Bardo is the Tibetan term for the time between the critical stages of life, from birth through death and beyond to rebirth. In traditional meaning, there are six bardos, three occurring during life and three arising before and after life.
On a secular level, we can see that we are in these transitional times all during our day and through our lives. Those times between meetings (if you can catch your breath), when you arrive home from a trip and take a moment to collect yourself, or when you get ready to dose off to sleep. When we are in one of those moments, we are considered “in the bardo.”
The opportunity for growth is whether we can see ourselves in this transition period. If we can step back and see that, we can manage it with a deeper understanding and more ease.
It takes advanced meditation to know the liminal time between significant Tibetan bardo life events. It just takes some intention and attention to recognize we may be in the bardo in our regular life.
I recognize that I am in the bardo of another career transition. I go through these every ten years or so when the urge to reinvent, explore, and redefine my work takes over like a lion searching for his next meal.
Most of us will go through 3-4 careers and 10-15 jobs. Think back over your career path; I bet you can see how the pattern’s played out for you. Most interestingly, how did you handle those times between career changes or job opportunities?
My last bardo happened after I was part of a “reduction in force” in my previous corporate role at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Initially, I didn’t handle that change very well, as I panicked about “needing to find another job!!” Fortunately, Sheila, family, and other good friends helped me see how I’ve always made successful transitions and that this would be an excellent opportunity for me.
Soon, I saw the magic that my “career bardo” was offering.
It worked out great.
For me, there is not nearly the drama in this transition, and this one is even a bit self-imposed. I want to find new ways to serve clients, build on the work in resilience, leadership, culture, and strategy with new client bases and find new ways to get my ideas out in the world.
A new website is on the way. Maybe a new book. Build more community. We’ll see
You may be in a transitional time in your career, with family members, or with your health. Sometimes these times create panic and anxiety and occasionally great excitement. Regardless you can take them on with more grace and ease.
I’m taking some breaths, walking with Cody and thinking, and then getting down to work to make it happen.
I’m planning on getting to the other side soon, even though I know there will be some other bardo waiting for me over there.
© Richard Citrin 2023