Dharma Teachings

Back To Teachings

Meditation/Practice Instruction

Sleeping Yoga Instruction
Teacher: His Holiness the Sakya Trichen (the 41st Sakya Trizin),
Venue: Singapore,
Year: 2011

His Holiness the Sakya Trichen (the 41st Sakya Trizin) gave this teaching on Amitābha sleeping yoga at the request of the Singapore Buddha Sasana Society (Sakya Tenphel Ling) on February 19, 2011.

Death is a topic many would avoid perceiving it as negative, yet everyone born will have to face and experience it eventually. Instead of avoiding it and fear about it when it occurs, there is something we can do and therefore facing it with courage. The phowa practice, or transference of consciousness at the time of death, is a simple yet powerful method allowing us to direct our consciousness to a buddhafield, the celestial realm of a buddha or bodhisattva.

The phowa instruction in this teaching is unique because it is the Amitābha’s sleeping yoga based primarily on Sūtrayāna. Although one requires an oral transmission from a qualified teacher, everyone would benefit from the direct and profound advice shared by His Holiness. After all, everything in life is in fact Dharma practice.

Source: This teaching was obtained from Sakya Tenphel Ling Youtube.

The teachings of Buddhism state that the end of birth is death, an inevitable occurrence with uncertainty lying in when it will happen. Since death is unavoidable, facing and preparing for it not only helps us overcome fear but also transforms death into a favorable condition for liberation and even perfect buddhahood. This is why sleeping yoga is important.

What is sleeping yoga? How can it dispel the fear of death? How should one practice it, and is this practice connected to the path of liberation and enlightenment?

His Holiness provides clear and direct instructions in this teaching. Through careful reading, repeated contemplation, and putting it into practice, one can gain profound insights into living the practice. With such understanding, we can navigate various circumstances in life, including the fear and uncertainties associated with birth, death, and the intermediate state (bardo), accomplishing both temporary and ultimate goals.