Now when the bardo of birth is dawning upon me,

I will abandon laziness for which life has no time,

enter the undistracted path of study,

reflection and meditation,

making projections and the mind the path,

and realize the three kayas;

now that I have once obtained a human body,

there is no time on the path for the mind to wander.

Now when the bardo of dreams is dawning upon me,

I will abandon the corpse-like sleep of careless ignorance,

and let my thoughts enter their natural state without distraction;

controlling and transforming dreams in luminosity,

I will not sleep like an animal

but unify completely sleep and practice.

Now when the bardo of samadhi-meditation dawns upon me,

I will abandon the crowd of distractions and confusion,

and rest in the boundless state without grasping or disturbance;

firm in the two practices; visualization and completion,

at this time of meditation, one-pointed, free from activity,

I will not fall into the power of confused emotions.

Now when the bardo of the moment before death dawns upon me,

I will abandon all grasping, yearning and attachment,

enter undistracted into clear awareness of the teaching,

and eject my consciousnes into the space of unborn mind;

as I leave this compound body of flesh and blood I will

know it to be a transitory illusion.

prayer of the six bardos
revealed by

Terton Karma Lingpa 


Now when the bardo of dharmata dawns upon me,

I will abandon all thoughts of fear and terror,

I will recognize whatever appears as my projection

and know it to be a vision of the bardo;

now that I have reached this crucial point,

I will not fear the peaceful and wrathful ones,

my own projections.

Now when the bardo of becoming dawns upon me,

I will concentrate my mind one-pointedly,

and strive to prolong the results of good karma,

close the womb-entrance and think of resistance;

this is the time when perseverance and pure thought are needed,

abandon jealousy, and meditate on the guru with his consort.

With mind far off, not thinking of death's coming,

performing these meaningless activities,

returning empty-handed now would complete confusion;

the need is recognition, holy dharma,

so why not practice dharma at this very moment? 

 From the mouths of siddhas come these words:

If you do not keep

your guru's teaching

in your heart

will you not become

your own deceiver?