Connect with people interested in rainbow body

What an incredible article @_Barry ! I was blown away by the various rainbow body accounts. I can’t help but think if this incredible power intimidated the Chinese and this covertly led to the invasion of Tibet. It didn’t escape me how those on retreat would be arrested because they weren’t contributing to society. I have the impression that true freedom is through meditation and the Buddha even said on Shamatha meditation:

So long as these five obscurations are not abandoned, one considers oneself as indebted, sick, in bonds, enslaved, and lost on a desert track

Do you know who is an authentic teacher of the specific lineages in this article related to rainbow body?

I have been studying Allan Wallace’s books and I feel my next step is working towards rainbow body. I turned 40 this year and truly want to spend the next 40 years on a path towards developing rainbow body.

Years ago I fell in love with the idea of growing old and when it’s time, retreat to the forest and die that way. A peaceful death where one abandons food and water and one goes to sleep. I was reading about Native Americans at the time and some of their end of life practices. Having read this article takes this idea one step further in bringing lucid awareness to the dying process. I truly am inspired and fascinated. My heart goes out to these brave masters who defied conventional norms and achieved what they did.

So appreciate your contributions Barry! :pray:


@c_scerri The Rainbow body is said to be a possible fruit of realized Dzogchen practice.
The Nyingma and Yungdrung Bön traditions have historically speaking Dzogchen lineages which date back before the 8th century AD. Also the Kagyupa have Mahamudra lineages which, some argue (some disagree) are very similar to Dzogchen.
But nowadays, Dzogchen is taught in many buddhist traditions.
Above all, Dzogchen is above sectarianism and is universal. As @Andrew often rightly says: No one has a patent on truth.
Several historical dzogchen masters who realized the rainbow body took qualified students also from other traditions. E.g. Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen, who achieved rainbowbody in 1935.

I share your fascination with the phenomenon of rainbow body, but I am personally careful to see it as a goal to achieve, since this in itself may pose an obstacle to achieving it. This can be a subtle form of attachment.

Having received and am following teachings from teachers of different schools, I would recommend that you carefully check out different teachers in terms of comportment, ethics, compassion and respect for all sentient beings. If there is going to be a connection, then it will be a heart-connection.

P.S. As you might know, B.Alan Wallace teaches Dzogchen as well.


@KhyungMar You’ve expanded my mind with this historical context! I needed that as sometimes I feel like I’m in a maze with all these practices and lineages.

You’ve also helped clarify for me rainbow body is a fruit, not a goal! You’re right, that is key to remember that so as not to grasp at it.

My mind literally feels like it’s going to explode when I read these accounts and visualize in my mind what’s happening. To me RB is a pinnacle of human capability. I value it more than people flying into space. I just find this inner path so amazing in so many ways. I am definitely inspired and will treat it as such.

I love your comment about the heart connection. So far Andrew and Allan are the ones I truly want to keep learning from so I will look out for Allan’s books on dzogchen and anything else that helps me keep learning about the Dharma and as a bonus, RB.

Having your reply is always a blessing to me @KhyungMar so thank you for taking the time to reply so thoughtfully in order to help further my understanding. So grateful!

  • Chantal
1 Like

Excellent article!

TL;DNR boil down: :wink:

We hypothesized that some residual brain activity might persist in tukdam practitioners for a period following clinical death and that this might be a factor associated with the delay in decomposition which—although culturally recognized—has not yet been confirmed through objective measures. To detect such activity, we used EEG to monitor the brain’s response to auditory stimuli.


No recognizable EEG waveforms were discernable in any of these tukdam cases, thus we failed to find support for the hypothesis of residual brain activity following the cessation of cardiorespiratory function in tukdam cases recorded beyond 26 h postmortem.


@c_scerri Just this morning I re-read Lopon Tenzin Namdak’s book “Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings” and found (again) several interesting explanations of the “dynanism” of the process of rainbow body.
Remembering that Dzogchen or for that case rainbow body is not “owned” by any particular school and that there are many beautiful teachings from other schools as well, I send you this reading recommendation since I just freshly re-read and noticed that it goes into detail on the subject of rainbow body as a result of Thogdal practice.


Sorry for stressing the point: please keep in mind that reading and intellectualizing is fine but will never capture the acutal experience of practice. (I keep forgeting myself, sometimes :wink:


I have read in a few places that the visions that we associate with Togal practice can be also associated with naturally occurring body phenomena.

What this implies, to me, is that the phenomenon of the rainbow body is also a naturally occurring one, as is evidenced by many reports.


@Steve_Gleason Here“s what the Lopon writes about it:

„Rather, the Thogdal visions arise out of the Natural State naturally and spontaneously. The Natural State, although diffused throughout the physical body, is principally located in the hollow space witthin the physical heart (tsitta).“ p.196

My interpretation: It is said that the Thodgal visions are the dynamic display of the energy of the natural state as perceived by rigpa.
They can appear spontaneously but in order to perceive them one has to be on a state of Thekchod (either deliberately or coincidentally).

The Lopon goes on to say:
„The final stage in the development of vision is called the Exhaustion of Reality (bon-nyid zad-pa). Nevertheless these visions have the same quality and the same source as our normal vision in every day life. Because our material body is part of our karmic vision and has the same source as the Thodgal visions, at the time when all our visions dissolve, our material body will also dissolve. This occurs at the point of actual death when the impure elements of our material body will revert back (ru-log) into the subtle pure form of the elements, which are clear, coloured lights. These lights manifest as rainbows, which then dissolve into the space of the sky.“ p. 204

„The material body has been part of one‘s impure karmic vision but now, for the practitioner, the pure visions become the actual Jalupa or Rainbow Body, which is the real Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya, and one is perfectly purified.“ p. 204


This is, indeed, my understanding as well. I know I have not been formally initiated into these practices but I have spent many months experimenting with them on my own. I have found that both Trekchod and Togal work well in conjunction with Illusory Body (Sambhogakaya) practice.


@KhyungMar I can’t wait to read this my friend! Thank you for taking the time to recommend it, I consider myself lucky you re-read it. And no apologies needed :heart::pray: On another note, I’ve finished reading four books of Alan Wallace because of your inspiration :wink: My understanding in all things Dharma continues to grow and I want you to know that between the Buddha, his teachings and this Sangha…I truly feel the meaning of these words:

Buddham saranam gacchami.
I take refuge in the Buddha.

Dhammam saranam gacchami.
I take refuge in the Dharma.

Sangham saranam gacchami.
I take refuge in the Sangha.

Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami.
For the second time, I take refuge in the Buddha.

Dutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami.
For the second time, I take refuge in the Dharma.

Dutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami.
For the second time, I take refuge in the Sangha.

Tatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami.
For the third time, I take refuge in the Buddha.

Tatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami.
For the third time, I take refuge in the Dharma.

Tatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami.
For the third time, I take refuge in the Sangha.

Thank you again @KhyungMar :pray: