Just how the sun shines on to this world without ever discriminating, the compassionate wisdom energy of all of the buddhas pervades everything. No matter where you are, no matter what you do, this energy is always there, it is always with you.
But just as you need to open your eyes to experience the light of the sun, you have to open your mind with unshakable trust, gratitude, and devotion to experience the blessings of the energy of the buddhas. The more that your mind opens, the greater the blessings that will energize your mind and power your practice all of the way to your enlightenment.
While beginning my study of ‘The Tibetan Book of The Dead,’ I came across the word, Bardo. Bardo means a gap or transition. A space between.
I think of Bardo as being like a moment when you step toward the edge of a precipice; such a moment, for example, is when a master introduces a disciple to the essential, original, and innermost nature of his or her mind. The greatest and most charged of these moments, however, is the moment of death. ~ “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche.
There are many bardos. Our life is full of these junctures: bardos of sleep, bardos of dreams to name only a couple. The space or gap between death and rebirth is a bardo and probably the one most people think of first. It is vital to understand this word when we think of life and death.
When we see that death is a space between, a temporary place where we pass through, then the fear is lessened. What is within that space is of importance.
This small article is not an exhaustive study of the ‘gaps’. It is only a light touching of the meaning so we can move forward with some understanding as we dig deeper into Bardo Thodal.
Death is not the end but the beginning of another chapter. So let us live with love and compassion during this life and have no regrets when the bardo of dying arrives. We can and should make use of our life to find meaning now.
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness which is without suffering.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from both attachment and hatred, holding some close and others distant.
Generally speaking, the Buddhist understanding is that Birth as a human being is one the most ideal forms of existence because it is conductive to practicing Dharma. ~ “The Four Noble Truths: Fundamentals of the Buddhist Teachings” by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama
The first of the Four Noble Truths is the Truth of Suffering.
What is suffering? Buddhism describes three levels or types of suffering. This is called ‘the suffering of suffering’, the second, ‘the suffering of change’, and the third is ‘the suffering of conditioning’.
The suffering of suffering: the suffering of birth, sickness, aging, and death.
The suffering of change: things we would normally think as pleasurable.
The suffering of conditioning: What is the nature of things? Eveything happens in samsara is due to ignorance
(complied from ‘The Four Noble Truths’ by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, fourteenth printing – 2009)
In training the mind, perspective is of crucial importance. We cannot expect to transform our minds in a few minutes or even a few weeks, thinking, perhaps, that the blessings of an enlightened individual will enable us to obtain immediate results. Such an attitude is not realistic. It takes a long time, sometimes years or even decades; but if we persevere, there is no doubt we will make progress. ~ His Holiness. The 14th Dalai Lama