It is natural for us to be curious about the process of dying, and to wonder what happens during and after death. In Buddhism, there are many different meditations, rituals and customs around death. One of the best known texts regarding the subject is attributed to Padmasambhava and written down by his primary disciple, Yeshe Tsogyal. Entitled Bardo Thodol, and translated as The Great Liberation Through Hearing (or more popularly as the Tibetan Book of the Dead), this text is considered a crucial Tibetan Buddhist scripture for the dying and recently deceased. It is also a most excellent guide for our journey through life – especially how we may live life more meaningfully and how we may follow the path to Enlightenment more deeply.
A Bardo is a space between, a transitional state, where one way of being has ended and the next one has not yet arisen. In these spaces there is tremendous potential for something significant and meaningful to arise. On this retreat we will explore these Bardos – namely that of the Bardo of Life (Birth), Dreams, Meditation, Moment Before Death, Death (Dharmata) and Becoming – by creating visual representations of each through using our imagination and the creative arts. The art workshops will be punctuated by the reading out of Buddhist teachings and poetry that draw out the subtlety and beauty of each of the Bardos. Meditation and ritual will frame the program to create a rich and supportive atmosphere of exploration.
This retreat is suitable for anyone with a basic meditation practice. No experience with creative arts is required. Art supplies will be provided, although if there are particular items you would like to bring, please feel free to do so. Lodging and vegetarian meals are included in the fee.
Led by Dh Viriyalila
Level: Open to All
Fee: Sliding Scale $305/$230/$155*
* At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means. The Sustaining price is for people comfortably paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford the occasional meal out and movie. The Sustaining price level also helps Aryaloka offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend. Any payment above this price is a tax-deductible donation. Mid-Level prices are for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Aryaloka’s operating costs. The Base-Level price is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. Those whose circumstances are not included above can call the office to arrange alternate pricing.
Image detail from The Green Lantern by Warwick Goble