Ralston Hough


Bardo Cards


100% of human beings die, yet more than half of Americans do not think much about their own death. We plan for everything else in life. Why not the one thing that is inevitable and universal in the human experience? In Buddhism, the Bardo is an intermediate realm where the dead undergo judgment and wait to be reincarnated into their next lives. It is somewhat analogous to the Christian concept of Purgatory. These 36 "Bardo Cards" are designed to help the user confront the inevitable reality of her own death and come away with a better understanding of their own hopes, fears, desires, and values by "practicing dying." They are divided into three categories: Life, Death, and Afterlife. Each card hosts a fill-in-the-blank prompt meant to provoke considered, focused meditation on some element of dying itself, life in the knowledge of death, or all that happens after one has died. The prompts range from the pragmatic and mundane to the spiritual and mysterious. Inspired by global cultural and spiritual traditions like Buddhism, Catholicism, and Bushido, I hope these cards prove fruitful for any user. Memento mori.