On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Tara » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:24 pm

Please note this forum is named "Exploring Buddhism" it is not a comparative religion forum and as such it would be appreciated if members who post in this particular section do so keeping the content of their posts within the context of exploring Buddhism.

Off topic posts will be removed without further notice.

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Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:10 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: Did you find your children?

Yes. I have also found many others I knew in that former life who are alive here at the present time, and one that I did not know then, but it turned out that we knew people and places and things in common from back then. It is interesting and amusing to see how everyone has progressed with resolving and releasing their individual issues/habits/attachments. As far as I am concerned, the teachings of Buddhism on these phenomena are not simply a matter of study and belief in scriptures, but reflect an observable and verifiable reality that I have experienced and observed myself.

In my opinion, any non-Buddhist struggling to make sense of the terms and descriptions used in the Tibetan Book of the Dead and correlate them with his/her own personal observations of phenomena associated with death and rebirth into other realms of existence and asking Buddhist practitioners on a Buddhist forum: "who has seen this?" deserves a respectful and sincere reply.

My own reply is yes, I have personally observed and experienced phenomena associated with death and rebirth into other realms of existence that correlate well with the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

I have attempted to describe a few personal observations of such phenomena using terms that are hopefully somewhat in keeping with Bardoq's language and background (i.e. "planes" of existence in a multidimensional universe defined by modern physics as a translation of "realms," and "other side" indicating an observable being's claim of having passed beyond an intermediate transition state after having left his dead body behind and buried, and a couple of words describing the concept of the blockage of awareness by attachment that are used by other religions Bardoq might be more familiar with ). I do not regard phrasing one's observations of phenomena in terms that hopefully might be more recognizable to someone with a non-Buddhist background as any sort of study in comparative religion, and all phenomena that are visually observable constitute phenomena of light, even if the eye that observes them is the 3rd eye.

I apologize for the inadequacy of my own attempt to put visual observations into intelligible language. I am sure that other practitioners here will be able to come up with far better words to describe their own experiences and observations of such phenomena in answer to Bardoq's question "who has seen this?" in support of the observations recorded in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:31 pm

Aura wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: Did you find your children?

Yes. I have also found many others I knew in that former life who are alive here at the present time, and one that I did not know then, but it turned out that we knew people and places and things in common from back then. It is interesting and amusing to see how everyone has progressed with resolving and releasing their individual issues/habits/attachments. As far as I am concerned, the teachings of Buddhism on these phenomena are not simply a matter of study and belief in scriptures, but reflect an observable and verifiable reality that I have experienced and observed myself.
Excellent (on all counts)! How would you say that your awareness of all these facts has changed your day to day living?
In my opinion, any non-Buddhist struggling to make sense of the terms and descriptions used in the Tibetan Book of the Dead and correlate them with his/her own personal observations of phenomena associated with death and rebirth into other realms of existence and asking Buddhist practitioners on a Buddhist forum: "who has seen this?" deserves a respectful and sincere reply.
I agree.
I have attempted to describe a few personal observations of such phenomena using terms that are hopefully somewhat in keeping with Bardoq's language and background (i.e. "planes" of existence in a multidimensional universe defined by modern physics as a translation of "realms," and "other side" indicating an observable being's claim of having passed beyond an intermediate transition state after having left his dead body behind and buried, and a couple of words describing the concept of the blockage of awareness by attachment that are used by other religions Bardoq might be more familiar with ).
Have you considered that you don't express it in Buddhist terms because you are not a Buddhist and have no "training" in Buddhist traditions? Have you also considered that your gift may be put to more greater benefit if you had some Buddhist training, especially in Bodhisattva practices?
I do not regard phrasing one's observations of phenomena in terms that hopefully might be more recognizable to someone with a non-Buddhist background as any sort of study in comparative religion, and all phenomena that are visually observable constitute phenomena of light, even if the eye that observes them is the 3rd eye.
This betrays a complete lack of understanding of how Buddhists conceive of mind and sensation. For you it is not a "comparitive" approach because you are not trained in any specific tradition. And what is this this thing "third eye"? How does it "see"?
: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: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:39 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: How would you say that your awareness of all these facts has changed your day to day living?

