Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Bardo Reading

Anthem to Primordial Consciousness: Bardo Version
through Tenabah, copyright 2009

I have written several versions of this anthem. It is my doha, my spontaneous song of enlightenment. It was inspired by an event that happened over 27 years ago and never stopped. Even though an omniscient knowing flashed across my silent mind and illuminated the landscape of everywhere, allowing me to see what is, was, and will be, and to become absolutely free, it took many years to fully understand this moment and for the words to cook inside me and take this form. These words, this version, this offering, is meant to be read for someone who is dying and who is leaving the manifest world, and for those who have recently left this world. When a sentient being dies, they spend three days in the clear radiant light of reality, the vast luminous singularity that encompasses all worlds although usually unseen, the dark star that all bright stars shine in. There is joy in meeting this vast energy field, like the rejoining of a mother and a lost child. If you recognize this space as your true identity, then you are free. If you merely enjoy coming home, then you will subtly try to grasp it and become afraid that you might lose it, and then you will eventually wander all the worlds again until you find your true identity. You will resume your journey in a bardo body or dreamtime body, which has more power and abilities than your usual physical body. Because of the powers of the bardo body, your ability to hear what those on Earth say to you and about you is more acute than ever before. Your capacity to understand these words and feel the enlightenment behind them will be greater than the duller ears of your usual physical body and the duller sense of purpose of your usual mind, immersed in cravings, attachments, resistances, obscurations, and emotional dramas. In the bardo body, you will feel your emotions more intensely, fear becoming terror, sadness becoming grief, anger becoming rage, joy becoming thunderous laughter, wisdom becoming substantial grounded inner peace, and love becoming a bliss that explodes into light and merges with everything. Your mind will not be able to repress the contents of your subconscious mind and your ability to hear the thoughts of others may overwhelm you with grief at what others think of you and how they have seen you. A wish will arise, to shrink away from all this, to take on the limitations of a usual physical body again and its more manageable experiences. You will want to drink from the well of amnesia, to forget everything you have learned and to forget all your ancient memories of all your previous lifetimes, especially the traumas of losing, again and again, those you have loved, and the traumas of harming others and being harmed by others. You will only start remembering other lifetimes again, when you are able to bear them again, starting with meditation and learning to be okay with just breathing without controlling your breath and with just seeing your experience without judgment. Tibetan Buddhist enlightened teachers saw that the bardo body's ability to hear deeply what is said, feeling the emotional nuances of each word, and knowing the core of intent of what is said, could be used as an advantage, a call to remembrance of an ancient truth and a call to liberate the wandering being from merely enduring karma, repetition, and sorrow. At the same time, the reader of those words, who undertakes the recitation to help the bardowa move through his or her journey through the chambers of amenti, can also participate through the psychic link formed between the reader and the voyager, and become enlightened at the same time as the voyager. Merely speaking to the person as if he or she was really there, intending the words to reach them, trusting that the words do reach them, feeling how each word is a universe rich in meaning and offering it to the bardowa is how reader is present for the voyager. The words are meant to be repeated 12 times a day for the 49 days after the 3 clear light days. There are 49 chambers in amenti and then rebirth happens. Seven rainbow lights interpenetrating itself, squaring itself, to form the 49 refractions of energy that eventually condense into the concentrations of matter that form the manifest world. This cross rippling of creative energy, however, is not always so linear and there are infinite variations in the bardo process, just as there are infinite kinds of lives in physical bodies. The Dakini Sohra said that during dying and exiting the body, you only go into bliss, and the rest is what you bring with you. If you let go, let go, and let go, really letting go, and totally letting go, then you can awaken to joy where you are. Death can be a deep letting go if you ride it to the very end. Life can be a deep letting go if you fully live it. If you read for another who is undergoing the marvelous and vast journey of death, bardo, and rebirth, you can join and support this journey and help the bardowa to reach what truly matters. Try to feel what these words could mean for both of you. Try to feel that state that inspired these words to be spoken to describe itself. Unlike other experiences, this state already exists inside you, because it is inside me and we are one. It only needs to be uncovered and recognized. In the stripping away of the physical body, one veil is removed and the light grows very strong. Just like a lightening bolt striking the Earth on a moonless night, the whole forest can be seen, and our true nature is revealed. When the mind drops its almost endless thinking, ceasing to guess, not pretending to know anymore, and opening to see, willing to see anything without putting conditions or projections on what is seen, and truly wanting to really see, then it is merely there, as it always has been. It is the thing which makes all things possible, because I cannot have any experience unless I AM AWARE of it.

