Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Training for Confronting the Bardo of the Afterlife
Anyone who has done extreme sports or certain kinds of spiritual travel has been confronted with the immediacy and power of certain experiences. When, for instance, one is skydiving or kayaking in class 5 rapids, there is no time to look away and think about abstractions or goals. Powerful experience takes all one's attention. There is little opportunity to get a perspective on what is happening.
This is similar to many people's experience in the Bardo. There is simply no time or motivation to assert control over the situation because the soul in the Bardo of the afterlife is overwhelmed by the experience. This is where the importance of memory and habit patterns come into play. The strength of a memory that informs the person what kind of meditative exercise to perform is key to rising above a passive state of reacting to the Bardo environment.
Repetition improves memory. Concentration improves memory. Both create deep habit patterns in the individual. The goal of the spiritual traveler should be to increase detachment from chaotic experience while maintaining control and access to memories of past altered states and spiritual exercises practiced during life.
There are different kinds of training for different situations. A student studies to take a final exam. A marathon runner trains for a long run. A martial artist trains for a fight or contest. A religious person trains for death with meditation, religious ritual, prayer, spiritual travel, compassion, and strengthening a relationship with a guru, guide, or deity. Only training can prepare the person for the ultimate challenge of the Bardo of the afterlife.
Spiritual travel is especially good training since the traveler is practiced in navigating in the inner worlds even as the experienced sailor can handle storms but still have the presence of mind to plot a course to sail his boat to calmer waters.
Introduction | The Geography of Spiritual Travel | The "Travel" Analogy | Leaving the Body in Spiritual Travel | Spiritual Travel Versus Dreams | Sacred Light | Sacred Sound | Psychic States | Spiritual Travel in Western Religious Scripture | The Self in Spiritual Travel | Returning to the Physical Body | Near-Death Experience | Navigation During Spiritual Travel | Spiritual Matter | Method and Techniques To Induce Spiritual Travel | Shamanism and Spiritual Travel | After-Death Experience | Spiritual Travel as a Rehearsal for Physical Death | Beyond Spiritual Travel | Conclusion
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