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In our culture we would say that someone has “died”, but many sects of Buddhism would say that only the body dies, but that a deeper, more essential aspect of ourselves enters the “Bardo,” the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth. In this state evaluate your spiritual progress during this pause in your movement towards Nirvana, a heavenly place of peace and happiness, the highest spiritual state attainable, the state of pure enlightenment and freedom from suffering and desire (according to teachers of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Death and the New Year
Curiously, this is exactly the kind of thing we have the opportunity to do, at a deep level, at this beginning of a new year. Where are you at this point in your life’s journey? How are you moving towards your goals of spiritual or personal development and living a life reflecting your true values and purpose? Like the residents of the Bardo, think of the past as dying to make space for the newborn year, and like them, you can choose to let it go and choose the juicy challenges you want to take on this next year.
In fact, every time one meditates there is a release of the past, at least from the highest levels, conscious thought, the acknowledgment of faith in the present and whatever higher power or guide may dwell there. In the end, when you open your eyes you are born again into the realm of endless possibility, along with the deeper truths (algorithms) you may have read into.
In Everything Is The Seed Of Its Apparent Opposite
Isn’t it interesting how the states of life and death come together, and how they can be used effectively on our journey? Instead of framing life and death as opposites, we have the option of choosing to adopt a perspective like that of the followers of the Tao.
Their symbol, the interlaced Yin (receptive) and Yang (creative) energies, represented by the opposite appearing black and white, are seen to merge into each other, to be complementary, not in opposition. In fact, the white dot in the middle of the black Yang and the black one in the middle of the white Yin symbolizes that in everything lies the seed of its apparent opposite.
Pablo Picasso held that “Every act of creation is also an act of destruction.” And in our meditations we allow each preceding breath to die so that the new breath can be born.
So, if we wish something new and beautiful to be born into our lives in this next year, it would be very wise to become aware of what you need to allow to die to make room for that which you wish to be born in your life. As we learn to do this in each meditation, and then in every moment, we end up being open and able to make wise choices that lead to maximum health, growth, and creativity. And, if the Buddhists turn out to be right about the Bardo, we will already be well-practiced in making the best decision about our next lifetime.
So, with your permission, I would like to share some experiences to help you develop a way to do that.
Enjoy listening to, “A New Year’s Imagery on Letting Go“.