It did not change my day to day living.
Have you considered that you don't express it in Buddhist terms because you are not a Buddhist and have no "training" in Buddhist traditions? Have you also considered that your gift may be put to more greater benefit if you had some Buddhist training, especially in Bodhisattva practices?

Have you considered the fact that your own Bodhisattva practice includes disrespectfully commanding a non-Buddhist to "read the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book" when referring to the revered scripture: "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" ?
This betrays a complete lack of understanding of how Buddhists conceive of mind and sensation. For you it is not a "comparitive" approach because you are not trained in any specific tradition. And what is this this thing "third eye"? How does it "see"?

Please enlighten me as to which Buddhist tradition teaches its practitioners the vital importance of the practice of concerning themselves with the particular words chosen by other practitioners to describe their own personal observations of natural phenomena and convey them to non-Buddhists.
If you wish to observe and study phenomena of the third eye, I would recommend the extremely intensive almost 10 month continuous retreat of Tranquil Abiding otherwise known as pregnancy and childbirth. Perhaps your next lifetime...
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:42 am

Aura wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: How would you say that your awareness of all these facts has changed your day to day living?

It did not change my day to day living.
Well, you see, the whole idea of Buddhist practice is to train ones mind so that one becomes a more compasionate, loving and generous being in order to accumulate merit and wisdom and achieve enlightenment. If a practice or knowledge does not have this outcome then what is its purpose?
Have you considered the fact that your own Bodhisattva practice includes disrespectfully commanding a non-Buddhist to "read the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book" when referring to the revered scripture: "The Tibetan Book of the Dead"?
I did not command bardoq to do anything, BUT if he wants to know about the death state from a Buddhist perspective then he has to read the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book, because all the questions he asks are answered in the book. Anyway, Bodhisattva practices are designed so that all sentient beings can pass beyond ignorance, sometimes they need a kick in the ass to do so. But who are you to judge my practice? I did not judge you. I just asked some questions. I just suggested how your "ability" can be put to positive use. You see the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book is not merely a description of the bardo of death, but a means to assist the dead person to gain stability and ovecome fear (caused by ignorance) during the crucial period of the bardo of death, in order to gain ultimate liberation. But, hey, if you don't read the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book then I guess you will not realise this. Maybe you need to read it and have it explained to you too, so that you can utilise the information contained in it to assist the dead pass beyond birth and death via your "ability".
Please enlighten me as to which Buddhist tradition teaches its practitioners the vital importance of the practice of concerning themselves with the particular words chosen by other practitioners to describe their own personal observations of natural phenomena and convey them to non-Buddhists.
If you wish to observe and study phenomena of the third eye, I would recommend the extremely intensive almost 10 month continuous retreat of Tranquil Abiding otherwise known as pregnancy and childbirth. Perhaps your next lifetime...
Ahhhh... you see, your answers betray your incapcity to explain, based on your lack of training within a tradition (and I am not talking about Buddhism necessarily). You throw out some nonsense like "Tranquil Abiding otherwise known as pregnancy and childbirth" and expect me to look all starry-eyed and "wow" about it? If you ask any woman about pregnancy and rebirth I am sure they will tell you that it is anything but a state of "tranquil abiding" and has nothing to do with "third eyes". You see, birth, in Buddhism, is considered one of the key causes of suffering. As for pregnancy and birth, I am 100% that I have experienced these during my endless cycles of birth and rebirth in samsara. Both being born and giving birth. From wombs, eggs, moisture and spontaneously. The whole gamut of birth, life and death. And, as for the term "tranquil abiding", it has specific characteristics and meanings in Buddhism.

In closing, I asked you to please explain to me what this third eye is and how it sees. This has NOTHING to do with explaining so called natural phenomena to non-Buddhists and the rant that followed my question.

