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

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

298 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGThe shifting and precarious nature of the bardo of becomingcan also be the source of many opportunities for liberation,and the susceptibility of mind in this bardo can be turned toour advantage. All we have to do is remember one instruction;all it needs is for one positive thought to spring into our mind.If we can recall any teaching that has inspired us to the natureof mind, if we have even one good inclination toward practice,or a deep connection with a spiritual practice, then thatalone can free us.In the bardo of becoming, the buddha realms do not appearspontaneously as they do in the bardo of dharmata. Just byremembering them, however, you can transfer yourself theredirectly by the power of your mind, and proceed towardenlightenment. It is said that if you can invoke a buddha, hewill immediately appear before you. But remember, eventhough the possibilities are limitless, we must have at leastsome, if not total, control over our mind in this bardo; andthis is extremely difficult, because the mind here is so vulnerable,fragmented, and restless.So in this bardo, whenever you can suddenly retrieve yourawareness, even for a moment, immediately recall your connectionwith spiritual practice, remember your master or buddha,and invoke them with all your strength. If in life youhave developed the natural reflex of praying whenever thingsbecome difficult or critical, or slip beyond your control, theninstantly you will be able to invoke or call to mind an enlightenedbeing, such as Buddha or Padmasambhava, Tara orAvalokiteshvara, Christ or the Virgin Mary. If you are able toinvoke them fervently with one-pointed devotion, and with allyour heart, then through the power of their blessing, yourmind will be liberated into the space of their wisdom mind.Prayer in this life may seem sometimes to bring little result,but its effects in the bardo are unprecedentedly powerful.Yet the description I have given you of the bardo showsthe sheer difficulty of focusing the mind at this juncture, if wehave had no previous training. Think how almost impossibleit is to remember something like a prayer in a dream or nightmare,how impotent and powerless we feel in them; in thebardo of becoming it is just as hard, if not harder, to collectour thoughts at all. This is why the watchword of the TibetanBook of the Dead, repeated over and over again, is: "Do not bedistracted." As it points out:

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