The Bardo of Life and Death 

A three-week seminar series with Jnanavaca

Mon 17 Jun - 1 Jul | 7.15 - 9.45pm | In person and on YouTube | By donation

Oh now, when the Bardo of Life upon me is dawning 

‘The Root Verses of the Six Bardos’ exhort us to make the very best of our human situation - ‘Abandoning idleness… entering into Reality undistractedly’. These  crucial six verses encapsulate the Buddhist vision for life, death, rebirth and the promise of Enlightenment.

‍In this three-week seminar, Jnanavaca explores the root verses, ancient teachings from “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”. Jnanavaca is one of our most experienced and gifted teachers, he says 'our views about death and what will happen after death have an impact on how we live our life and what we believe it's for.'

‍Buddhism would say that we don't realise how much scientific materialism closes down the possibilities of consciousness. In this context, The Root Verses are a wake up call: Oh procrastinating one, who thinks not of the coming of death¦ Improvident are you in dissipating your great opportunity.

Structure of the series

  • In this three week series Jnanavaca takes us through the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on the bardo's, those moments of potentiality for something new to arise in our life. The series is perfect for anyone with a deepening interest in Buddhism as well as anyone that thinks seriously about life and death and what they mean for us.

    The series will be going into the teachings of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It will be helpful to familiarise yourself with the material a little before the course to get the full benefit. A good place to start would be to listen to the lecture Psycho-Spiritual Symbolism in the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Sangharakshita. You can access the lecture here.

Week 1

The Bardo of Life

"O now, when the Birthplace Bardo upon me is dawning!
Abandoning idleness -- there being no idleness in a devotee's life --
Entering into the Reality undistractedly, listening, reflecting, and meditating,
Carrying on to the Path knowledge of the true nature of appearances and of mind,
may the Tri-Kāya be realised:
Once that the human form hath been attained,
May there be no time in which to idle it away."

Week 2

The Bardo of Death

"O now, when the Bardo of the Moment of Death upon me is dawning!
Abandoning attraction and craving, and weakness for all [worldly things],
May I be undistracted in the space of the bright [enlightening] teachings,
May I [be able to] transfuse myself into the heavenly space of the Unborn:
The hour hath come to part with this body composed of flesh and blood;
May I know the body to be impermanent and illusory."

Week 3

The Bardo of Reality

"O now, when the Bardo of the Reality upon me is dawning,
Abandoning all awe, fear, and terror of all [phenomena],
May I recognize whatever appeareth as being mine own thought-forms,
May I know them to be apparitions in the Intermediate State;
[It hath been said], 'There arriveth a time when the chief turning-point is reached;
Fear not the bands of the Peaceful and Wrathful, Who are thine own thought-forms'."

Is this for me?

This series is open to everyone, including complete newcomers, though some previous experience of the mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana will help as we will have periods of unlead meditation practice each week.

The series takes place at the London Buddhist Centre, in a friendly environment. There will also be opportunities to connect with others, through discussion and a tea break. After each class, we will send you a follow-up email with a summary of the previous evening's input. We'll also support you to think about next steps when the course ends.

We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Dates

25 Jun - 30 Jul | 7.15 - 9.30pm

Book Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get the most from the series?

Here are some top tips for taking part: 

Come every week – whether you feel like it or not. If you look for motivation before you do something, you reverse your motivation; mostly you only want to do something when you’re actually doing it. 

Come early – so you can relax before the class.

What if I can’t make every session?

Often people need to miss a session or two, so feel free to book anyway. We'll send follow-up emails which will recap some of the content you missed.

If you are going to miss a class –  Just get in touch so that we know and do come back the following week.