The Buddhist Stages of Death describe the process of dying. Specifically, they describe how consciousness separates from the physical body during death.

By being conscious of the stages, you can gain comfort in your final moments.


It is also useful to know so that you can help to guide loved ones through their farewells without them succumbing to fear and anxiety.

It also describes the process of rebirth, and how we move from one life ending to a new one beginning.

The 8 Buddhist Stages Of Death (& Rebirth)

There are eight stages in all, with each stage seeing the dissolving of one aspect of the mind, body, and spirit.

The First Dissolution

The first dissolution is of the physical form, the element of earth, and the visual senses.


Your vision will begin to blur and fade as you cease to be able to discern shape and color.

It ends with the inability to open or close your eyes at all.

Externally, the body becomes more dominated by the water element, losing its earth element – and with it the appearance of vitality.

The color drains from the skin in a process that is experienced as sinking into the ground.

The Second Dissolution

The second dissolution is of the feelings, the element of water, and the auditory senses.

You will stop feeling pleasure, pain, or anything in between. You will stop feeling altogether.

The concepts of something being pleasurable or painful or neither won’t be relevant to you anymore.

You will also experience a loss of hearing, sense of physical balance, and kinesthesis.

Externally, the body begins to dry up. Bodies stop sweating, urinating, and salivating as the water element dissolves.

Internally, you will experience a puff of smoke filling the air.

The Third Dissolution

The third dissolution is of perception, the element of fire, and the sense of smell.

Externally, your body loses warmth, and your breathing begins to take a different pattern.

The inhalations are shorter and shallower, where breathing out gets longer and harder. Breathing quickens.

Perception leaves you, along with the ability to discern objects and people. At this point, you will not recall who your loved ones are, nor what anything or anyone is called.

The nose senses are severed here, with your sense of smell being completely removed at this point.

The Fourth Dissolution

The fourth dissolution brings with it what is commonly considered to be a person’s death.

You will lose the ability to pay attention to anything in particular.

You lose all sense of motivation, drive to act or ability to enact any difference in the world. You are completely cut off from any external stimuli.

Externally, you will appear dead. Your pulse, breathing, and other vital signs will no longer register.

But internally you are still there. To you, the image is that of a flickering flame struggling to stay alight and finally burning out.

It is the air element dissolving. With the last of the four elements gone, you have severed from your physical body.

The Fifth Dissolution

The fifth dissolution is of the “gross” consciousness.

All that remains of our consciousness are the subtle forms, the higher consciousness that we can sometimes experience through meditation – only in its purest form.

Buddist say you will experience this as a bright white sky, bathing you in cleansing light as you rise into it.

Your divine masculine will move from your crown towards your heart, chakra.

The Sixth Dissolution

The sixth dissolution sees your vision turned red as your divine feminine rises from your navel towards your heart.

As this stage ends, it will be like watching a sunset from every direction, with the reds getting deeper and deeper until they eventually disappear.

The Seventh Dissolution

Your divine masculine and feminine energy drops combine and fuse at your heart, where Buddist say consciousness ultimately resides.

You will see complete blackness; all thought will stop. For a moment, you are outside of existence, a thing that isn’t.

You have returned your energy to its Source, and nothing can exist within your mind.

The Eighth Dissolution

Consciousness slowly returns, manifesting the bright light of death.

At first, you will experience what you might assume to be a bright whiteness all around you.

If you have experience with the concept, you will soon notice that you are in fact, surrounded by emptiness.


A complete vacuum, devoid of anything that could exist except your consciousness as it prepares for the crossing.

You can remain here for days as long as your body is not disturbed.

What Is The True Moment Of Death?

This description of the process of death doesn’t specify an exact moment in which you die. It is a process, and you should see it as one.

It could be said that the fourth dissolution brings death, as it brings to an end the life of the physical body.

To everybody but you, this is functionally and practically correct.

But for you, it could be the seventh dissolution, when your consciousness finally stops being.


To be reborn, your coarse consciousness of craving, grasping, and becoming will activate one of the karmas that will determine which of the six types of migrating beings you will reincarnate.

The wind element energies will “blow” your consciousness to where your next form will be conceived.

The vast majority of people will not have any control over this process.

But some skilled practitioners can choose their rebirth by remaining conscious of the entire process.

With many lifetimes of mastery, the most skilled practitioners can end the rebirth cycle completely and take charge of their soul.

At that point they have outgrown the rebirth cycle and can now forge their own destiny.

We advise you to start the process tonight, as you dream. Learn lucid dreaming; see where your cravings go.

Decide if that is where you want to be. You can click this link to find ways to start this process. Dreaming is you in pure soul form.

Have mastery over your dreams, and you will have control over your consciousness.

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