On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Tilopa » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:20 am

bardoq wrote:But the Bardo was not part of the Buddha teachings?

It most certainly was.

Or in what document does the Buddha state that the Bardo existence may result in 7 deaths * 7 days = 49 days maximum.

The teachings are found in the Anuttarayoga Tantras of the New Translation Schools. I'm not sure of the source for the Nyingma.
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:23 am

bardoq wrote:But the Bardo was not part of the Buddha teachings?


Earlier in this thread I quoted sources mentioning an intermediate state in the Pali Canon. The word 'Bardo' is of course not used.

If it is mentioned there, then it is also part of the Mahayana.

P.S. The troll Hannze on Freesangha is not a valid source of anything except foolishness. ;)
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:53 am

bardoq wrote:Are you sure that the max 49 days are not same as 49 days in the physical? Do you have a reference for that?
Commentaries to the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Scientist Stephen LaBerge has shown that time in dreams progress at about the same rate as time progresses in real life for similar events.
Well if a scientist said it then everybodys personal experience in the dream bardo must be false then, right??? :rolleye:
Or in what document does the Buddha state that the Bardo existence may result in 7 deaths * 7 days = 49 days maximum?
What is this 7 deaths multiplied by seven days theory that you have come up with? It does not say this anywhere. And what is this "Where does the Buddha say?" deal? In Mahayana and Vajrayana there are countless Buddhas. Guru Padmasambhava was also a Buddha and he wrote the "Tibetan Book of the Dead".
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:20 am

gregkavarnos wrote:What is this 7 deaths multiplied by seven days theory that you have come up with? It does not say this anywhere.

I think it's the words of Dalai Lama, as pointed out to me by someone else in this thread:

"If a place of birth appropriate to one's predispositions is not found, a small death occurs after seven days, and one is reborn into another intermediate state. This can occur at most six times, with the result that the longest period spent in the intermediate state is forty-nine days."

-
On Buddha - I thought there was only one Buddha, but if I'm wrong, the first Buddha then, I guess it's he who started Buddhism? The prince?
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:32 am

Go here http://www.scribd.com/doc/80948194/Padm ... f-the-Dead
sign up, download the book, READ IT and then come back with some more valid questions.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:22 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:There are also Pali Canon references.

The Tibetans did not invent the idea of an intermediate state, and it should not be easily dismissed as as a cultural accretion:

http://issuu.com/shimali/docs/antarabhava

I have to see that as a sort of inconclusive statement. Your referred-to document, doesn't state
that the first Buddha knew of the existence of an intermediate-state Bardo. I can't draw that
conclusion, having read your linked document.

Having read it I have some comments. First, your linked document is so complicated, it makes it
difficult for me to verify anything. Also, all sources referring to the Bardo are several years after
the first Buddha died.

Secondly, if none of the first Buddha's teachings mention _anything_ about such an important
phenomena as the intermediate-state after physical death, I actually doubt he knew about it.
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:41 pm

bardoq wrote:I have to see that as a sort of inconclusive statement. Your referred-to document, doesn't state
that the first Buddha knew of the existence of an intermediate-state Bardo. I can't draw that
conclusion, having read your linked document.
In the Theravadran Abhidhamma text Abhidhammattha Sangaha there are multiple references (and definitions) to a Death consciousness (cutticitta) followed by a rebirth linking consciousness (patisandhi citta) before the next/new stream (bhavanga) arises.

Anyway, this is a Mahayana and Vajrayana forum so it is not necessary to take everything back to Buddha Shakyamuni. Who, by the way, is not the first Buddha f this world system anyway and this fact is recognised by Theravadrans as well.

Do everyone (especially yourself) a favour and go read the book I linked to if you want to learn about the bardo of death.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:20 pm

bardoq wrote:QUESTION 1:
Can a human, after death, get stuck in the In-Between State for several years?

I clearly remembered and talked about my former life and death, from the age of 3. My parents were horrified, did not believe such things were possible, and told me to shut up. I shut up.
As an adult, I found myself staring at the physical remains of that former lifetime, still standing and just as I had left them at the time of my death in that former life, on the other side of the world, in a country I had absolutely no connection to in this life, and in a language I do not understand.
Between my death in that former life and my birth in this one, by our calendar, it was a little over 10 years.
I would not, however, refer to any of it as "getting stuck" any more than I would refer to a baby just learning to walk as being "stuck." It is simply a developmental process.
bardoq wrote: QUESTION 2:
Can a human in the Physical (in incarnation), help a stuck person (who is in the In-Between State) become un-stuck? Un-Stuck = meaning that the (previously) stuck person can now move on (possible to another incarnation)?

