Bardo is a Tibetan Buddhist noun which translates:
A transition or gap between the completion of one situation and the onset of another. From bar – “in-between” – and do- “suspended or thrown.”
One experiences many Bardos in life – birth, adolescence, adulthood, graduation, first job, being fired from a job, marriage, sometimes divorce, children and of course the ultimate Bardo – death. The Tibetan Buddhists espouse Bardos in their lives because it is in a Bardo that we experience our quantum leaps in wisdom and soul evolution. Review your Bardos and you will see this rings true. Buddhists during their lifetimes, continue to build on their spiritual strength in readiness of the ultimate and the most supreme Bardo which is death.
They believe when you die your spirit is vibrating at a very high frequency and with proper preparation during one’s lifetime at this transition you are able to step out of “samsara” (the cycle of birth-death-rebirth) into “nirvana” (a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.)
What is so challenging and difficult about Bardos is that there is the uncertainty of the future. Us mortals do not like to be in a transitional mode feeling thrown or suspended. We are used to the status quo and the stability of our lives with both of our feet grounded and supported. Needless to say, the entire planet comprising of 195 countries some 8 billion souls are caught in an unprecedented Bardo.
So how do we deal with the magnitude of this pandemic?
First, it is important to have unwavering faith that there is a divine order to our Universe, and we will come through this challenge stronger, more resilient, more compassionate, more generous and more caring. A poignant reminder that we are all connected and wholly dependent on each other for our lives. We have realized that the human race and all the planet’s creatures are vulnerable and that natural disasters can end our lives. In many ways, our actions have led to often recurring natural disasters such as record levels of heat, floods, climate change, hurricanes, earthquakes, and pandemics.
It is not about having a profiteering-Wall-Street-arrogant-mindset and the relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar that can advance our human condition. Rather, by living in humility and in the caring service of our sisters, brothers, progeny and mother earth we can advance as a human species. The Universe is speaking to us through these natural disasters. The world will be different when this over, and I am remaining hopeful that it will spawn a better world and a lot of good will manifest from this global paralysis. I pray we will be more humble, compassionate, kind, forgiving and caring for each other.
As we navigate through this lock-down, my own practice is to maintain my healthy lifestyle and enhance my immune system. That means a healthy diet (5 to 7 fruits and vegetables a day), regular daily exercise, supplements (recommended by a physician) and rest. I have added an extra hour of sleep as this is when the body rebuilds and enhances immunity. Many of us are sleep deprived.
Secondly, build on your spiritual resiliency. I continue to practice my two hours a day of meditation practice. I meditate 3 different times a day and you can listen to my methodology on my website where you will also find a guided meditation on Life’s Mission
. Two hours may be a lot for many, but I recommend at least 20 minutes, twice a day. Meditating twice a day instead of once a day delivers tenfold benefits. Stay in prayerful and hopeful meditation. Remember the whole world is praying and meditating together. There is a lot of power in collective prayer and I believe that all prayers are answered. The key is to be hopeful – hope provides a forward-looking perspective.
This reminds me of a story from the holocaust – a father uses the last bit of butter to make a candle and the son is livid that he would use the last morsel of food in this manner and the father’s response: “the body can last without food for 40 days but it can only last a few minutes without hope.”
I believe it is important to set a strong intention in a collective prayerful meditation as intentions are powerful and do manifest. Many of you might have read the book “The Power of Intentions” by the late Wayne Dyer. We manifest what we strongly believe in. So let us collectively, in our daily meditation and prayer, set the intention for a miracle. As my friend Claudia reminded me “those who do not believe in miracles are not realistic.” I believe in miracles.
What compromises a healthy immune system is STRESS. It is also natural to feel anxiety in these times as the future remains uncertain. When you find yourself in stress focus on your breathing and come into the present moment. Stress does NOT reside in the present. Stress is being exasperated for events in the past or in the anxiety of future outcomes. In the present moment, there is breath, blue skies, blossoming spring gardens and the precious gift of life.
My exercise is to walk 6 days a week and I recently read this reminder in one of my magazines:
“Never have I felt so grateful for a walk. There is solace in knowing that as long as I put one foot in front of another, I will keep moving through this particular world. It might not be the same world tomorrow or next week, so I take a moment to feel lucky for every walk, every waft of jasmine, I have now. And I feel grateful for everything else I have, too – health and happiness, my job, loved ones to laugh with. I notice the buds on my favorite trees are bigger than yesterday. I give it another week, and the buds will be leaves, and then everything will be green. I know this to be true: Life renews.”
~Lena Felton in TheLiliy.com
Stay calm, collected, cautious and vigilant. Stay safe, healthy, prayerful and hopeful. Please know all of you and your loved ones are in my heart, thoughts and daily prayers and meditations.
Peace and many blessings.