"What will you do in the Bardo?"

"What will you do in the Bardo?"

January 20, 20242 min read

"What Will You Do In The Bardo?"

(Am I finding early retirement hard or did I prepare for retirement?)

The other day I was asked how I was coping with retirement.

The person stated that so many people find retirement hard after a life of work and that many suffer and become lonely and depressed.

They went on to say that many people who retire lose their identity (which is related so closely to their job) and turn to drink to cope and some even die prematurely.

Their question to me was: "Am I finding retirement hard or did I prepare for it?"

My response to that was: "What will you do in the Bardo?"

Let me explain ......

The term "Bardo" originates from Tibetan Buddhism and is associated with the transitional state between death and rebirth.

It translates to "intermediate state" or "in-between state."

The concept is most commonly found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, also known as the Bardo Thodol, a text that guides individuals through the various stages of the afterlife.

But the concept of the Bardo isn't just about the afterlife; it's also very applicable in our everyday lives.

Just as there is a transitional state between death and rebirth, we experience transitional periods in life, such as being between jobs (or retirement in my case).

During these times, we may feel uncertainty, anxiety, or anticipation, similar to the states in the Bardo.

The period between relationships can be seen as another form of Bardo.

As can be dealing with any form of uncertainty, even interpersonal conflict.

"So, What will you do in the Bardo?"

This saying underscores the importance of preparing ourselves for the many periods of transition and uncertainty that will occur throughout our lives.

This is why meditation is such an important practice.

It is a skill which becomes particularly valuable during times of transition and uncertainty.

Practicing meditation and cultivating mindfulness also encourages mindful decision-making, so that we can learn to respond more appropriately to situations as opposed to simply ‘reacting’ with ‘knee-jerk’ responses (I believe that meditation should be a key skill taught to all trainers and staff expected to use 'conflict management' and 'use of force skills').

However, meditation isn't just sitting cross-legged in a quiet room with no distractions.

In fact distractions, uncertainty, pain and suffering can all be useful supports for your meditation practice.

In summary, the concept of Bardo offers a framework for understanding and managing transitional states in our everyday lives, not just the afterlife.

By the way ....... I'm loving early retirement!

If you'd like to know about how you can implement this concept to aid you in your retirement or in your training and development simply drop me a message.

Have a great day.


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Mark Dawes

Mark Dawes

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