P’howa: Ancient practices for life, death and dying in Truckee Tahoe | SierraSun.com

P’howa: Ancient practices for life, death and dying in Truckee Tahoe

Barbara Littell
Special to the Sun
Chagdud Khadro will teach at For Goodness Sake Oct. 3-5 in Truckee.
Courtesy John Swearingen |

One of the most powerful and important questions in life is the question, “What happens after we die?”

We humans also struggle with how to help the bereaved as well as the person who has just died. Tibetan Buddhist teachings have answers that can be utilized by peoples of a variety of faith traditions.

An internationally known Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chagdud Khadro will be in Truckee Oct. 3, 4 and 5 to address these questions.

P’howa ensures we won’t die in a state of spiritual uncertainty and drift helplessly in the after-death bardo.


Her public talk, “Cycles of Life, Death and Transformation,” will take place on Friday night, Oct. 3.

Khadro will provide an overview of the six bardos, with emphasis on the moment of death and after-death states. Tibetan Buddhist masters describe the major cycles of existence as bardos, or intermediate states, three of which occur between the moment we are conceived and the moment our death becomes inevitable, three of which occur in the context of dying and after death.

She will also discuss spiritual techniques for preparing for and easing the transition of death. One of the most powerful preparations for death is the practice of p’howa, transference of consciousness at the moment of death. This practice of transference gives us the confidence to live with less fear of death, as well as a method to direct our minds toward a higher state of rebirth at the time of death.

On Oct. 4 and 5, she will give an empowerment and teaching of “P’howa: Instructions for the Practice of Consciousness Transference as Revealed by Rigdzin Longsal Nyingpo.”


During the weekend retreat, Khadro will explain the steps involved in P’howa training, the means of accomplishing P’howa at the time of death either for oneself or for others and how to integrate P’howa into daily meditation practice. P’howa ensures we won’t die in a state of spiritual uncertainty and drift helplessly in the after-death bardo.

The signs of accomplishment can be gained relatively quickly and without extensive retreat. The Amitabha Buddha empowerment required for P’howa will be offered.

Khadro has trained in P’howa extensively under His Eminence Chagdud Tulku. Her teachings have found a receptive audience not only among dharma students, but also among health professionals who seek new, profound techniques to alleviate the pain and grief of those with whom they work.

People of other faiths have likewise found P’howa training valuable. Khadro serves as the spiritual director of the Chagdud Gonpa centers in Latin America. She lives in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where she teaches and writes.

Friday’s lecture takes place at 7 p.m. at For Goodness Sake, Truckee, and is also available remotely. Cost is $15-20 per person, no one turned away for lack of funds.

The weekend retreat will take place in Truckee, 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. both days, with a lunch break. Cost is $125-225, no one turned away for lack of funds. Additional suggested teacher dana: $45-90.

Registration required by calling For Goodness Sake at 530-550-8981.

Please note: You may attend just the Friday night lecture. However, if you plan to attend the P’howa Empowerment Weekend retreat, you must attend Saturday and Sunda. It is highly recommended the Friday night lecture also be attended.

Barbara Littell is a member of the Truckee Tara Mandala Sangha and has found deep inspiration in Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices.

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