The process of sleep and the process of death are related

save them, but to help them so they can die well. One should not forget this. To simply be there for them is enough. It is sometimes better to not talk too much and it is sometimes better to talk. This always depends on the person who is dying. I know of situations where the dying person is at peace with itself, but the person that wants to be there for it is nervous. This person is then not a help, but a hindrance. It is important to perceive what the dying person requires at a given moment. If one is too clinging as an attendant, the dying find it particularly difficult to leave. Once a person has died, it is important according to Tibetan tradition, that one should not behave as if that person has left us and no longer exists. One should rather see this person as someone who is in a state of transition. The soul adopts a different form. Just like with any transition - this person requires support. Food and the like is traditionally burned as offerings. When one eats, one should try to maintain a connection and one should give support for at least the first 49 days. The children in the West are often not too closely attached to their parents. When the parents die, the children want to inherit the parents money, but they are not interested in seeing or in helping their parents. I sometimes think that it would do well for the children to not only think of themselves, but to use the inherited money for charitable purposes for instance, for things that the parents cared about, thereby also helping their own soul and their spirit. D. M. : You are going to teach about Phowa during this year’s retreat. What exactly is this Phowa practice? Rinpoche : The Phowa practice goes back to some very ancient doctrines. It is first of all used the moment death occurs and this in order to raise one’s own consciousness to the purer dimensions of enlightened beings. It is about understanding the major energy channels within the body, about recognising the power of Prana or the element of wind and about how to utilise them in order to raise the consciousness within the central channel thereby freeing it so that the consciousness can exist the body at the moment of death. This praxis is however not restricted to the moment of death, one can also utilise it now, whilst one is still physically alive, when one works with it to open the channels, particularly the central channel. D. M. : Can Non-Buddhists also work with this praxis? Rinpoche ; Non-Buddhists can work with the Phowa practice, but in order to really learn Phowa, one has to take refuge, because one can otherwise not correctly practise it. If these people are really interested in this praxis, they might consider becoming Buddhists. D. M. : Are you presently working on a new book? Rinpoche : Yes, it deals with the healing practice of the five element and it will hopefully be published in English early next years and probably towards the end of next year in German. It is dealing with understanding the five elements within the Tantra and this in regards to the human body and its energies: How does one balance and fortify it? How does one apply these qualities to achieve enlightenment? And last but not least,