arising from the nature of mind is crystallized into the form of

an emotion, and how its fundamental purity is then colored

and distorted by our samsaric vision to provide a continuous

source of everyday distractions and delusions.

If we really examine every aspect of our life, as I have shown,

we will discover how we go through, again and again, in

sleep and dream, in thoughts and emotions, that same process

of the bardos. And the teachings reveal to us that it is precisely

this fact—that we go through the process of the bardos

again and again, in both life and death, and at all the different

levels of consciousness—that gives us innumerable opportunities,

now and also in death, for liberation. The teachings show

us that it is the character, form, and uniqueness of the process

that offer us either the chance for liberation or the potential

for continuing in confusion. For every aspect of the whole process

hands us at the same time the chance for liberation, or

the chance for confusion.

The bardo teachings are opening a door to us, showing

us how we can step out of the uncontrolled cycle of death

and rebirth, the repetitive treadmill of ignorance, life after

life. They are telling us that throughout this process of the

bardos of life and death, whenever we can recognize and

maintain a stable awareness of the nature of mind, Rigpa, or

even when we can gain some measure of control over our

mind, we can walk through that door toward liberation.

Depending on the phase of the bardos it is applied in,

depending on your familiarity with the View of the nature

of mind itself, and depending on the depth of your understanding

of your mind, its thoughts and emotions, this

recognition will be different.

What the bardo teachings are also telling us, however, is

that what happens in our mind now in life is exactly what

will occur in the bardo states at death, since essentially there

is no difference; life and death are one in "unbroken wholeness"

and "flowing movement." This is why one of the

most accomplished Tibetan masters of the seventeenth century,

Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, explains the heart practices for

each of the bardos—this life, dying, dharmata, and becoming—in

terms of the state of our present understanding of

the nature of thoughts and emotions, and of mind and its


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