I am not my thoughts,
thoughts come and go,
but I remain.

I am not my emotions,
emotions come and go,
but I remain.

I am not my sensations,
emotions come and go,
but I remain.

I am not my bodies,
bodies come and go,
but I remain.

I am a radiant awareness,
thoughts and emotions,
sensations and bodies,
arise, abide, change,
and pass away.

Here and now,
I choose to abide in awareness
as awareness itself.

I no longer identify
with this transitory personality
composed of endlessly changing
thoughts, emotions, sensations,
and reactions.

I let this transitory personality
dissolve into emptiness,
and into the sensation of dying,
knowing that nothing can die
and that I am eternal.

noticing the three poisons
of craving, negativity, and delusion
play out in my life,
and I let them end.

noticing how craving
seeks objects,
wraps around objects,
jealously fights for them,
angrily defends them,
and fears losing them,
and yet can never
truly possess them.

noticing the anxious
clinging to self
behind them,
trying to build up
the self through them,
attracting achievements,
conquests, compliments,
possessions and pleasures
to fill itself up.

noticing the paranoid radar
scanning for threats
to its domain,
fearful of demons,
ghosts, vampires, rapists,
alien abductions,
white supremists,
political conspiracies,
organ harvesters,
liberal sinners destroying
the country,
corporate feudal lords
playing hardball with
human lives,
government spies
hacking into phones
or flying in black copters,
or militant conservatives
greedily draining the economy
through wars,
elections rigged,
democracy subverted,
jihadist moslems blowing up
the known world
to serve an angry god,
plagues threatening
to wipe out all life,
fallen angels enslaving humans,
and reptile aliens using humans
for food,
comets crashing on Earth,
natural disasters,
tidal waves,
hurricanes and floods

when fear opens wide,
and feels a sense
of impending doom,
it is hard to tell what is real
or unreal, when everything
is a reflection of a deeper fear
of losing a self
that we never were

in the bardo
everything is both illusory
and vividly real
transparent, vibrant, and crystalline
radiant colors and intense emotions
with the ordinary physical world
merely an island
in its vast sea
of endless experiences
and worlds penetrating each other
spilling over into each other
where the boundaries tear,
spill over, and leak

the transitory self
is always falling apart,
dying every time it changes,
and always changing,
everything hurts this self,
everything kills it,
only the intensity
of the wound changes,
sometimes smothered
by superficial joy
and pleasant sensations,
sometimes becoming
migraine level
physical torture

entering fully into the pain
become one with the pain
pouring energy into the pain
the pain collapses in on itself
transforming into peace
having secretly been fed
by resistance

endless dramas
of struggle and warfare
of loss and grief
all friends dying everywhere
lovers dying either literally
or when they turn sour

seeing and letting go
of clinging to self
fear becomes wisdom
and ends

seeing and letting go
of defending self
anger becomes creativity
and ends

seeing and letting go
of separateness
from lovers lost
sadness becomes compassion
and ends

opening up to worlds
beyond sorrow
where bardo body
and physical body fuse
into a light body
beyond birth and death
beyond sorrow, disease, and decay
with pristine forests, clear lakes,
organic dwellings woven
into harmonious landscapes
with thornless plants, colorful flowers
and peaceful inhabitants
that draw energy from the suns
and do not need to eat

dwelling in radiant awareness
as radiant awareness,
staying in the endless unfoldment
of an eternal now,
whether in a body or not,
there is only experiencing
an event horizon
between infinite past
and infinite future.

radiant awareness
is unconditional love,
accepting all things
as they are.

radiant awareness
is perfect wisdom,
seeing all things
as they are.

radiant awareness
is infinite creativity,
manifesting all things
as they are.

like a wave in an ocean,
I am united with all that is.

like a mirror,
I do not cling to anything,
or resist anything,
or identify with any thing as me,
but impartially and choicelessly
reflect what arises in me,
and impartially and choicelessly
reflect what abides in me,
and impartially and choicelessly
reflect what dissolves in me.

like the infinite sky,
I let experiences float in me,
like wandering clouds,
without dwelling on anything,
on not concentrating
on anything.

like the sun,
I radiate light in all directions equally,
blessing saint and sinner equally,
instantly forgiving all evil,
and nourishing all good.

