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What happens in the period of time between lives?
By Abby Eagle 2014
The term ‘bardo’ refers to the state of existence between two lives on earth. The Tibetan Book of the Dead describes the process and the phenomena that the consciousness may experience in between lives. In my opinion it is outdated, in that it uses pagan concepts and much of the language is stated in the negative. Just reading it is enough to scare people. What I bring to this neo bardo comes from my background as an Osho Zen Sannyasin (1984), and a career in NLP Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Meditation since much the same time. You can read about some of my meditation experiences at http://www.abbyeagle.com/blog/
The Abby Eagle Bardo is intended to be a reminder for the deceased to remain conscious in the period between lives and to either take the opportunity to be free from a new birth, or to make a conscious choice in the type of family and country in which they are reborn. (I have named this bardo – Abby Eagle Bardo – as a means to clearly distinguish it from the Tibetan Bardo.)
In summary we spend a short period of time reflecting back upon the past – preserving the positive learning’s and allowing new understandings to arise at the level of the unconscious mind. (For example, to clear a negative emotion using the TimeLine intervention procedure developed by Tad James, only takes twenty minutes.)
Write out the bardo in your own words using this bardo as a guide then find someone who is willing to read it to you after you die. Choose someone who you trust to follow your instructions explicitly. Make sure they understand the process. If possible sit down with them and discuss the bardo. Let them get an understanding of who you are and who you want to be. The person who reads the Bardo should not deviate from the instructions. This is the person’s last will and testament and they have entrusted to you, the reader, a sacred task, so please just read what they have written and do not add or take anything away.
The reader should begin reading the bardo to the deceased as soon as they learn that they have died. Ideally the readings should be given by the side of the body. In many cases this will not be possible but if you have clearly set the intention as to who is to read the bardo then the deceased will find and hear the reader.
Start each reading by addressing the person by their name, and saying your name, and stating your intention as in this example: (John is reading the bardo to Bill.)
“Hi Bill, this is John. I am going to read the bardo for you. Listen carefully. This is what you asked me to read to you.” Use the deceased name with each new paragraph.
Once you have finished reading the bardo, let the listener know that you have finished and say goodbye with the words that they have chosen. In my case I want the reader to say, “All the best to you.”
Decide when you want the bardo to be read and how often? It could be once a day in the evening for forty nine days and there after once a week for, or once a month for a year.
Remember there are two parts to the bardo. The first part is about their current life. The second part is about their desired outcome. The suggestion is to read the first part for a set period of time and thereafter just read the second part for a set period of time. Remember past is past – preserve the learning’s, allow understanding’s to arise and then shift the attention to the desired outcome. So you might read both part one and two for a couple of weeks and then just read part two. Make sure the reader understands what you want them to do.
Start with acknowledgment that death has happened.
Hi [your name]… the body has died. What you are experiencing is consciousness that is free of the body. Now it is time to celebrate. Bring awareness to this consciousness. Let consciousness be conscious of itself. Let awareness be aware of itself.
Remember positive memories to build a resourceful frame of mind.
In this section we remind the deceased about their past positive experiences. A few words will suffice to bring back the memory and state of consciousness. Remind the deceased of the kindest of all persons they have ever known.
Hi [your name], you are a pretty amazing person. Remember...
For example, [your name] this moment is all that there is. No past, no future – just this very moment. Relax now and take it easy. Since you no longer have a physical body everything is fine. So relax and enjoy this experience. You are invincible. Thoughts may arise in the mind but they are just thoughts. Remember how your clients would so often come to that realisation that, “thoughts are just thoughts”. Remember the mantra, “Does this thought serve me?” If not then ask, “What thoughts would serve me right now?” Always holding a frame of fascination, always looking for the positive learning’s, always holding a frame of playfulness. Playfulness is the most powerful resource. With playfulness – love, compassion and friendliness naturally arise.
Acknowledgment. [your name] acknowledge that you are dead and that it is okay – everything is okay now. Death has happened and now you are free to explore both life and death in new ways. Free to explore self as pure consciousness, unhindered by the body and unhindered by the thoughts that arise from being in a physical body. [Osho talks of the body existing in consciousness rather than the consciousness existing in a body but this is hard to put into words.]
