April 20, 2017

Tibetan Bardos and Human Beings.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


I have just finished the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by S. Rinpoche.
I found it very interesting, especially the part where he describes the Buddhist view of the afterlife and it’s different bardos.
He explains how we, when we are dead, get several chances to become enlightened and how to avoid being reborn. Actually, very much of it is about avoiding being reborn.

When I was younger I considered life as quite painful, and I wasn’t sure if this pain was worth to suffer even if life also contained good things. Some years ago, things happened to me that made me wake up spiritually, it was like coming home and finding God. Your books have been an important ingredient in my spiritual journey since I have found a lot of answers to my
existential questions in them. Actually, reading about Veda was like being reminded of something I had forgotten. Life has become nicer and I consider life as a divine expression, in every human being, animal and in nature I see a part of God.

So, reading about the Buddhist view of avoiding being a human being, made me a bit confused. Of course, there are pain in the world and I think we can avoid it by working for enlightenment, but is that really the same as avoiding being reborn and avoiding being a human being? Is it true that our world cannot exist without pain? When I read the book I felt like being reborn is some kind of condemnation, not as something good and beautiful. When a child is born, we are happy, but according to the Buddhist view, should
we really be happy for that?  What is your point of view on this?


Rebirth for Buddhism is not a condemnation of human life, it is an opportunity to find that knowledge and truth that frees us from the suffering that comes with life in ignorance. So being reborn indicates that one is not fully enlightened, but that is not a bad thing or a judgment about being human, it is simply an indication of where you are in your journey of awakening. As a teacher once told me many years ago, “There is no shame in ignorance, for only the ignorant can become enlightened.”

The part of the book that refers to opportunities for enlightenment in the afterlife is knowledge to let you know you can make conscious choices in the afterlife to maximize your growth. Tibetan Buddhism may not emphasis the joy of life, but only because it is trying to point to a more complete and universal state of truth and compassion beyond sensory and emotional gratification.  That state of liberation is what being a complete human being is all about and from a Buddhist point of view, that is what is truly good and beautiful in life.



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