The third stage of the dying process

We are practicing dying. The purpose is to become familiar with the 8 stages of the death process. Not only does this reduce our fear of the “unknown” but it also gives us a rich opportunity to become enlightened. Familiarizing ourselves with the 8 stages’ internal signs or visions allows us to meditate on the eighth stage luminosity, the subtlest mind. This is the mind that goes on to enlightenment, or Buddhahood. When we die we meditate on the 8 stages’ visions and sustain the meditation on luminosity. If we can sustain this meditation indefinitely, we become enlightened. Now we have become familiar with the first two stages’ visions – mirage and billowing smoke. Sitting with your back straight, continue to imagine you are dying and enter the third stage. The heat or fire element of your body weakens. You feel cold. Even blankets will not make you warm. Internally you “see” fireflies darting in the dark night sky. Become familiar with this vision. Remember the previous vision of billowing smoke. Now familiarize with the darting fireflies in a dark night.