Ken Holmes Teachings

Dying As Best One Can

This is a series of teachings based on Atisha’s Mind Training on how to prepare for the end of this life as well as for what happens between lives. Not only is this a necessity for death (we’re all going there!) but it puts our current lives into a new, helpful and lightening perspective. In the past, I gave this course over a two-day or three-day residential retreat. It seemed to help many people.
In these Covid times, I’ll give the main teachings over four Saturdays (along with some homework).

Akong Rinpoche simulating helping a dying person, for a TV documentary

SESSION ONE: Overview – The Six Modes of Consciousness (bardo) Sat 11 Sept 9.30 a.m. UK time

This first teaching is to help us understand why we need to train well for end-of-life, death and the state between lives. Ken will give the overview of the five main processes involved in this training, including a thorough life journalling (depending on the time available). The six bardos will be explained as opportunities.

SESSION TWO: Bringing this Incarnation to a Meaningful End. Sat 18th Sept 9.30 a.m. UK time

How to review the defining episodes and experiences of this life, with gratitude and forgiveness, and how to draw prime conclusions so as to move forward smoothly and with confidence into the next incarnation. This includes very practical advice on will-making, dealing with cherished possessions, friends and family and one’s own body.

SESSION THREE: the 4th Bardo, Physical Death processes. Sat 25 Sept 2021, 9.30 a.m. UK time

While alive, our minds are indissociable from our bodies and highly influenced by our physical condition, on both gross and subtle levels. A death, the elemental and energetic realities of life break down, producing unique experiences. Ken will explain them and the need for serenity and understanding during this phase.

SESSION FOUR: the 5th and 6th Bardos, Unparalleled Opportunities.
Sat 9 Oct, 2021, 9.30 a.m. UK time

Our meditation and tonglen training while alive can open special opportunities in the Clarity Bardo (often called “clear light”) and the Becoming Bardo after death, making our path to liberation progresses by leaps and bounds. Ken will introduce the three aspects of buddha mind (the three kaya) and the opportunities they present between physical death and the next conception.
Please note: this will be an extended session, 9.30 – 11.30 UK time. It includes a guided simulation of the last moments of life and a longer dialogue session.
Recommended reading: « Mind Beyond Death » by Dzogchen Ponlop.

  • The 100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva (pictured here) is that of the Peaceful & Wrathful deities of the Bardo.

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All courses are free of charge.