Your discrimination and projection is causing you anger . This is out of line for somebody that claims to be free of fear, desire and attachment.
: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 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:10 am

PS According to this theory
If you wish to observe and study phenomena of the third eye, I would recommend the extremely intensive almost 10 month continuous retreat of Tranquil Abiding otherwise known as pregnancy and childbirth. Perhaps your next lifetime...
All women that have been pregnant and given birth have their "third eye" open, have overcome fear, desire and attachment and can see dead people and past lives. It also men that man cannot (since they cannot get pregnant and give birth). :shrug: Oh well, maybe next lifetime then...
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"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 Son » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:26 pm

I've found those teachings and the general teachings of the Bardo Thodol to be concise with my experiences as well.

When I was a very small child, for almost a year I had a recurring dream of me waking up, approaching a cliff, and then stepping off the edge to fall into a great forest. Always, I would wake up in the middle of the night. I knew this was an abnormal dream. Later in my life, I realized that I was remembering the bardo of becoming. I've also remembered some of my previous human life, and that I was a man living in Asia. I also remember living in Catumaharajika, as a "tree" deva, as they're called, and I enjoy the memory very much. That sphere looks and feels much more pleasant than this one, mostly. On another note, due to some small meditative achievements I've been somewhat able to experience some residual memory of a much higher sphere, in the Brhatphala world. These inklings of memory are brain-blowing as such because I'm not really equipped to comprehend those perceptions fully as a human being.

I must attest. Pretas, "hungry ghosts," ARE real beings. One should not confuse them with mere "spirits" or ghosts, they are living feeling sentient creatures that dwell on our world. Most of them that I have seen are not quite as exaggerated as certain Dharmic texts illustrate, but some of them are somewhat that way. The ones that I saw were still emaciated and painful-looking, and they were either very cold or hot. I once encountered one who was practically burning.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:47 pm

Son wrote:I must attest. Pretas, "hungry ghosts," ARE real beings. One should not confuse them with mere "spirits" or ghosts, they are living feeling sentient creatures that dwell on our world. Most of them that I have seen are not quite as exaggerated as certain Dharmic texts illustrate, but some of them are somewhat that way. The ones that I saw were still emaciated and painful-looking, and they were either very cold or hot. I once encountered one who was practically burning.


Thanks for your answers. I have comments about Pretas. I wonder if the description of them as hungry ghosts is some kind of simplification to explain things to regular people?

To me, when I've met deceased people in some kind of non-physical state (Pretas or not), those persons usually don't exactly fit the short description of hungry ghosts I've read recently. I've met people who seem to think they are at work, some people are puzzled and sit, walk, stand, ride a bicycle or lay down and wait, some think they are at hospital, some seem to be in excellent shape and has the appearance of rather young healthy adults.

Only a few persons have been addicts, like decease alcoholics.

What seems to be common for those I've met is their mood. Some are in a sort of poor emotional shape, others are just in a dull emotional mood. Very few have seemed to be hungry or thirsty.

So, if you know what I'm talking about. My question is, do you have any experience of your own that there is a specific transitions from an intermediate Bardo state to a state as a Preta being?

Reason I ask is that I haven't been able to observe that. What I've seen is, for those you think may be Pretas:

1. Person moving into a sort of light.
2. Person who has changed their mood, and the surroundings have improve from a dull appearance to more bright colors.
3. Person who has met some kind of entity, usually in some kind of humanoid shape.

My question is if you have experienced anyone moved from the Bardo state, and been able to verify that the Bardo in deed is at most 49 days?
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:26 pm

O, child of Buddha Nature, listen without distraction. On the fourth day the purity of the element fire will arise in the form of a red light. At that time, from the red western Buddha field of the Blissful, the transcendent lord Amitabha will dawn before you...Do not be afraid...Together with the light of pristine cognition, a dull yellow light indicative of the realm of anguished spirits will also dawn before you and touch your heart. Do not delight in the yellow light! Do not become attached to it! At this time under the sway of intense desire...