The dead are not really any different than the living, and human beings (living or dead) let go of their attachments, their being "stuck to" things only at such time that they themselves are ready and willing to release those things and let them go, and not before. It is a developmental process. It is a matter of their own personal intention and will to release those things that they cling to, that they get "stuck to." It is not a matter of anyone else somehow prying those individuals away from those things they are clinging to/"stuck to."

If you wish to help either the living or the dead to release and let go of their own personal attachments (to which they are tightly clinging and are therefore "stuck"), you simply bless and encourage them (offer metta) and exemplify the release and letting go of your own personal attachments. Your own personal example will serve as a model for their observation and contemplation until such time that they feel ready to try such behavior for themselves. The process is very similar to babies learning to walk when they are developmentally ready and after having observed other human beings walking around them for some time.
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Anders » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:59 pm

What is 'a day ' in a non-earthly realm? I am presuming there is no sun the bardo revolves around at the same speed and distance as the earth.

And that is assuming time flows at a similar rate as it does in the saha world.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:36 pm

bardoq wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:There are also Pali Canon references.

The Tibetans did not invent the idea of an intermediate state, and it should not be easily dismissed as as a cultural accretion:

http://issuu.com/shimali/docs/antarabhava

I have to see that as a sort of inconclusive statement. Your referred-to document, doesn't state
that the first Buddha knew of the existence of an intermediate-state Bardo. I can't draw that
conclusion, having read your linked document.

Having read it I have some comments. First, your linked document is so complicated, it makes it
difficult for me to verify anything. Also, all sources referring to the Bardo are several years after
the first Buddha died.

Secondly, if none of the first Buddha's teachings mention _anything_ about such an important
phenomena as the intermediate-state after physical death, I actually doubt he knew about it.


By your logic, since there is no contemporary written record of Shakyamuni's words you will always be dissatisfied, as all written references to Buddha's teachings were composed long after his death.

Why would Shakyamuni use a word like 'Bardo'? Again, your logic is based on a non sequitur and is always going to lead to dissatisfaction. If a French person speaks of 'Mort' and an English person speaks of 'Dead' , the use by the French person of 'Mort' is not proof that they invented something unique just because the English person does not use the same word.

Finally, as Greg patiently states - Shakyamuni was not the first Buddha, and as this is a Mahayana forum the teachings of other Buddhas are considered as valid. Again, this leads to your dissatisfaction.

Members have quoted you Pali sources as a kind gesture, completely unnecessary in a Mahayana context. I can't personally see how you can be helped more, but good luck seeking to disprove the existence of the Bardo on the basis of vocabulary rather than the phenomenon itself.
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Six Deaths in Bardo

Postby bardoq » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:48 pm

According to Dalai Lama's words, a (physically) dead person's being may die repeatedly
in the Bardo/intermediate-state:

"If a place of birth appropriate to one's predispositions is not found, a small death occurs
after seven days, and one is reborn into another intermediate state. This can occur at most
six times, with the result that the longest period spent in the intermediate state is forty-nine days."


(I notice that Dalai Lama talks about "beings" almost as equivalent to "consciousnesses".)

-
MY QUESTIONS:

Has any one actually observed a being die in the Bardo? In such a case, how do you know
that a "small death" (why small?) actually occurred and could you stay in the "astral"
to observe the next Bardo rebirth?

What validations (beside Dalai Lama's own words) do there exist for such small Bardo-deaths
(up to 6 deaths apparently)? If anyone, who has seen this event happen?
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:20 pm

bardoq wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:The 49 days spent in the bardo are not 49 calender days. Again consider dreams. You can be asleep for 30 minutes yet live a whole lifetime during those 30 minutes in the bardo of sleep.

Are you sure that the max 49 days are not same as 49 days in the physical? Do you have a reference for that?

Scientist Stephen LaBerge has shown that time in dreams progress at about the same rate as time progresses in real life for similar events.

Edit: Corrected typo.

Note that the deceased can take rebirth as a hungry spirit, for instance. So, after the 49 days have passed he could still linger in the same place, just not as a deceased human in the intermediate state, but as someone pertaining to a different class of beings.
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Jinzang » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:37 pm

The existence of an intermediate being between rebirth was a point of contention among the 18 early schools of Buddhism. Theravadins rejected the idea, but Sarvastivadins accepted it. It is mentioned, for example, in the Sarvastivadin Abhidharmakosha and the Theravadin Katthavatthu. As in most things, the Tibetans accepted and built upon the Sarvastivadin texts.
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:50 pm

Jinzang wrote:The existence of an intermediate being between rebirth was a point of contention among the 18 early schools of Buddhism. Theravadins rejected the idea, but Sarvastivadins accepted it. It is mentioned, for example, in the Sarvastivadin Abhidharmakosha and the Theravadin Katthavatthu. As in most things, the Tibetans accepted and built upon the Sarvastivadin texts.
They did not reject it outright, they ascribed 2 moment of consciousness to it as I pointed out above.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:30 am

bardoq wrote:Has any one actually observed a being die in the Bardo? In such a case, how do you know
that a "small death" (why small?) actually occurred and could you stay in the "astral"
to observe the next Bardo rebirth?
What validations (beside Dalai Lama's own words) do there exist for such small Bardo-deaths
(up to 6 deaths apparently)? If anyone, who has seen this event happen?

