Tibetan Bardo: The Great Liberation through Hearing While in Transition

Adapted for the western vernacular by Vincent Bridges

Fear not the Transition,

for death is but a passage,

the greatest of many passing

in the course of life.


As The Preacher has said:

“Unto all things there is a season.”

The solid fabric of phenomenal reality

begins to fray and fade

from perception, the light of the world

grows dim and the breath subsides,

thoughts fall away, the subtle

continuity of consciousness

lapses. . .


And through the gap,

we come Home, again.


Release, therefore, release

all attachments to things of

this world, all entanglements,

all ties. See the people

and places you have loved,

bid them farewell and release them.

See the ones you have wronged or injured you,

forgive them and release them.


This must be done to allow the mind

to rest free of thought forms

while the senses of the body subside.

In this way the experience of the falling

away merges smoothly into a natural state

of quiescence.


When the perception of things

seen in the light of the world

begins to fade, to sink within,

then the five bodies, or elements,

begin to sink within themselves.


Earth sinks into water.

The physical sensations and awareness

of the body is absorbed in to the watery

emotions of the formative body.


Water sinks into Fire.

Thoughts and emotions are absorbed

into the fiery mythological

structures of the astral body.


Fire sinks into Air.

The vast and luminous forms of myth

are absorbed into the airy awareness

of the all-knowing psychic body.


And Air then sinks into the Ether.

Awareness is absorbed,

raindrop to the ocean,

into Mind/Spirt/Light.


Within the Mind/Spirit/Light

are images of loved ones who have

gone before, or angels and shining

Beings come to help and to welcome.


Let the light grow brighter,

blazing like the Sun and dancing

like fireflies.


Let your soul ignite, blaze up with joy,

all desires disappear, but the one desire,

more light, ever more Light,

which is granted.


The light of the noonday sun

becomes but the shrouded light

of a lamp in an opaque vessel.


All impulse toward ignorance

vanishes and the Light becomes

clear, like a deep autumn blue sky,

compared to which, the brightest light

seen in life is but a glimmer of twilight.


This is the Clear Light,

the resolution of all opposites.

Its recognition is the acknowledgment

of an old friend, the reuniting of Mother

and Son, source and its creation.

It is the return,

to our one true Home,



In truth,

there is no part of you,

that is not of the Light.

For there is power in the Light,

there is the Light of wisdom,

and there is mercy in the Light,

for, indeed,

The Light has healing

in its wings.



Shared with a friend upon the imminent death of her father 7-2-2008.