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Online Spring Retreat: Part 3 of Taming of the Ego, Journey to Peace, the Bardo
April 1 @ 7:00 pm - April 3 @ 12:00 pm PDT$150
Online Spring Retreat, Part 3, The Bardo
Perfect Life, Perfect Death
Presented by Lama Geshe Yong Dong
Until we become fully enlightened we never stop learning and practicing. We can always learn when we open our minds. In this retreat we plan to learn about the Bardo state that one enters into upon bodily death.
The Book of Natural Liberation through Hearing (the original name of theTibetan Book of the Dead) provides methods for preparing for death while we are alive. The main preparation is the development of a clear picture of what to expect! Who will guide you there; who will meet you there; what will the sounds, the lights, the smells, the sights be?
In this weekend retreat, we will focus on the Tibetan concept of the Bardo.
Our lives are filled with beginnings and endings. As each moment passes, a new one appears to take its place. Nothing stands still. What happens during this process of change is a state called “the transitional phase”, which in Tibetan is called the Bardo. It is the actual moment of change occurring at the end of one phase and the beginning of the next — it is a condition of great power and potential within which anything could happen. It is a moment of great opportunity for those who can perceive it.
The Bardo generally refers to the time in between the separation of our mind or consciousness from our present physical body, to the time the consciousness enters the mother’s womb for re-birth. All Tibetan traditions teach: (1) that there are three main Bardo states; (2) that all sentient beings will experience the Bardo; and finally, (3) that the different Bardo states will arise consecutively.
In the Zhang Zhung Nyan-gyud tradition, the three Bardo states are:
The First Bardo, the Bardo of the Natural State (ka dag bon sku)
A state of mind that is like being unconscious, blank and empty is experienced by all beings with the separation of their elements and consciousness. All living sentient beings possess the state of natural or primordial mind and upon death of the physical body; all beings enter into the natural state of mind.
The Second Bardo, the Bardo of Clear Light (bon nyid ‘od gsal gyi)
Unlike the first Bardo which is completely void, in the second Bardo there is clarity. There is movement of consciousness energy which produces visions. The second Bardo has three qualities of sound, light and rays. The sound is our speech, the light is our mind and the rays are our body.
The Third Bardo, the Bardo of Becoming, the next life (pha rol srid pa’i)
The third Bardo is the intermediate state between life and death before taking rebirth in one of the six realms of Samsara. The condition is the same as in dreams – we have feelings and see everything perfectly, but nothing is stable; things are always moving and no matter what comes into this being’s thinking, he cannot stop it.
An ordinary dying person experiences a series of overwhelming visions and sensations which they perceive as coming from outside. These experiences can bring great suffering and fear.
The situation is quite different for an experienced practitioner who has prepared and has some knowledge and skills gained through study and practice. They will be able to recognize the Bardo states and, depending on individual capacity and experience, it is possible to reach enlightenment or the complete realization of mind, in the first, second or the third Bardo.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead is primarily concerned with methods that enable people to pass skillfully through the process of death without fear of the many experiences that will be encountered; however, the book is addressed as much to the living as to the dead and dying. It is implicitly a book about life. It is a book about how to live, as well as a book about how to die.
During this weekend, Tibetan Lama Geshe Yong Dong will guide and help participants to create a clearer picture of what to expect in each of the three Bardos. Through mindfulness & meditation practices on each Bardo, we can begin to take control over our lives and our fears, now and for the future. He will go more deeply into the teachings of these three states of consciousness or Bardo states in a practical way.
Daily Schedule of the Retreat
Friday, Apr 1: 7 pm – 9 pm
Saturday, Apr 2: 9 – 11:30 am, 1 – 3 pm, 7 – 8:30 pm
Sunday, Apr 3: 9:30 am – 12 pm
- There is an automatic $20.00 Administration fee for all cancellations, regardless of when the cancellation takes place.
- There are no refunds for no-shows once the retreat begins.