I am no philosopher nor nun and can only tell you what I myself have directly observed as a lay person:
1. Observation of the death of a human being on the earth plane, followed by observation of that human being on the bardo/astral/other side:
The light of a human being vacates the (subsequently motionless, lifeless, decaying) physical body. The observation of the light leaving the body and taking human form on the bardo/astral/other side is a phenomenon readily observable by anyone, except for the fact that observation of the phenomenon is inhibited in direct proportion to the amount of desire, fear, or attachment one experiences at the time. Young children tend to observe the phenomenon much more readily and clearly than adults, and will often comment, react, or ask about it, as they have far less desire, fear, or attachment than adults.
The bardo/astral/other side surrounds all of us continuously and is another dimension of reality. Your perception of it is simply inhibited by your desire, fear, and your attachment to the earth plane. Attachment to the earth plane gets significantly weakened if you have ever almost died (near death experience.) The bardo/astral/other side plane is nothing out of the ordinary, is readily observable reality, and is no big deal. Adults often tend to get all fussy over such phenomena and tell kids to shut up about them because such phenomena offend the adults' (supposedly adult? scientific? laughable!) desires, fears, and preconceptions.

2. Observations of human beings who are "dead" and having their existence on the bardo/astral/other side:
The "dead" who are on the bardo/astral/other side manifest a physical form reflecting their own thoughts. They do not "occupy" a physical form that they would ever subsequently vacate and leave lifeless and abandoned behind them as they leave a dead body behind on the earth plane. They manifest their physical form according to their thoughts, and most seem to wish to manifest their form as looking to be age 20 or so. The dead are no big deal and not really any different than the living. I have never heard one use the words "bardo" nor "astral;" they simply call it "the other side" and never refer to anyone as "dead." (And if you ask if they are dead they pretty much indignantly and universally say something to the effect of "I could just as well ask the same thing about you!" ) The dead (those manifesting on the bardo/astral/other side after abandoning a lifeless body on the earth plane) are observable if one has no desire, fear, or attachment. They always show up at their funerals and may readily be observed mingling among their grieving loved ones (who generally appear to be completely oblivious to them), and they sometimes tease or make rude comments, just as the living do. Don't ever laugh at the jokes/antics of the dead or they'll bother you to deliver messages for them to the living. If you are bothered by them, simply come up with some desire, fear, or big attachment to the earth plane and your own priorities there and your problem will be solved. The dead are not alone nor are they stuck anywhere or to anything but to their own thoughts which they do not wish to release.

3. Observation of the migration of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side to another and separate plane of existence:
I have observed the extreme contraction of the visible light of a human being manifesting a human form on the Bardo such that said individual is reduced in form to a tiny point of light which subsequently vanishes, apparently passes through the barrier between the worlds, then manifests and expands outward onto another plane. It is readily observable. All you need do is observe a human being on the bardo/astral/other side (standing around waiting for the conception of an (apparently) assigned body on the earth plane).and then subsequently observe the conception of that individual onto this plane and into that body. Conception is an extremely interesting phenomenon of light. Unlike death, which is observable as an upward and outward movement of the light of a human being vacating its physical body on this plane and subsequently manifesting its thought form on the bardo/astral/other side, conception is observable as an extreme downward and inward contraction of the light/thought form of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side, followed by its expansion and manifestation on the earth plane into a physical body. If that phenomenon is what they call a "little" death on the bardo, it would make sense. It is not the "death" part that is "little." The full-sized adult human thoughtform/lightform observable on the bardo/astral/other side is what "becomes little" or "completely inwardly collapses," apparently in order to somehow transcend the barrier between the planes of existence and subsequently expand and manifest as light occupying a body on another plane (the earth plane).

