What are you likely to die of?
I don’t think you don’t have to be Buddhist to find the imminency of your own death motivating. Although Buddha did suggest it as a handy tip.
Just out of insomniac curiosity, I googled what forty-somethings in the UK generally die of. It’s cancer, heart disease and alcohol.
I’m enclosing the link just in case you’ve got enough morbid curiosity to check out ‘your’ mortality statistics.
And a pic of Anna Nicole who was 40 years old and died of a bad combination of prescription drugs ~ all at safe doses! Wee soul, went for a nap with a cocktail of drugs and didn’t wake up. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” (Shakespeare)
I just keep hearing of folk unexpectedly dying; and apparently healthy people getting terminal diseases.
Seems that the longer you live, the more likely you are to die.
the elephant’s footprint
In Buddhism the death meditation is described as ‘the elephant’s footprint’, because of all the meditations, it leaves the greatest impression. Some kind of death awareness is fundamental to engaging in the spiritual path. Or for just getting on with things.
If death remains an abstract intellectual idea; if we think we’re going to have lots of time to prepare for it, and that the pathetic amount of effort we’ve been putting into our spiritual practice is enough – then we’re in for a big shock.
Because yea, death is coming.
We are defo going to die, we don’t know when, and at death people tend to desperately look for something, anything to hold onto.
It’s a scary time, which we are well advised to be prepared for.
All apologies if this critique doesn’t apply to you.
It’s my blog and I’m dissing myself here. Nothing personal.
You’re all probably dedicated followers of your path, undistracted by trivialities.
When Death does tap a skeletal finger on your shoulder, you’ll be more than ready to go with him and leave everything behind.
Of course, if that doesn’t apply any more to you than it does to me, then think on my friend ~ time is running out.
Further reading on Death.
Each of these blogs have done various articles on the subject:
Kadampa life – coping with death.
Daily Lamrim – death and impermanence.
Namaste Consulting inc – tonglen for the dying,
and other death related articles. (‘tonglen’ is the compassionate practice of taking and giving)