The Bardo: Death as an Opportunity

There is an old Tibetan Buddhist saying that: "We cry when we are born, while the world celebrates; and the world cries when we die, but for us it is a chance for liberation." For those who are prepared, death is a spiritual opportunity. The bardo, or "antarābhava" in Sanskrit, is one of the central concepts in Buddhist descriptions of what happens after we die. It is literally the "middle state," especially between the end of this life and our next rebirth, but there are many bardos. Although it is best known through Tibetan tantric practices, it was a source of debate in Buddhist thought since even before the rise of the Mahāyāna. Some traditions, like the Theravāda, do not accept a middle state and believe instead that rebirth occurs immediately after death. If you explore this idea further, it is important to know that even among those who support the notion of a bardo, there are variations in the ways that they under

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