4. Observation and experience of post-death phenomena:
My death in 1943 was a great physical release and relief from the agony of living in the hell of that time and place. I refused to leave my bombed city, but spent some time walking all over the city because I wanted to see how much of it was left standing and if my children would survive or not. It is easy to see what is going on all around a bombed city when you can freely walk through walls and mountains of broken brick bombing rubble without disturbing yourself nor any of it. The living cannot do that, the mountains of broken brick rubble come down on top of them like an avalanche that traps and kills them in a very ugly manner. That time and place was truly hell. I did not see the end of the war nor the rebuilding of anything at all. The history books of the present day say the war ended in 1945 and the rebuilding began shortly thereafter, and so my time wandering the bombed city was certainly less than those 2 years of earthplane time, and less than all the fires burning out and the smoke clearing from the sky.
I suppose I fit the description of a "hungry ghost" after I died. I flatly refused to leave that hell of a ruin that was my bombed city and was terribly concerned about the fate of my children. It took me a long time to finally let go of and leave that place. When I finally left that place, I would describe the subsequent experience as myself dissolving into light. If I looked like a collapsing star or a "little death on the bardo" to anyone else observing, I don't know. After that I have no memories until my earliest memory in this life after my birth a little over 10 years later by the calendar here. It was amazing to see flowers and greenery and life and nature again as a child after having lived and died in that hell as an adult.

It was a unique form of "bardo hell" to be born as a child into this world remembering dying as an adult in front of her children in this same world in 1943. It is a unique form of "bardo hell" to desperately try to communicate and find out 10+ years later (as a helpless toddler oneself) if one's own former children are still alive somewhere on the face of the earth with one's current parents towering over and demanding that one shut up about it. I resented having to be a child and not be listened to and treated as an adult, (as I had certainly been older than those adults when I had died), and I resented the name they had given me because it was not my former name... and so at age 4 they laughingly referred to me as "the old lady." When I was 7 years old a kindly Christian minister told me to ask him absolutely anything about life, death, and God because he was a minister who (supposedly) knew it all and would help me to understand it all. I told him about my experiences and memories of life and death and being reborn as a child and sought his help to find out what had happened to my own children from my former life (had they survived the war?)..... and he went running away from me down a hallway in terror, shaking his head, his hands planted firmly over his ears, and literally repeating loudly over and over again "No, no, NO, we do NOT believe any of this! This is NOT in accordance with our faith!"
.... demonstrating to me at age 7, yet again, that all adults were no better than terrified 2 year olds. Sigh.

It seemed that I had ended up in a unique bardo hell here on earth where adults behaved like frightened children, endlessly screaming, whining, running away from, refusing to listen, and demanding that a child shut up and quit recounting memories and facts of a war they didn't want to hear about. Sigh.

How many deaths can one experience and how many hells are on the bardo? From what I have experienced and observed, you, I, and everybody else on this planet might just as well be described as presently living in the various hells of the bardo right here, right now, on the earth plane of our daily lives...
and I wish you best of luck with yours!
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:11 am

There are some things which I would like a better definition of:

1. Little death, as in those 7 days bardo states. Death in the physical is that the physical body stops working, metabolism stops and it decays. But what is this bardo little death? Why is it a death and just not a transformation? What proof is there that it is a "death" and not something else? How is it defined? It's not overly important, so if there is no clear answer, this question can be left unanswered.

2. Hungry ghosts. How are they defined? Could it just be a mental state rather than a specific kind of being (the "hungry ghost"). I've seen very few hungry ghosts who fit the description of a Preta. But I've seen other kinds of persons in the non-physical, who have passed away. I would like a better definition if possible and also something which covers those stuck in other kinds of non-physical environments. A lot (most?) of them are not even hungry or thirsty.

Aura wrote:The bardo/astral/other side surrounds all of us continuously and is another dimension of reality. Your perception of it is simply inhibited by your desire, fear, and your attachment to the earth plane. Attachment to the earth plane gets significantly weakened if you have ever almost died (near death experience.) The bardo/astral/other side plane is nothing out of the ordinary, is readily observable reality, and is no big deal.

If you with attachment mean, physical coupling to the physical body, well.. then ok, yes.

But why do you think desire & fear, and not, say, some kind of (physical?) non-physical inability prevents perception?


Aura wrote:2. Observations of human beings who are "dead" and having their existence on the bardo/astral/other side:
The "dead" who are on the bardo/astral/other side manifest a physical form reflecting their own thoughts. They do not "occupy" a physical form that they would ever subsequently vacate and leave lifeless and abandoned behind them as they leave a dead body behind on the earth plane. They manifest their physical form according to their thoughts, and most seem to wish to manifest their form as looking to be age 20 or so. The dead are no big deal and not really any different than the living. I have never heard one use the words "bardo" nor "astral;" they simply call it "the other side" and never refer to anyone as "dead." (And if you ask if they are dead they pretty much indignantly and universally say something to the effect of "I could just as well ask the same thing about you!" ) The dead (those manifesting on the bardo/astral/other side after abandoning a lifeless body on the earth plane) are observable if one has no desire, fear, or attachment. They always show up at their funerals and may readily be observed mingling among their grieving loved ones (who generally appear to be completely oblivious to them), and they sometimes tease or make rude comments, just as the living do. Don't ever laugh at the jokes/antics of the dead or they'll bother you to deliver messages for them to the living. If you are bothered by them, simply come up with some desire, fear, or big attachment to the earth plane and your own priorities there and your problem will be solved. The dead are not alone nor are they stuck anywhere or to anything but to their own thoughts which they do not wish to release.


