Free Buddhist Audio

The Bardo of Life

On Tue, 5 March, 2013 - 13:29
viriyalila's picture
Our February podcasts - both the full length one and our little Dharmabytes - provided opportunities to reflect on life and death while marking the Buddha’s Parinirvana with rituals and celebrations in our centres around the world. Last week we reflected on the Bardo Thodol through the eyes and the hearts of several poets with talks from Suriyvamsa, Padmavajra and Candradasa.

In our full length FBA Podcast, “Life - For A Limited Time Only” Suriyavamsa begins with the inevitability of death and some of our habitual attitudes to death and suffering, reading from contemporary poets. He brings out the Buddhist perspective that life and death are not separate, but parts of the same process. This talk was given at Parinirvana Day 2010 at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre.

In the Dharmabyte “A Guidebook for the Dead,” Padmavajra explores the great text that reveals the realms between death and new life, where anything is possible in the Bardo – the ‘intermediate state’. This is also an excellent introduction to the recent history of the text itself as it has come into the West and influenced practitioners and cultural figures in many significant ways. From the talk, “Tibetan Book the Dead: Talk 1 – The Six Bardos” 2005.

And finally, in the last Dharmabyte in February, the director of Dharmachakra, Candradasa reads a fascinating, poetic rendering of the Bardo Thodol, the ancient Buddhist text on death and dying. “Ted Hughes on the Bardo Thodol” is from the talk, “Death and the Biggest Questions of All,” 2012, given at the Portsmouth (NH, USA) Buddhist Center.

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