Obstruction of the womb entrances...
If you are to take birth as an anguished spirit, you will see tree-stumps, black protruding silhouettes, blind desolate gorges,or total darkness. Were you to go here, you would be born as an anguished spirit and experience the manifold sufferings of hunger and thirst. Do not enter there! Call to mind the methods of reversal and apply these! Be courageous and strong!
Some relevant sections from the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book that you have have such an aversion to reading and learning from. Your loss!
: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 bardoq » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
On the fourth day the purity of the element fire will arise in the form of a red light. At that time, from the red western Buddha field of the Blissful, the transcendent lord Amitabha will dawn before you...

. . .
Some relevant sections from the f:#%$@@%$%%ng book that you have have such an aversion to reading and learning from. Your loss!
:namaste:

I've actually read some part of the book at http://www.summum.us/mummification/tbotd/book1.shtml
(I was unable to find the specific text of yours, quoted above.)

Problem for me with any foreign book is twofold:

1. I don't have any obvious way of getting my questions answered.
2. To many unexplained or undefined concepts are used.

For example, define in the single sentence above:

"purity" (what exactly does this mean? Is purity a non-physical concept?)
"element fire" (I don't think fire is an element, so what is meant?)
"red light" (is this a physical (visible to the naked eye) light or non-physical?)
"red western" (why red?)
"Buddha field of the Blissful" (A title or describing a concept, a place?)
"transcendent" (?)
"lord Amitabha" (A god? A human? A ghost?)

Answers from a monk or tulku would probably help me.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:19 pm

bardoq wrote:I've actually read some part of the book at http://www.summum.us/mummification/tbotd/book1.shtml
(I was unable to find the specific text of yours, quoted above.)
Avoid that translation. It was the very first English translation, made by Evans-Wentz in collabaration with Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup. It is incomplete and uses outdated English translations of Tibetan terms. The link I provided at the beginning of the thread is the latest, most complete and relevant translation available. That's why you couldn't find the specific text. It exists in the Kazi Dawa-Samdup translation too but the language is very different.
"purity" (what exactly does this mean? Is purity a non-physical concept?)
The bardo of death is a mental, not physical, realm. In the physical realm the elements always arise in combination with each other (but with proportional differences, hence the different qualities of physical phenomena. But here each day in succession each element arises by itself, in its pure form, except when they all appear together, but unmixed.
"element fire" (I don't think fire is an element, so what is meant?)
In Buddhism fire is the element that gives physical objects their heat (or lack thereof)
"red light" (is this a physical (visible to the naked eye) light or non-physical?)
In this context it is non-physical. But even in the "real world" light is sensed by the eye but really all we (ignorant beings) see is the mental impression from the sensation.
"red western" (why red?)
I imagine because when people look west at the setting sun it is red.
"Buddha field of the Blissful" (A title or describing a concept, a place?)
Sukhavati. Both.
"transcendent" (?)
Tathagata (an epithet for a Buddha), it translates as "gone beyond". ie gone beyond samsara (the cycle of life and death) to Nirvana.
"lord Amitabha" (A god? A human? A ghost?)
Amitabha (infinite light) Buddha. You really need a teacher my friend because you lack knowledge of even the most basic Buddhist concepts.
Answers from a monk or tulku would probably help me.
Just a plain old everyday lama (ie they don't have to be a monastic or a tulku) would be able to help you with these types of questions. Or you can ask them here at Dharma Wheel.
: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 Son » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:50 am

bardoq wrote:
Son wrote:I must attest. Pretas, "hungry ghosts," ARE real beings. One should not confuse them with mere "spirits" or ghosts, they are living feeling sentient creatures that dwell on our world. Most of them that I have seen are not quite as exaggerated as certain Dharmic texts illustrate, but some of them are somewhat that way. The ones that I saw were still emaciated and painful-looking, and they were either very cold or hot. I once encountered one who was practically burning.


Thanks for your answers. I have comments about Pretas. I wonder if the description of them as hungry ghosts is some kind of simplification to explain things to regular people?