I agree with most of what you write, except for two things, the problem with delivering messages from the dead to the living. I don't see it as a problem and many dead people don't bother me at all. Why should I see the deliverance of a message as a problem?

I don't agree with the statement that "the dead are not ... stuck". I would rather say that most of them are not stuck, but some dead persons seem to end up in a kind of stuck state where they have great problems moving on, if they don't get help.

Aura wrote:3. Observation of the migration of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side to another and separate plane of existence:
I have observed the extreme contraction of the visible light of a human being manifesting a human form on the Bardo such that said individual is reduced in form to a tiny point of light which subsequently vanishes, apparently passes through the barrier between the worlds, then manifests and expands outward onto another plane. It is readily observable. All you need do is observe a human being on the bardo/astral/other side (standing around waiting for the conception of an (apparently) assigned body on the earth plane).and then subsequently observe the conception of that individual onto this plane and into that body. Conception is an extremely interesting phenomenon of light. Unlike death, which is observable as an upward and outward movement of the light of a human being vacating its physical body on this plane and subsequently manifesting its thought form on the bardo/astral/other side, conception is observable as an extreme downward and inward contraction of the light/thought form of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side, followed by its expansion and manifestation on the earth plane into a physical body. If that phenomenon is what they call a "little" death on the bardo, it would make sense. It is not the "death" part that is "little." The full-sized adult human thoughtform/lightform observable on the bardo/astral/other side is what "becomes little" or "completely inwardly collapses," apparently in order to somehow transcend the barrier between the planes of existence and subsequently expand and manifest as light occupying a body on another plane (the earth plane).


Thanks for describing it, as I've been unable to observe this phenomena. But it doesn't fully capture the original question and the description by DL that a dead person in the bardo goes through a little death and rebirth in-the-bardo. It's in the bardo these 6 repeated rebirths may take place according to DLs words. Or, well... Those 6 "little deaths" are not that important to me. Instead I would say that it's the absolute limit of 49 days that is the problem for me.

Aura wrote:4. Observation and experience of post-death phenomena:
My death in 1943 was a great physical release and relief from the agony of living in the hell of that time and place. I refused to leave my bombed city, but spent some time walking all over the city because I wanted to see how much of it was left standing and if my children would survive or not. It is easy to see what is going on all around a bombed city when you can freely walk through walls and mountains of broken brick bombing rubble without disturbing yourself nor any of it. The living cannot do that, the mountains of broken brick rubble come down on top of them like an avalanche that traps and kills them in a very ugly manner. That time and place was truly hell. I did not see the end of the war nor the rebuilding of anything at all. The history books of the present day say the war ended in 1945 and the rebuilding began shortly thereafter, and so my time wandering the bombed city was certainly less than those 2 years of earthplane time, and less than all the fires burning out and the smoke clearing from the sky.


This is most interesting. Could I ask you, the time you walked around, was that longer than 49 days? Because that's one of my first and perhaps most important question, if the bardo period really is a maximum of only 49 days?

Aura wrote:I suppose I fit the description of a "hungry ghost" after I died. I flatly refused to leave that hell of a ruin that was my bombed city and was terribly concerned about the fate of my children. It took me a long time to finally let go of and leave that place. When I finally left that place, I would describe the subsequent experience as myself dissolving into light. If I looked like a collapsing star or a "little death on the bardo" to anyone else observing, I don't know. After that I have no memories until my earliest memory in this life after my birth a little over 10 years later by the calendar here. It was amazing to see flowers and greenery and life and nature again as a child after having lived and died in that hell as an adult.


Hmm. Are you sure you fit into the description of a "hungry ghost"? Perhaps in a very broad sense, then? The description of a "hungry ghost"/Preta is kind of limited in my opinion, and doesn't quite fit the majority of dead persons/"ghosts" I've encountered, some seem to be stuck, other "ghosts" are apparently not having any trouble at all, and may even appear as some kind of non-physical helpers to others, both living and dead.

And also, did you observe any transition between the bardo state and becoming a "hungry ghost"?

Ok, it seems that you dissolved into light, which could have been some other state, perhaps happening in 1943-1944 after the "hungry ghost" state? Then you spent about 10 years in that other "dissolved-into-light" state? Do you remember anything of that time, after you managed to leave/dissolve into light from the bombed out city? Do you think the expression "little death" is appropriate for this dissolving into light event, instead of say; "transformation"?

