I was reading an article in National Geographic about death, in which there was a brief reference to "thukdam". This was described as a form of meditation that takes place in India, during which monks meditate for a week or more with no biological processes occurring in their bodies (essentially, their bodies are dead), and then come out of the meditation with no apparent consequences. What is this meditation and could someone provide references for further info?



2 Answers 2


Tukdam is a state of meditation that is practiced by highly realized masters of Buddhism. They do go into a near death state that is called Ground Luminosity, generally for 3-4 days. They neither eat nor drink during this time, and are not moved or touched until they arise on there own. Then at the time a master senses his own death is eminent, he will enage in this meditation until death, at which point the body is left undisturbed for three days, so that the consciousness can fully exit the body.

  • Good explanation. A relevant study may also be the Jhanas, and the neither-perception-nor-non-perception absorption, which is not liberative, but can suspend.
    – sova
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:15

I think it happens to the one who is fully dedicated to the holly book n concentrate on Buddha which I can give example of our lama who died last week n he is still in thukdam now

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