Here is a Japanese version of the recipe:

1st 1000 days: Subsist on a diet of water, seeds and nuts.

2nd 1000 days: Eat only roots, pine bark and a special tea made from the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree. (This is the source of the lacquer used on bowls and plates. It is excellent for repelling maggots and bacteria as well as for sealing human fate.)

Finally: Seal yourself into a cave, enter deep meditation, and await ascension.

In 1000 more days, your brother monks will unseal the cave to reveal the results. If you have successfully mummified yourself, you will be carted off for veneration in temples. If, on the other hand, the recipe has somehow failed you, you will still be appreciated for your strenuous efforts but will remain entombed in the cave.

One apparently successful monk who seems, nonetheless, to have been left behind in his cave was recently found by a man in Mongolia – who planned to show him to the world via the black market. Fortunately, the plot was uncovered by police and the 200-year old monk now resides under safekeeping at the National Centre of Forensic Expertise at Ulaanbaatar. The thief resides in jail – charged with violating Article 18 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia: attempting to smuggle an item of cultural heritage out of the country.

But why would any monk in Tibet, Japan, India, Thailand (or New York, for that matter) want to expire in meditation? Evidently, it is to achieve a higher state of consciousness known by the Tibetans as ‘tukdam,’ which translates into ‘one with Buddha Mind.’ Approaching death consciously and using the final act of dying as an opportunity to highlight the power of meditation not only can assist one in making their transition but also inspire other spiritual practitioners to continue in their efforts to become more conscious.

Recently, a Chinese statue of the Buddha, on exhibition at a museum in the Netherlands, was taken to the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort, where it was subjected to a full CT scan. Samples of its innards were extracted with an endoscope under the supervision of Buddhist art expert Erik Brujin.

What they found was a mummified monk in seated position – whom they believe may have been the Buddhist master Liuquan of the Chinese Meditation School. He died in 1100 AD. Also found within his body were bits of paper with ancient Chinese characters inscribed upon them.

Dr. Barry Kerzin, a Buddhist monk and physician to the Dalai Lama, has taken care of several people in the tukdam state. He explains that, “If the person is able to remain in this state for more than three weeks – which rarely happens – his body gradually shrinks, and in the end all that remains from the person is his hair, nails, and clothes. Usually in this case, people who live next to the monk see a rainbow that glows in the sky for several days. This means that he has found a ‘rainbow body’. This is the highest state close to the state of Buddha.”

He added: “If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha. Reaching such a high spiritual level the meditator will also help others, and all the people around will feel a deep sense of joy.”

Given that the two mummified monks left more than a rainbow behind them, they may not have achieved their ultimate goal in the process of making their exit. However, they have most certainly elicited a great deal of interest and research. And they’ve led many to wonder whether there isn’t perhaps a more accessible way to merge with Universal Consciousness – before, during, and after death.

News story summarized by Laurel Airica, www.laurelairica.com