example of compassion. Yet even when he became well

known he did not change. He still wore the same simple old

clothes, and he lived in one small room. When anyone came

and offered him a gift, he would make a present of it to his

next visitor. And if someone cooked for him, he would eat; if

not, he would go without.

One day a master whom I know well went to visit Kunu

Lama, to ask him some questions about the bardos. This master

is a professor, extremely well-versed in the tradition of the

Tibetan Book of the Dead, and experienced in the practices connected

with it. He told me how he asked his questions, and

then listened, spellbound, to Kunu Lama's reply. He had never

heard anything like it before. As Kunu Lama described the

bardos, it was so vivid and precise that it was as if he were

giving someone directions to go to Kensington High Street, or

Central Park, or the Champs Elysées. It was as if he was actually


Kunu Lama was pointing out the bardos directly from his

own experience. A practitioner of his caliber has journeyed

through all the different dimensions of reality. And it is

because the bardo states are all contained within our minds

that they can be revealed and freed through the bardo practices.

These teachings come from the wisdom mind of the buddhas,

who can see life and death like looking in the palm of

their hand.

We too are buddhas. So if we can practice in the bardo of

this life, and go deeper and deeper into the nature of our

mind, then we can discover this knowledge of the bardos, and

the truth of these teachings will unfold in us by itself. That is

why the natural bardo of this life is of the utmost importance.

It is here and now that the whole preparation for all the bardos

takes place. "The supreme way of preparing," it is said, "is

now—to become enlightened in this lifetime."

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