bardo of dharmata
bardo of dharmata (chos nyid kyi bar do). The period from dying until emerging in the mental body of the bardo of becoming. Dharmata means 'intrinsic nature.'
In the short version of the Bardo Tantra of the Union of the Sun and Moon, concealed as a terma by Padmasambhava and revealed by Pema Lingpa, the bardo of dharmata is described as a sequence of seven very subtle dissolution stages: 'consciousness dissolving into space.' Then follows 'space dissolving into luminosity,' 'luminosity dissolving into union,' 'union dissolving into wisdom,' 'wisdom dissolving into spontaneous presence,' 'spontaneous presence dissolving into primordial purity' and finally 'the omniscient wisdom of primordial purity dissolving into the threefold wisdom of unity.' These stages are described in The Mirror of Mindfulness, pgs. 51-60. The bardo of dharmata is when the appearances of this lifetime have subsided, there is no physical body, and no conditioned experience. Everything perceived is 'pure phenomena,' the sounds, colors and lights of dharmata, our basic nature. The person who has not gained stability in this state will again fall prey to ignorance and habitual tendencies: dualistic experience reoccurs and the bardo of becoming begins.