Acceptance. [your name] bring acceptance to the fact that you did your best. You did your best. You had life experiences and from those experiences understandings arose. You set goals – you learned to follow your energy – you learned to get in the flow. You learned what to do and what not to do. Slowly you concentrated your energies and became more focussed.
Reflect back upon life and preserve the positive learnings.
Appreciation. [your name] take all the time that you need to appreciate your life as [your name]. Feel grateful and thankful for the life experiences that you had. You did good. You did the best that you could. You fell in love. You fell out of love. [For example, You travelled to many parts of the world. You had amazing experiences. You surfed. You meditated and you became more conscious. You pursued a process of enquiry into Truth.]
[your name] as you reflect upon those memories remember to preserve the positive learnings and to allow new understanding to arise. Understanding is all that there is. Love is understanding. This moment is all that there is. Letting go of the past. This moment is enough. No where to go, nothing to do, just enjoying the moment – just be. Just taking time out to live in the moment.
Validation. [your name] you did good. You...
[For example] Your friends have said:
"You are the most centred person that I have met - centred in yourself and in the world.”
“You are great in front of people.”
"You demonstrate love, poise and elegance.”
"Your smile radiates love."
Celebration. [your name] now is the time to celebrate. Every moment is the time to celebrate. Remember this always – now is the time to celebrate consciousness.
Shift attention to the future and build a well formed outcome.
Buddhism and other such philosophies talk a lot about being free from the body, and free from being reborn into a physical body. There intention seems to be to maintain a silent mind such that thoughts do not arise of the past, such that desires may not arise of being in the body once again. With enlightenment one is supposedly not reborn but who is to be reborn? Since there was no one there in the first place – since the sense of ‘I’ was just an illusion – there never was anyone to claim that they had past life memories. Buddhism talks about breaking the cycle of birth and death, as if experiencing the human form is undesirable. Perhaps the Buddhists were too much focussed on the negative aspects of life. Reading the Tibetan Bardo one can see that it is quite negative, uses pagan concepts and catastrophising words such as ‘terrible’ and ‘terrifying’. I think a basic training in NLP could do wonders for some of these people.
One can sit in meditation with an absolutely silent mind but so what? I have experienced that – the internal dialogue has disappeared but so what - life is to be experienced, to be embraced, not denied. The mind is a necessary function for the human to move through the world. It is language that makes us human. The desire for enlightenment seems to be a desire to be free of the mind but one only needs to be free of the mind if one is in the back seat of the car, so to speak. If in the front seat of the car – in the driver's seat of the mind – then one learns how to manage the mind and put it to good use.
Thoughts arise in the mind for whatever reason. Step one is to bring awareness to those thoughts. Step two is to ask one self, “Do these thoughts serve me? Is this what I want to be thinking about?” This sends a message directly back to the unconscious mind. Step 3 is to set the intention. “So what do you want to do and experience right now?” We then ask the self, “What thoughts would serve me right now?” Here we use the term, ‘thoughts’ loosely. If during the day you experience negativity then by asking the aforementioned questions it will directionalise the mind from negative to positive – from the present state to the desired outcome. If a busy mind is preventing you from going to sleep at night then the questions will serve to quieten the mind because the intent is to get to sleep. If sitting in meditation then the questions will serve to quieten the mind. In addition just by bringing awareness to the internal dialogue it will disappear and silence will reveal itself. It is so simple, so easy that I wonder why meditators make such a fuss about trying to quieten the mind and find inner peace?
1. Do you want to be reborn into a new human body?
If not, then what would you like to experience? What realm would you like to experience? Do you want a rest before being reborn into physical form or do you want to move on and explore new realms?
2. What do you want in a new life?
Do you have a preferred lifestyle? A preferred occupation? Do you want to be born as a boy or a girl?
3. What will this look like, sound like and feel like?
Stated in the positive.
4. When do you want to be reborn?
How long do you want to spend between lives? What year would suit you?
5. Where do you want to be reborn?
It may be a good idea to choose a part of the world where there is the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth.
6. What type of family do you want to be born into?
Stated in the positive. What are the values that attract you, for example, love, kindness, compassion, freedom, money?
7. Why do you want to be reborn?
Purpose and intention.