To me, when I've met deceased people in some kind of non-physical state (Pretas or not), those persons usually don't exactly fit the short description of hungry ghosts I've read recently. I've met people who seem to think they are at work, some people are puzzled and sit, walk, stand, ride a bicycle or lay down and wait, some think they are at hospital, some seem to be in excellent shape and has the appearance of rather young healthy adults.

Only a few persons have been addicts, like decease alcoholics.

What seems to be common for those I've met is their mood. Some are in a sort of poor emotional shape, others are just in a dull emotional mood. Very few have seemed to be hungry or thirsty.

So, if you know what I'm talking about. My question is, do you have any experience of your own that there is a specific transitions from an intermediate Bardo state to a state as a Preta being?


There is a bardo of becoming, and during that bardo, in usual cases human beings experience six different yearnings for life, and these are perceived as colored with hues. In rare unusual cases, the karmic propensity is so overwhelmingly strong and the human so underpracticed that they are swept directly into a consequent state of being. Pretas are living beings. Pretas are born, and pretas die. In order to become a preta, you must die and pass through this bardo of becoming. The specific transition is, you wander through the bardo until you succumb to the yellow hue, which indicates the preta world. In the bardo of becoming, you have a thought body. In the preta world, you are born with a physical body, and this life can last from anywhere to a few days to many, many years, depending on karma--as usual.

Reason I ask is that I haven't been able to observe that. What I've seen is, for those you think may be Pretas:

1. Person moving into a sort of light.
2. Person who has changed their mood, and the surroundings have improve from a dull appearance to more bright colors.
3. Person who has met some kind of entity, usually in some kind of humanoid shape.

My question is if you have experienced anyone moved from the Bardo state, and been able to verify that the Bardo in deed is at most 49 days?


Everyone I've met has experiencced moving from the bardo state, because it precedes birth as a human. The limit of 49 days is a logical one, because there can only be at most 6 recurrences of death, or "little deaths" as the Dalai Lama has apparently been quoted multiple time, in the bardo of becoming. How could it possibly occur more than forty-nine times? The length and passage of time is relative in the bardo, only to the person experiencing it. They don't experience days arising and passing similarly with the movement of the planet. This is both logical, intuitive, understandable, and confirmed by countless lamas. Most people don't experience a full 49 days, they end up in a state of being before that time.

The people you seem to describe communicating with are not pretas--they're ghosts, the spirits of deceased people. Pretas aren't people's spirits. Compare it to the animal life. If one of your friends died and after passing through the bardo became an animal, and you managed to find them, would you expect them to look like and talk like their human selves? Similarly, what if your very last past life was in the animal world, as perhaps a lemur or a sea snake?--would you expect yourself to appear and talk as though you were one of those animals? Pretas are not spirits, like the ancestors that native Americans pray to and the spirits that people summon in spiritual situations. It is indeed a very different matter entirely, spirits. Even lamas will be happy to clarify the distinction for you. But I also share this experience.

In some instances people can become aware of the thought-bodies of loved ones who are in the bardo, who are visiting them. I have experienced this, but I am not such a practiced meditator that I could perceive that person clearly. Spirits on the other hand, I am sensitive to and do communicate with. These aren't conscious beings, like a shadow they are similar to the body that is left behind. Seeing a preta and seeing a spirit are too such vastly different things, I cannot begin to describe, with my meager intellect, the distinction between them. Pretas are terribly awful looking beings who are very miserable and don't look exactly like humans. Such is their experience that they find it difficult to even pay attention to us most of the time. Remember, the worlds of sentient beings overlap and interconnect, but they are separate due to the beings dwelling there. How many wild animals--not domesticated animals--have you actually touched in your lifetime? How many have you interacted with in a meaningful way? The animal world is just as much another world as the preta world, as the asura world, as Hell, and as the many, many higher worlds of devas and brahmas, in the two spheres of life beyond the one we live in.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:00 am

I thought it was all much simpler than that. Prior to the label 'hungry ghost realm' with a suitably precise description, I thought this realm was a general spirit realm in which there were many types. Hence, there is talk of many types of 'spirits' and 'ghosts' from previous times. Not sure when the 'hungry ghost' label was attached to that realm, but that is what I have heard.

