LNBDS meeting December 2009
13 December 2009 meeting: Meeting of the LNBDS (UK) Executive Committee was held on Sunday, 13th December 2009 at Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre, Kingsbury, London. Meeting started with Panĉa Sila administered by Venerable Bhikkhu Sumana followed by a brief meditation led by Venerable Bhikkhu Sumana, which members found very useful as it helped to calm down the body and mind.
After the meditation, Padma Tara Sakya led the Dharma discussion on ‘Bardo’ a Tibetan term for ‘life and death: spiritual transition – an intermediate state’. According to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche there are Living Bardo which is the present life, a dying Bardo when one has a terminal disease which leads to death of present physical body and a Bardo. According to Tibetan tradition an individual remains in this state for 49 days before taking rebirth. According to Theravada Tradition an individual takes rebirth immediately without an intermediate period of Bardo.
Rebirth depends on individual’s wholesome or unwholesome actions in the present life. The wholesome actions during present life, living with loving kindness, spiritual practice, tranquil and peaceful atmosphere immediately before death can make the transition between death and rebirth peaceful. Hence the practice of Paritran chanting among Buddhists to prevail tranquil and peaceful atmosphere when some one is dying. Padma Tara explained that during Bardo also one gets opportunities to practice wholesome karma for liberation. One also gets various visions which give some indication for future birth. For example if one has a vision of walking on two feet it is an indication that one might be born in either in human or heavenly realm. It you have a vision of walking on four feet it is an indication to be born in animal realm. On the other hand if you have a vision of walking on head then it indicates one might be born in lower realm like preta or asura. Members participated in the discussion afterwards even though the topic was new to most of them and difficult to grasp but they were grateful for the opportunity to listen to a new topic. Some felt that they are not sure about the life after death.
Dr Bal Gopal Shrestha, a researcher at University of Oxford described his current research project on ‘Religious practices of Nepalese living on UK’ and requested for our help in completing his research. All present agreed to assist him in whatever way they can.