Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 465 – Bardos, Faith, & Letting Go with Ann Tashi Slater

Writer, speaker, and traveler, Ann Tashi Slater, returns with Raghu to talk the bardos, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, trust, travel, NDE’s, letting go, Padmasambhava, and faith. 

Ann Tashi Slater is a writer, speaker and traveler, born on a summer evening in Andalusia to an American father and a Tibetan mother. Ann lived in Spain for two years, Darjeeling and Kathmandu for a year, and then moved to the States. Her fiction, essays, and interviews have been published by The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Catapult, Guernica, Tin House, AGNI, Granta, Kyoto Journal, and the HuffPost, among others, and she is a contributing a contributing editor at Tricycle. Her writing also appears in Women in Clothes (Riverhead) and American Dragons (HarperCollins); a translation of fiction by Reinaldo Arenas was published in Old Rosa (Grove). She speaks and teaches workshops throughout the world. More info at AnnTashiSlater.com

From the Grateful Dead to the Tibetan Book of the Dead 

Welcoming returning guest, speaker, writer, and traveler, Ann Tashi Slater, back to Mindrolling, Raghu invites her to refresh the audience on her unique background and upbringing which helped steep her into the spiritual existence she lives now. Through this lens, they explore Tibetan Buddhism, death, and the bardo states. From here, Ann shares how she went from the Grateful Dead to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, relaying what she learned from her travels through India and Tibet.

“Bardo is between state, some kind of liminal state. In Tibetan Buddhism, when someone dies, the journey they take to rebirth is a bardo because it’s a between state, between death and rebirth. Also, between birth and death is considered bardo, and between sleeping and waking; also states of suspension.” – Ann Tashi Slater

“Ultimately, every moment, moment to moment, is a bardo change, because everything that we experience as ‘reality’ changes from moment to moment. It’s extraordinary.” – Raghu Markus  

Raghu & David Silver explore how we live & how we die, on Ep. 464 of Mindrolling
Trust & Travel // The Bardo States & Letting Go (13:13)

The two explore how trust plays such a huge role in spiritual travel. Raghu remembers how his trust for the essence that was coming through Ram Dass helped catalyze his first trip to India to have the darshan of Maharaj-ji. From here, they discuss fear, clinging, and acceptance; before diving into obstacles we may meet in the bardos, and how the Tibetan Book of the Dead may help us to let go.

“The ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’ is for the dead and the living.” – Ann Tashi Slater

Ann & Raghu talk the Tibetan bardos & the wisdom of the dead, on Ep. 399 of Mindrolling
Trungpa & Tonglen // Padmasambhava & Faith (38:01)

Speaking to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s advice around fear, Raghu shares how if you find yourself fearful, a potential antidote pointed to by this Tibetan Master is Tonglen Practice – trading self for other in a deep compassionate understanding. To bring the episode home, Ann shares personal stories of near-death experiences and how her connection to Padmasambhava played a role in helping her through this bardo.

“One thing we know for sure is that things are going to change and end, including us. We dread this, of course, but in the Tibetan Buddhist way of thinking, it’s really an opportunity to find meaning and think about the things that matter to us.” – Ann Tashi Slater

Bardo-related links from this episode:
photo via KorradolYamsatthm