It is also said that reciting the Heart Sutra and using the 'claps' helps them to move on and take rebirth, for example of they are causing problems to humans in their home. Other rituals involve taking them to crossroads with offerings to encourage them to leave a place, and not know how to return to it as the crossroads confuses them. Lots of this sort of ritual around.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:30 pm

I'll divide my response into two parts. This is the first part.

Son wrote:The specific transition is, you wander through the bardo until you succumb to the yellow hue, which indicates the preta world.

Background to my question is that I've not seen deceased persons in a surrounding of only one color in the way you describe. I've met deceased persons in surroundings much as our world in full colors, and with the colors perhaps a little dull. I've encountered deceased people in a sort of black-and-white world like in an old movie. But I've not made the direct observation you mention.

You talk about different colors matching different Bardo states? Have you explicitly observed these colors and found this yellow color and observed the consciousness become born as a Preta?

Son wrote:Everyone I've met has experiencced moving from the bardo state, because it precedes birth as a human.

Who is "everyone"? You need to clarify the last sentence to me. Are you referring to a non-physical experience of yours? Please, could you describe it a little more?

Son wrote:The limit of 49 days is a logical one, because there can only be at most 6 recurrences of death, or "little deaths" as the Dalai Lama has apparently been quoted multiple time, in the bardo of becoming. How could it possibly occur more than forty-nine times? The length and passage of time is relative in the bardo, only to the person experiencing it. They don't experience days arising and passing similarly with the movement of the planet. This is both logical, intuitive, understandable, and confirmed by countless lamas. Most people don't experience a full 49 days, they end up in a state of being before that time.

I have to object to two things:

[1.] That the max 49 day time period is "logical".
[2.] That you state that the length of time is relative. (well, I kind of object to it.)


Let me explain [1.], if you say that the Moon orbits the Earth in 28 days and then claim that the time of 28 days is logical, I would respond with that there is nothing "logical" out of several reasons:

A. Moon could be further from Earth.
B. Moon could be closer to Earth.
C. Earth could have greater mass than it currently has.
D. Earth could have smaller mass than it currently has, for example like Mars, which has a much smaller iron core.
E. Earth could have had no Moon at all. Or more than one.

So stating that some thing is "logical" in the period of a maximum time in the Bardo is not really convincing to me. Each "small death" could for example come at different intervals, in the same fashion that humans in the physical can die at different ages. This subject of small deaths is not that important to me, but i would like to mention that I've not been able to observe anything remotely similar to a "small death" in the non-physical.

Secondly, the mourning that people in the physical does, is 49 days, so clearly it is our physical time DL is referring to, or am I wrong? You may be correct in the sense that time could proceed completely differently in the non-physical compared to our physical world, but my impression is that the max 49 days is for the living in the physical world to account for.

I end my comments here, because I think my second response deserves a message entry of its own. Thanks for your response. :)
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:47 pm

bardoq wrote:So stating that some thing is "logical" in the period of a maximum time in the Bardo is not really convincing to me. Each "small death" could for example come at different intervals, in the same fashion that humans in the physical can die at different ages.
Thus proving that time is relative. Imagine how one perceives one hour at a really boring lecture and one hour at a great party. Is it so difficult to understand? When I used to work with adolescent Aghan refugees they would ask me if I am married and have children (I am 43 years old). I would answer no, I'm not in any hurry. They would look at me horrified. But you are so old! In Afghanistan anybody past 50 years of age is positively ancient.
This subject of small deaths is not that important to me, but i would like to mention that I've not been able to observe anything remotely similar to a "small death" in the non-physical.
Really? What about sleep then?
Secondly, the mourning that people in the physical does, is 49 days, so clearly it is our physical time DL is referring to, or am I wrong? You may be correct in the sense that time could proceed completely differently in the non-physical compared to our physical world, but my impression is that the max 49 days is for the living in the physical world to account for.
Yes, that's right. BUT if one "guides" the consciousness of the dead person through the bardo of death and into the bardo of rebirth then it lasts 49 physical days for them too. You act, in effect, as an anchor so that the consciousness of the dead person is not swept away by their experiences but becomes capable of managing the experiences with full awareness of the real nature of the experiences.
: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 bardoq » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:50 pm

-
Here is my second part. I've trimmed (marked with dots . . .) the text to narrow down what I'm commenting about.

