Why Be Creative?
To create a better world,
supporting others and inspiring them
to practise becoming familiar
with their true nature.
This is what humanity is about.
Through any of the senses,
we can manifest that which
pacifies, magnetises, enriches or destroys*
depending on others’ sensibilities
and what will be of benefit to them.
This is opposite to being creative
in order to entertain ourselves to death,
corrupting for profit.
Humanity is a portal/gap/bardo**
for the higher realms.
…shame to waste it!
* The four enlightened activities, inspiring and cutting through ego’s games
** In-between gap of conscious awareness, an opportunity to step beyond; there are six portals or gaps called Bardos in Tibetan
Six Deaths or Bardos by Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
Death or Bardo means ‘gap’ an in-between state of which we are normally not aware.
Now when the bardo of birth is dawning upon me I will abandon laziness for which life has no time, Enter undistracted the path of study, reflection and meditation. Making projections and mind the path and realize the three kayas; Now that I have once attained a human body There is no time for the mind to wonder.
The bardo of this life, the bardo of birth. Co-existent with arising and birth is passing and death. On the subtle level everything is constantly momentarily arising and passing – moments, thoughts, emotions, events. On a more gross level, all the necessary conditions and circumstance come together for us to be born – conception and the accumulation of the five kinds of elements: earth, water, fire, wind and space. Since the moment we were born we are passing, our life moves towards completion then disappears. The idea of 70 or 80 years seems like a long time, but in terms of the universe it is very short. On the macrocosmic level is the arising and passing of planets and stars which support our life, which will also eventually disintegrate.
The bardo of dreams. The whole of cyclic existence is like a big dream – our ignorance is like sleeping and we are dreaming, but we take it so seriously. We grasp after all these things we see as real and this is where our suffering comes from. Our sleeping dreams reflect what is happening in our lives which is why we need to take our daytime practice seriously and continue being mindful and aware when going to sleep. If we do this then when we die it is the continuation of the nature of our mind. Our child luminosity will dissolve into the ground luminosity and we will be enlightened in the dharmakaya form.
The bardo of meditation. Here we are talking about purifying our mind of the cloud of disturbing thoughts and emotions, not by force but by resting in our natural mind, dharmakaya. Meditation isn’t something solid, or a place to go. It just means being aware in the present moment in a simple way and letting things be, which is actually quite difficult. Bardo literally means ‘between’, and in between the subsiding of one thought and the arising of the next, that is the bardo of Samadhi.
The bardo of the moment before death. All our elements dissolve back to the external world – earth, water, fire then air as we stop breathing. At that point the inner dissolution begins. We can have many different experiences here, depending on the kind of life we have led. The important thing is to know, in the confusion of what is happening, that everything we see is a projection of ourselves, and that it is a vision of the bardo. In order to be able to do that, it is important to practice now. There is a glimpse of ground luminosity – if we can recognise this from the stability of our practice then there is an opportunity to achieve realization.
The Bardo of dharmata. What happens now depends on individual circumstances. For a normal person dying peacefully this can last for a few days and we may not be aware we have died. The important thing is how we are programming ourselves in our lifetime, so that we can remain calm and clear and aware of what is happening. We should remember our teacher and any deity we feel a connection with.
The bardo of becoming. This can last 7 weeks and again, what happens depends on our karma and mind training. Pure perception and sacred outlook are needed here if we are not to get carried away by anger and jealousy which could lead to a birth in the lower realms. We are at the mercy of karmic winds and look for refuge wherever we can which leads to conception outside our control. If we can maintain our awareness there may be the opportunity to chose our rebirth in auspicious circumstances in the aspiration to help sentient beings.
Kyenay bardo is the first bardo of birth and life. This bardo commences from conception until the last breath, when the mindstream withdraws from the body.
Milam bardo (rmi lam bar do) is the second bardo of the dream state. The Milam Bardo is a subset of the first Bardo. Dream Yoga develops practices to integrate the dream state into Buddhist sadhana.
Samten bardo is the third bardo of meditation. This bardo is generally only experienced by meditators, though individuals may have spontaneous experience of it. Samten Bardo is a subset of the Shinay Bardo.
Chikhai bardo is the fourth bardo of the moment of death. According to tradition, this bardo is held to commence when the outer and inner signs presage that the onset of death is nigh, and continues through the dissolution or transmutation of the Mahabhuta until the external and internal breath has completed.
Chönyi bardo is the fifth bardo of the luminosity of the true nature which commences after the final ‘inner breath’ (Sanskrit: prana, vayu; Tibetan: rlung). It is within this Bardo that visions and auditory phenomena occur. In the Dzogchen teachings, these are known as the spontaneously manifesting Thödgal (Tibetan: thod-rgyal) visions. Concomitant to these visions, there is a welling of profound peace and pristine awareness. Sentient beings who have not practiced during their lived experience and/or who do not recognize the clear light (Tibetan: od gsal) at the moment of death are usually deluded throughout the fifth bardo of luminosity.
Sidpa bardo is the sixth bardo of becoming or transmigration. This bardo endures until the inner-breath commences in the new transmigrating form determined by the “karmic seeds” within the storehouse consciousness.