These five strengths are positive seeds, aspiration, revulsion, resolution and familiarization.
The power of positive seeds. When we practitioners realize that we are about to die, that we are in the grip of a fatal disease, and that there is no way that we can prolong our lives, we should make an offering to our Teacher and the Three Jewels of all our possessions, giving them away wherever it is most beneficial and meritorious. We should deal with all our unfinished business and have no attachment or aversion for anyone or anything.
The power of aspiration. Making the seven branch offering to our Teacher and the Three Jewels, we should pray as follows: 'May I be free from fear in the bardo, and in all my future lives may I be blessed with the practice of the twofold Bodhichitta. May the Victorious Ones bless me, especially the master who has taught me the Bodhichitta practice, the Mind Training instructions.' We should pray like this again and again, confident that our Teacher will take care of us.
The power of revulsion. We should remember that ego-clinging clinging has brought us sorrow in the past. Even now, the hope that we might continue to live, attachment to our bodies as something precious, worries as to the way in which our wealth will be used: all this might still occasion a lot of suffering. If even now we are unable to rid ourselves of such clinging, we will never have peace. We should let our bodies go like earth and stones, thinking that they are not worth holding on to. We are suffering just because of our attachment to them. Just look!-on the outside they are skin, inside they are filled with flesh, blood, bones and all sorts of disgusting substances. They are actually nothing but bags of dirt and there is no need to identify them as ourselves. Let them be burned; let the birds or dogs devour them! Reflecting in this way, we rid ourselves of self-cherishing.
The power of resolution. We should remind ourselves that when we have to pass through the bardo, by meditating on the precious Bodhichitta, we will in fact be meditating on the heart essence of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It will be impossible for us to fall into the lower realms. By resolving to practise Bodhichitta constantly with strong determination, we guard ourselves from the terror of the bardo.
The power of familiarization. We should constantly be mulling over the techniques just described: how to practise the twofold Bodhichitta, how to exchange happiness for suffering, how to develop compassion towards those who are hostile.
We must live in such a way that, through remembering the Mind Training constantly, we will be able to apply it when the time comes for us to die and we are in a lot of pain.
Now when the moment of death arrives, this is what you should do. Just as the Buddha did when he passed away, lie on your right side, rest your head on your right hand. Breathe in through your left nostril, blocking your right nostril with the little finger of your right hand. Meditate on love, wishing happiness for all beings, numerous as the sky is vast, and generate compassion with the desire to free them from every suffering. Using the support of your ingoing and outgoing breaths, imagine that you exhale all your happiness, comfort and wealth, sending them to all who suffer. And inhale all the diseases, eases, evil, negative emotions and obscurations of other beings, taking them upon yourselves.
Afterwards, you should reflect that samsara and nirvana are themselves illusory, just like a dream or a wizard's magical display. Everything is devoid of self-existence. Everything is but the perception of the mind and where nothing exists, there is no cause for fear, here or in the bardo. Try to remain in that conviction, without any mental grasping.
There are many well-known and celebrated instructions on how to transfer the consciousness at the moment of death, but none are so sublime, amazing or wonderful as this.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche;Padmakara Translation Group. Enlightened Courage: An Explanation of the Seven-Point Mind Training (Kindle Location 630-657). Kindle Edition.