Aura wrote:It was a unique form of "bardo hell" to be born as a child into this world remembering dying as an adult in front of her children in this same world in 1943. It is a unique form of "bardo hell" to desperately try to communicate and find out 10+ years later (as a helpless toddler oneself) if one's own former children are still alive somewhere on the face of the earth with one's current parents towering over and demanding that one shut up about it. I resented having to be a child and not be listened to and treated as an adult, (as I had certainly been older than those adults when I had died), and I resented the name they had given me because it was not my former name... and so at age 4 they laughingly referred to me as "the old lady." When I was 7 years old a kindly Christian minister told me to ask him absolutely anything about life, death, and God because he was a minister who (supposedly) knew it all and would help me to understand it all. I told him about my experiences and memories of life and death and being reborn as a child and sought his help to find out what had happened to my own children from my former life (had they survived the war?)..... and he went running away from me down a hallway in terror, shaking his head, his hands planted firmly over his ears, and literally repeating loudly over and over again "No, no, NO, we do NOT believe any of this! This is NOT in accordance with our faith!"
.... demonstrating to me at age 7, yet again, that all adults were no better than terrified 2 year olds. Sigh.

It seemed that I had ended up in a unique bardo hell here on earth where adults behaved like frightened children, endlessly screaming, whining, running away from, refusing to listen, and demanding that a child shut up and quit recounting memories and facts of a war they didn't want to hear about. Sigh.

How many deaths can one experience and how many hells are on the bardo? From what I have experienced and observed, you, I, and everybody else on this planet might just as well be described as presently living in the various hells of the bardo right here, right now, on the earth plane of our daily lives...
and I wish you best of luck with yours!


Arghh.. :)

Well, physical life takes its toll, its hard to be among the living.

Thanks very much for your very detailed answer. It was most appreciated. I haven't had experiences in such a deep manner., but I've observed and helped several dead persons move from their stuck state.

Problem for me is that I'm wondering if I make it all up? Is this help I give, just some kind of mind-illusion. I would like to get some more proofs, even if they are only "proofs" in the sense that I get other peoples life-stories or experiences in the non-physical/astral/bardo/something.

And yes, I've tried to ask the dead persons about details of their lives, to get verifications, but with very limited success, and I would say that even the most skilled mediums seem to fail when scrutinized by scientists. So I've abandoned the idea to get hard proofs. Instead I try to find similar experiences, descriptions from other sources, which may contain some kind of validation.

That's one of the reasons I've turned to a Buddhist forum. If my own experiences makes sense, others, and specially Buddhist nuns/monks who interact with the non-physical, should be able to validate some parts of what I've observed. If I go to a medium, that person will not provide me with more proofs, sometimes that person knows less than I or just want me to believe in anything by mere faith. And faith alone is not proof good enough to me. :)

Just wanted to give some background, because the bardo limit of max 49 days is such a hard and almost scientific limit (like -> the Moon orbits Earth in 28 days), that it has created much doubt and questions in me.

Thanks for your very interesting answer.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:32 pm