8. Do you know how to find a loving family?
For example... [your name] choose parents who express love, kindness, compassion. Parents who give freedom to explore. Parents who are at ease with themselves – who have a sense of beingness. [your name] choose parents who have money so that you can maximise your potential at an early age.
[Give yourself the advice that you want to hear.] For example, choose parents in the same way that you choose 'x'. Take your time, think about it, do comparisons, then leave it for a while and then come back to take another look. Search for reviews, get an idea of what others say or feel about these people. When you have weighed up the positive and negative aspects – when you feel a sense of balance – when you sense that this family will help you to achieve your desired outcomes check inside to see if you are in alignment with this goal – only when you sense that you are ready then make the decision.
[your name] search for a new beginning in [name the location]
Learn to get in the flow and follow your energy at an early age. Be authentic and true to yourself. Learn to live in your heart. Learn how to practise awareness. Focus on what comes naturally to you.
Remember these questions: What are the thoughts that you need to keep in mind in order to achieve your outcomes? What are the thoughts that you need to keep in mind in order to be born into a loving family who have money? What are the thoughts that you need to keep in mind in order to become... What are the thoughts that you need to keep in mind in order to squeeze the juice from each moment, such that at the end of each day you say to yourself, “That was a great day. I did good. I had a great day and tomorrow will be even better.” Such that at the end of that life you say to yourself, “That was a life well worth having lived.”
[your name], take all the time that you need. Enjoy the space between lives. When you are ready and only when you ready enter into a new womb and continue the journey of your next lifetime.
All the best to you.
* * * * * * * * *
I wrote these notes some days before I wrote the outline for the Abby Eagle Bardo.
In my mind there have been thoughts of going on a long journey, finding a new home, going somewhere cooler. Dreams, thoughts and health of the body have indicated that death may be approaching. If I move away from the Gold Coast to a cooler, lower humidity, climate then I may live for another thirty years. But I may have left it too late - there is a sense of urgency to put my affairs in order and to make final preparations for the 'bardo' - the intermediate space between lives.
For the last couple of years and with a sense of urgency more recently I have been going through all of my possessions, tidying up and throwing out or giving away what I don't need. Then I repeat the process. I just want to keep those items that are useful and meaningful to me at this stage in my life. I keep in mind what I do, what I don't do and am willing to cut my losses on projects that have little value to me now - or projects that get in the way of what I need to focus on - which is producing video documentaries and completing a series of publications that I started ten years ago.
I am still buying up camera gear and working towards producing my first video documentary with Martin Tullemans. I still hold a positive frame of mind that I can continue to work on new projects and complete old projects.
I had a conversation with my good friend Kyle about reading the Bardo to me. When I looked at the Bardo again I realised that it was not appropriate for me and decided to write my own version in simple NLP / NS based terminology.
Last night I had a dream... of many beautiful women... one was petite and extremely sexually attractive. I put my arm around her and held her to me. The sexual feeling was intense but then something did not feel right - like something was missing. I looked at the other women - some had gone. I looked at the other women, some who seemed more grounded, slightly bigger and more whole. I wondered what other criteria I needed to keep in mind in selecting a women? The woman symbolised to me a womb for rebirth. The Tibetans talk about lights of different colours and brightness but in my dream I saw women with a range of qualities. I had awareness that I was dreaming and said to myself, "You are dreaming, you know that you are dreaming right now."
I have had awareness in my sleep that I am dreaming for about fifteen years now. I have watched the body go to sleep and wake up again. I have heard my neighbours talking and then the alarm has woken me up and I could verify that the body was asleep but I could hear the neighbours. For me the transition from wakefulness to sleep - and from sleep to wakefulness is just a matter of the body going to sleep and waking up. The consciousness is always present.
After dreaming about the women I found myself floating above the ground on a cliff top. I could see the ocean below. In a dream the ocean has always signified consciousness. I reassured myself. "It is okay you can float above the ocean. You are dreaming, this is not real." I floated out above the ocean from a vast height and it was beautiful.
There were many other aspects to the dream of men and women making a selection process - taking my time - all the time in the world.
As I slowly woke from the dream I had the feeling that everything is going to be okay. I will know what to do when I die and I will handle whatever happens with awareness. I will take my time in choosing a new womb. I have all the time in the world. I feel so much more at peace and I am smiling.
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