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

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

SEVENTEENIntrinsic RadianceAS THE GROUND LUMINOSITY DAWNS AT DEATH,an experienced practitioner will maintain full awareness andmerge with it, thereby attaining liberation. But if we fail torecognize the Ground Luminosity, then we encounter the nextbardo, the luminous bardo of dharmata.The teaching on the bardo of dharmata is a very specialinstruction, one specific to Dzogchen practice and treasured atthe heart of the Dzogchen teachings over the centuries. InitiallyI felt some hesitation about publicly presenting this most sacredof teachings, and in fact if there had not been any precedent Imight not have done so at all. However, the Tibetan Book of theDead and a number of other books that refer to the bardo ofdharmata have already been published, and have led to somenaive conclusions. I feel it is extremely important, and timely, tomake available a straightforward clarification of this bardo,putting it into its authentic context. I should stress that I havenot gone into any detail about the advanced practices involved;none of these practices could, under any circumstances, ever bedone effectively except with the instructions and guidance of aqualified master, and when the commitment and connectionwith that master is kept completely pure.I have gathered insights from many different sources inorder to make this chapter, which I feel is one of the mostimportant in this book, as lucid as possible. I hope thatthrough it some of you will make a connection with thisextraordinary teaching, and be inspired to investigate furtherand to begin to practice yourselves.THE FOUR PHASES OF DHARMATAThe Sanskrit word dharmata, chö nyi in Tibetan, means theintrinsic nature of everything, the essence of things as they278

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