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 Author: samarpan
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:51 pm 
WILL Class Review : Tibetan Book of the Dead

The class on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, held Oct. 8, 2015, is the best WILL class (Western Institute for Lifelong Learning) I have ever attended. A big “thank you” to WILL for hosting the class, and to Michu for inviting the venerable Wangchen Rinpoche to Silver City. Wangchen is the current lineage holder of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition with monasteries and centers in Tibet, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Los Angeles. He has an excellent command of English, a wonderful sense of humor, and a simple, sincere, and welcoming presence.

Wangchen Rinpoche explained the six bardos, or “in-between states.” These bardos give us many opportunities for the realization of supreme reality and for liberation from the cycle of birth/death/rebirth. One opportunity for liberation is at the time of dying and death, when our familiar external reality is falling away, the ego is dissolving, and consciousness can identify its true nature. If this happens, there will be great clarity… and the possibility of Liberation. If consciousness fails to recognize and understand the post-death luminous bardo experiences, Liberation is missed and the Bardo of Becoming begins, leading to rebirth.

There are three bardos related to life and three bardos related to death:

1. Birth to Death… the bardo we are in now, life during our waking state
2. Dream … bardo of our nightly dreaming and dreamless sleep states
3. Meditation … anytime we are in a state of meditation (Samadhi)

4. Death … time when physical systems and bodily organs all shut down
5. Luminous … possible to realize nature of Consciousness & attain Liberation
6. Becoming … if we miss Liberation, time to enter a new womb for rebirth

Knowing what to do before, during, and after these six bardos gives great peace of mind. Wangchen Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of the Dead class was truly an opportunity to experience “Liberation through Hearing.” May all beings benefit from Wangchen’s teachings.


Recommended book: Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
PDF available free of charge from holybooks.com

Recommended mp3 audio download: Tibetan Book of the Dead
($12.95) Read by Richard Gere and available from Shambhala.com

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