Tag Archives: The Bardo

Preliminary remarks: The Lankavatarian Book of the Dead

Perhaps the greatest words that were bestowed upon me during this go-round of the diurnal spin of samsara came from my maternal grandfather: “I seldom weep at funerals, but I always find myself shedding a tear when a baby is born into this world.” His words of wisdom did not originate from some deep immersion into the epistemological bowels of some eastern-esoteric philosophy, but rather from a simple (he was a Christian Fundamentalist) observation that birth into this world is delivery into the realm of some form of suffering. It’s an innate understanding. An understanding deeply ingrained into a psyche that has perhaps endured eons upon eons of life, death, and rebirth; in essence, being stuck on the karmic spin of what the Tibetan Buddhists refer to as the Wheel of Life. Like its Tibetan counterpart, the Lankavatarian Book of the Dead is an expedient vehicle that attempts to map the territory of what this psychic-journey entails, i.e., mastering the Bardo Pathways that lead to the beginning of liberation from samsaric incarceration, or, if all else fails, at least some direction and insight that will lead to a favorable rebirth—like that of a non-returner, an awareness that is indelibly linked with the imprint of immeasurable nirvanic satisfaction in the clear-light of boundless Dharmakayic ecstasy. read more

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