Son wrote:The people you seem to describe communicating with are not pretas--they're ghosts, the spirits of deceased people. Pretas aren't people's spirits. Compare it to the animal life. If one of your friends died and after passing through the bardo became an animal, and you managed to find them, would you expect them to look like and talk like their human selves? . . . Pretas are not spirits... . . . It is indeed a very different matter entirely, spirits.

Son wrote:In some instances people can become aware of the thought-bodies of loved ones who are in the bardo, who are visiting them. I have experienced this, but I am not such a practiced meditator that I could perceive that person clearly. Spirits on the other hand, I am sensitive to and do communicate with. These aren't conscious beings, like a shadow they are similar to the body that is left behind. Seeing a preta and seeing a spirit are too such vastly different things, I cannot begin to describe, with my meager intellect, the distinction between them. Pretas are terribly awful looking beings who are very miserable and don't look exactly like humans. Such is their experience that they find it difficult to even pay attention to us most of the time. Remember, the worlds of sentient beings overlap and interconnect, but they are separate due to the beings dwelling there. . . .


We seem to have several concepts here, could we try to clarify these concepts?

1. Pretas - they are beings of their own. Pretas are somehow born (?) and they don't seem to be emotionally stuck in any way, and are living in a world of their own. In a non-physical Preta world or just a world different from our physical world?

2. "Thought-bodies" - they are the consciousnesses residing in the max 49 days Bardo, right? Once physically living, but now they have transitioned to the Bardo after death.

3. Spirits - hmmm... You made things very difficult for me to understand. Spirits are conscious beings. They are beings similar to Pretas or physical humans, right? But Spirits are very different from Pretas? At the same time a Spirit is also equivalent to the physical (dead?) body, which a once living human left behind when the physically living human died and had its consciousness enter the Bardo?

4. "Ghosts" - the same as Spirits?


So what you say is that I am seeing Spirits, because they act and look exactly as their once physically living counterparts? Most non-physical dead persons I've met in some kind of non-physical appearance have been dead for several decades. Are those (for decades) "dead persons", the same as Spirits? Some mediums claim that "dead persons" which the medium can see, sometimes looks younger (similar to the once living person, but younger) than they were when they died. Are these younger looking entities also to be regarded as Spirits?

So when I help someone non-physically experienced (by me) to move into "the light", I'm in fact interacting with a Spirit, and not the consciousness of the former physically living person?
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:08 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
This subject of small deaths is not that important to me, but i would like to mention that I've not been able to observe anything remotely similar to a "small death" in the non-physical.
Really? What about sleep then?

I've had very limited experience of this myself, but dead people encountered (by skilled mediums) in the non-physical appears differently from sleeping/dreaming people (encountered in the non-physical). There is a different feel about "dead" (compared to dreaming people) and with some experience it is said by some mediums that you can clearly observe the difference, because you have some kind of senses (probably not present in the wake physical) which enables you to distinguish between dead and dreaming people.

I would want to have a more clear definition of exactly what "small death" is, because if it is like going to sleep each night I think I would consider it differently from my concept of death, because you are not reborn each morning (from sleep), you just go back to your wake state, in my opinion. Sleep is not a small death, it's more a temporary change of state as I see it. hmm.. Maybe I'm going into something not so important after all. :)

It's the 49 days Bardo which I think is important to find out more about.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Secondly, the mourning that people in the physical does, is 49 days, so clearly it is our physical time DL is referring to, or am I wrong? You may be correct in the sense that time could proceed completely differently in the non-physical compared to our physical world, but my impression is that the max 49 days is for the living in the physical world to account for.
Yes, that's right. BUT if one "guides" the consciousness of the dead person through the bardo of death and into the bardo of rebirth then it lasts 49 physical days for them too. You act, in effect, as an anchor so that the consciousness of the dead person is not swept away by their experiences but becomes capable of managing the experiences with full awareness of the real nature of the experiences.
:namaste:

Well, that could be the case, but then it will still be our time, our 49 days which dictate the pace at which time proceeds for the "deceased", the consciousness, right? And in the Western, several people mourn and pray for the dead for more than 49 days, so the Bardo state should be processed by the consciousness (of the dead person) even if mourning/praying people are not aware of the Bardo in Buddhist terms?

