Death

 

One of the tools in Buddhism is to visualize our own death.

One aspect of this is to explore who or what we are – if the small self drops away right now. Who or what is left if there is no body, no sensations, no emotions, no thoughts? Who or what are we right here/now, if all this drops away?

We may discover that what is left is just the spaciousness and clear awareness. That which is always there, but often obscured by sensations, emotions, thoughts – everything that distracts awareness from noticing its own inherent nature.

Another aspect is to visualize that we will die (for certain) at specific times in the future – ten years, one year, six months, one month, one week, one day, one hour from now. What does it bring up for us? What is important in this perspective? How would we choose to spend our remaining time? This helps us clarify, distill and prioritize what is really important in our lives.

We can also visualize a time in the future, maybe a hundred years from now, where we (this small self) and everyone else alive today, are no longer alive. And then further into the future, when all of humanity – and every physical trace of any human activity – is gone. What is left as important in this perspective? How would our life be different if we lived from this perspective? This can help peel away expectations and that which would impress others and ourselves, and allow us to explore what is more meaningful for us here/now. As they say in Breema, do it for yourself.

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