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

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

292 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGThe outstanding feature of the bardo of becoming is thatmind takes on the predominant role, whereas the bardo ofdharmata unfolded within the realm of Rigpa. So, in the bardoof dharmata we have a body of light, and in the bardo ofbecoming we have a mental body.In the bardo of becoming the mind is endowed withimmense clarity and unlimited mobility, yet the direction inwhich it moves is determined solely by the habitual tendenciesof our past karma. So it is called the "karmic" bardo ofbecoming, because as Kalu Rinpoche says: "It is an entirelyautomatic or blind result of our previous actions or karma, andnothing that occurs here is a conscious decision on the part ofthe being; we are simply buffeted around by the force ofkarma." 1At this point the mind has arrived at the next stage in itsprocess of gradual unfolding: out of its purest state—theGround Luminosity—through its light and energy—the appearancesof the bardo of dharmata—and so into the yet grossermanifestation of a mental form in the bardo of becoming.What takes place now at this stage is a reverse process of dissolution:the winds reappear, and along with them come thethought states connected with ignorance, desire, and anger.Then, because the memory of our past karmic body is stillfresh in our mind, we take on a "mental body."THE MENTAL BODYOur mental body in the bardo of becoming has a numberof special characteristics. It possesses all its senses. It isextremely light, lucid, and mobile, and its awareness is said tobe seven times clearer than in life. It is also endowed with arudimentary kind of clairvoyance, which is not under consciouscontrol, but gives the mental body the ability to readothers' minds.At first this mental body will have a form similar to thebody of the life just lived, yet it is without any defects and inthe prime of life. Even if you were handicapped or sick in thislife, you will have a perfect mental body in the bardo ofbecoming.One of the ancient teachings of Dzogchen tells us that themental body is about the size of a child of eight to ten yearsold.Because of the force of conceptual thinking, also known as"the karmic wind," the mental body is unable to remain still,

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