Bardo Thödol - The Tibetan Book of the Dead
• Lama Ngawang Rinpoche has passed away in April of 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was tibetan, spending half of his life outside Tibet, most of the time in Sweden and Hungary. He has rooted his tradition of Kagyu lineage in both Sweden and Hungary, establishing ever-since astounishingly flouring Buddhist Centers for the benefit of all sentient beings, as well as Retreat Facilities for the more serious practitioners who would like to walk on the ancient wisdom of Inner Path which in Western World known as and named as Buddhism. Lama Chopel - one of his true-hearted student - has said a few words about him: "Lama Ngawang was certainly a remarkable man. His parents were simple nomads and very devout. From childhood, he’d had a deep instinct for dharma. His training in various Karma Kagyu monasteries, including Tsurphu [the main center of the Karma Kagyu sect], was strict, even severe, and he always had a very direct, no-nonsense approach. He had done many, many solitary retreats and emphasized intensive practice. He often quoted the great yogi and poet Milarepa, saying, “I have never learned from books and ink. My masters are the phenomenal world.” That attitude may have made him more able to just jump in here. He often said, “I have not come to the West to convert people to Buddhism. I just came to help. People have to find their own way.”
• In the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual tradition there is a unique teaching on how to help a dead person. This is called: Bardo Thödol - The Great Liberation by Hearing on the After Death Plane. It is meant to be a guide for those who have died as they transition from their former life to a new destination. The work has been traditionally attributed to Padma-Sambhava, an Indian mystic who was said to have introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century. Legend has it that while visiting Tibet, PadmaSambhava found it necessary to conceal sanskrit works he had arranged to be written. The Tibetans of that time were not ready for the spiritual teachings contained therein, so he hid his texts in strange and remote locations, leaving them to be discovered at a later time when their spiritual message could be received by those with an open mind.
• From Bardo Thödol: "O nobly-born, listen with full attention, without being distracted: There are six states of Bardo, namely: the natural state of Bardo while in the womb; the Bardo of the dream-state; the Bardo of ecstatic equilibrium, while in deep meditation; the Bardo of the moment of death; the Bardo [during the experiencing] of Reality; the Bardo of the inverse process of sangsaric existence. These are the six. O nobly-born, that which is called death hath now come. Thou art departing from this world, but thou art not the only one; [death] cometh to all. Do not cling, in fondness and weakness, to this life. Even though thou clingest out of weakness, thou hast not the power to remain here. Thou wilt gain nothing more than wandering in this Sangsāra. Be not attached [to this world]; be not weak. Remember the Precious Trinity. O nobly-born, whatever fear and terror may come to thee in the Chönyid Bardo, forget not these words; and, bearing their meaning at heart, go forwards: in them lieth the vital secret of recognition. 'Alas! when the Uncertain Experiencing of Reality is dawning upon me here, With every thought of fear or terror or awe for all [apparitional appearances] set aside, May I recognize whatever [visions] appear, as the reflections of mine own consciousness; May I know them to be of the nature of apparitions in the Bardo: When at this all-important moment [of opportunity] of achieving a great end, May I not fear the bands of Peaceful and Wrathful [Deities], mine own thought-forms.'" (English translation by Lāma Kazi Dawa-Samdup)
• Although the funeral happened 5 years ago, I only now was able to look through the images and make the series. Until now something in me stopped from the processing. I needed something to push it over the edge.