The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

BARDOS AND OTHER REALITIES 111acquainted and really familiar with the nature of mind in yourlifetime through spiritual practice. And this is why, rather surprisingly,it is said in our tradition that a person who is liberatedat the moment of death is considered to be liberated inthis lifetime, and not in one of the bardo states after death; forit is within this lifetime that the essential recognition of theClear Light has taken place and been established. This is a crucialpoint to understand.OTHER REALITIESI have said that the bardos are opportunities, but what is itexactly about the bardos that makes it possible for us to seizethe opportunities they offer? The answer is simple: They areall different states, and different realities, of mind.In the Buddhist training we prepare, through meditation, todiscover precisely the various interrelated aspects of mind, andto skillfully enter different levels of consciousness. There is adistinct and exact relation between the bardo states and thelevels of consciousness we experience throughout the cycle oflife and death. So as we move from one bardo to another,both in life and death, there is a corresponding change in consciousnesswhich, through spiritual practice, we can intimatelyacquaint ourselves with, and come, in the end, completely tocomprehend.Since the process that unfolds in the bardos of death isembedded in the depths of our mind, it manifests in life alsoat many levels. There is, for example, a vivid correspondencebetween the degrees in subtlety of consciousness we movethrough in sleep and dream, and the three bardos associatedwith death:• Going to sleep is similar to the bardo of dying, where theelements and thought processes dissolve, opening into theexperience of the Ground Luminosity.• Dreaming is akin to the bardo of becoming, the intermediatestate where you have a clairvoyant and highly mobile"mental body" that goes through all kinds of experiences. Inthe dream state too we have a similar kind of body, thedream body, in which we undergo all the experiences ofdream life.• In between the bardo of dying and the bardo of becomingis a very special state of luminosity or Clear Light called, asI have said, the "bardo of dharmata." This is an experience

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