I entered this world
through concentrating
my infinite presence
into a radiant point of light
and entered
through the soft spot
in the skull,
descending down the spine,
and resting in the place
where the physical
heart beats.

I will leave this world
through concentrating
and becoming one
with this radiant point of light,
ascending the spine,
and exiting through
the soft spot
in the skull,
expanding into infinity
and to once again
roam the stars.

I am an agent of peace
in whatever world
I habit.

I am a servant of love.

I am awake, alive,
and liberated.

I freely wander
this wonderful universe
at home everywhere.

now is the time
to release
this fragile physical body.

feeling earth dissolve into water,
muscles relaxing,
moving beyond the social dramas
of this everchanging world.

feeling water dissolve into fire,
waves of electric sensations
and intensities of joy,
feeling love and gratitude
for life itself.

feeling fire dissolve into air,
explosions of letting go,
body groans in joy,
and throbs in ecstatic tears,
no more doer,
no more self.

feeling air dissolve into space,
expanding into infinity,
feeling galaxies spinning inside me,
stars being born,
and life evolving everywhere
from endless crystalline silence.

brothers and sisters,
ancient buddhas and dakinis,
welcome me home,
their infinite mercy calling me deeper
into the depths of love,
walking on the same path with them,
ever beholding the mystery,
chanting the same song with them,
creative vibration mixing together,
luminous rainbow clouds
condensing into points of light,
birthing stars, planets, and sentient beings,
and creating ever new worlds
to dance in and laugh in

trustfully my bardo body
flows like a river
into a vast ocean of light,
merging with this ancient presence,
a vast singularity,
recognizing this place
as the true identity
of you and me.

I know that I will emerge again
from this singularity
to rejoin the created worlds,
entering a womb,
and taking on a baby body,
rebelling as a teen, and
once more growing into adulthood,
learning to love and be loved,
awakening and teaching others
to do the same.

here and now,
I rest in this luminous singularity,
primordial presence,
pure consciousness

beyond all thoughts,
and beyond what the mind
can intellectually grasp,
beyond the sense of separation
created by
the mind structuring experience
in terms of
experiencing subject and experienced object.

beyond all conceptual opposites,
like coming and going,
birth and death,
poverty and wealth,
being in love and being abandoned,
health and disease,
pain and pleasure,
praise and condemnation.

directly feeling mystery,
one with all that is,
becoming every tree, sunrise, city, and leaf,
becoming every saint and thief,
every lover, child, and warrior,
every mountain, glacier, rainbow, and lake,
the giver, the giving, and gift.

if you are able to,
do not mourn for me
when I seem to leave,
for I literally dwell
in the hearts of all beings,
and am never far away.

you who seem to wander homeless
know that I joyfully take my home in you
when you look at a sunrise
you see me
when you dive into water
you feel me
when you contemplate
the vast empty space
that births the stars
that light up your sky
you join me

death is
like a snake shedding an old skin
like a river flowing back to the ocean
like a setting sun sinking into the Earth
and like a cloud dissolving
in the night sky

like the sun rising
after a dark moonless night
I will return once again
in a body
and meet you
in form that
you can relate to
and understand,
meeting in joy,
recognition, and love

until then,
know my journey continues,
and that I carry
all of you
in my heart,
and experience enlightenment
for the sake of all.

it is known.
it is complete.
it is finished.
blessings to all.
it is sealed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. Today My friend Joe Cully called and said Bill's (old boyfriend that died Dec 20 2004) bass was finally done. (the finger board had a huge crack) He said if I learn some bass lines I could play with his friends. They like country rock. He can do whatever, so he plays it. We talked about how so many songs are actually mean or glorify pain. I thought of your pomes, purposeful and true.

    Tonight I found your verse. I'm sure mind set has a lot to do with it and I was thinking about Bill a lot today. Thank you for makeing my experiance deeper.
    Hummmm.... Very serendipitous day. Hope you have one too.
    hugs Debbie


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