The Book of the Dead
A few weeks ago, I was listening to a Tibetan Book of the Dead audio recording while I was driving through the mountains of Colorado. This describes the experiences and visions of deities that will appear in the “bardo state” between lives. Repeatedly the instructions are to go towards the fierce deities, to ask for and accept their assistance in transcending the cycle of samsara. The instructions are to steer away from the feelings of comfort that come and from the soft glows, for these will continue the cycle, or even worse may lower your vibration. In the bardo state, your consciousness can manifest any reality without limitation.
Now I look at this life, and it does not seem that different to me. There are limitations, there are laws of this physical universe. But the root of your consciousness is the same whether it is incarnated, or without physical form. The ability to manifest reality is present. And every signal is received through the lens of your consciousness, your conditioning, your judgments and opinions. The Buddhists say straight out that all that you encounter is a manifestation of your own consciousness.
As we continue our meditation path, some may see deities, some may hear sounds, see colors, shapes, some may only have a vague feeling of a presence, or even nothing perceptable… And we will have perceptions of judgement, is this good, is this bad, should I run towards this or away from it? It is up to you what to do with your own experience. But the recommendation of the Buddhists, the Taoists and others is to focus on “polishing the mirror”. What lies beyond the immediate perception? What conditioning can I see within my perceptions? Who am I when I let go, when I surrender further, deeper? What is the essence of the encounter, beyond my perceptions? Is it myself? Can I recognize it, welcome it in, and experience wholeness and unity with the experience? With what I perceive as “other”? Can I forgive, can I express my gratitude, and welcome this part of me home?
I hear about all kinds of experiences that people are having and I’m like a kid in a candy shop. It’s very cool, and a part of me wonders “will I have that experience? Or that one over there?” That might be nice. But this self love, and this work of processing my own experiences… that is ultimately what yields the fruit of liberation for my soul. Staying in my own experience, and continuing to dissolve the barriers, to expand, to witness all that occurs without judgement, without jealousy… and I open a little bit more. I come a little bit closer to truth, to wholeness, to oneness.
This is the work that goes beyond this lifetime. This is training a reflex that will serve you for your entire timeline, and will serve your ability to choose new experiences, new realities, and to navigate the space beyond this life. And within this life, you may come into peace and rest in the reality that you are safe, that you are held in love and connection, and the core of who you are is protected beyond any hardships your body, mind and heart may endure. What potentials may unfold when you experience this peace and safety to the depth of your being? What will you choose to create? What will you choose to devote yourself to, as an expression of your love?
I remember as a child, being on the floor surrounded by legos. I remember this feeling of infinite possibilities, limited only by my own imagination. Today I feel the innocence and curiosity of that boy, but with the knowledge and skills and wisdom of my adult self. That’s what I hope for, that’s what I pray for for all human beings. That’s where our salvation lies, that’s where our freedom exists. When we get beyond our fears and connect to who we truly are, we will see that we are the most powerful force on the face of the planet, and we can create the reality that we choose in this moment, and in all moments.
In connection and wholeness! Many blessings in your journey!