This year’s annual very popular Women’s Order Retreat at Taraloka will be on the theme of the Bardo Verses taken from the Bardo Thodol -- one of the main insight reflections recommended by Bhante from the very early days of the movement.
‘Bardo’ literally means ‘in-between’, so the Bardo of Life is an experience of aliveness arising between dream states. But what does it mean to be alive, to be awake to the full mystery of sensory experience? Every moment is an experience we can ‘wake up’ in, if we inhabit the ‘gap’, embrace the in-betweenness while fully alive to the meaning and impact of each breath.
With the Dream Bardo we can learn how to work when deeper habits and tendencies surface, and develop clarity.
With the Meditation Bardo we can learn how to confidently embrace the freedom, flexibility and joy that can emerge, and work with the doubts that hold us back.
The Bardo of Dying challenges our attachment at the deepest level. We can learn the freedom of letting go with awareness.
The Bardo of Dharmata or clear light, shows us the profound love that is there when, no longer separated, we are fully alive in an alive universe. The experience is so shattering and unfamiliar though, that we approach it through learning to live increasingly flexibly with the unfamiliar.
The Bardo of Becoming takes us into new life; conditionality unfolding as a result of previous tendencies. It can teach us the importance of flavouring and tempering those tendencies with love and awareness, of leading an ethical life.
We will be practising together as a community on this mainly silent retreat with daily input around the Bardo Verses. There will be the opportunity for meditation reviews, bodywork, walking meditation, ritual and time in nature.