The Bardo of Aging
As we have explored many times, the bardos are those “in between” moments of awareness. Traditionally there are six bardos: birth, this life, the dying process, the space between death and rebirth, sleep/dreams, and meditation. But any moment of transition is like a bardo state. I am currently experiencing the bardo of aging. Everthing seems to be different in my body. Aches and pains introduce themselves more often. I also hold things more lightly because—what is the point of holding tightly?
I wonder if spiritual maturing happens along with aging. Or maybe those of us with spiritual inclinations are just fooling ourselves about our development. Maybe we are just getting tired of ourselves and no longer have the energy to cling to ego habits. Most likely spiritual maturity and aging are simply strange bedfellows—an auspicious but very weird cohabitation. It does not really matter.
Actually nothing really matters in the way we think it does. Nothing is basically, no matter. As I enter the last ten or twenty years of life in this body, the vagaries of impermanence come into greater focus and do not have the emotional charge of my youth. Rather than gathering experiences and stuff because of some emotional need, I am more likely to simply see what is next and move with whatever is needed with less attachment.
Now, I am sitting in the sun, watching thunderheads develop in the distance. Insects are happily dancing among the flowers doing their pollinating thing. A variety of bird songs drape the scene in random resonance, orchestrating the elements of wind and space. I know this delicious moment will disappear with time. I will disappear with time. The bardo of aging is a less avoidable and deeply sensate experience of that impermanence.
Ouch, my aching back. How wonderful!