Sizzling Sausages and Visualization
A participant told Ringu Tulku Rinpoche that he felt uncomfortable with the Tibetan way of meditation, namely visualizing deities. He preferred the Theravada way of meditating by focusing his attention on the breath. Rinpoche said in that case there’s no need for him to do any visualization. He should just continue with the breath technique. Then Rinpoche recounted a funny story about a dying Khampa. On his deathbed, he was advised by his lama to visualize Buddha Amitabha in Sukhavati above the crown of his head. But the man said he couldn’t do it. He could only think of sausages. So the lama asked him to visualize sizzling sausages instead. And when he could do that, the lama asked him to visualize further that the saussages are in Sukhavati. With this technique, the dying Khampa could focus his mind on Buddha Amitabha and his Pure Realm. He did well at the moment of his death because his mind was calm and concentrated on something positive.