In the Bardo – Part I – How To See In the Dark


/ Photo by nick russill /

Feeling stuck, in limbo, in-between jobs or relationships?

Welcome to the Bardo! The Bardo is a transitional phase between lives, life cycles, or even moments. The Bardo is where you transform your old self, shed your skin, and start anew. It’s a spiritual re-evaluation period when you let go of the impulses of the body and the complexities of the physical world, allowing you to return to essential spiritual matters.

(Read more about the Bardo.)

In the Bardo, you’ll find yourself on an unplanned spiritual retreat, often with some financial stress because work has slowed or stopped temporarily. You might feel lonely. It’s a time of suspended animation. You’ve stepped into unknown landscapes where you face the death of old identities and belief systems.

Dans Le Noir – Seeing in the Dark

When you are faced with not knowing where you’re headed, you’ve entered the void. This is an embryonic state, a fragile state and it’s dark with no obvious light switch. But, the void being undefined, is also free from limitations. In the void, all things are possible.

Your biggest asset during these periods of uncertainty is reflection and introspection. What’s the reward for all the internal wrestling? A new start, a fresh new beginning. Luminosity. A lightness of being. Clarity. The gift is vision.

How do you find your vision? By learning to see in the dark.

Tanya describes dining with a friend at Dans Le Noir (In The Dark), a popular restaurant in Paris where you eat in total darkness and are served by blind waiters.

The Bardo state is like eating in the dark, and what gets you through it is:

Experiment: Touch, taste, and smell new things.
Surrender: Allow yourself to be led by helpers, including those you can’t see.
Playfulness: Sure, you’ll spill food in your lap. Laugh about it.
Unity: Let barriers fall away. Everything merges in the dark.
Trust the Mystery: Trust what comes in silence.

I think the lack of stimulation allows us to hear and experience a deeper river that’s constant, still, vibrant, and real. And the process of deep listening with attention and intention catalyzes and mobilizes exactly what’s needed at that time.”

Angeles Arrien

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