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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.
Books to further your interest:
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Evans-Wentz, W. Y., editor: TIBETAN YOGA AND SECRET DOCTRINES SECOND EDITION; or, Seven Books of Wisdom of the Great Path