Or do you need to follow a specific Buddhist mourning/praying procedure to make time tick, for the consciousness in the Bardo, at the pace of the physical world?
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:23 pm

bardoq wrote: Sleep is not a small death, it's more a temporary change of state as I see it. hmm...
So is physical death. Dualising ego-centred mind makes it such a big deal. You may not be aware of the fact that Tibetan Buddhism has special practices for you to do while you are in the bardo of sleep/dreaming too. And, I don't know if you bothered reading anything I wrote at the beginning, but this birth and life is also a bardo.
Well, that could be the case, but then it will still be our time, our 49 days which dictate the pace at which time proceeds for the "deceased", the consciousness, right?
Yes.
And in the Western, several people mourn and pray for the dead for more than 49 days,
In Greek Orthodox Chrisitianity it's fourty days. But then Christians don't believe in rebirth.
Or do you need to follow a specific Buddhist mourning/praying procedure to make time tick, for the consciousness in the Bardo, at the pace of the physical world?
I doubt it. But like I said to Aura, the teachings on bardo are designed for the ultimate liberation of the consciousness. If you bother to read the book (it's the last time I am saying this to you) then you will see that depending on certain signs one can understand whether the consciousness has been liberated OR has taken birth in one of the six realms. That means that it is not necessary, everytime, to go through the full 49 days of reading because liberation may have occured from the first day and rebirth may have occured within the first week. Actually, without guidance, or if the deceased was not a practitioner, then the most common option is rebirth within the first week.
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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 Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:06 pm

Actually I was thinking about what you were saying earlier about the "ghosts" you tend to see, how they do not match the descriptions of Preta/Hungry Ghosts and how they seem stuck in a "normal" but parallel existence.

In the book of the dead it states that during the lead up to physical death there are a number of physical symptoms linked with the dissolution of the four elements and that the consciousness "blacks out" completely before "reawaking" in the next. When consciousness "reawakens' one of the first things the "guide" must do is to explain to the "person" that they are dead.

You see if they "wake up" and don't know they are dead (in the case of people that die during their sleep or whilst heavily sedated) and if their corpse has already been destroyed so they do not "see" it and/or try to re-enter it and find it is no longer responsive, then it is quite possible that they may just believe they have (simply) awoken (from sleep or physical unconsciousness) and the only thing that has happened is a radical alteration in the circumstances of their (normal) physical life.

You see the consciousness (due to habit) creates a mental body during the bardo of death which is very similar to how it conceived of itself during life.

Also it explains in the book that dead people can see other dead people that are going to undergo a similar rebirth as them (ie be born into a similar sphere of existence). They can also see the living. The power of ones consciousness is so strong during the bardo of death that they can (like during sleep) create surroundings/environment as well.

So what you may be seeing are consciousness in transit living out their reality as they progress through the bardo of death OR consciousness that are "stuck" because they have not realised they are dead. Again, because the passage of time is so relative their one "day" in the bardo of death may last for years in our "reality".

Hungry Ghosts/anguished spirits and hell beings are "born" into their realities. It is what the Buddha describes as spontaneous birth, since they do not have physical forms as we conceive of the physical. They are a specific type of sentient being like humans, animals, asura and gods. What you describe does not fit this category.
:namaste:
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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 Blue Garuda » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:43 pm

In Phowa for the deceased, the deceased being is called and returns in the aspect of its last body.

Perhaps some people are able to do this in other circumstances, some unwittingly.
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