Aura wrote:1. Observation of the death of a human being on the earth plane, followed by observation of that human being on the bardo/astral/other side:
Other side of what? The intermediate state (bardo) of death is just another one of six intermediate states: Shinay (birth and life), Milam (sleep), Samten (meditation), Chikkhai (the moment of death), Chonyid (the time of death), Sidpa (transmigration). There is no other side, there is just a continuous flow of consciousness between these six states.
The light of a human being vacates the (subsequently motionless, lifeless, decaying) physical body. The observation of the light leaving the body and taking human form on the bardo/astral/other side is a phenomenon readily observable by anyone, except for the fact that observation of the phenomenon is inhibited in direct proportion to the amount of desire, fear, or attachment one experiences at the time.
What is this light and when it leaves where does it go? How can the observation of light be limited by desire, fear, or attachment? At any point in time any one of these may be present but they do not inhibit the capacity of my eye to see light. So what are you talking about?
The bardo/astral/other side surrounds all of us continuously and is another dimension of reality. Your perception of it is simply inhibited by your desire, fear, and your attachment to the earth plane...The bardo/astral/other side plane is nothing out of the ordinary, is readily observable reality, and is no big deal.
None of the texts on bardo states say anything like this. How can I (for example) perceive your dream state reality (unless I am capable of reading your mind)?
Adults often tend to get all fussy over such phenomena and tell kids to shut up about them because such phenomena offend the adults' (supposedly adult? scientific? laughable!) desires, fears, and preconceptions.
Of course adults get fussy when you say things like this to them, I mean they may even ask you for proof. Only a child or a fool would take something as true just because you said it to them.
The "dead" who are on the bardo/astral/other side manifest a physical form reflecting their own thoughts.
So do the living and the sleeping.
They do not "occupy" a physical form that they would ever subsequently vacate and leave lifeless and abandoned behind them as they leave a dead body behind on the earth plane.
What is this earth plane? Where does the bardo of death take place? On the Mars plane?
I have never heard one use the words "bardo" nor "astral;" they simply call it "the other side" and never refer to anyone as "dead." (And if you ask if they are dead they pretty much indignantly and universally say something to the effect of "I could just as well ask the same thing about you!" )
So now you talk to the dead?
...are observable if one has no desire, fear, or attachment.
And now you are an Arhat?
The dead are not alone nor are they stuck anywhere or to anything but to their own thoughts which they do not wish to release.
Seems that not only the dead display this characteristic!
I have observed the extreme contraction of the visible light of a human being manifesting a human form on the Bardo such that said individual is reduced in form to a tiny point of light which subsequently vanishes, apparently passes through the barrier between the worlds, then manifests and expands outward onto another plane. It is readily observable.
Again this light! The light referred to as the luminoisty of mind is not a physical light. It cannot be seen. The light of the rainbow body, on the other hand, being the dissoution of the physical body into its pure constituents (I am told) is observable by the eye. Even the light "produced" during the generation and dissolution phases of deity meditation is not actual physical light.
All you need do is observe a human being on the bardo/astral/other side (standing around waiting for the conception of an (apparently) assigned body on the earth plane).
Oh, is that all you need to do.
Conception is an extremely interesting phenomenon of light. Unlike death, which is observable as an upward and outward movement of the light of a human being vacating its physical body on this plane and subsequently manifesting its thought form on the bardo/astral/other side, conception is observable as an extreme downward and inward contraction of the light/thought form of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side, followed by its expansion and manifestation on the earth plane into a physical body.
Well given that phsical form begins at the single cell level I imagine you may need a microscope to observe that one.
My death in 1943 ... and he went running away from me down a hallway in terror, shaking his head, his hands planted firmly over his ears, and literally repeating loudly over and over again "No, no, NO, we do NOT believe any of this! This is NOT in accordance with our faith!"
Nice story. Any proof that it is anything but a nice story or the result of an active childhood imagination? Did you find your children? I mean even if you started looking when you were 20 years old they would only have been 30 odd.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:41 pm

Dear bardoq,
I take it (from your questions to aura) that you haven't read the book yet? You figure it is better to trust the supposed experiences of total strangers on the internet? Oh, well! Caveat emptor!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:32 pm

Please understand that Greg is absolutely right. I am no Buddhist scholar nor teacher and can give you only my own personal observations.
Please understand that from a Buddhist perspective the question of seeing ghosts and trying to determine what is "real" is simply a matter of needing to strengthen/perfect your Buddhist practice....
and so (as a Buddhist), you will of course be encouraged (or admonished!) to read and study and perfect your Buddhist practice, supplemented by reading "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" which is the recommended encyclopedia/source book on everything advanced Buddhist practitioners observed about dying and ghosts.

Please understand that no one intends to be confusing or uncharitable. If you are not a Buddhist practitioner, admonitions to intensify your Buddhist practice and the study of a very ancient text that was not originally written in your language nor modern terminology may perhaps not seem very helpful to you. Please understand that "establishing what is real" from a Buddhist perspective is very much a matter of endeavoring to free one's own mind from personal habits and mental obstructions that inhibit one's awareness of reality, and not a matter of defining "reality" via argument/agreement/establishing consensus with other people.
If you come from a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim background, you may be familiar with Jesus of Nazareth's admonition to maintain the practice of "being like young children" and be "pure/clear of heart," in order to "see the kingdom of God that is spread over the earth for those with eyes to see it"... likewise such teaching and practice is to endeavor to free one's own mind from personal habits and mental obstructions that inhibit one's awareness of reality, but it is called the purification/clarification of the heart.

bardoq wrote:There are some things which I would like a better definition of:
1. Little death, as in those 7 days bardo states. Death in the physical is that the physical body stops working, metabolism stops and it decays. But what is this bardo little death? Why is it a death and just not a transformation? What proof is there that it is a "death" and not something else? How is it defined? It's not overly important, so if there is no clear answer, this question can be left unanswered.

