Presence is not a dry state. It is the doorway to all the bardos, the spaces that conform to states of being. The ones I can access are determined by the signature of my essence and are therefore not limitless in number but the possibilities are nonetheless immense. Dis-identification remains the initial necessary step. Hopefully, then I am visited by that mysterious aesthetic sense which is the motive power for movement in the realms of being.
What do you mean by aesthetic sense?
It is a sensation of connecting to the nameless, to something that is at once familiar and unknowable. It has a dimension of beauty but also poignancy, like the song of night-birds from deep in the forest. Perhaps you could say it is a setting of the nervous system which does not engage thinking but rather invokes feeling and awakens the heart. This sensation is always available to the one who is present and disinterested in the superficial phenomena of the present moment.
In classical Tibetan Buddhism, there are six bardos.
Yes, this is the standard religious teaching. But there are many more…it is a house of many mansions. A bardo is a place in-between. It is a space of unchanging permanence separating moments of ordinary reality. We experience a bardo as a point of transition outside of horizontal time. Bardos are like seams of pure being running through the flux of phenomena.
Think of ordinary reality as a video game. There is a succession of screens in which various characters and events collide within a fixed frame. Moving from one frame to another, there is a moment between when the programming is suspended, a moment of unprogrammed reality. We do not notice this, as we are on our way to the next screen, anticipation fully engaged. We are identified with the phenomena within the frame. Presence makes it possible to cease forward momentum and notice the transitions. The aesthetic sense makes it possible to travel along the seams.