Life Beyond Death

The purpose of death
The nature of life after death
How we can prepare for death
How we can assist the dying

Stage One - Life Review and Cosmic Panorama

At the time of death, this very experience [mind's ultimate nature] arises effortlessly. At this moment, mind arrives directly at it's own ground. It's just like coming home.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Mind Beyond Death

As soon as we realize that we've died (or in some cases, just before the moment of death) we experience a life review, in which we see and feel every detail of the life just lived; not sequentially, but all at once, in a single flash. A second and much longer life review takes place later, during stage three.

After this initial review there is usually a lapse in awareness, which may be brief or last for several days of Earth time. Eventually we awaken to discover that we're alive. And miracle of miracles...there is no death! The initial sense of wonder and freedom is beyond anything we've known during Earth life. And at the same time, we witness the whole range of conscious experience, from the physical plane, which we're just leaving, through the astral plane, all the way to the spiritual plane. This may be experienced as a light at the end of a dark tunnel or valley.

During this initial stage of expansion, there's a brief window of opportunity to recognize Divine Consciousness as our essential nature and ascend directly to the spiritual plane. But unless we're prepared for this opportunity, it's unlikely that we'll recognize it, or have the necessary spiritual momentum to make the leap. Residual desires exert a strong attraction and tend to pull awareness back to the astral plane and into the next stage of life after death.