Having spent time as a pastoral care volunteer in the Emergency Room of a large urban hospital, occasionally I became intimate with the energy of not-knowingness. Not knowing when the doctor is coming back- or what the tests might reveal. Not knowing if one is coming or going, leaving or staying. Sometimes not knowing if one is living or dying. This uncertainty is experienced as stepping out from one’s “real’ world with very fixed boundaries to new terrain. How one negotiates and perceives this terrain is different for every patient. Certainly it (ER) can be a scary place. Perhaps this is why some teachers have equated the Emergency Room to the charnel grounds of India and Tibet. Scary places for transformation; and fertile ground for practice.
In this environment it might be easier to see death in every moment. Moments can be long. One might be able to sense more clearly not only the gap in between these moments- but the “no gap” connecting them all. In this borderland it's easier to see bardo as a function of living—and dying.
Will I talk the talk- or walk the walk? Living Buddhist practice is about preparing for death. Death provides us the greatest opportunity for liberation from the samsaric cycle. This is why yogis and yoginis actually might look forward to the experience with a certain zest, as you might look forward to any new and fresh experience. Free of body- and consciousness- there are numerous opportunities for realizing one’s perfect nature.
I can only hope that this life will be long enough for me to become more helpful and resourceful with bardo practice and teachings. Trying to be loyal to basic goodness, the intent is to help others who might pass before me.