in charge, with his left attendant recording bad deeds and right attendant recording good deeds.”
This Tantric hell is recorded in the Sutra of Ten Kings. Actually, Lord Yama is known as the Illumination God in Vajrayana. He died and went to the netherworld where he governs the hell realm. The Tantric teachings regard him as a heavenly deity known as Yama Deva, who resides at the gate on the west side of the vajra division in the Womb Mandala. In the Diamond Mandala, he is stationed to the north of the outer court among the Twenty Deities.
In the Tantric depiction of Lord Yama, he is represented as riding on a buffalo. His right hand holds a banner made from human heads and his left palm faces upwards. He has two female devas as his at- tendants, and two ghostly guards beside him who are dressed in red and black. The guards carry a knife and a battle halberd respectively. Lord Yama rides on a buffalo with his right leg dangling.” This image is different from the Taoist depiction of Lord Yama.
Based on my knowledge, the Womb and Diamond Mandalas of Tantric Buddhism are arranged in the order of the star constellations in the cosmos. The heaven and hell realms depicted within Taoism are based on legends, and the hell realm lies beneath the ocean floor. Regardless of the case, I know that the divisions of heaven and hell exist within the human body. When your heart is inclined towards hell, hell will appear before you. When your heart is inclined towards heaven, then heaven will appear before you. Thus, heaven and hell are created by our hearts.
The Consciousness Transference Yoga is a vital quintessential teaching. If one chooses not to believe it, then one will see that what I have said is true when one’s time of death arrives.