Emptying the Old, Welcoming the New


Our life is a collection of transitions from one state to other. Birth and death are major transitions. During death, we transit from the physical plane to higher dimensions or the world of spirits. During birth, we transit from the spirit world to the Earth with joy and enthusiasm. Soul evolves through these transitions.

The Tibetan Dogzchen teachings describe these transitions as Bardo. A Bardo is a state of tremendous uncertainty, as well as clarity. There is uncertainty of what is going to happen. The clarity in Bardo dawns finally when one stays with immense trust and patience. A Bardo is also a state that is highly charged with infinite possibilities. Literally everything is possible during a Bardo. The Dogzchen teachings urge us to simply rest during a Bardo with awareness. The teachings refer to Rigpa, which means undivided awareness, as a state very favorable to opening new possibilities. Simply resting in awareness opens doors for new possibilities.

Between birth and death, our whole life is full of other transitions: loss of a loved one, a chronic illness, sudden financial crisis, loss of job, end of an old relationship or entering a new relationship, a change of job or location or any hardship or challenge. A transition in life is an opportunity to pause, rest and sink into Spirit.

All challenges in life are transitions. They are there for a purpose. When we start listening, instead of resisting them, they provide great inspiration. Almost all of them have a single greater purpose: to awaken our potential and reignite our passion. During this time, we are provided with a chance to break the monotony, lethargy and old conditioning. A greater intelligence and the inner, Divine being are at constant work, and we start receiving guidance from inner sources that we never touched or wouldn’t have tapped into without these challenges.

By simply resting and allowing the transition, we not only empty the old, but sink into the depths of our soul. For example, the suffering of losing a loved one can help us question what death is and face the utter reality of death. We may realize that death is inevitable and start living life without being stuck in the struggle to accumulate things.

We listen to inner guidance and stop procrastinating that which our heart has a deep longing for. We start doing things we really love, and that brings us joy. We wake up to our ultimate calling and purpose in this life. All our dormant abilities and inner resources will be activated and start working towards this one thing that we are passionate about.

In passion, we become alive and vibrant. Our higher purpose is always alive, and we have stayed in touch with it since childhood. However, as we grew up we started identifying with several limiting ideas about ourself. The Universe reminds us in the form of challenges and transitions what we have forgotten. Often the suffering and pain are required to remind us that we are not this limited self — we are beings of love and infinite potential.

A baby inside the mother’s womb feels safe, cozy and warm. It may also have feelings of uncertainty and confusion about the world it is going to enter. However, the baby continues growing inside the womb with tremendous trust, deep passion and urge for life. It breaks the old way of living and welcomes the new life. Breaking the comfort, warmth and luxury of being completely taken care of, we came into this world with a sense of adventure and eagerness to live life to the fullest potential.

A transition in life is a calling to pause, rest and listen. Let us learn from teachings of Dogzchen: our life is a movement from one state to another. It is never static. It is in a constant flux. During any transition, we simply have to trust and rest in the vast nature of our soul. The undivided awareness of our soul opens new doors of possibilities, to empty the old, to welcome the new, to ignite our passion, to live life to the fullest!

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