I do not know Pali or Sanskrit or any of the languages that might have been originally translated into English as "little death."
I can understand why one might use the term "little" to describe the observable contraction of the light of a human being when passing from one plane of existence to another. I can understand the use of the word "death" because English has no other word to describe the concept of a human being discarding its form and passing from one plane of existence to another. I am no scholar who can help you with any clarification or translation of any original scriptures. I can only tell you what I have observed.

bardoq wrote: 2. Hungry ghosts. How are they defined? Could it just be a mental state rather than a specific kind of being (the "hungry ghost"). I've seen very few hungry ghosts who fit the description of a Preta. But I've seen other kinds of persons in the non-physical, who have passed away. I would like a better definition if possible and also something which covers those stuck in other kinds of non-physical environments. A lot (most?) of them are not even hungry or thirsty.
"Hungry ghosts" are all "hungry" for energy, for light, and clinging to things that block the flow of light within themselves.
In order to communicate that visible but somewhat abstract concept to those who had not witnessed it, it was described as equivalent to hunger and thirst on the earth plane. From my perspective, there are dead "hungry ghosts" and there are living people walking around town who might just as easily also be described as "hungry ghosts." The dead are not significantly different from the living.

bardoq wrote: But why do you think desire & fear, and not, say, some kind of (physical?) non-physical inability prevents perception?
Desire and fear are the two big attachments that block awareness (Buddhism) or clarity of the heart (Christianity, Judaism, Islam). Buddhism as well as all the other major religions talk about this issue, but I did not learn it from any of them. I learned it from a very nice dead man whom I met at his funeral. He insisted I deliver a message to his grieving wife because he had been trying everything he could think of and could not get a message through to his wife. Everybody on the other side apparently knows that desire and fear on the part of the living block their perception of the dead.

bardoq wrote: I agree with most of what you write, except for two things, the problem with delivering messages from the dead to the living. I don't see it as a problem and many dead people don't bother me at all. Why should I see the deliverance of a message as a problem?
Because you have to hold it visually in your head and then put it into some kind of words for the living that they will understand without becoming upset or frightened or alienated well enough to please both the living and the dead.

bardoq wrote: I don't agree with the statement that "the dead are not ... stuck". I would rather say that most of them are not stuck, but some dead persons seem to end up in a kind of stuck state where they have great problems moving on, if they don't get help.
"Stuck" in English refers to a physical state of immobility. The dead are not stuck in a physical state of immobility.
They are trapped in their thought patterns that create their reality.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:55 pm

Aura wrote:If you come from a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim background, you may be familiar with Jesus of Nazareth's admonition to maintain the practice of "being like young children" and be "pure/clear of heart," in order to "see the kingdom of God that is spread over the earth for those with eyes to see it"... likewise such teaching and practice is to endeavor to free one's own mind from personal habits and mental obstructions that inhibit one's awareness of reality, but it is called the purification/clarification of the heart.
Well strangely enough, this being a Buddhist forum and all, one may actually come here seeking the Buddhist view on these matters. I take it Aura that you do not consider yourself a Buddhist? You are an "Aura-ist"?
bardoq wrote:There are some things which I would like a better definition of:
1. Little death, as in those 7 days bardo states. Death in the physical is that the physical body stops working, metabolism stops and it decays. But what is this bardo little death? Why is it a death and just not a transformation? What proof is there that it is a "death" and not something else? How is it defined? It's not overly important, so if there is no clear answer, this question can be left unanswered.
Oh for crying out loud, read the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book if you want a Buddhist explanation of what a Buddhist (the Dalai Lama) talked about when he explained what Buddhists believe happens during death. You can be sure the Dalai Lama got his info from there and not from Aura.
"Hungry ghosts" are all "hungry" for energy, for light, and clinging to things that block the flow of light within themselves.
In order to communicate that visible but somewhat abstract concept to those who had not witnessed it, it was described as equivalent to hunger and thirst on the earth plane. From my perspective, there are dead "hungry ghosts" and there are living people walking around town who might just as easily also be described as "hungry ghosts." The dead are not significantly different from the living.
What are you talking about??? Hungry Ghosts are not dead, they are sentient beings that have been reborn in the specific form as a consequence of extreme gluttony and greed. What is this BS you constantly throw about regarding "light"? It seems ironic that you answer bardoq questions, but spend no time addressing mine. Now I wonder why?
Desire and fear are the two big attachments that block awareness (Buddhism) or clarity of the heart (Christianity, Judaism, Islam). Buddhism as well as all the other major religions talk about this issue, but I did not learn it from any of them. I learned it from a very nice dead man whom I met at his funeral. He insisted I deliver a message to his grieving wife because he had been trying everything he could think of and could not get a message through to his wife. Everybody on the other side apparently knows that desire and fear on the part of the living block their perception of the dead.
Again you have not answered what this "other side" you keep talking about is.
"Stuck" in English refers to a physical state of immobility. The dead are not stuck in a physical state of immobility.
They are trapped in their thought patterns that create their reality.
So are the living, that is why there is the bardo of birth and life.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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