MODULE 7 * Bardo Chod
After Death Guidance
[T]here is a vast literature regarding the Bardo, the most well known being the cycle of Karma Lingpa, popularized as the “Tibetan Book of the Dead.” There are a number of other versions or variations of this cycle, including the much more condensed terma of PeGyal Lingpa of Bhutan. While the various prayers for the bardo and the Wrathful and Peaceful deities have been translated, discussed and commented on, these relate generally to ones own personal journey in the after death state.
Much less known, yet absolutely central to After Death Care, is the guidance ritual, or Neh Dren, which are rituals designed to lead the departed through the difficulties of the bardo, and avoiding rebirth in any of the Six Realms of hallucinatory, delusional existence—Samsara. These are typically performed by lamas or ngakpas for the deceased, or at the request of the family and friends, as an essential part of the 49-day journey between this life and the next.
THE CHOD APPROACH TO BARDO
The Chod Nehdren takes a somewhat different and fascinating route. It utilizes the familiar damaru, kangling and melodic style of Chod, coming directly from the earlist traditions of MaChik, as collected by the Third Karmapa, Ranjung Dorje. Apart from the usual stages of clearing of obstacles, purification of karma, and creating noursihment for the wandering consciousness, it guides through the Six Realms of deluded experience, level by level through the golden stupa, to finally merge with the enlightened consciousness of MaChik, the Great Mother. One great advantage of this approach is that the practice is streamlined enough and condensed enough that it can be done effectively by the solo practitioner, in a reasonably short period of time. Other Nehdren rituals are far more elaborate and can require several assistants, apart from the main participants, to handle all the shrine activity.
Also, this practice is said to be so potent, that instead of needing to be done weekly or even daily by the ritualists, even a single session can liberate the wandering deceased, and place their consciousness in a Pure Realm.
Never translated before, and rarely performed in modern times, fortunately there are still lamas who have the transmission and know fully how to practice this rare gem. Having received these instructions, it is time to disseminate them in the West, at a time of turmoil and when they are sorely needed. This important practice of the Chod NeDren or After Death Guidance Ritual, essential for any fully trained Chopa will be taught for the first time for the Western practitioners.
STUDENTS OF BARDO HEALING
The Bardo Chod or Chod NehDren is Module 7 of the School of Tibetan Healing Cho. This is part of the Advanced level, which is for those who seek true mastery of the practice, wish to become teachers, or simply are strongly drawn to Bardo work or After Death Care. However, because of its extreme importance, the training is available for qualified students who are not part of the full curriculum of the School. One need simply go through the application process to make sure this advanced practice is a proper fit for one experience and development.
- The Chod Bardo After Death Guidance ritual training includes the following:
- Online oral authorization and transmission or “loong” of the ritual.
- Full 42-page text in color with Tibetan, accurate and poetic translation, musical notations, etc.
- CD of all melodies and teachings and DVD or online video of shrine activities and special mudras, as well as Short Chod Tsok
- Downloads of large side Golden Stupa (18 x 24) used in the ritual
- Deceased name card template
- Correspondence chart of realms, seed syllables, Buddhas, etc.
- Tuition is $375; Can be extended over several payments.
- Extended DVD set to follow.
OUTLINE of the CHOD NEHDREN
The following outline is the sequence of meditations, visualizations and tantric manipulations that provide guidance for the wandering consciousness of the deceased individual. In this remarkably eloquent, poetic and powerful ritual, even the solo practitioner can effect a release of the person from the perils of the after-death state, and establish them in a pure realm.
1. Overpowering (optional part of the “Difficult to Tame” ritual)
4. Meeting the Deceased
5. Hooking In
6. Inviting to the Support
7. Exhortation to the Deceased
8. Clearing the Karmic Debts
9. Wrathful Admonition
10. Clearing of the Six Realms:
i. Yidak Realm
ii. Animal Realm
iiia. Human Realm
iiib. Sur: Burnt Offering for the Deceased
v. Asura Realm
vi. Gods Realm
11. Pointing Out the Bardo
12. Entering the Pure Realm
13. Burning the Name Card