Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Bardo

Hi all - I've just got back from an enforced trip to the other side of the world, and am happy to receive so many kind messages regarding my absence, and happy to be back posting :-)

Just a short reflection - I necessarily had to spend a couple of weeks in an environment where I couldn't meditate, where I couldn't read a Dharma book, and where I couldn't even see a Buddha image. What an interesting experience! That was the first time I've been in that situation since coming back to the Dharma in this life. I can't pretend that I'd choose that aspect of separation from the other signs of the Dharma, or lack of formal practice, but nevertheless, this particular Bardo provided an interesting and useful vantage point from which to view how things are. As always, a change, a disjunction in ones 'normal' way always throws up a lot ... and this sure did!

One thing that struck me in particular was how in the course of the two weeks, I gradually went from having a fairly strong sense of what I was experiencing being a series of empty arisings in mind, to having a stronger sense of there being a 'me' who was experiencing stuff that was 'outside' of me. So instead of a play of appearances with seemingly different flavours of 'insideness' and 'outsideness', there was a very strong sense of dualistic divide, of self and other, of me and the world. Very interesting! This was a very gradual process over the two weeks, a gradual settling out of solidity in these perceptions ... this 'self' becoming more solid, these 'others' becoming more solid, more real .... very interesting indeed.

So today is my first opportunity to meditate formally again, which I'm really looking forward to.

I'd gone from first to third world, from one culture to another, one religion to another, from city to not even village, from one language to another .... extreme temperate differences, timezone differences, all manner of change ... a profound shift which had a strong Bardo sense to it .... an inbetween ... a not quite my 'normal' .... how interesting .....

and now back :-)

2 comments:

Al said...

Welcome back!

Florence said...

I cannot imagine a situation where I could not do some formal practices. At least you can be conscious of your breath during any activity. You can practice some mantra or vizualisation everytime you are not speaking. You can perform some trulkors in the bathroom, dream yogas during the night... and micro meditations all the day, even 10 seconds or 1 minute is good !